Earlier this week I made my way down to the ICA for the product launch of Winsor & Newton’s new Pigment Marker. As a complete addict of any kind of new art supply, the event was right up my street. Winsor & Newton had turned the ICA function rooms into a vibrant exhibition by illustrators, designers, and artists who had made work using the featured product. There were a mixture of demonstrations, talks and the obligatory free flowing Prosecco.
The basic idea of the Pigment Marker seems to be that Winsor & Newton have transferred their watercolour formula into this unique brush like pen. In other words it’s a very high grade marker that can be used as you might use water colour or gouache, without the faff or water or brush, basically. This technique makes for a much more immediate application, the key factor is that it gives an intense colour which can also be toned down with a blender. Likewise you blend the colours directly on the paper, as opposed to mixing on the palette.

I was interested to see the sketches and film about sculptor Gary Webb, and the comparisons between his 2D and 3D work. He also flagged that the Pigment Marker allowed him to blend colours together effortlessly across the paper, enhancing the fluidity of his drawings.
The evening came to an end with an talk by Lizzie Perrotte, a programme director at Christie’s Education. After briefly introducing the brand and the product’s background, she spoke to a panel of creatives about their own practises and the benefits of this new medium. They were all impressed with its capabilities and described its positive uses at industry level from helping to create fashion illustrations to mock-up designs of large scale artworks.
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So, has Winsor & Newton’s new pen redefined mark making? Possibly not, however, if you set out to make a drawing with such a well designed, and high quality product perhaps you will at least be starting out with the confidence in your materials. As the evening proved, it’s a fun and easy way to create some impressive results.
Joseph Briars

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