View Full Version : Using the Tombow Dual-brush pens in watercolors

10-03-2011, 02:44 PM
Hello, my wife bought me three different sets of the Tombow dual-brush pens and it seems to me that they can be used for detail work on watercolor paintings. I was wondering if anyone here uses them in watercolor and what all the applications are? I was also wondering that if I were to use them, then if I were to do washes over the lines after they dried if those lines would bleed in any way?

Also, one more question, I was wondering what the most popular method of sketching the outline on watercolor paper that people use right before they start applying the watercolor paint? What is the best way to keep the sketch lines and not have to worry about the sketch lines obstructing the watercolor paint? Thanks for any help you can provide.

10-03-2011, 03:34 PM
I don't worry about them as they wash out pretty much with the water and paint. Some do a Light erasure beforehand , but I like the pencil marks ,as a personal mark .
June:) :)

M.L. Schaefer
10-03-2011, 04:08 PM
These are already loaded with paint, right? Unless you know they are lightfast, I would save them for sketch work only....Many artists love to leave their pencil marks; others cringe at the idea. Many buyers/critics LOVE the pencil work...they show a history of the finished work and adds details to the watercolor! Do both! Do one! Have Fun! (rhymes :smug: )


virgil carter
10-03-2011, 04:43 PM
Good one, ML!

Wish I had said that!

Sling paint!

PS: I agree with June about the pencil marks--they show what the painter was thinking, whether or not they are followed in the finished painting.

10-03-2011, 04:48 PM
Virgil: I understand the reasoning behind leaving the pencil marks; however, which type of pencil will be the best to use if you do not wish the marks to be visible and it will be easily and completely covered by the watercolor once applied on top of it? HB, 2B, Watercolor pencil, colored pencil, etc... ???

M.L. Schaefer
10-03-2011, 07:20 PM
Virgil would be better at answering, plus he gives such lovely replies! But, pencils....remember that pencil "dust" will contaminate watercolor..turn it muddy, turn it green, turn it ick!!! Use an HB or a plain ole No. 2...don't press too hard unless you wish to "impress" your paper....me, I want my paint and me to "impress" the world! :lol: I make sketches and then transfer with graphite tracing paper. I then use "UHU tac" to remove any excess graphite. I also use the UHU when I draw directly on the paper to remove any excess pencil. It doesn't leave a residue, leaves the pencil line intact, and I haven't had any problems with it at all. Until you took a lovely yellow wash and then found out there was pencil dust left on the paper, you can not truly appreciate the chagrin :crying: .


10-03-2011, 07:42 PM
I like to use an F pencil ,try to stay away fron the very hard one's it should only be a light outline .

10-03-2011, 09:07 PM
Then again, another choice is not to use pencil at all...rather use a very (very very) weak wash of a neutral color (grey? raw sienna? indigo?). Just enough for you to get your "landmarks" when laying down your washes.

Saint Ragdoll
10-05-2011, 10:29 PM
I use watercolor pencils in a light gray. When I paint over it it is lost in the paint. The key is to keep the inital drawing very light, And some paintwrs do very sketchy drWings, just a line here and there as a guide, ot really a complete drawing.
As for the Tombow brushes, as someone said be sure they are lightfast and do some experimenting on your own to find out the best way for younto use them. I love playing around with new art materiels!!

Saint Ragdoll

virgil carter
10-06-2011, 08:50 AM
T, choosing a pencil for sketching and replicating the sketch on watercolor paper is a very personal choice. You've received some good comments above. ML is funny talking about the muddy, green, ick that an overabundance of graphite may cause! Very funny!

For me, I use a sketch book a lot before drawing to explore and resolve my intent, and how I wish to express it. That means using sketches to investigate composition and design, shapes, values, area of interest, contrast, color family, etc. And I paint from my sketches, more often than not. So, I use a soft-lead pencil that will allow me to quickly sketch and also come back and lay in 4-5 values. I use the same pencil for outlining on the watercolor paper. Generally, a 2B pencil with a light touch works for me.

A standard 2H "yellow" pencil or harder lead pencil is a bit like drawing with a nail, if the point is very sharp. I try to avoid these.

Since I enjoy drawing, I have to be careful how I lay out my lines on the watercolor paper and not spend too much time enjoying the drawing. If I do get lines a bit dark in places I always lighten them with a kneeded eraser before putting down the initial wash. I find that once the initial washes go down, it's more difficult to erase any visible lines. With most completed paint applications, however, the lines become invisible.

As I've said, I'm one of those painters that really doesn't mind seeing some pencil lines in a finsihed watercolor, since they are part of the history of creating the work. Just my milage!

Sling color!