How to Use the Elegant Writer to Paint an EASY Whimsical Face! [Real Time Tutorial]

How to Use the Elegant Writer to Paint an EASY Whimsical Face! [Real Time Tutorial]

– [Karen] Today, I want to
teach you guys how to make a pretty girl using just an
Elegant Writer, and water. My name is Karen Campbell,
and if this is your first time visiting my channel, welcome. I teach drawing and mixed media
tutorials here on YouTube. I also love me an art journal, and that’s what I’m working in today. Now, originally I just wanted to show you, talk a little bit about water solubility before we launch into the Elegant Writer. You might be familiar with this tutorial that I have on YouTube,
which is really just demonstrating why I like the
STABILO All pencil so much, and that illustration
you just saw is using just the STABILO All and
water, and that’s it. And I just wanted to talk
about that real quickly before we jump right into the drawing. And by the way, you better
be ready to draw with me. She is also done with the
STABILO and just water. And I just wanted to
show you the difference between that and the Elegant Writer, because I use the STABILO All
all the time here on YouTube. So when you use the
STABILO and you add water, as you’ll see right now,
it becomes like a super, jet, jet black pigment. And that’s why I love it so much. It’s very rare to find
other water soluble pencils that are that black. Now the Elegant Writer on the other hand, if you’ll notice when I
brush the water across it, it’s much more complex. Doesn’t activate all the way down the way that the STABILO does. You also get these like
greens and blues, and grays. And when you take a paper towel or a towel and you sponge off the extra moisture you get this really beautiful
pink that gets left behind. So, it’s really, because
it’s like this complex mix of colors, you get
these really cool effects that you can do all sorts of
fun things with your drawing. So I just wanted to kind
of go over the differences between a regular water soluble pencil and the Elegant Writer,
which is also different than just like a regular
Tombow water soluble marker. It’s just those complex colors
that I love, love so much. So, you guys better be
getting out your art journals and arting with me. You just need to make sure that you have watercolor paper with you
because we are gonna be using a lot of water for this project. So let’s draw a face. If you need to pause the video,
go ahead and just pause it. It’s sped up only two
times, so it shouldn’t be going crazy, crazy fast. So again we draw an oval, define the face shape and the neck. And then I put the vertical
line down the dead center, and a horizontal line across the middle, and that’s the eye line. You can see that’s where the three ovals I’m drawing are now. Halfway between the
horizontal and the chin is another line, and that’s the nose line. And halfway between the
nose line and the chin is the mouth line. So once you have all those guidelines in, you can start defining
your features a little bit. And then again, go
ahead and stop the video if you need to catch up with me. So I’m starting to define my features, just using a pencil, no big deal. Drawing some bushy eyebrows because those are all the rage these days. Defining the nose, I’m
starting with the nostrils. I kind of mess around with my noses. I like to try different things. I did not like her nose in this project, but that’s how I know you like things, the only way to know is to try. So I’m never shy about trying new things. So, her nose was not centered, so I just scooted it
over there a little bit. At this stage it’s awesome
because you can erase to your heart’s content. The other difference
between the Elegant Writer and other water-soluble
markers and pencils is that after you’ve activated it once with the water, it becomes permanent. So the only other product I can think of off the top of my head
that has the same property are the Derwent Inktense pencils. Those are also permanent once they’ve been activated once with water. Every other soluble,
water-soluble marker or pencil, STABILOs included,
Tombows, Winsor & Newton, there is Letraset, there’s so many brands. Those all remain water-soluble, like they’re true watercolor. So the nice part about the Elegant Writer and the fact that it’s permanent after you’ve run your
water brush over it once is that you can go and layer
over it again and again, and either choose to
activate it a second time, or you can keep it dry,
and that’s a completely different look also. But it’s just, it’s a
great tool to travel with because all you need is
like a little pencil pouch, an Elegant Writer, a water
pen, and like a paper towel, and a little tiny watercolor journal. And like, the sky’s the
limit, you can do so much. This is also awesome
for like doing stonework on castles, say, if you’re in Scotland. I know a girl who loves Scotland (laughs). So there’s just so much
that you can do with this, but doing faces is a really, really fun great way to explore new styles. Just practice your girls. So I’m just, all I’m doing
is I’m taking a little, one of my Elegant Writers. I just get like the multi-pack and then it comes with different nibs. This one’s just like, it’s like a 1.6, so it’s like a fat straight nib. And you can just use the chisel tips too. I just use the point of a chisel tip if that’s the kind that I’m reaching for. And I’m just drawing over
all of my pencil lines. That all I’m doing, I’m
not getting fancy here. I’m literally just tracing my shapes. So for the hair if you notice,
I’m talking about there, you pick a part and you go down across the forehead on both sides. And then you go up and
over the original like oval that you’ve drawn for the head. And that gives you the correct amount of volume for the hair. So I’m just doing some kind
of loose strands in there. And you guys, that’s all you’re gonna do before you get to start like the really super fun satisfying part, which is just activating your lines. So I’m dabbing out the excess because I wanted to try to
get some of that pink rocking. You don’t see the pink generally if you just like let this
dry, you won’t see the pink. The pink is when you lift off the extra, that’s when that pink comes out to play. So, you can kind of play around with that. It’s a really cool feature. Adding another pigtail,
just ’cause, no reason. Pigtails. And again, like it’s just
quick, quick doodles. So if like you’re in a time crunch, you only want to like
art for five minutes, this is just such a fun exercise. So as you notice I’m keeping
the ink within her hair. Like I’m not going
outside of her hairline. However, when I start doing her face I’m very deliberate about
where the ink is gonna go. Okay so I’m imagining, I’m saying here, the light source is gonna
be coming straight on. So it’s gonna be
symmetrical on either side. So I’m trying to activate that line. If there’s any left, that’s still wet from when I did her
hair, so I can still take some of that ink, and I’m
gonna create a shadow line. Because when the sun
hits, her hair is gonna create a shadow right there,
and her ears are gonna be dark, because they are recessed. All right, so watch and pay attention. So now, I’m pulling the
ink down under her chin because that’s gonna be also in shadow. That’s just where shadows fall if the light source is hitting anyone directly into the face. So you can do that. And then we’re gonna go and I’m gonna set, I’m resetting it to realtime
when I go and do her eyes, so it’s not scary and you can really see. So this is realtime now,
I’ve slowed it down. So I’m activating with
the water, her eyebrow. And then I’m pulling, I’m pulling it down. And I’m adding the
shading very deliberately, in the same places that I would add it like if that was my
imaginary light source, headed straight down on top her face, if I was doing like any other
kind of painting, or drawing. So, see that shadow by her
hair is not reactivating because I’ve already hit
it once with the water, so it’s kind of done. But her eyebrow is still wet so I can kind of pull from that a little bit. And the more ink you put down
with your Elegant Writer, the more ink you have to play with that’s moving around on your paper. So because I was using
the not chiseled tip Elegant Writer, and typically
most Elegant Writers because they’re calligraphy
pens are chisel-tip, you can get some like real heavy lines and you can do a lot of like
moving around of a lot of ink. So this is not so much, because I’m using the finer-tipped nib, and that’s why it’s not going crazy to activate. So with your first face,
this is probably a smart move to put down a little, because
it can get really juicy and get crazy colors. So I’m moving it around, it’s just like watercolors at this point. And as long as it’s still wet I can still maneuver it around. As soon as this dries it’s forever, right? So you gotta like get it while it’s wet. And I want to get some of that pink out so I’m dabbing it with my paper towel. But if you notice there’s a subtle shadow like right along her whole face, from her eye, like
eyebrows down to her chin there’s a little shadow. And then under her lips is
gonna be a shadow as well. That’s just typical,
whimsical shading right there. So you can pull that down. So the chin will always stick forward, because again that’s where the light is hitting you, and it
kind of protrudes out. Like if you touch your face from your chin to the bridge of your
nose, up to your forehead, that all is sticking out. So that will stay white. Dabbing at it to get the pink going. And, just very carefully
applying the water along the lip line. Trying to just get some like color down, and I’m leaving a little white
highlight on the bottom lip. If you cover over something
that you want to be covered, like to be white later
on, you can just go back with a paint marker. I do that all the time. It’s super valid, don’t
even worry about it. Again, so let’s do the left-hand side now. So I’m taking my brush, I’m
running it over the eyebrow. I’m pulling the ink where
I want there to be shading. So the bridge of the nose
is not made from the lines, even though I super freely
use lines in this drawing. This is not a realistic drawing. Hope you are comfortable with that fact. Hopefully you’ve caught onto that by now. This is very much like a
whimsical whatever, fun face. So again, as you can see, I’m just touching my brush and any parts of the ink that have not
been touched by water yet, I can grab onto and move
around to my advantage. If there’s too much just
simply blot it away. Just make sure you do it
quickly before it dries, and then you still have
some control over it. And like, it takes a couple
passes of doing faces with this to kind of get the hang of it. So don’t worry if your first one’s like a disaster throwaway. I think that’s super normal. I know mine were. Mine were not perfect. But it’s like really fun
and kind of addicting because you’re like, oh,
oh let me try that again. All right, I screwed up on this one, let’s go for it again. And it gets a little addicting,
I’m just warning you. Once you start you’re
not gonna want to stop. And you can kind of like do anything. You can kind of do anything with it too because it adds shadows instantly. So you can do like a chair and draw a shadow line for a chair. You can do like stone
buildings is my favorite. I’m gonna do another project soon with the Elegant Writer to show you that. But I’m just like testing with my brush, and just being like,
okay is that activated? Is that activated? Have I touched that one yet? Forgot her iris on that side. So again there was still
some not activated, so I’m re-wetting it again. There’s always a shadow on the top lid. So make sure you run some water along the top of the eye, and it
casts on top of the iris. That’s like a true
shadow that lives there, so you can do that. So, the downside of this is that there is really like these bold
marks, so you have to figure out how to like
come to peace with them. I have like a bolder
effect that I will show you in a few minutes with this. Which like, I kind of like
had fun with while I’m doing. I don’t love the effect of it afterwards, but I had fun while I was making it so I’m not really sure I care that much. So much of this is just
play, and discovery, and like finding out what works for you. All right so now I’m gonna
speed it up a little bit because I’m gonna go
in for the second pass. So everything is dried now. And I’m kind of like just doodling on top with the intent of
reactivating my second layer. Now that’s totally optional. You don’t have to ever put any
water on any new marks again, and that’s fine. The weirdest part about these is they weren’t really activating very much and I couldn’t figure out why. I think the reason is that
my paper was still damp. So when I wrote those lines on the lips, they got like instantly activated
because my paper was wet. That’s pretty much what happened. So make sure your layers
are super, duper, duper dry. And I’m just like moving on
with my life as all things are. Like, it’s all good, it
doesn’t really matter. There’s much more serious
things in the world than my screwed up lips, so
I’m moving on with my life. I’m just scribble
scrambling whatever things will work with me, and
whatever doesn’t want to move, then I’m like all right
I’m just gonna respect your decision to stay
there, and I’m gonna move on to a different part of her face. In which case, that’s her hair, so I’m doing these loose lines. And you know, sometimes
I don’t like pre-decide if I’m gonna re-wet a layer or not. Like, I might just get
caught up in my doodling for a few minutes. And then I take a look at it and be like, hmm, yeah I guess I could activate that. Or like, oh I want to
see what that looks like when I draw water on it. You know what I’m saying? Like, there’s not like
a hard and fast rule. You can totally, you can totally just do whatever you feel like. So I’m doing her eyelashes. And I don’t activate them at first because I want you to
see what it looks like having something like, like really, I really like the
juxtaposition between like her washed face, and her
super stark eyelashes. Like sometimes I like to
kind of ponder that look and be like, hmm do I like that? And sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. So I end up activating all of it just to like show you
guys kind of pushing it to the next level. Not in terms of like,
oh it’s the next level, it’s super awesome. But just like, just to show
you what the possibilities are. I don’t mind being your
guinea pigs for you. So I, I don’t know, I just started kind of futzing around on her face
and adding some few lines. And she already had that stark contrast between the Elegant Writer like wash color and the black, black, black lines. I just kind of started doodling. I’ve been really into crosshatching my girls lately, my watercolors. And so I just thought I would like give it a go on her face. I don’t recommend this if you’re not used to doing crosshatching. This I wouldn’t normally do it with such a broad nib like this. Usually, when I do my crosshatching I use a much smaller nib than I’m using like for the bold outline. But again, I just want to illustrate like the possibilities. You can just take this
with a grain of salt. If you want to just sit back
and watch at this point, and you can watch me make
all sorts of weird decisions, and be like, oh I want to try that, or like, oh sweet Jesus, what
is she doing to her drawing? Like that’s entirely up to you and I don’t mind being your
guinea pig, like I said. So, right now you can see a lot of blues. And I just thought, what the hay? Let’s just go for it. Let’s just activate it all up. And even her eyelashes,
and just do all of it. Like, who cares? So yeah, I’m having fun right now. I’m having fun watching
this back actually. It was fun watching it. Now it’s even more fun watching it back. I hope you guys try this. It’s really fun. It is scary if you’ve
never done it before, but then it’s really quickly not. It’s really not a big a deal. It’s just art. We’re just having a fun day. So then doodle, doodle, doodle. Swabby, swabby, swabby. And then like her
crosshatching, I’m like ugh, but like who cares? It’s all good. And I’m trying, her lips are
still like I am not moving, I am these lines, I am not moving. So that just is what it is. But like overall when I add
like the highlights and stuff, I actually like, it’s fine,
it all blends together. Her nose becomes kind of like a hot mess. Which I like kind of deal with and then kind of deal with
off camera a little bit. I don’t know if you just saw me. I just was crosshatching in the air, and I wasn’t actually
putting down any water. Oh and this is a fun trick. I was trying to get like kind
of more realistic like eye, you know like how your
eyes have like spokes on a bicycle wheel, how they come out. So I put it down a little bit more ink and then I was seeing
if I could draw it out. It kind of worked. That’s kind of cool. Again, always like dry between your layers if you want to add more. I wouldn’t put a wet marker
ever into like a wet paper because it will kill your
markers like really quickly. So yeah, just playing, having fun. Showing you guys all the cool things you can do with your Elegant Writer. And then at the very end
you can just add like, you can add with like a paint
marker, like I’m doing here. Just like add some highlights back in. Now if your ink is still wet, which mine I’m pretty sure was,
some if it will seep through but look at her eyes. Look from those dots of the Sharpie pen. Like how fun is that? They’re all like twinkly. And like now her lips, like you can do some really cool juicy highlights, because there’s a lot of drama with all the colors smearing everywhere. And like, it’s a really,
really stunning effect. So this is where I go like
a little crazy on her nose. I was using a reference for her nose which is like a bad idea. I should have just done my
standard like whimsical nose. So, it’s not the best
nose ever, but whatever. I was really excited to show this project with you guys today. I promised on my Scotland
castle art retreat that I would teach everybody
about the Elegant Writer, and I never got around to it. On our last day we were so busy. And so this video is
dedicated to my retreat girls. I’m sorry this is like so late. But hopefully you’ll be
inspired to give this a go. And I hope you guys do. If you’re in my Facebook group, oh my god look at her
nose, it’s a hot mess, but if you see the last shot,
if you wait ’til the very end of the video, you can see, I kind of save her nose a little bit. I had to go back in with like another, a little bit of a black marker, and do it. But like, look at her. She’s kind of a rockstar. And then I can like doodle
dry lines if you want to over, just keep going if you want. Or you can stop like 15
minutes ago, it’s all good. If you guys have any like tips or tricks for my other viewers,
and you want to like, oh my favorite thing to draw
with an Elegant Writer is like, you know, I don’t know, cars, or like computer screens, or whatever. Or if you have any tips about how we can work our Elegant Writers better, I encourage you to write
them in the comment section. Likewise if you have any questions for me or you have any suggestions
for like other things you would like me to draw
with an Elegant Writer, I am totally up for
taking your suggestions. So just let me know down
in the comment section. And, yeah, if you want help drawing faces, drawing realistic faces,
plus checking out new styles, check out my brand new book that is just hitting Amazon bookshelves called Karen Campbell’s
Official Guide to Helping You Find Your Style. So that will be coming soon,
so I hope you enjoyed this. And I will catch you on the flip side. Every Friday, new videos,
I’ll see you then.


  • Karen Campbell, Artist says:

    Looking for the Elegant Writer? Here's an affiliate link to the assorted 4 pack, which is the one I have (roughly $1/each):

  • Suzan Wortham says:

    Fabulous work as usual. I never expect anything less. You are an amazing spokesperson for all the products you use. And without fail, I buy each product. Now I will have these pens in my arsenal as well. Love you and your work. Thanks for making it look easy! ❤️

  • Luise Heinzl says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this awesome tutorial! I did something similar without knowing what I am doing or if it would work some time ago… Perhaps you would like to check it out:

    Greets from austria

  • barb king says:

    So cool, on my way to Mike’s; have a 60% coupon😉💕

  • LT E says:

    I’m thinking a dragon…

  • Michael Ann says:

    Looks like fun, and I love how she turned out. I have one of these pens but had forgotten about it lol. Thank you Karen 🤗❤
    Thanks for the link too!👍

  • Marian Brown says:

    Great drawing Karen, I watched a YT video quite a while ago and the artist ( can’t remember her name) was using the elegant marker to draw a woodland stream scene. She used a fine mist water spray to help activate all of the ink. Maybe worth having a play with that.

  • YELS YELS says:

    I have just hunted out my stabillo black and white pencils!!!! I love the drawing I have just created!!! I need encouragement to add water to activate the life in my drawing! I have taken a photo of the stage I am happy with …just need to add water!

  • YELS YELS says:

    I love what I have created..Soooo…I am not going to activate it …I am going to move on and start again and then push the creativity forward!!!

  • bengalcat11 says:

    Very cool, I love the different colours the Elegant Writer creates. Thanks Karen.

  • Christine Ingram says:

    She’s beautiful..I must have a go with mine ,just been so bust doing other bits of art lately 😀

  • Melissa Aldosari says:

    Lol, Karen! You sound soooooo mellloooww when I play your video at .5 speed!

  • inspiredcaroline24 says:

    Oh my gosh, I am psychic. Arriving in the post, today, is a 4 pack of elegant writers. I'm not lying!😲 Ordered them on Friday morning, from Amazon. They had been in my "saved items" for ages & I just decided to finally buy them? How spooky??! DEFINITELY will be trying this. Your girl is so funky, she is rocking her different shades and values!! The pink is a great skin tone.
    Amazing! I'd really like to see a 'fashionista' style dancer done with these pens. I might even go back to my "mo-dėll" girl to add some of this drama to her.🤔 The possibilities are running through my mind. GORGEOUS, Karen! Tyfs, Very Cool video….🙃🐾🐾

  • EvaDoubleMama says:

    Karen can I ask what kind of brush are you using??

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