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Try Pilot Pintor pens with Tim Fisher

Posted on Thu 18 Oct 2018

This test report was an interesting and enjoyable challenge. After scrolling through the Pilot website, Pintor pens – pintor is Spanish for painter – look to be one of the most multi-surface art markers I have encountered. They will appeal to artists for numerous reasons, not least because you can create artwork on paper, wood, glass, stone, fabric and plastic; in fact, the list of creative opportunities is endless.

The markers contain an opaque waterbased pigmented ink, which dries quickly.

The 24 non-refillable colours are divided into four categories: Classic, Creative, Pastel and Metallic. The tough pen tip is available in fine and medium sizes.

These pens are very inspiring to work with, as they are so versatile to use. There is very good advice on the Pilot-Pintor website – – on how to fix the paint when working on different surfaces, as well as tips, advice and more creative ideas.

Before you begin

It’s important to prime the markers before use. Remove the shrink wrap packaging by twisting the cap then shake 20 times, hearing the ball move in the barrel. Prime the tip by pressing down several times onto a scrap of paper until the ink appears.

When not in use, the pens can be stored horizontally or with the tip pointing up. I love experimenting with new products and hope you will try out the many ways of using this art medium. We begin by seeing how well the pens work on surfaces I’m not accustomed to using.

Pintor on glass

Butterfly Breeze, Pilot Pintor pen on glass

Butterfly Breeze (above) was created on a rectangular glass container 9x4in. (23x10cm). I created my design separately on a piece of thin printer paper. Using Tracedown paper between the design and the glass, I traced over the butterfly outline with a stylus, leaving enough of a mark on the glass to work over.

In addition to the markers, Pilot sent me a selection of fibre-tipped drawing pens and I used the 03 tip to complete the design.

I worked over the body and wingtips using the fine black Pintor. After leaving for a few minutes to dry, I began to add colour from the fine tip Pastel range, which includes paler shades of blue, yellow, violet, green, pink as well as white. Two layers of the same colour gave the most vibrancy.

After adding a flower design at the base and Butterfly Breeze in gold calligraphy around the top, I placed the glass in an oven at 160 degrees centigrade for 50 minutes to cure the ink.

Pintor on stones

Stones and pebbles are great to work on. These pebbles (below) show a collection that my wife created. The outlines were made using the fine Metallic silver pen then the Metallic colours were used to build up the design as a series of dots. To protect them if displayed outdoors, a thin coat of oil-based varnish is required.

Pilot Pintor pen on stone

Pintor on wood

Lakeland Farm House, Pilot Pintor pens on wood panel, (22x32cm)

The textured surface of oriented strand board (OSB) provides a pleasant surface to work on using Pintor pens. I drew the view seen in Lakeland Farmhouse (above) using a 08 Pilot drawing pen. The Classic and Creative range of Pintor colours were the most suitable and the large tough tips were ideal for working over the heavily textured surface. Using the fine black, I reinforced the outline and added a denser line around the foliage in the foreground, adding a few stone walls into the distance.

Once dry I applied sloping strokes of medium light blue and white then blended them together with a damp flat 3⁄4in. brush.

I added violet for the distant hill and brushed over to lighten it. For the dense foliage surrounding the farmhouse I applied strokes of blue and green then worked black over once it had dried.

I mixed grey for the farmhouse roof by scribbling three primary colours on a china plate and blending them together using a flat brush and water. I left the walls as the natural wood colour. The grassy foreground comprised a series of strokes of green, violet blue and light blue. Then to finish the painting, I added strokes and dots of fine Metallic green in the foreground and into the right-hand tree. For the side of the farm catching the light I used the silver for the end walls and roof. Before framing, I recommend coating the surface with an oil-based varnish.

Line-and-wash effects

These pens were ideal and compact to take out sketching. I improvised a palette from an old CD and red, blue and yellow from the Classic set was all that was required. I would recommend also adding the medium tip pens combined with a 03 drawing pen to your sketching kit.

Main Street, Ravenglass (below) was initially drawn on Bristol vellum using the 03 drawing pen. The ink dried instantly so just using the medium-tip colours from the Classic set – black, blue, red, green, white and yellow – I began by painting the sky. With an absorbent paper like Bristol vellum, it is best to work with a separate palette, as directly made marks may not dissolve fully. The white non-stick plastic trays for acrylics are very good. The colours can be scribbled onto the tray and diluted with water to reduce their intensity.

I wetted the sky area with a diluted wash of yellow mixed with red. Into the damp surface, I added a wash of blue using a No. 0 squirrel mop, painting down to the rooftops. The building near the centre of the picture was painted with a mix of red and yellow with a touch of blue to make brown as was the gable of the right building and the car below.

The rooftops and foreground were added with a green wash of red and blue with a touch of yellow. Large washes, such as skies and foregrounds, need to have excess liquid mopped up before the colours dry, otherwise unsightly back-runs can occur. The remaining cars were painted with thin washes of blue or red. The foliage was created by mixing blue and yellow.

To finish the painting I applied a mix of blue and red for the shadows on the buildings and across the street.

Main Street, Ravenglass, Pilot Pintor pens on 270gsm Bristol vellum, (28x36cm)

Bourton on the Water, Pilot Pintor pens on 150gsm cartridge paper, (20x25cm).

I painted this view of Bourton on the Water as a quick sketch on cartridge paper. I quickly captured the fleeting light by using a Pilot Croquis lead holder containing a 2B graphite stick. Over this I washed colour, using a mix of red and yellow for the Cotswold stone, darkening the wash with blue for the rooftops.

A stronger mix of this combination was used for the roadway. I washed over the foliage with a mix of blue and yellow. The cars were painted using a dilute red, blue and green.

Finally, I added the distant trees and cast shadows with a mix of blue and red. The paper did cockle a little but quickly flattened out when sandwiched in the sketchpad after it had dried.

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This product report is taken from the November 2018 issue of Leisure Painter

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Try Pilot Pintor pens with Tim Fisher


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