Penwork on ceramics- the basics
I’ve tried to keep to the absolute basics so you don’t have to rush out and buy loads of stuff. All the materials used, porcelain etc can be bought from Held, click here to go to their website
What you need:
China paint, sometimes called overglaze enamels
Palette knife, or an old kitchen knife, or even a teaspoon will do
Mixing medium- flat pop like 7 UP ( not diet)or Held’s drying waterbased medium.
A ceramic tile for mixing, and a tile for painting
A round pointed brush, or cotton buds, a cocktail stick , or wooden skewer, and kitchen towel may be useful.
Mixing the paint
1. Clean the tiles with meths or soap and water so they are grease free.
2. Put some paint about the size of a large pea onto the mixing tile, if you don’t have a palette knife you can use an old kitchen knife or a teaspoon.
3. Add a few drops of flat pop to the paint powder and give it a stir. Keep adding until you have no lumps and an ink like consistency. It should just about drop off the palette knife, if you have mixed it too thin you may need to add more paint, or let it dry out a little.
If using Held’s waterbased medium add the equivalent to about a quarter the size of your paint pile, mix and then thin down with water.
5. Practise drawing and doodling, you will find your own way of holding the pen, I work from right to left as I’m left handed, and pull the pen sideways, you will find you have to take it fairly slowly and you will have to fill the pen regularly. Clean the nib then stir up the mixture and reload. If the mixture is drying out add another drop or two of pop or water.
6. Any unwanted drips or mistakes can be cleaned off with a damp cotton bud or brush. If you want any large black areas fill them in with a brush trying to keep the paint as smooth as possible. You can sharpen up lines or sgraffito into dry paint with a cocktail stick.
If you would like to see what I did with Zen doodles click here
Download PDF instructions here
I’ve just made a little video of the process