tjanting tool for mark making Feb 14, 2022
  1. Accidental discovery of a super mark making tip

I have discovered a super tip that you can use for your mark making! It is one of those accidental discoveries that I have made over a long, long time. For those that are in my pro group, you’ll recall that we spend a lot of time making our own mark-making tools. It was when I was doing my mark making that I stumbled on this discovery!


  1. How it happened

I was busy at my studio, working on some paper. I was using Posca Markers. I really like them because they’re markers of high quality and have different tips that one can use. You can have thick or thin tips, depending on what you want to draw. For those who are mark makers, you know that the thick or thin tips as well as color varieties of markers are very important. I personally use Posca Markers because they’re really nice to use and are of high quality.


Back to my discovery: I was using one of my Posca Markers to make contour drawings because I wanted to incorporate the drawings into my encaustic work. I was doing the drawings on rice paper. Rice paper is wonderful for collage, and can be worked into encaustic work.


When you use a Posca marker on rice paper, you’ll notice that the top of their nibs become rugged as you’re drawing your contour lines, which makes the lines not be continuous because their tips tend to get fuzzy. The tips get fuzzy because they pick up fibres from the rice paper, which makes the quality of the go down the tubes poor and the end result will be a line that doesn’t have nice quality.


If you want to draw your lines really fast while using Posca Markers (especially in situations when you want to make fast marks), the quality of the line doesn’t come out great. The solid, nice, and dark line that you desire doesn’t really come out. Rather, the line is often broken up because the marker’s tip struggles and gets clogged up with fibers from the Posca Marker’s nib.


As a remedy to this problem, you can press down the marker’s nib on a surface several times, as demonstrated here, and continue with your mark making. It helps to draw your lines more slowly so that the marker gives you nice, quality lines. However, the remedy only lasts for a while as the tip of the marker gets clogged and fuzzy again. If you’re trying to draw contour lines and use Posca Markers to get you nice and clean lines, the markers will eventually give out.


This was the problem that made me do a lot of exploring, including calling Dick Blick and searching for solutions online to try and find out whether there was some kind of marker tip or maybe a refillable container that would allow me to have a tip that doesn’t wear out. This was important for me because I was working on a big series of encaustic artworks that required a high-quality, solid, and dependable contour line.


Imagine having something that you really want to work on, but your idea doesn’t work out because of the tool that you have! You’ve got to find a solution!


I was in this situation, and that was why Imade efforts to find out whether I could find other markers that did not have a similar problem when drawing my contour lines. My goal was to get nice quality contour lines on rice paper that wouldn’t run out. It was when I was in this situation that I discovered that the Tjanting tool had a super tip that could give me nice, clear, solid, and dependable contour lines!


  1. Discovery of the Tjanting Tool’s Super Tip for Mark Making

Because I was doing encaustic artwork, I happened to have a Tjanting tool that comes from Indonesia. Tjanting tools are used in Indonesia to put batik on clothing or fabric. I thought about trying the tool out to see whether it could work in giving me the nice, clear, solid, and dependable contour line that I wanted. This was just an idea that cropped up in my head because of the problem that I had in delivering mark making for my encaustic work.


What I did was to get Indian Ink, which comes in different brands, but the bottom line is that Indian ink is just Indian Ink as far as I know – all the brands are pretty good.


The Indian ink that I had was in a container that has a nice tip, so you can actually fill the Tjanting tool with the ink while having a container underneath to ensure that if the ink dripped, it could get into the container instead of messing up your working space. I actually thought that the ink would drip out a lot from the tip of the Tjanting tool, but it actually didn’t do that.


After filling the tool, I began to draw my contour lines on rice paper using its super-fine tip, and, alas! The lines were nice and solid, clear, and continuous, just as I wanted them! There was no nib on the tool to make the lines fuzzy because the Tjanting tool just has a metal tip. You’ll find that no matter how fast you draw using the tool, your contour lines will be nice, clear, solid, and dependable throughout.


I also discovered that the longer you let the nib of the Tjanting tool sit on your rice paper, the wider the line that you’ll be drawing will be. Nonetheless, I am sure that the tips of Tjanting tools come in different sizes, and you can get one with the size that you would like your lines to be without having to keep the nib on the paper for a long time so that you get the line thickness that you desire.


I therefore believe using the Tjanting tool for mark making is a great discovery and solution to the problem of fuzzy lines that one gets when using markers to do mark making for encaustics. The good thing is that you can use this solution on any kind of paper, and you don’t have have to put so much ink into the tool to get the results that you want.


  1. Conclusion

If you’re making collage papers for your artwork, this solution is really fun to work with. You can incorporate it into your underpaintings as well.


And when you’re done with making your drawings using the solution, I suggest that you make some collage papers by spilling out the remaining Indian ink onto sheets of paper as well as rinsing out the reservoir of the Tjanting tool using water right away so that the ink doesn’t dry up in there and clog the tool’s tip.


I hope you liked the tip and will use it to improve line drawings and collage papers for your artwork. Click here to watch the video about this discovery!



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