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Five facts about the humble felt pen.

The felt pen is a popular choice of pen for doodlers, beginner artists, children and graphic artists because of its extensive range of colours and value for money. This may explain why packs of 24 felt pens are found in local pound stores.

And so, this picture shows three reasons why the felt pen is also popular.

1. There is a ready supply of ink inside the barrel of the felt pen. When this ink is applied to paper, it dries quickly.

2. Once black line work is created, a large areas of colour can be applied just as easily. Unknowingly, the child artist is learning to draw between the lines.

3. Bright colours turns artwork into fun projects, explaining why felt pens are sometimes used for floral work, sketching, comics and manga. Felt pens were used in the creation of the Mr. Men storybook characters.

However, the felt pen has two disadvantages:

1. If the felt pen lid is not left on the felt pen, the ink will dry up quickly and will never work again. I can testify to has happened to me many times, so history is not a great teacher.

2. Their quick-drying but 'permanent' marks are difficult to correct (or remove) later on, which can frustrate beginner artists who do not like making mistakes (see picture below).

A felt pen reminds us that there is no such thing as 'perfection' in art--there is only trial and error in art projects. For example, one sketch may work for a large-scale art project, whereas another one might not....

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