Top Tips

I’m still spinning my little spinning tops. The felt pen thing I mentioned last week saw more ink on my face than on the page thanks to having to chop down the length of the felt pens. I abandoned that quite quickly and started hunting for an alternative.

Instead, I’ve been investigating pencils and paint to see what happens. Yes, paint has left me in a similar mess to the felt pen but as long as I dip the point in paint regularly there’s no danger of it drying out.

Pencil brings its own problems. I find the best results are with an 8B grade pencil because it gives the darkest lines. Adding weights to the spinner helps but then the point blunts quickly. A sharp tip with a hard pencil is unstable and doesn’t leave a good mark. A blunt tip loses balance easily. The best point is some kind of flattened thing. It lays down a good mark on the paper and spins for ages.

Coloured pencils are something else again. I find them too waxy to leave a good mark but they’re ideal for creating a flattened top. I might have to dip one of these in paint and see how it behaves. More food for thought. I’ll let you know how I get on with my mark making.




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