It's not just a technique, it's fun

As a certified Mary Owens teacher (CMOT) I have the pleasure of traveling around the community teaching this very easy technique.  I've not seen or taught a painting technique where students are 99.9 percent thrilled with their first piece.  I'm talking about patterns that have all the elements of fine art!  The other positive for this technique is there are only seven basic brushes.  I'm also a decorative-tole painter and I easily have 30 to 40 brushes all used frequently.  I have five angle brushes of different sizes, five deerfoot stipplers, flats, liners, scruffies and mops, just to name a few.

Beginner students who have never picked up a brush or those trying this different medium don't have to buy brushes when taking classes.  Most CMOTs provide use of their supplies in class.  As long as you only take classes you never buy a brush, paint or other supplies.

This page is to help folks learn more about the supplies and products used in this great medium.  At the bottom of the page you will find great links.  Easily link to Mary Owens' web site.  Browse her patterns and schedule.  Find a teacher in your area.  With our Winter residents going back in the Summer Mary's site makes it easy to find a teacher.  Also, you'll find a step-by-step guide on brush cleaning, complete with pictures and a link to Mary's pen care. 

Tip O'da Month: I recently bought myself new blender brushes.  Mine were getting a little run down.  It took a long time but they do need to be replaced at some point.  When you replace a blender DON'T throw your old one away.  Use it for clean up.  Places in small areas or a straight edge use the chisel (tip) of the old brush to clean up.  If you are new to rouging but have some old flats from acrylic painting use one of those.  Trust me it will make you smile.

New information on pens, sprays and inks...

In addition to Liberty Matte Spray you can also use these other matte sprays (remember the code word here is "matte")  DecoArt Americana Acrylic Matte spray works well.  There is a linger odor that is not horribly offensive, it just is a bit strong.  Plaid's Folk Art Clearcote Acrylic Matte spray also works well.  It too has a lingering odor that I can only describe as a foot smell.  But any port in the storm, right?  As always you spray outside or an open garage and make sure the piece is completely dry before bringing it in and the smell won't follow you.  The great thing about these sprays is they are easier to find at major craft stores or at an online vendor.  I cannot ship aerosols.  Click on all images for larger view.

As for inks for your pens.  Daler-Rowney's FW black ink is readily available and recommended by Mary.  One of the CMOTs tested Higgins Black Magic ink and it works very well in the technical pen.  I have also gone back to using the Rapidograph 3080F India Ink and love the richness and it flows much better than the FW in my opinion.  With any of the inks I recommend you clean your pen after each use unless you are using it again the same week.  It is easy to keep putting off inking another project and if the pen is left to sit for too long with any ink in it it will clog.  Then when you want to use it you find you have a major clog and must send the pen in for "servicing."  Cleaning is fast and easy.  You won't waste that much ink.  Better safe than sorry.  Remember that with the Rapidograph ink once it hits five years old throw it out.  The manufacture date is the last four digits on the stamp at the bottom of the label.  The one in the picture to the right was manufactured October 2006. 


When sending your pen in for servicing the fee is now $5.00 US, $7.00 Canadian.  Remember just a check and a note saying "Please service my pen.  Thank you."  Always say thank you it's only polite.  Don't give any other information other than your name and address.  In three to five weeks you will have your new replacement pen.  The address is:  Koh-I-Noor, Attn: Pen Servicing Dept., One River Road, Leeds, MA  01053

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