All things pen plotter artwork, drawing machines and generative art

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How to Use Gelly Roll Pens with a Pen Plotter (AxiDraw)

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One of my favorite pens to use with a pen plotter (such as an AxiDraw) are Sakura gelly roll pens! They come in many color flavors from classic white, and metallic gold, to even fluorescent options such as the Moonlight gelly rolls which will glow under UV light! They work great on dark paper (and white paper!)

Example Pen Plots Using Gelly Roll Pens: Black Paper Edition

Nothing beats white ink on black paper! The ink density that builds over time as pen lines overlap is quite lovely.

Example artwork by Michelle Chandra, drawn with a white gelly roll pen!

White gelly rolls create strong white lines on black paper as in this work by Diana (@di_diff_world on Instagram!)

Example artwork by Diana (@di_diff_world on Instagram!)

Metallic gelly rolls also really pop on black paper such as this generative work by Vernon Miller (@aldernero on Instagram!)

Example artwork by Vernon Miller (@aldernero on Instagram)

Mix metallic gelly rolls for a rainbow effect as in this work by Adam Spannbauer (@thespanningset on Instagram!)

Example artwork by Adam Spannbauer (@thespanningset on Instagram!)

Truchet tiles never looked better drawn with a white gelly roll on black paper – example art by Floris de Jonge (@dejongefloris on Instagram.)

Example artwork by Floris de Jonge (@dejongefloris on Instagram)

Gelly Roll Pens: Beautiful & Annoying All At Once

While you can achieve beautiful results with gelly roll pens, they can also be very trying to work with when it comes to pen plotting. But why?! The ink flow from these pens can be quite inconsistent. For this reason, I have found that the best gelly roll pens for plotting are medium width (I steer clear of fine gelly rolls!)

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Using Posca Paint Pens with an AxiDraw!

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One advantage of using a pen plotter is the ability to use most any kind of ink and pen for drawing artwork including…metallic pens!

Pen plot art by Michelle Chandra drawn with metallic silver, metallic gold and pink Posca pens and an AxiDraw pen plotter

However, in order to use metallic inks for plotting, you will be limited to disposable gel pens or paint markers such as Posca paint markers. Unfortunately, metallic ink may clog refillable pens!

Posca Paint Marker Example Pen Plots

Since Posca paint markers will completely cover whatever they are drawn on, they are great for drawing artwork on acrylic ink paintings such as this recent series of “space” inspired artwork by Michelle Chandra.

“Space Vortex” by Michelle Chandra drawn with metallic silver, & metallic gold Posca pens

They are also great for thick line designs, and come in beautiful, bright shades. Sohan Murty takes wonderful advantage of this!

Pen plot art series by Sohan Murthy

Why Use Posca Paint Markers for Pen Plot Art?

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How to Pen Plot: Guides, Tutorials, and More!

Don’t know what to plot? Need guidance on making your creative code art plott-able?! Look no more! Find below a list of suggested workflows, and links to guides, blog posts, and wikis across the web that will help you make your pen plotting art!

If you are thinking of picking up an AxiDraw pen plotter, you can take 10% off your purchase from Evil Mad Scientist, the makers of the AxiDraw, when you use the discount code DIRTALLEY10.

Suggested Plotting Workflows 

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How to Draw Code Art with an AxiDraw Pen Plotter

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If you are thinking of picking up an AxiDraw pen plotter, you can take 10% off an AxiDraw pen plotter and accessories with discount code DIRTALLEY10 when you buy directly from Evil Mad Scientist, the makers of the AxiDraw!

It’s been two years since I bought an AxiDraw pen plotter and began plotting my code art! This is an update to an older blog post detailing my AxiDraw pen plotter setup, and my favorite pens.

Just me, standing on a street corner, holding some art like you do.

Plug and Play: Setting Up an AxiDraw vs3

The Axidraw pen plotter is expensive, which means it is mostly ready to go out of the box with minimal setup. Keep in mind that the AxiDraw will need a large dedicated area to operate as the arm of the AxiDraw needs space to extend back behind the plotter (along with out front over the drawing area!)

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