Category Archives: Materials

Testing White Sharpies on Gray Toned Paper

Trying out new art supplies is so fun.  In the past my go-to white pen has been the widely-recommended Sakura gelly roll.  I have enjoyed using these pens, but they do sometimes have a problem getting started or flowing smoothly.  The Sakura gelly roll is the pen I used for the baby’s breath in the picture below.


I recently found out that Sharpie makes a couple of different types of white markers.  I thought I’d give them a try to see how they compare.  I tested them on the same type of paper used in the baby’s breath picture: Strathmore gray toned sketch paper.

The first marker I tried was the extra fine point water based marker.  I loved this one.


This is the type of marker that has to be shaken and have its tip pushed in several times to get flowing when it is new or when it has been sitting unused for awhile.  Once that was done It flowed smoothly, and made a line slightly wider than the Sakura.  The line was a little less bright, and didn’t stand off the page like the gelly roll ink.  However, I liked its somewhat chalky effect.  This is a case of two good media that produce different results but are both useful when their particular look is needed.  For example, I might actually have preferred this look for the baby’s breath up above.  However, my gelly roll still has a safe place in my pen cup.

I liked this marker so much that I played a bit more.

That about sums up my feelings about the white Sharpie extra fine point water based marker.

That about sums up my feelings about the white Sharpie extra fine point water based marker.

Next up was the white Sharpie “fine point” oil based marker.  Sharpie calls this a fine point, but it’s actually a much broader point than that name might imply.  I measured the width of its line at at least 2 mm.

I did the whole shake it and push in the nib repeatedly routine, and got the ink flowing.

White Sharpie oil based marker test.

White Sharpie oil based marker test.

Even so, the marks on the paper were much lighter than the marks on my finger.  It seems that these markers aren’t compatible with the paper I was using.  The problem was that the paper absorbed the marker like a sponge, leaving just a faint mark on the paper itself.  Still, judging from the marks on my fingers they would be great for use on a less absorbent material.  It’s even possible that this very faint white might come in handy to produce the effect of a soft glow.  It’s something to keep in mind, but mainly I’ll be planning to use this on other surfaces.

Here’s the final comparison, along with a gold oil based Sharpie line for comparison.  I think the paper seems to “disappear” the white more than the gold.  For comparison, the “by Edgar Allan Poe” is written in black Sharpie extra fine point permanent marker.

Comparing white Sakura gelly roll pen, white Sharpie water based marker, and white Sharpie oil based marker on gray Strathmore toned drawing paper.

Comparing white Sakura gelly roll pen, white Sharpie water based marker, and white Sharpie oil based marker on gray Strathmore toned drawing paper.

In case your wondering why Edgar Allan Poe is mentioned (because I’m nosy enough that I would wonder if I saw this somewhere!), there’s a good story about that.

I’m using an unfinished project as scrap paper.  Why?  Well, I think the following verse from Poe’s “To Helen” is heartbreakingly beautiful.

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Read it aloud to feel its power.  That tone-change in “to his own native shore,” right?

“Poe could get it,” I thought.  Followed closely with, “Oh, this would make a great Valentine’s Day card!”

But then I did some reading and found out that he’d written this not for a lover, but as a memorial to his good friend’s dead elderly mother who had also been a mother figure to Poe.  After reading that, it kind of didn’t feel right to use it as a romantic greeting anymore!  Therefore, scrap paper.


Working at Night

Doing art at night under an Ottlite

Doing art at night under an Ottlite

I’ve been working on coloring my Mortality drawing today. I decided to go with colored pencil, mainly because there are a lot of tiny spaces to color in this piece.  I like the results so far, and can’t wait to see this finished.  I think of it as a cute expression of a kind of serious subject, but I think it would make a good “getting older” type birthday card, too.

I worked bit by bit throughout the day in between all the other things I was doing, and when it got dark I didn’t have to stop thanks to my Ottlite. I just have a cheap folding desktop model and it has made it possible for me to keep working after dark on many occasions. Well worth it in my opinion!  Highly recommended if you do color-sensitive work and don’t want to be limited to working in daylight hours.  (No one paid me to say that, pinkie swear.)

This will take some time…there are forty-nine little ladies, each needing some undivided attention when her time comes.  I post my progress here or on the social media sites listed in the sidebar.



Tea and Dominoes

Tea and Dominoes by Lynde VonHatten / Madam Doodle

Tea and Dominoes by Lynde VonHatten / Madam Doodle

I had a chance yesterday to try out some Derwent Inktense pencils and I have to say I am blown away.  I used these mostly on a brush and found them to be extremely soluble, vivid, and simply a joy to use.  Just a touch of the wet brush to the pencil tip was enough to cover it with rich, vibrant color.  In fact, the color was so strong that in order to produce the lighter colors in this picture I had to dilute the pigment further by dipping the loaded brush in water again.  I just loved these and plan to play with them again soon.

The dots on the dominoes show how dark the color can go by applying the pencil directly to a wet surface or by dipping the pencil tip in water and applying directly.  The dominoes were colored with a marker, the rest of the color is from the Inktense pencils.

As for the subject matter?  Some of my favorite times this winter break involved tea and Dominoes with my family.  The tea was even more enjoyable than usual because we all had nasty colds, and if you drink tea you know how a hot cup of tea looks like a little hero coming to save your day when you’re sick.  There are some pretty good memories from the end of 2015 in this picture!


How Chinese Food is Delivered in Oz

Wizard of Oz Fan Art

How Chinese food is delivered in Oz – Wizard of Oz fan art

This is the result of an amusing thought that crossed my mind.  It was a tossup between Chinese food delivery and OZPS (parcel delivery), but Chinese food containers are a lot more interesting to look at than brown shipping cartons, so I went with the Chinese food.

This was a bit of a quickie, because I knew going in that I didn’t have enough ink to do color it completely smoothly.  But it was a fun idea that I wanted to get on paper right away.  I did not have all of the colors I needed to do this entirely in Copics, but I did have some Blick studio markers in colors pretty close to what I wanted, so I used some of each type in this picture.  That makes this as good a time as any to compare the two.

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Something Fun – A Stargate Bubble Wand

stargate fan art bubbles

Stargates are used for lots of important business. Don’t they deserve to have a little fun sometimes? I enjoyed drawing this, and look forward to the challenge of coloring the bubbles. It has also gotten me thinking about the idea of Stargates as playthings. I’m thinking of Stargate yo-yos, hula hoops, basketball rims. This may be the beginning of a series. Or not! We’ll see.

Also, eeeeeeeeeeee-yes! The markers are finally here. Now I can finish up the Crow’s Hoard drawing and the Lollipop Forest drawing. I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t – why am I still typing?



Trying Toned Gray Paper

I tried drawing on toned gray paper for the first time.


The paper is a small 5.5×8.5 inch Strathmore pad. It was wonderful, thick paper and the marker did not bleed through. I like this paper a lot. Conclusion: the paper is great. My drawing skills need work!


Copic markers, brown 01 Sakura micron pen, white Sakura jelly roll pen.