Kapow! Boy Cartoon done with my new favorite cartoon pen, by Joana Miranda

When I cartoon…

I usually work on smaller sheets of paper – fitting a single panel gag cartoon onto 9 x 12 paper, for example. My travel sketchbooks are even smaller (usually around 4 x 5.5 inches). For the smaller work, I’ve gotten used to using my favorite cartoon pen – the Kuretake No. 13. However, I’m always trying to grow and challenge myself so tonight I focused on creating “solo” cartoon figures that took up most of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

Of course, changing up the game means…

The tools, or pens, you use can vary quite a lot depending on factors such as what paper you are using, how you plan to color your cartoon and the size drawing you are planning to create.

And of course as soon as I switched to creating a larger figure, I discovered the need to use bigger arm gestures and a different pen.

I ruled out…

My Pentel and Kuretake brush pens because the tips proved too delicate for the large gestures needed for the bigger figure. And my various Sharpie markers were unsatisfactory, too, since they felt hard and gave little to no variety of line. (Besides, the fumes from the Sharpie made me gag.)

After researching a bit online and reading helpful articles such as this one, I was all set to purchase the Dixon Markette marker pen. Sadly, my search turned up bad news – the manufacturer has apparently changed the tip shape and the new incarnation of the pen is reported to be noticeably inferior to the older version.

Upon further reading…

I came across positive reviews of both Prismacolor and Copic brush tip markers in comparison to the old Dixon Markette pen. Fortunately, I happen to own both of those markers, so I gave each a try. The Prismacolor black shade was too brown for my taste, but the Copic brush marker color was deep black and the feel of the pen was pretty close to perfect. (My Copic pen is currently a bit low on ink, but fortunately Copics are refillable so I just need to purchase the refill.) Another plus is that Copics are waterproof so they will “play well” with my Faber Castell watercolor pencils!

Kapow! Success at last (a.k.a a new favorite cartoon pen!)

Not only that, but the true silver lining was…

An afternoon spent practicing my drawing which is a true luxury! And in trying something new, I made friends with some “old” tools that had gotten neglected!


    • Joana says:

      I think so, too, Helen…which means I’m going in the right direction! All of my sketches tonight were done on el cheapo office paper. Hopefully I can keep that freedom when I draw on my nicer paper (which isn’t even that much more expensive.) Even so, I do tend to “clutch” when I’m using the nicer paper since I don’t want to waste it. Sigh.

      xox – Joana

  1. Jennifer Greenlee says:

    I hadn’t thought of the need for different width of lines in larger sketches, but it makes sense! Bravo for expanding your horizons!

    • Joana says:

      Yes – and the Copic marker which worked well for these sketches would be way too thick and unwieldy for my little sketch book (like killing a fly with a baseball bat?) 😉 Are you still sewing? I haven’t done any sewing for a few years now and still have two patterns that I’d like to make. One of these days…

      I hope you have a lovely week, Jennifer! Sending lots of love,

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