Arteza Watercolour Brush Pens Review

I have been meaning to post a review on these pens for a little while now, but have been busy with the 100 Days challenge, and work in general…!

I received these pens from my partner for Christmas last year. I had been looking at them for some time, but they were fairly expensive for the big set, and I wasn’t sure if they were something I was going to use a lot. I use watercolour as my main media when I’m painting/drawing, so I was intrigued to see how good they would be.

I got the 96 pen set – which has a really amazing range of colours. I don’t think I have gotten even lose to trying them all out yet!

I have used these pens in a variety of ways… firstly, like felt tip pens or markers.

Nice and easy to use, the pens have lovely thin tips so you can use them easily to colour in, then to go over to build up colour and shading. I also used the water brush over the top to help blend, or to lighten out the colour in places.

I also used them with traditional watercolours, and with the water brush…

They blend beautifully, and there are so many colours! These are great for sketches to get an idea of colours and to get some ideas down on paper quickly. I have used these on both normal sketch book paper and on watercolour paper and they blend perfectly on both, and the colours look great.

I have also used these purely on their own, and then with the watercolour brush to get some different effects, good for fiddly bits and for getting some crisper lines.

Finally, I have used these pens for a little bits of brush calligraphy…

They seem to work best when you go over them with the water brush pen personally, but I am not an expert on brush pen calligraphy so this may be down to my skill rather than the pens!

If you use watercolour in your work, or enjoy playing around with art and craft materials, these pens are brilliant. Well worth the money and enjoyable to use, I’ll be using these more and more in my work, both on their won and alongside traditional watercolours and ink.

Arteza Watercolour Pens


100 Days of Lettering – Week 14

The last week of my challenge! I will post about the whole challenge next week, so here’s a round up of this week’s offerings…

Day 92

I managed to get the hang of the ink and embossing powder – really pleased with this! It took me a while to get the right combination but I got there in the end! Gold ink and embossing powder on watercolour paper.

Day 93

Whilst experimenting with the embossing, I was playing around with the gold and silver ink on black card. The card is not perfect for the ink and nib, but the ink does look good on such a dark background! Gold ink on black card.

Day 94

Back to some hand lettering, trying to get my head round lettering in odd shapes (not straight lines). Not perfect but definitely an improvement, and getting there! Black fineliner on watercolour paper.

Day 95

Back to the calligraphy… I wanted to play around a little more with flourishes. I am pleased with this, the letterforms look good and I am getting to grips with the pen and nib, but some of these flourishes don’t quite look right yet! Pen and ink on watercolour paper.

Day 96

The start of this piece, took me a while to draw out in pencil, before starting to ink it in. Still practising these letterforms, my lines are still a little shaky. I was trying slightly watered down ink, to get a difference in the tone. Ink on watercolour paper.

Day 97

Final piece, with the ink still wet (hence the pencil lines!) Good practice of these long straight lines, still need to improve, but I like the overall look of this! I had a bit of a play with some decoration as well. Pen and ink on watercolour paper.

Day 98

Nearing the end… the start of another piece, playing around with some watercolour lettering today. Experimenting with one watercolour washes and calligraphy. Watercolour paint, pen and ink on watercolour paper.

Day 99

Finished the edges of these letters, and drew over the top with pen and ink. I have since found out through tutorials and research that it is easier and better to do the ink first, and the watercolour over the top… but this seemed to work fairly well! Watercolour paint, pen and ink on watercolour paper.

Day 100

Final day today! I decided to do a nice piece of calligraphy for this as I seem to be on a calligraphy kick! I had a play with the flourishes, writing this all out in pencil first and playing around with the letterforms before going over with pen and ink. I had a quick look back at what I have done over the last 100 days, and I am really pleased with the progress I have made! Pen and ink on watercolour paper.

I’ll write a post next week about the whole challenge… so I won’t say much here. Except that whilst I thoroughly enjoyed this, I am glad to have some spare time!


Westbank Business Cards

Westbank needed business cards for it’s staff. There are a few different organisations underneath the umbrella of Westbank, and quite a few different staff, all of whom need business cards, so the brief was to design something that could be produced in bulk, and used by everyone.

The design has the Westbank logo and details, but space on the back for each person to write their own details in. I kept the design simple, and in keeping with the branding used.

100 Days of Lettering – Week 13

Lots of calligraphy this week, and a little more experimentation…

Day 85

Some more calligraphy with watercolour paint as ink. Freehand calligraphy, trying to get used to the pens and nibs, and playing around with watercolours, getting used to how it looks when dry, and how watery it needs to be… watercolour paint and calligraphy nib on watercolour paper.

Day 86

More experimenting with watercolour, and a different nib – the Brausse Rose nib, which is difficult! I’m trying to get my letterforms a little more consistent, by using guides. Watercolour paint, calligraphy nib and pencil on watercolour paper.

Day 87

This was all planned out in pencil first, then went over it in watercolour with a calligraphy nib. I’m not happy with this lettering yet, I want to try and get each letter looking neater, thinner and more consistent, but I feel I have a lot more control over the pen now. Watercolour paint, nib and pencil on watercolour paper.

Day 88

The finished piece (before tidying up the pencil lines…) this took me a while to get through it all. I like the gradient of colour with the watercolour as ink, but still not quite happy with the letterforms. More work required… watercolour paint, calligraphy nib and pencil on watercolour paper.

Day 89

Again with the watercolour…! And again with the Brausse Rose nib, trying to get the hang of it… Watercolour paint, calligraphy nib and pencil on watercolour paper.

Day 90

Back to ink… I spent some time this evening working through exercises and writing out alphabets time and time again… then finished with a few lovely words. The ink looked so good when wet on the paper. The photo doesn’t do it justice…! Pen and ink on Rhodia practice paper.

Day 91

A while ago, I bought an embossing un and some powder, and had a go (unsuccessfully…) I saw something on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a go, using the wet ink and powder. The silver ink and powder seemed to pool and clump but the gold gave really good results… this is one of the first attempts, a bit messy but you get the gist! Gold ink, calligraphy nib, gold embossing powder on black card.

One week and one day to go… probably more calligraphy practice next week, and maybe something special for the last post…!


I thought I’d share with you a few banners I’ve designed over the last few months… Firstly is a banner for Adela BM79. This is a fishing boat now now sells fresh fish straight from their boat. They have cut out the middle man of the fish market and sell fresh fish to tourists and locals alike, and wanted a banner for their boat, specifically for a local Pirate Festival we run in Brixham, if this went well, they were planning on selling fresh fish throughout the summer from the boat. They have since been selling fish throughout the summer!

The second banner was for the Gay Pride March in Exeter. Devon Carers, an organisation I have done a lot of work for, asked me for a banner for the March. I had creative freedom to design something colourful and simple, with the Devon Carers logo on it – a really fun job!

A great deal of my work is fairly small – business cards, A4 and A5 flyers, brochures and leaflets, so it’s nice to go large scale and make something a bit different!

100 Days of Lettering – Week 12

Another week of hand lettering – some final designs of the Feminist quotes… and some calligraphy practice:

Day 78

Final design, all inked and painted Рfinal design! Really pleased with how this has come out, I feel my lettering has improved tenfold in the last 70 odd days. Watercolour paint and ink on watercolour paper.

Day 79

Another final design… The final lettering wasn’t as neat as I would have liked, I may well re-draw this… but I really like the design! Watercolour paint and Tombow pens on watercolour paper.

Day 80

Bit of practice with some nibs, and re-drawing my Sunshine and Shenanigans logo. The original logo was done as faux calligraphy, these designs were all the real thing! Pen and ink on watercolour paper.

Day 81

I redrew the whole logo, changing the stripes slightly. Not sure if the layered stripes worked out very well, but good to re-visit this. Watercolour and pen and ink on watercolour paper.

Day 82

I’ve been getting a little carried away with this design, and have been tweaking and re-drawing, and finally re-painted this new design. Not sure if I like it, but it’s been interesting re-visiting this design and playing around with it. Watercolour paint, Arteza Brush pens and pen and ink on watercolour paper.

Day 83

Today I had a play with developing a style in my own calligraphy, drawing out each letter in my own style similar to my handwriting. good practice of letterforms, and with the nib. Pen and ink on Rhodia practice pad.

Day 84

I’m getting more confident with the pen and nibs, so I thought I’d try out a slightly different (and harder nib – Brausse Rose) with watercolour paint instead of ink. I really enjoyed this process, mixing colours and trying out watery paint, and thicker paint. Watercolour paint and pen on watercolour paper.

Not long to go… 2 more weeks and the challenge will be done! I’ve been concentrating a lot on calligraphy recently, which will probably continue next week!

Sunshine and Shenanigans

A little while ago, I closed the store for a while due to being busy… being a new mum, and a freelancer was taking up most of my time. It was always meant to be a temporary thing, but time ran away with me.

I have been working on some new bits and pieces, some of them due to the lettering project, and I have some new ideas and things for the store. I have given myself a deadline of the end of September to re-open the store, so the grand re-opening will be:

Monday 30th September!

I’ll still have the wedding cake toppers, but there will also be some new things there, wedding stationary, prints and cards. I have lots to do within now and then, so I’ll post more soon…!

100 Days of Lettering – Week 11

On a bit of a roll this week with the feminist quotes… I’m hoping to re-open my Etsy store properly soon (more news about that later…) so I’ve been working hard on these quotes.

Day 71

A bit of personal work… some ideas for our Save the Dates for our wedding. The final ideas that we’ve decided on aren’t shown here, these are the rejected ideas… Tombow brush pens, pen and ink and arteza watercolour brush pens on watercolour paper.

Day 72

Another go on this quote. I love the “Smash” – although I’m refining it slightly, but the “patriarchy” just doesn’t look right like this. Back to the drawing board… Gouache paint, pen and ink on watercolour paper.

Day 73

I’ve had 2 attempts at this with pen and ink and finleiner and I just don’t like it. I am going back to the literal drawing board with this one, starting again with the composition. Tombow brush pen, fine-liner, pen and ink on watercolour paper.

Day 74

So, here it is. The new design. All ready for tracing, tweaking and re-drawing in ink. Pencil on grid paper.

Day 75

Playing around with this quote, just trying to get the lettering right! Pencil on grid paper.

Day 76

I’ve redrawn this quote with the smoke, although it’s not quite right… More tweaking required. But getting there! Pencil on grid paper.

Day 77

Another attempt at this word – looks much better – looks almost how I want it to… Bit more tweaking and we’ll be away! Fineliner on grid paper.

Almost done… only 3 weeks to go. I feel the work is definitely advancing and improving, and I’m learning a lot which is a good thing!

100 Days of Lettering – Week 10

Another week… another 7 lettering projects…

Day 64

A fully painted 3D “SMASH”… gouache paint on watercolour paper.

Day 65

First draft of this idea, I like the smoke idea but I think it might be a bit overbearing in this. First attempt with the Tombow brush pen as well, I love these pens, nice and easy to use and look fantastic! Watercolour paint and Tombow brush pen on watercolour paper.

Day 66

I bought some new nibs, a Rhodia pad, and an oblique pen holder from Quill London and got practising! A bit of modern calligraphy style, pen and black ink on Rhodia practice pad.

Day 67

Some more practice with the Tombow brush pens – Tombow brush pen on Rhodia practice pad.

Day 68

Even more practice! And a good old feminist quote! Tombow brush pen on Rhodia practice pad.

Day 69

I love this quote, and it’s a nice one for practicing. Lots of exercises and alphabets this week, and then an attempt at a quote with the Tombow brush pens, on the Rhodia practice pad.

Day 70

And now for something completely different – some blackletter practice with pen and ink on the Rhodia pad – loving the black ink on white paper and these big chunky letters….

Catching up with the blog this week as we were away camping for the bank holiday weekend, and generally enjoying the sunshine!

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