A great mixed-media pen: uni-ball Vision Elite

Poem written over dried acrylic mixed media painting by Suzanne Edminster

Poem written over dried acrylic mixed media painting by Suzanne Edminster

This is a canvas painting with layers of collage and paint. I had been seeking a pen that wrote with a fluid, varied line on top of textured, dried paintings. The Uni-ball Vision Elite is the only one that gives me the effect I want.

Uniball Vision Elite Pens on mixed media painting by Suzanne Edminster

Uniball Vision Elite Pens on mixed media painting by Suzanne Edminster

I love these pens. I first used them in travel watercolor notebooks, when I found I could put pen lines dirctly into wet watercolor. Fine Sharpies can’t do this, and the wetness can ruin other pen tips. They move and bleed a little when wet, but are waterproof when dry.Here’s a sample with an IHOP sketch of pancakes from a travel notebook in my own messy style.

Angel of the Pancakes IHOP sketch

Angel of the Pancakes IHOP sketch

I tried every waterproof art pen I could find, but didn’t get the effect I want. I don’t even think they sell these at art supply stores. You have to go to an office supply store or order online.They also write upside down and in changing pressures and altitudes, including airplanes. I showed them to Susan Cornelis and she used them in her sketchbooks. She uses them directly then brushes water over them in the little window when they’re still damp to produce shading.

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See how Susan Cornelis uses Uniball pens dry with wet brush here and wet into watercolor here. (Pssst… I showed Susan these pens and look where her expertise took her!)  Head on out and invent a few new mixed media techniques of your own.

8 comments

    1. Stacey… thank you! I think you have a lot of creative fun as well. It all goes into the same impulse and comes out of the same well. I have stopped separating my daybooks from my sketchbooks. If I can’t get into the studio, I do work in notebooks to develop ideas. So much of art is following intuition anyway… the best laid plans…

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  1. And I’m eternally grateful to you for the tip Suzanne! And I’ve been passing the idea on to my students as well. By the way, I think I bought my pen at Rileystreet Art Supply in Santa Rosa. Now you’ve inspired me to go back and get more colors!

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  2. Oh, I love art supplies (and informtaion about art supplies)– you never know just exactly what one might need until in the midst of the mist of creation. I have almost a pen fetish — often carry a plastic bag of mixed pen types. I also like the fountain pens — but those often leak and the line blurs with water. However — I do not gravitate to the repeatio -graph (sp) genre of marking instrument– too much upkeep and the line a little too mechanical for my messy taste. I will see about purchasing some of these other colors — already have the black,….. Nishi

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