First order of business...shopping! I purchased a few basic sketch shapes in the Silhouette Store: an arrow flourish, circle background, circle flower accent, corner flourish and sketch note card. You can tell which shapes are sketch designs in the store by the little "S" in a square in the corner of the design description. You can also search specifically for sketch designs.
I decided to try out each color pen using a variety of the shapes. First, the black pen and the arrow flourish. Worked like a charm. The black sketches are very classy, in my opinion.The red pen and the purple pen with the circle flower also worked great. I changed the size of this sketch just to see what difference it would make. They both looked good to me. Re-sizing a sketch seems easier than re-sizing a cut because drawing smaller is not as big of an issue as cutting smaller. You don't risk tearing the paper with a smaller sketch.
A few of the pens did not print super well at the very beginning. It's like they needed to get going, just like a regular ball point pen does sometimes. This was more of an issue with the lighter colors, like yellow and green, not so much the darker colors. I selected the Cut Again button to go over some of the sketches a second time, which worked well.
Here's what I ended up with on my sample page. Still not happy with that larger green tag, but the green pen sketched the corner flourish much more successfully. You'll notice with the arrow and the corner flourish I drew some with a border and some without. That is just a matter of ungrouping the shape and deleting that outside edge. I imagine that outside border is to help with cutting out the sketch if that's what you want to do.
I really liked the results, so of course I headed right back to the store for more shopping! I added an abstract floral circles background, an abstract retro background, a sheet music sketch and some stars and notebook doodles.
As far as using the sketch pens on an actual project, I think I will start with some cards first. I'm not very good at fussy cutting, so sketching on the background is a technique that appeals to me. I did a quick search on Pinterest and added some sketch pen projects to my Silhouette Ideas board.
It is super easy to use the sketch pens. You simply replace the blade with the pen you want to use in your machine and select Sketch Pens in the Silhouette Cut Settings window. Here's a quick video if you're a visual learner like me. Ready to give the sketch pens a try? Or, what have you already done with yours?