Monday, September 17, 2012
Part III of the Pilot FriXion Erasable Color Pencil Like Gel Pen
For introduction, specs and description of the Pilot FriXion Erasable Color-Pencil-Like Gel Pen please see my earlier reviews, Part 1 & Part II.
I actually hadn't planned to do a Part III. But I kept wondering how these pens would do for coloring rubber stamp images. I had decided I preferred using the pens on rough surfaced paper, but a rough surface isn't good for stamping.
So I knew at the outset that I'd need to choose the right paper. I decided to go with the Stillman & Birn Epsilon Series for my test.
The Epsilon has a very smooth surface, boarding on slick, but it's a harder paper than the dotWebbie Clairefontaine paper.
A good portion of this drawing is stamped images from the wonderful Architecture collection stamp set from Blockheads Paper Arts.
Ones of the cautions on the detail page for these pens is that it has a shorter lifespan than the regular FriXion line of gel pens. I thought this might lead people to conserve a little, and use other pens with it, so I decided to draw my lines with another pen, and use the FriXions purely for coloring.
An American Craft Precision pen was used for the patterns and a Ranger Archival black ink pad for the stamped images. The two inks are a close match and I didn't have to redraw lines on the stamped portion to tie them together.
They didn't both work so well with the FriXions, though. The American Craft ink is acid free, permanent, waterproof and not supposed to bleed, but it did when I got the gel ink on it. These seemed to improve as I went on. I'm thinking that the American Craft takes quite a while to cure completely on the Epsilon Paper. It didn't smudge, but surface dry isn't the same as cured.
Paper is going to make a big difference with the performance of these pens. The colors were brighter, and less chalky in the Epsilon. I didn't get the resistance as I wrote, but it wasn't as easy to get the lines to vary for lighter coloring and texture.
I had the same problems with layering. The gel ink doesn't like to go wet on wet, and if you layer too darkly the colors can get muddy. But you can blend by smearing one color into the other.
Oh, and erasing? Lol! I almost forgot to check it. The color erased cleanly.. Slow and easy works best, and it can take a little pressure. That's good in my book. With light pressure, you can take off layers of color and use a reduction method to add highlights rather than shadowing.
Conclusion: The Pilot FriXion Erasable Color Pencil Like Gel Pen is a great media for coloring stamped images, giving them a chalk-like texture, and bright colors you don't see too often. The pens may cause feathering when combined with other types of pen.
I still recommend a rougher surface for the greatest flexibility, but I wouldn't hesitate to use them on smoother paper.