Q: What do a shell, a ukulele and a mug have in common?

A: We drew on all of them this summer!

For a few weeks I've been meaning to tell you about some creative activities we really enjoyed this summer (you may have seen them on Instagram already), but time passed by in a whirl of new yarns and projects before I got around to it.  This weekend I finally got the chance. At this point I should probably issue an enabling alert, especially as I know that many of you are fellow stationery-addicts. (You know who you are and you have been warned!) 

During the summer holidays I received some Posca pens from Uniball*. Little did I know that they would turn out to be the single most popular summer 'activity' for my kids and that I'd have to resort to hiding them so I'd get to use them myself - I'm not even joking. 


There are a number of reasons these pens have become so well-loved Chez Knight:
  • Firstly they write on virtually any surface including plastic, metal, wood, glass, canvas, stone,  textiles and paper. The possibilities are endless. 
  • Then there are the colours - they are very vibrant and bright. 
  • Water-based pigments means you can wipe the ink off non-porous surfaces like glass, so you can use them for temporary decoration. 
  • You can layer the colours. If you want them to blend, add the second colour while the first is still wet, if you want them to remain vibrant, let each layer dry.
  • All this means they are really fun and easy to use, and also to wash off little hands! 
  • Read on for my favourite feature... 
Of course the kids wanted to try drawing on all sorts of things, although I only photographed the first few to share here. Little Miss collected some bits and pieces on the beach, and transformed them into colourful treasure. She also  customised her ukulele.

 

While she was doing that, I tried a very quick doodle on an old mug, and realised that working on curved surfaces might take a bit of practice! 

 

The finished ukulele design is for keeps so I bought some fixative spray and, while not perfect, it's holding up with semi-careful handling (it would probably scrape off if we tried hard enough). As for fired/sealed ceramics and glass, a bit of nail varnish remover will quickly fix any mistakes or allow you to start over - my mug doodle was always a 'trial sausage' so I didn't bother removing it and used it to test out layering colours and using the fixative spray before risking it on her uke.

With so many potential surfaces to draw and write on, you may be surprised when I tell you that I'm most excited about using these pens on paper. You see, they don't bleed through (they really don't bleed through!!!), even on the ultra-lightweight Midori paper I prefer to use in my journal! Plus, if you leave each colour to dry you can layer them without the colours running into one another on paper too. Note that you do need to let the pages dry thoroughly to avoid paint transfer if using the pens in a book or resting your hand on the wet ink.

Incidentally, this extreme close up was taken at 23:45h with an iPhone 7Plus, the camera really is awesome in low light
On this quick sample, you can see the white on red and red on black, also red on white on black. On the far left, I used a light stroke of white on the black ink, but you can see on the right, that you can get a brighter white on the black too - to release more pigment give the pen a shake and lightly depress the nib (on scrap paper), then continue. There was NO bleed on the reverse despite using very lightweight paper and lots of ink on the coloured sections.


The kids were a bit disappointed that the ink is water-based, but honestly this is a massive plus for me - I wouldn't be half as willing for them to freely experiment with permanent ink around the house. These pens are now a staple in our house, and I'm looking forward to getting more in the other colours and sizes, and to trying the brush pens! You can see the whole range here and they are widely available, including via Amazon (UK)* and Amazon.com*.

We pinned loads of pattern inspiration on my Pinterest boards when drawing on things. If you want some inspiration too, head over to: Things to paint with Posca Pens , Patterns and All things Ukulele. If you've already used Posca pens, leave a comment and let me know what you most like to use them for! 

*The pens were kindly sent out for me to try, in exchange for my honest review. Amazon affiliate links are included. 

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