Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
I've never used ecoline brush pens for a full project before, so today's the day! I was really interested to see how they compare to my beloved Tombow brush pens and Winsor Newton watercolor markers because I LOVE doing brush pen drawings and paintings in my signature mixed media style.
Click over to the video to see the demo, brush pen comparison, and my thoughts as I work with Ecolines in real time to create this fun mixed media portrait in 3/4 view.
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support!
I typically create brush pen drawings and end up adding water to them with a paint brush or water brush because I love the effects you can get. They look so much like watercolor, and are WAY cheaper to work with!
If you're someone who feels a little intimidated by working with a paint brush, you might enjoy the control of working with brush pens and working your way up to adding water. You can also use them completely dry, like a regular marker, and not add water if you want!
As you'll see in the video- I'm comparing the Ecolines to 3 others brands: Arteza, Tombow, and Winsor Newton.
The Arteza brush pens are a bit different because they're the only one in this product mix with a brush nib that is actually like a paint brush with individual hairs at the tip.
While this is really cool - it actually makes coloring much more difficult because they're not super juicy. The Arteza brush pens also have a hard barrel which means you can't squeeze them to get more color flowing.
As you can see in the pic above, the individual hairs will separate while you're coloring, so the coverage isn't amazing. The one bonus is - this set is way cheaper than the others, so if you don't mind working a bit harder to get the coverage you want, you can get 96 colors for around $54 (or just 50 cents/marker).
When I pick up the Tombow brush pen in one hand and the Arteza in the other hand, I can definitely feel a difference in weight. Tombows are super juicy, so I'm guessing that weight difference is more ink in the barrel.
Tombows also have TWO nibs in each marker: the brush nib, and the bullet for helping you get into teeny, tiny spaces.
Tombow has a set of 96 for around $146. You're definitely paying more per marker here, but I've actually never had one run out on me yet, so you can be confident these will last you quite a while!!
Tombows are definitely my fave when I'm doing art journal pages because they're so easy to take on the road if I want to art while I'm on vacation, or whatever. I even used to take them to carpool and do art in my car while waiting for the boys to get out of school!!
The only downside about Tombows is they're not lightfast, so if you want to make something that's never gonna fade, and will last forever, this may not be the brush pen for you! The same is true for the other lower priced brush pens we're looking at today (Arteza and Ecoline).
HOT TIP: If you are on a budget and need to buy the lower priced brush pens, take a photo (or photocopy, scan, etc.) to preserve your art before the color begins to fade. Remember, it will fade much quicker if you hang it up in direct sunlight.
Winsor Newton watercolor markers are my top fave in terms of quality. The pigment is gorgeous and lightfast, so it will not fade because they're considered a fine art product.
Like the Tombows, these have both the bullet and brush nibs in each marker, and they're gonna last you forever. They also "move" the most when you add water to them, so they're not just watersoluble, they really FEEL like watercolor.
The downside of Winsor Newtons is they don't come in nearly as many colors, and being a fine art product, they're more expensive. The cheapest you can get them is around $4/each, but their quality is outstanding.
What I'm playing with for today's mixed media portrait tutorial are the Ecoline Brush Pens. They're NOT lightfast, but are super fun to play with, and easy on your budget at about $2/marker when you buy a set of 30 for $60.
They have a bunch of skin tone shades, which is what attracted me to them, so of course I had to check these out for you to let ya know if I think they're worth it!
The Ecolines have a smaller nib than the others I tested them against today, but I definitely don't hold that against them because they're nice and juicy.
Click over to the video to see how each marker compares when activated with water and come do this tutorial with me in REAL TIME!
Today's watercolor marker tutorial is of a face in 3/4 view. A portrait in three quarter view is one of the hardest face angles to draw, so if you're new to drawing faces, or feel you need some tips to get you started - I've got a cheatsheet for that!
Simply click the button below, and I'll send you my face drawing guidelines for how to draw a 3/4 view portrait.
If you are totally new to drawing faces, and interested in learning, I recommend the following playlists for you (in order):
1. How to Draw & Shade a Forward Facing Face
2. Side Profile Drawing
3. 3/4 View Face
All of the above playlists have cheatsheets to help beginners and step by step face drawing tutorials to help you.
Back to today's tutorial...
I'm not being too fussy with my face sketch today because I really want to get to the coloring portion of the project!
After my face was sketched in, I selected 3 Ecoline marker shades that went well together to create light, medium, and dark skin tones.
I tried using the same technique I do when shading with Tombows. I add streaks of light, medium, dark - then activate with water to blend.
I leave things streaky on purpose because that typically blends right out with water - at least that's my experience with Tombows. When I added water with my paint brush to the Ecoline pigment, I felt like the skin tones blended pretty well, but the blues I used for her hair were much juicier and a bit easier to activate with water. Not sure why!!
I don't have any black brush pens in my Ecoline set, so I incorporated my pentel pocket brush to start adding in detail (especially when drawing eyelashes!)
If you have questions about the pentel pocket brush, I've got two different videos on it - one about how to draw eyelashes on mixed media portraits on my mixed media YouTube channel, and one on my drawing channel.
Make sure you click over to the video to find out my FULL opinion on whether or not I think Ecolines a great addition to your art supply stash!
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.