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Pen & Ink

  • INKS

    Different Types Of Artists Inks, Techniques and Auxiliaries

    There are two main types of inks: Pigment inks and Dye inks.
    What's the difference?

    Pigment Inks

    Pigment inks have a telling name – they contain pigments. (Indeed, pigments don’t mix with water, therefore this type of ink will be water resistant once dried.) Since pigment particles make a stronger bond, pigment inks will not fade so quickly, and last  for a longer time. At the same time, it’s said that they’re harder to work with and the colours aren’t that bright.


    Dye Inks

    Dye inks compared to Pigment inks are less permanent, as they remain water soluble even after they dried. While some people prefer them for they have more bright colours, however, they tend to fast easier as well.

    Abby Diamond

    India Ink

    The Bombay India Ink range has 24 vibrant colours (all transparent except black and white which have excellent  coverage) - what's good to know about this brand is that the inks are very pigmented and lightfast, and also waterproof.

    DR. Ph. Martins Radiant Inks

    This type of ink comes in 56 different colours, however, due to the quality of the dye, it's not very lightfast. It can be used mixed with acrylic paint, or as a fabric dye  (with added salt for fixative.)  These inks don't contain shellac like other type of India Inks.


    Royal Talens India Ink


    India ink (or Chinese ink) is made up of fine soot (carbon) and water, usually with added shellac or gelatine to make the dried ink more durable. It can be both waterproof and non-waterproof, depending on the added binder. India ink is most commonly used for drawing, especially ink comic books

    John MacNair

    Royal Talens Ecoline

    Leandro Russo, Omeostasi, 2014, ecoline on canvas, cm 20 x 25

    Ecoline is a liquid watercolour paint, but at the same time very similar to inks. The brand has many colours (46 transparent and 2 opaque) which are also available in pen form (and the two can be mixed!) They are not waterproof, thus you can keep on working on the image even after it’s dry.

    Ecoline Brushpens  and Ink Bottles



    Techniques for Inks

    Source -

    Shading Techniques

    Tools and Surfaces

    Inks probably work the best with soft brushes like watercolour brushes, but you can experiment with technical pens, fountain pens, calligraphy pens or airbrush as well.

    Inks, unlike watercolours, can be used on non/absorbent surfaces like cartridge paper, but it's good to keep in mind that the more water you add, the chance of paper buckling grows, therefore it's better to stretch your paper first.



  • Chinese Brush Painting

    New Products and Techniques

    We have some beautiful new Chinese brush painting sets now available to buy in store or online.  They would make great presents for someone looking for a new hobby, and we’ve put together a brief guide to Chinese brush painting, in case you needed some more information.


    An Ancient Chinese Painting Technique

    The technique of Chinese brush painting has existed since about 4000 B.C.  Traditionally the style involves everything from Buddhist religious paintings to landscape and figure painting. There are various different styles involved in the traditional technique such as “blue and green landscapes” which use bright blue, green and red pigments and “ink-and-wash landscapes” which use vivid brushstrokes and different concentration of ink to create images.  Particularly well known are the flower and bird paintings which broke off from more general decorative styles to form their own genre.  The subject matter of this style usually involves flowers (such as plum and cherry blossoms, orchids, bamboo), koi fish or trees (cypress and pines).

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    Materials and Methods Of Chinese Ink Painting

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    The distinctive Chinese painting style is closely linked to the particularity of the materials used.  Most importantly is the Chinese Brush.  This is similar to a western watercolour brush but it thins to a much finer tip which allows for a wide variation of line.


    The specific method of brushstrokes is particularly important to creating the style.  It is hard to explain in words how this works, especially as it is so centred on movement.  Here are two links to videos which show the vital energy of the Chinese brushstroke technique.  You can find a wealth of other videos on youtube which will help you to understand the various techniques.


    images (1)How do I use the Chinese Ink?

    The ink used for Chinese painting is usually ground down from an ink cake or stone (you can use other inks but the powdered nature of the Chinese inks mean that you can create different densities of ink which you cannot get in quite the same way with a liquid ink.)  Chinese painting is generally done on Chinese Paper or Silk.  Chinese Paper has been made with different materials throughout history including pulp, old fishing nets and tree bark.  Modern paper is usually machine made and is sometimes called rice paper in English.  The paper is similar to watercolour paper in that it varies in weight, absorbency and surface texture.

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    If you fancy giving Chinese Brush Painting a try, why not check out our related products.


  • What is Zentangle?

    Quick Guides to Zentangle!


  • Investigating Ink: What you should be using and how.

    Talking about ink

    We get a lot of questions from our customers about products, so we would like to use our blog as a place where we give you more information about the art materials we supply and what they can be used for.  When selecting which ink to use it can be difficult to understand which you should select, especially when you are trying to choose between two black inks, like drawing or Indian ink.  So to help clear things up we’ve put this article together to help you understand which ink you want to select for your projects!

    Which ink should I choose?

    There are various types of ink which you can buy, and the one you select for your work will depend upon factors such as application, what ground you are working on, what effect you are hoping to achieve and possibly how the work is going to be seen by your audience.

    Dye based inks 

    Dye based inks are produced using a series of soluble dyes in solution, often shellac.  Dye based inks should be used when the main aim is the purest, most vivid colour.  However, dye based colour has a lower lightfastness and so is better for work which will be kept in protected conditions such as a sketchbook or portfolio rather than on permanent display where the colour will deteriorate faster over time with exposure to light.  Shellac Dye based inks are usually water resistant, and produce the best effects when used on paper, Bristol or illustration board and when used with dip pens or brushes.   Dye based inks are not recommended for use with fountain pens as the particle size of the dyes may cause clogging and damage the nib.

    iartsupplies sells three ranges of dye-based inks, the Ecoline liquid watercolour ink range in which all colours are dye based except for the white and the gold, the Waterproof Drawing ink except for the white and black colours and the Dr Ph Martins Radiant Inks.  The exceptions in the ranges are both pigment based and have improved lightfastness as a result.   With the black drawing ink, choose this when you want a black which will provide you with a greater possibility for shading work and gradations of the colour as opposed to Indian Ink.  The Ecoline and Radiant inks do not contain shellac and are not waterproof, but the Drawing ink is once dry.


    Here are some ideas to get you started with Ecoline inks:


    Acrylic Inks

    Acrylic Inks such as Daler Rowney FW are made using pigments the same way that paint is.  These inks are best for those of you who need a fluid versatile colour with the highest possible lightfastness.  Compared to dye based inks, Acrylic inks have slightly less colour intensity but due to the better lightfastness are less likely to fade.   Acrylic inks are waterproof and permanent once they dry and you can mix them with any acrylic paint and acrylic mediums giving them great versatility!

    Acrylic inks work best on paper, board and canvas, but will also take on plastics, wood and ceramics.  If you choose these inks you should use a brush, dip pen or a technical pen or airbrush.  Acrylic inks are also great for stamping, screen printing, fabric printing and stencilling.

    Read what art bloggers think about FW Acrylic Inks:


    Indian Ink

    Black Indian ink is mostly used as a drawing ink.  Indian ink is generally produced using lampblack pigment combined with a gum binder and which becomes liquid when mixed with water.

    Indian Ink got its name from the fact that the materials used to make it were originally sourced on the sub-continent, but you may also hear it referred to as Chinese ink, as that was the country where great use was originally made of it, around  3000 BC.  Indian Ink is most generally sold in liquid forms in bottles.  Indian ink is water resistant once dry.   Indian Ink can be used with technical pens, fountain pens, calligraphy pens, brushes, airbrushes and dip pens.

    Indian Ink is generally much denser and blacker than many other pigment based black inks.  This makes it great for covering large areas and block black work, such as in comic book illustration.

    Here’s an interesting tutorial for the ways that bleach can be used with Indian ink!

    Let us break that down for you one more time:



    • Pure, vivid colour
    • Low lightfastness
    • Best for sketchbook/ folio work, not on permanent display (and exposed to light)
    • Water-resistant
    • Use on paper, Bristol or illustration board
    • Use with dip pens or brushes
    • DO NOT USE with fountain pens, dye particle size may cause clogging and damage nib.



    • Pigment based
    • Fluid versatile colour
    • High lightfastness
    • Waterproof and permanent once dry
    • Can be mixed with acrylic paints and mediums
    • Use on paper, board, canvas, plastics, wood and ceramics
    • Use with brush, dip pen, technical pen or airbrush
    • Great for stamping, screen printing, stencilling and fabric painting.



    • Pigment based
    • Use when you want the blackest black ink
    • Use on paper, board and textured papers.
    • Use with technical pens, fountain pens, calligraphy pens, brushes, airbrushes and dip pens.

    Happy inking everyone!







  • Calligraphy Hack

    f3579673250d9183994b8f5ab1e022d7Want to make use of some calligraphy script but don't have the time or materials right now to learn how to use a purpose pen?  Don't worry, we've found this great hack for you which shows you how to use fineliners to create calligraphy like writing. 

  • Art Journals and Mixed Media

    blogAre you interested in starting your own art journal, improving your art journal techniques, looking for new ideas for backgrounds, pages etc.?  This great blog provides ideas, tutorials and guidelines, check it out for some inspiration and education.


  • Sakura Gelly Roll Pens

    Whats so great about Gelly Roll Pens?

    Gelly Roll Pens are gel ink pens which come in a variety designed for writing and doodling with. They were the first pens that created the gel ink category within the writing instrument industry. These creamy pens are ideal for creating art, writing in scrapbooks & journals, signing documents, daydream & doodle. These pens are chemically stable, waterproof, fade resistant, no smearing, no feathering and the ink does not bleed through on most papers.  These pens make writing and self expression effortless. You will find that there is an incredible array of colours to choose from providing favourite  "flavours" for allowing your thoughts flow directly onto your chosen paper surface.

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    What colours go Gelly Roll Come in?

    You can use the gelly roll pens for writing cheques also - making writing these out a lot more fun and prettier - but ideal colours for this is either black, blue, royal blue & burgandy due to the gel ink's resistance to fraudulent washings.

    Gelly roll pens come in a variety. You get them in ranges of Glaze, Metallic, Stardust, Moonlight, Classic, Gold & Silver Shadow. We sell the Glaze, Metallic and Stardust ranges in our shop which, you can also purchase online on our website.

    Look at just a few of the things you can do using these beautiful Gelly Roll pens.

    gelly roll 3

    gelly roll 2

    gelly roll 1

    gelly roll 7

    gelly roll 6

    Watch the following video to see how you doodle with gelly roll pens using a variety of the pens.

    Watch the following video to see how you write with the gelly roll pens and see the effects they give on light & dark papers.

    Happy writing & doodling x x

  • Adult Colouring Books: A New Art Sensation

    A new trend for the hobby world?

    Adult Colouring books are the new trend sweeping the creative hobby world and tidying up in the top- sellers lists across the world.  The Guardian has run a series of articles commenting on the phenomenon, some supportive, others scathing.  Whether the assessment of the craze is positive or negative the fact that such a major newspaper has dedicated so many column inches to the subject is just one  indication that this trend is attracting quite a bit of attention.

    The books are proving a publishing phenomenon. One Guardian article claimed that the books are now selling faster than cookery books in France, with last years total sales shifting a massive 3.5 m books.  Another stated that last month five of Amazon’s top 10 were adult colouring books, as were six of the top 10 non- fiction books in Brazil.  Scottish Illustrator Johanna Basford whose colouring book The Secret Garden was one of the chart toppers this April has sold over 1.4m copies to date.



    Colouring- in for Adults

    Colouring is still a form of creativity and we shouldn’t have to stop just because we pass a certain age.  Most of us did it and many of us loved it growing up.   But we get to an age, where like so many of these things we think, why am I actually doing this?  What is the reason for it?  Am I going to make money from it?  So many people give up on creative projects when they “grow-up” because it isn’t seen as a valuable use of time.  With this proliferation however of colouring books aimed at adults you can take up the activity again without any fear of social recrimination as not only is it acceptable, it is fashionable.  You can colour everything from Benedict Cumberbatch to Tattoo Designs, fairies and animals to intricate doodles, henna designs, Japanese inspired and funky animals.

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    However this new wave of books are not simply being marketed as a way to be creative and get in touch with your inner child.  Many are specifically being marketed as a type of art therapy which is supposed to help people with everything from stress, to sleeplessness to mindfulness.

    Ana McLaughlin, head of publicity and marketing at Michael O’Mara (UK publisher which has sold over 340, 000 adult colouring books) attributes the genres success in main part to this remarketing strategy.

    “The first one we did was in 2012, Creative Colouring for Grown-Ups. It sold strongly and reprinted, but it was last year that it all really mushroomed with Art Therapy, in June. It really took off for us – selling the anti-stress angle gave people permission to enjoy something they might have felt was quite childish,”

    Art Therapy

    Lucy Fyles has a blog, in which she reviews various examples from a mental health point of view.  There are hundreds of testimonies all over the internet from individuals who claim that the activity has helped them deal with everything from the normal daily stresses of life to far more serious forms of mental distress.  The basic principal works on the concept of involvement in an activity which is both simple and absorbing at the same time which quiets the mind and allows the practitioner to disconnect from the general world around them.  The success of this kind of activity shouldn’t really be surprising, an activity with a very similar ethos behind it has also been causing a storm in the art world recently, namely Zentangle.

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    Whether people are taking it up as a creative or a therapeutic activity (or a combination of both) there seems to be no doubt that many people are enjoying the activity and feeling the benefits one way or another.  And after all why not?  The books are really just an extension as well of the very popular free downloadable colouring templates which carders have been using for some time as templates.  If you think about it carefully, there isn’t really so much difference between intricate colouring and say creating a cross stitch from a manufactured pattern or following a knitting pattern.  They are all levels of a creative process.  Anything which provides the release of creative energy and decreases stress is something we at iartsupplies can fully get behind.

    Here to Help

    iartsupplies has several product ranges which are ideal for this activity if it is something you are thinking of taking it up.  Although there is no set material which must be used in the activity here are the ones we stock and would recommend to get you started.  Although feel free to check out full range of products, the only limits on your creativity should be the ones you set yourself.

    Our Koi Brush Watercolour Pens come in a vibrant range of colours and are very reasonably priced.  The brush style tips and water based inks mean you can use them like felt tips or combine them with water to create a watercolour effect.

    Want a bolder graphic style?  Why not give our Stylefile markers a shot?  The ink can be blended with the colourless blender, but the real beauty of the Stylefile range is the opaque dense nature of the colour.

    Our pastel pencils are available individually and ranges of colouring, water-colour and pastel pencils are available as sets.  Click here to see the ranges.

    So why not check out the ample range of colouring books on offer at Amazon, The Works or your local book seller, then drop into us for your materials.  You'll never know until you try.


  • The Wonderful World of Sakura

    Sakura Pens 

    When you start to venture into the market for art pens it can seem overwhelming the number of brands there are to choose from.  This is further complicated by the fact that most artists will have a favourite and different parties will recommend different things.

    My first contact with Sakura products was through the Pigma Micron range of fine liners when doing some research for an article on Zentangle and Zentangle Inspired Art.  The creators of the Zentangle method explicitly recommend the Pigma Micron range for Zentangling because of the quality of the ink and of its free flow from the nib.

    I have to say I was surprised.  I already owned a set of other coloured fine liners and I thought I’ll just use those.  But I found several things right from the get go.  Firstly, the nib was nowhere near fine enough to get the really fine lines that I wanted or for really crisp cross- hatching.  Secondly, the sketchbook I was using (not of a very high quality, and not one stocked by us) obviously didn’t have an amazing quality of paper.  The other fine liners bled instantly and were absolutely no use.

    So I thought, let’s see what all the fuss is about.

    I have to tell you, no word of a lie, I haven’t stopped raving about these pens since.  I started off with three, a 005, a 4 and an 8 to give myself a range of sizes (the pens come in sizes 005 to 08).  Not only was there absolutely no ink bleed, even in exactly the same notebook, but the quality of the line, the flow of the ink and the density of the colour was unbelievable and more than lived up to the hype I had heard.

    But these are just one facet of the incredibly wide range of quality products that Sakura produce.

    Let’s take a look at a few of the ones we stock for you….


    Pigma Micron

    As I’ve said above, the Pigma Micron are an absolutely superb set of fine liner pigment pens, and no customer who I have recommended them to has ever come back unsatisfied.  In fact they have often come back for more in a very short space of time.

    It is over 30 years since Sakura invented and patented the PIGMA® ink.  Based on pigments rather than dyes this archival quality ink is rightly renowned amongst artists, writers and illustrators.  Also ideal for technical drawing the Pigma Micron is the first disposable technical pen to use this type of ink, truly making it a one off.

    The range comes in six sizes: 005= 0.20 mm, 01 = 0.25 mm, 02 = 0.30 mm, 03 = 0.35 mm, 05 = 0.45 mm, and 08 = 0.50 mm.  To see the full range of colours which Sakura produce see Micron Pen Color Chart.  Here at Trinity Arts we stock the black, red, sepia and green ranges, as well as sets of three and six in the black pens.

    Sakura Color Products invented and patented PIGMA ink over 30 years ago with its unique pigment rather than dye formulation. Pigment molecules are 100 times larger and more chemically complex than dye molecules, which makes them less susceptible to UV rays, chemical degradation, pollution from contact with oils and other chemicals, etc. This makes Pigma ink inherently longer lasting than dye-based inks. The quality has made it the standard for reliable, permanent high quality archival ink.  This produces a depth of colour especially in the black pens which is quite astonishing and makes them perfect for working with watercolours as once then ink is dry it will not run.  Learn more about Pigma Inks.

    Pigma Graphic

    Also in the Pigma range are the graphic pens.  These pens were designed to meet the specific needs of illustrators, cartoonists, and manga artists with distinctive nibs to broaden the variety of possible illustration techniques.

    The Pigma Graphic uses the same high quality archival ink as the Micron range and comes in three line-widths of 1mm bullet, 2mm chisel, and 3mm chisel which we stock in black.

     Identi- Pen

    The Identi-pen is a multipurpose permanent marker.  It has a dual point with a fine plastic point for details and a tough fibre point end for broader lines and heavy use.

    Sakura produces eight colours in this pen and we stock the black, green and red.    The pens is permanent on most non- porous surfaces and can be used on leather, wood, CDs, plastic and photographs. Identi-pen can be used on non- porous surfaces but can be removed from these with an alcohol based cleaner.

    Pen- Touch

    Pen- Touch are a valve type paint marker which can be used on a wide variety of surfaces including card, plastic, wood, glass, porcelain, paper and metal.

    Here at Trinity Arts we stock Pen-touch paint markers in white, black, gold, silver, and copper.  The pens show up best on non- absorbent surfaces, like coated paper and are great for cards and invitations of for scrap- booking and journaling.

    The archival quality paint is both water and fade resistant and chemically stable.   The pens come in three point sizes, 0.7mm, 1.0mm and  2.0mm.

    Pen-Touch Calligraphy

    This variation on the Pen-touch is designed to help the user create beautiful decorative text.   They use the same archival quality paint as the Pen-Touch and can be used on most surfaces including glass, wood, porcelain, plastic, paper and metal.  We stock the pens in gold and silver.

    Koi Colouring Brush Pens

    koi_brushpenThe Koi colouring brush pens come in a range of intense colours and have an excellent flow of ink from the brush tip which can hep you to create delicate artworks using coloured markers.

    These dye-based Colouring Brush pens have a durable, flexible nylon nib which can be used to create varying brush strokes.  The water- based dye is odourless and easy to blend and layer. The blender pen can be used to create washes and gradations of colour.  These markers produce the best results when used on a heavy weight, plate-finish paper (smooth but not coated).

    You can download the Koi Coloring Brush color chart to see the range of colours available.  For best results, use on a heavy weight, plate-finish paper (smooth but not coated)



    Gelly- Roll Metallic

    Sakura also produce a range of Gel- pens which we stock three of.  The first is the Gelly- Roll metallic range.  The 1.0 mm roller ball nib (0.4 mm line) delivers a smooth flow of metallic pearlescent colours.  If you are in any doubt of Sakura’s credentials in this area they also invented and patented Gel – ink introducing it to the pen market.  The Sakura gel pen ink is also archival quality and will not bleed or feather and will write on light and dark, glossy and matte surfaces.

     Stardust Glitter Pens

    Very similar to the Metallic range are the Stardust Glitter pens.  Also a roller ball with a pigment- based archival quality ink the added glitter gives a slightly different effect.  These pens work best however on light coloured or matte paper surfaces.  Its technical specifications include a 1.0mm ball with a 0.5mm line, a patented pigment based sparkle ink but although the ink itself is of archival quality the sparkle may lift over time.

    Gelly Roll Stardust Color Reference Chart. ( Click here! )

    Glaze® 3-D Glossy Ink

    The Glaze® pens offer a 3-D ink in a range of glossy, vibrant colours. They leave a raised ink line for giving depth and texture to your designs.   The pens can be used on non-porous surfaces such as plastics, coated papers, acetate, vellums and glass.  The ink is water resistant and can be used to achieve the effect of stained class, batik, heat embossing and professional printing.

    It is best to write slowly with these pens so that you achieve a thick flow of ink. You should also allow time for it to dry fully, around ten minutes should be sufficient.  The best raised effect is achieved on non- porous, clean, smooth matte surfaces.  Due to the nature and thickness of the ink this pen is suited to projects where its use is concentrated and limited.  It is not really ideal for lengthy handwriting.

    The roller nib has a 0.8mm ball producing a 0.70mm bold line width.  For colour availability see the Glaze color chart.

    As you can see the Sakura pen range can provide the necessary materials for a wide range of projects.  Why not pop in and try whichever suits your needs best.  I feel confident you won’t regret it.

  • Zentangle®, Doodle Art and Sakura®

     “Anything is Possible One Stroke at a Time.”[1]

    Zentangle® and its creative outcomes (and offshoots) are probably more familiar to a lot of people than realise.  There has been a veritable explosion of images on Pintrest, Google Search and Fickr of designs which either use the method or a method inspired by the technique.

    The “Zentangle® Method” was developed by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas as a kind of meditative, artistic practice through the creation of “beautiful images by drawing structured patterns”[2].  According to the Zentangle® website the technique is designed to be intuitive, fun, relaxing, ceremonial, timeless, portable, non-technical and empowering.  Zentangle® patterns are created on “tiles” which measure 3 1/2 inches (89 mm) square and are designed to be completed in a single sitting.  The creators advise that you keep some tiles in your pocket or purse so you can be ready to create at any moment.  True Zentangle® tiles should be non-representative patterns with no distinguishable form to them.   The creators of the method liken the experience of the practice to a Tea Ceremony, or to forms of meditation.

    Creators of Zentangle®,  Maria and Rick state;

    “We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle® Method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.”[3]

    The deliberate strokes used in the method are seen by its creators as being representative of the “strokes” we make in life (our actions or thoughts).  “There is no eraser in life, and there is no eraser in a Zentangle Kit” they say.   The idea is to create abstract spontaneous, unplanned patterns without second guessing or correcting them.  “Apparent mistakes can be foundations for new patterns and take you in unexpected and exciting new directions.”  [4]

    The creators of the official Zentangle® method recommend that practitioners take up the technique using Zentangle® kits that can be ordered through the official site or by taking regular courses with qualified Zentangle® instructors.

    A starter Zentangle® kit includes 32 tiles, 2 pens (the site recommends Sakura® Pigma Micron 01 black pens due to the fineness of the line (0.25mm) and due to the permanence of the archival pigment ink which the pens use), pencils and a sharpener (no eraser!) a tortillion or smudge stick,  an instruction booklet and companion DVD,  a Zentangle Legend™ ( a card with 20 numbered and named Zentangles with how-to instructions) and a Icosahedron (20 sided die) so you can use this to choose patterns if you wish.  The legend can also be used as a quick visual reminder of patterns.

    icosahedron Legend

    (Above:  Zentangle Legend™ and Icosahedron)

    All this comes in an easy to carry, book shaped box (5 1/2” x 8”x 1 ¾” or 14cm x20.5cm x4.5cm).  The kits can be purchased for $49.00 (approx. £32.50) form the official Zentangle® Website, although the creators also state that;

    “We provide enough free information in our newsletters, blog and youtubes to get an idea of our Zentangle method. More and more sites and books describe what you can do with the Zentangle method. Even we joke that, "all you need to create Zentangle art is a stick at the beach at low tide." And when you think about it, you probably don't even need a stick.”[5]

    So, given that you could probably put the kit together yourself, why do the creators recommend you buy a Zentangle® kit?

    “To understand and appreciate something fully, it's good to learn the basics as they were developed. We regularly receive emails from people who finally bought a Zentangle Kit and they regularly say how much more they discovered that there is to the Zentangle method, how beautiful the kit is itself, how enjoyable the DVD is and how much more pleasure they now receive from creating Zentangle art.”[6]

    Illustration Art Supplies

    This is probably a good point, but here in Dundee at Trinity Arts (or our UK online store ) we stock most of the kit essentials if you wanted to have a go before buying the full shebang.  We have a range of Sakura Pigma Micron Pens in Black, Red, Green, Sepia and Blue from sizes 005 to 08 and we sell sets of 6 or 3 in the Black Pens (range of sizes).

    We also obviously have a range of pencils and sharpeners to suit your needs, as well as tortillions and tiles can be created using one of our range of papers and cards.

    If this abstract method doesn’t take your fancy though, why not check out some of the Zentangle Inspired creations out there on the internet.   Although these do not follow the true Zentangle® method, they can also be a relaxing and fulfilling activity.   I suppose most are somewhere between this Zentangle® method and a more traditional doodling idea.  With a standard A5 Sketchbook, HB pencil for sharp lines and Black Micron Sakura Pens size 005, 04 and 08 (all of which are available in the shop or online) here’s some of my Zentangle Inspired designs.

    Zentangle Owl 220042015 Zentangle wolf 20042015 Zentangle dog 20042015(







    Above: Doodle/Zentangle Inspired Drawings by Fiona MacHugh)

    Why Sakura Pigma Micron?

    The Sakura Pigma pens are really great for fine line illustration. The flow of ink is fantastic and there is no bleeding (I originally tried using a Stabillo Fineliner but this bled too much to get crisp lines.)  The clarity of the ink and the precision that it is possible with these pens make them a real pleasure to use, and the archival ink is waterproof, chemical resistant, temperature proof and permanent of paper once it dries with the potential to last hundreds of years!  So come on down and try them out, whether you fancy a go at Zentangle®, your own doodles or another kind of pen illustration.

    Useful links to help you be further intrigued and inspired

    Useful links to help you have a go are the Zentangle® YouTube channel ( You can also find plenty of other videos by other users which are not from the official channel for advice and inspiration simply by searching “Zentangle”.  To sign up to the newsletter visit the official Zentangle® website (  where you can also read up more on materials, methods, philosophy and courses.


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