Sunday, February 22, 2015


Often when someone does or says something really stupid (and I do it myself fairly often), I think that maybe they are not actually stupid- I'm just a genius!!! Maybe I'm more of an optimist than  I think?

Anyway, today, I am fairly convinced that I am actually a genius!

I've been learning how to become a better colourist with the Kit & Clowder skin & hair class for the last few months. I haven't been able to give it as much time as I'd like but I can still see an improvement already.

In the classes, Alyce uses brush nib Copics as her marker of choice whereas I own the original Spectrum Noirs with the bullet nib (and no option to change them for brush nibs). It might just be that I need more practice but I do find the flicking difficult with the bullet nibs so I've been looking into the idea of upgrading to the newer version of the Spectrum Noirs that you can get brush nibs for. I though about just buying the main skin colours used in the classes but, because Spectrum Noirs are not available individually, I'd still have to buy 78 pens just to get the 7/8 main skin tones- this seems a bit silly!

This is where the genius idea occurred!!!

On the Crafters Companion website, you can buy the blender pens separately (as a gold club inspire member I can get them for £1.27 and free p&p- can't beat that!) and the refill inks. I needed some refills anyway so as well as those, I ordered one of the separate blender pens to test out my idea.

When the blender pen arrived, I carefully removed both nibs and placed them, and the pen barrel, into my airing cupboard (the warmest place in my house) for a few hours. The nibs dried out really quickly but when I replaced the broad tip and then started to colour, some of the blender remained. I removed the nib again, and put the pen back into the airing cupboard. When I tried the pen again the next day, nothing came through the broad tip so it was time for stage 2!

I then took one of my skin re-inkers and used this ink (FS4) to re-ink the (now empty) new, blender pen. I left the ink to settle for a while (2/3 hours) and then tried it. In all honesty, the ink is working better from the broad tip end rather than the bullet which is a little pale at the moment- I think this is because the re-inker ink is put into the broad tip end. When I compare the colour coming from the blender pen to the colour from my original FS4 pen, the ink colour is very similar and, if anything, the new version looks brighter and slightly darker (possibly because my original is getting short of ink anyway).

I now plan to buy a pack of the brush nibs (which can be used as replacements for the broad tip in the new Spectrum Noir barrels) and then create my own brush nib Spectrum's for just the colours I need & use.

It will still end up costing more per pen than it would if I was buying a set but at least then I can just get the colours I actually need.

I am pretty impressed with my own ingenuity! Even if I do say so myself!!!


  1. The new ink is slightly darker in color than the original pens and for some reason the broad nib in the new pens colors darker than the fine nib

  2. Thanks Sharon, that makes me happier that this plan has worked if it's meant to be a bit darker! 😃