If you need an intro to Posca Pens check out my 10 tips for beginners video. First in this video I’m going to be going over a few techniques for more advanced users like creating gradients, layering colors, and even refilling your pens. I mean
“P-Eh-NS” Please excuse my country accent. And with that let’s begin. Before we get into layering let’s go over our first tip. Tip number one:
How to prevent your paints from bleeding into each other. Preventing your paints from bleeding or accidentally blending into each other should be easy enough by simply letting them dry before adding another color on or next to it. If you are having trouble telling when your paint is dry, either wait a ridiculously long time so you know It has to be dry or look for a sheen. If the paint is dry it should look matte and not reflect any light. If the paint is still wet it will reflect light and look shiny. Simply rotate your surface to reflect the light. Motion makes this easier to see. If you find your paint is taking a long time to dry maybe you are applying too much. The more paint on your paper the longer it will take to dry. Also hairdryers work great for speeding up this process. One of the most popular questions, I always get about Posca Pens is how to layer your colors. One of the best features about Posca Pens I mean “P-Eh-NS” is how opaque the paint is. Opaque is the opposite of transparent, which means you can’t see through it resulting in the ability to layer your colors. This means you can even layer lighter colors
like white or yellow on top of darker colors like red blue and even black Step one to layering your colors is to make sure that the paint is mixed well. If you notice it has become watery and transparent give it a good hard shake alternating between dabbing it against your paper. This should make the paint opaque again and is probably the most common offender to not being able to layer your colors. Step 2:
Put down your first layer of paint. And this is very important: Make sure it is 100% dry. If you try to apply your second layer on top while it is still wet it will bleed and mix the colors together. Once Posca Pen paint is dry they don’t activate easily or sometimes at all. And step three:
After your first layer of paint is dry layer the second. If your paint is dry and well mixed you should have no problem layering any color of Posca Pens. Sometimes they might take two layers, but it’s possible. Tip number three:
How to choose colors with a limited color palette. Because Posca Pens are in marker form this means you can’t mix your own colors very easily leaving you with a rather limited selection of colors Posca Pens do come in 55 colors
(GASP. I want them all.) but with the cost it’s unrealistic to own all of them. Because your colors are so limited it’s fun to get experimental and play with a limited color palette. If you need help choosing there are plenty of tools online to help you pick a pleasing limited color palette. Or challenge yourself with a random set of colors. Color theory is unfortunately a whole video topic for its own but what I can say is play around with your complementary colors because they complement each other and making sure you choose a variety of light and dark tones. If you stick with a bunch of dark colors It’s going to be very difficult to tell your details apart.
Same with the light colors. Just make sure you have a nice variety of light dark and medium tones and you should be good. And look, I made this cute little guy with only four colors. Tip number four is
How to accomplish a clean lineless look with Posca Pens. When I work with Posca Pens I find their bold colors and lines make for very nice a lineless work. This means the illustration has no line work and relies on the shapes and colors to make the illustration to pop out. Because you don’t have line work to help guide you on where to put color I would suggest penciling your drawing and lightly erasing the marks with a kneaded eraser by dabbing it on the paper Posca Pens are opaque and should cover the pencil marks but I prefer to play it safe and get rid of the majority of them. Fill the areas you want with Posca Pens slowly and carefully. When working a lineless style. It’s much easier to see every bump and mistake you make. So with a little practice you should be to make a straight and smooth line. Because lineless works rely so much on the colors you use make sure you pick a variety of light in dark tones. This is the only thing that’s going to separate parts of your drawing So you need to be mindful when placing them. And with time you should be able to improve on your lineless drawing. So even though this could be a whole other video on its own just keep practicing and you will get better in time. Tip number five is: How to shade your illustration without ripping the paper or causing peeling. Because Posca Pens are so prone to tearing up paper you have to approach your art process a little differently than you normally would with your usual art supplies. When working with watercolors I put a base layer of color over the entirety of the drawing then go over that with a second layer for shading. But with Posca Pens, because they do rip up paper, I try to use as few strokes as possible.
Because the more you work your paper the more it rips. To be honest the peeling of the paper doesn’t bother me that much so I do go ahead and put a base coat down and then shade on top of it but here’s a way you can do it if you want to avoid as much peeling as possible For example, I block in the colours of light and then go back with the color I want to shade and color those parts. Every artist works in a different process. So the more you work with a different material the more you will find what best works for you. Tip number six or I guess technique: How to create a gradient. Creating a gradient with Posca Pens is fairly easy, but you have to work fast. Posca Pens are water soluble. Which means they mix with water but only when they are wet. Once they dry they are hard to work with and sometimes I even find impossible. They don’t reactivate well if at all. You can create a gradient by placing two colors side by side And while the paint is still wet use a brush dipped in water to blend the two colors. If the paint starts to dry as you are still working simply add more paint with your pens and keep working the gradient until it’s blended as much as you like. You can also create a gradient by extracting the paint onto another surface like a palette glass etc… And using your brush to create gradient as if it were regular paint. But the easiest way to add a gradient is probably using the brush pen. Because it already comes in a brush form it makes it very simple to apply. Personally, I don’t use gradients as much when I work with Posca Pens because I do like the bold hard edges you get but this is a fun and easy trick to have if you ever need it. Tip number seven: How to mix your own colors with Posca Pens. Posca Pens only come in 55 colors so what happens when you really want to color they don’t have? You can mix the paint from a Posca Pen by extracting it into a mixing surface. Either take the nib out and dump it which kind of defeats the purpose of having paint in a marker form or you can over pump the pen for easy access to paint. Once you have your paints you can use a brush to mix them together and there you go. A brand new Posca Pen color. Of course, like I’ve said, I do like the challenge of using Posca Pens as they are. They’re so bright and colorful and if I start mixing colors, I’m going to make earthy tones and, well I can just do that with watercolors, right? Tip number eight is:
Mixing Posca Pens with other mediums. Mixing Posca Pens with other mediums is easy. They are convenient to add to any piece be it paint pencil or ink. Simply draw on top. I use Posca Pens with watercolor drawings if I want to add stars to a space scene or a little shine of white. Because they come in pen form it makes for a very convenient way to add small details on the fly. But just like any other medium before you mix them together you have to figure out if they are compatible. A water-based paint, like Posca Pens will reactivate water color if you overwork it. So always be aware of what mediums you are mixing and how to use them. Normally I just add small details like a little tiny touch
so it doesn’t reactivate the watercolor but if you’re going to do more motions you might want to reconsider
or consider what supplies work with what. Always read the labels. Tip number nine:
How to clean your Posca Pen nib. Can you replace or clean your pasta pen nibs? I found that the nibs on pasta pens are very sturdy and personally I have been using pasta pins for over a year now, and I’ve never had any issues with them being damaged. Thankfully. If you are having issues with the nib being dried out or clogged you can remove the nib by simply grabbing it and soak it in water. This will help re-hydrate the pen nib and hopefully make any dried up paint easier to remove leaving you with a clean like new nib. But like I said if the damage is so much that even a bowl of water can’t fix it you are just going to have to go out and buy a completely new marker to replace it with. Or if you have a color you don’t use you can always take the nib out of that one and put it in the nib you want to replace with. And for our tenth and final tip: Can you refill Posca Pens? And how? Technically, yes, I guess you can refill Posca Pens. But UNI- Posca doesn’t sell official refills so if you want to refill a Posca Pen that has been used up it’s going to be with your own at paint of choice, different than what is officially sold in the pens. If you want to refill a dried Posca Pen you can either mix a little water with acrylic paint or buy a high-flow acrylic refill. These are used with air brushes, pens, brushes, and of course paint pens. This one ounce bottle cost about $5 Canadian and you could probably refill about three pens depending on their size. White is an easy enough color to match but if you want a more complicated color to refill You’re going to have to do some mixing yourself. To refill your Posca Pen simply unscrew the top of the marker. Inside you will find the empty barrel and the ball inside that shakes up the paint. I love seeing what’s inside art supplies, so this was a really fun step. But we’re going to want to keep that ball inside. Make sure to give your paint refill a good shake then fill it up But not too much because if you overfill your pen it will leak. After you have filled up the barrel screw the top back on and your marker should be as good as new. And that is how you refill your Posca Pens. And that is it for my 10 advanced tips for Posca Pen users. I hope this was helpful to you in any way. As usual my biggest tip to learning any new art medium is to practice and try out these tips. And of course the more you use them yourself, you might find yourself ending up discovering your own techniques. Alright, that’s it. Thanks for watching and good luck. [Music]