Lets Talk Pens

By Shana Benhayoun

When it comes to painting a canvas, the pens are the most important part!

In my method of painting, I always draw out the design first on the canvas and then paint over it. If you are not using the right kind of ink, it will inevitably bleed into your paint which will change the color, and ultimately, the design. 

For this blog post I will be comparing two types of pens: Sakura Micron Pigma and Arteza Inkonic Fineliner. Let me be clear from the start, I really like both pens!

Lets start with the Sakura Micron Pigma! I have been using these pens since the first time I drew on canvas. I love these pens because they come in different tip sizes ranging from the tiniest tip of .15mm (003) to the thickest tip of .50mm (08).

Here is my breakdown of when I use which size:
005 – 02 is what I use to draw on 18mesh
03-05 is what I use to draw on 13mes
05 is used to draw borders on 18mesh
08 is used to draw borders on 13mesh


My biggest let down when using the Sakura pens is the limited amount of colors they have. These pens only come in 15 different colors. There are 2 big reasons why this is a let down for me:

1. If I am drawing a design with multiple colors, I typically have to draw one area, stop to paint it, and then continue to draw the design (& so on and so forth). I do it this way because the colors are not very bright and it is sometimes difficult to differentiate the colors when they are drawn next to each other.

2. This is the big reason…If I am trying to draw a different colored area of the design and I do not have the pen to match the color, I am forced to use a color that will not match the paint. Sometimes (not all the time & typically depending on the color of the paint), the ink will bleed into the paint and change the color of the paint. 

Now lets talk about the Arteza Inkonic Fineliner pens! For the record, these pens remind me a lot of a regular sharpie pen which many people use to draw on canvas. I just started using these pens in the last few weeks and have found many pros and very little cons.

I will keep it short: 

PRO: The pens come in 120 different colors! Every shade of every color!!

CON: The ink bleeds into the paint.

Lets break this down…

The fact that these pens come in 120 different colors is such a huge pro for me! Even if the ink is bleeding into the paint it doesn’t bother me so much because I am perfectly matching the ink to the paint.

This pro applies for 99% of the canvases that I paint. Here is an example of where it becomes a con. I was recently painting a canvas that had a green leaf. I was in a rush to paint the canvas so I chose the pens before I chose the paints.

I chose a much darker green to DRAW the design then I did to paint it and when I used the lighter green paint on the dark green ink, the ink bled into my paint and make it look like I had painted a dark green border around the edge of the leaf. Moral of the story:


On a side note – Arteza also makes a line of acrylic craft paint. I have not tried it yet (waiting for a sponsorship LOL) but I will let you know if the ink bleeds less when used with their paints!