High Flow Acrylics {Rapidograph}

My love affair with acrylics brought me to Golden High Flow Acrylics {the paints formerly known as Airbrush Colors}. Like the artist again known as Prince, they've changed but remained almost the same.Although there are subtle differences, they work pretty much the same. 

Airbrush Colors & Golden High Flow Acrylics. These are the 4 oz bottles. The paint containers have nozzles. You can use these paints without an actual airbrush. They are quite fluid, but they are not ink, they are acrylic paint!

Options for High Flow Acrylics {beyond an airbrush}:
- Draw with a calligraphy pen.
- Draw with a rapidograph pen.
- Pour a small amount into a little cup and use with a brush.
- Drip quite luciously straight from the bottle using the nozzle.

They are super cool.

Mandala drawn on black card stock with Rapidograph, .5 nib, white High Flow Acrylics.

I bought this set of Koh-i-Noor Rapidograph pens in various nib sizes in the late 1980's. After using them for a few months, didn't touch them again for 20+ years. If I recall correctly, I bought them originally as a gift to myself... to draw doodles + patterns. I was working at a bank as an accountant {in a pinstripe charcoal suit with a faux gemstone pin on my lapel, no doubt} at the time, and I remember the art supply store where I bought them. A place with mysterious drawing and painting tools. Two decades later, three or four or five residences later, I found them in a box.

I filled one with india ink. And it worked.

I read on the Golden website that high flow acrylics could be used in technical pens so I was anxious to try it out. They had worked with a calligraphy pen, so I was pretty psyched! 

Taking apart the Rapidograph. Notice that I am not taking apart the top section, just removing the little container where the ink/paint goes.

Pouring High Flow paint into the cartridge.

The clamp attaches the cartridge to the rest of the pen. After you put it all back together you can draw lovely lines. If the ink does not flow, hold the pen vertically and tap the tip lightly on scrap paper until you see a bit of ink. This might take 5 minutes of light tapping, it might not be just a few taps. If it doesn't flow after that, there could be dried ink in the depths of the pen. That's a problem.


Mandalas drawn with Rapidograph. .5 nib. Sepia {top} and Carbon Black {bottom} Golden High Flow Acrylics.

Important note! Follow manufacturer instructions for Rapidographs. Be aware that leaving ink/paint in the cartridge can ruin your pens. I'm not saying it will but it certainly can cause a problem. I clean my Rapidographs immediately after using acrylics.

If you are used to drawing with felt-tipped things like Faber-Castel PITT artist pens, Microns or Sharpies, the metallic nib of a Rapidograph technical pen might seem scratchy or foreign to you. I prefer the precision of a metal nib and the fact that it won't bend!

Now that's a creative experiment!!!