My post 15 years ago was really just a placeholder post because I didn't have much to say. There was some better discussion in the comments. Do all touring cyclists write? No. But then we don't get to know about them. Made me think about how different the trip would have been if I hadn't documented it. I might have gotten there faster? I might not have been held accountable and not finished the trip? Posting on this blog every day has been holding me accountable to creating. However, sometimes it has me creating content and not art. The content we pulled together for today's post has been on my to-do list pretty much since Valentine's Day when I was gifted the pen. While this is more on the "content" and less on the "art" side of things, I am super excited to get to talk about this pen!
Originally Posted April 01, 2007
The sunlight peaking through the rumpled shades tried to bring the room out of shadow. In the dim I lay listening to the thunder and rain pouring off the roof. Thee is a comfort in the ceaseless rain. But I cannot be in the beauty draped in sleep and sound forever. Tis a pity that I must disturb this silent constant noise.
I also ate crawfish today at the Baptist church's annual crawfish boil.
I'm no stranger to Advent calendars, festivities, and traditions; but the Diamine Inkvent Calendar really was something else. Every morning my kids and I hunted for the next door and popped it open to a reveal a new color, sheen, or shimmer.
In my spare moments during the day I plotted how I might integrate the new ink into a drawing or sketch. Ideally the sketch would feel like Christmas or winter. On a good day I was also able to have the sketch relate to some of my devotional texts: Christ in Our Home or Bread for the Day. I've always struggled to actually retain any of the daily readings. However, doing some copy work and the act of choosing one verse to focus on really helped a little more stick. If you followed me on Instagram where I posted daily my inksplorations, you might have noticed the majority of my posts were after 10pm and there were about 6 days that I was a day behind. I still loved the daily reading, writing, and painting practice. I already have my next project lined up and that will be rolling out in the next week or so.
Here is our full review of the calendar. Which inks were your favorites? I'd love to hear in the comments!
Find me on Instagram to see more pictures @anotherbunny14
I love, love, LOVE my StablO for urban sketching, watercolor on the go, and just plain keeping little fingers out of my stuff! If I lost it, broke it, or otherwise found it unusable; I would buy a new one to replace it. I go into depth on how it is used in the video, but let me know in the comments if you have any more questions. A great big shout out to Liz Steel whose blog turned me on to this wonderful wooden contraption from France.
Buy the easel here: stablo.fr/en/home
Check out Liz Steel!
You can see in the video that I have one brush holder, two cup holders, and two cups. It only comes with one cup holder and one brush holder. I purchased the cups and the extra cup holder separately.
I've been wanting to revamp the way that I sample my ink. I ran out of room on the paper I was using to do swatches of my inks. I'm not even sure where that paper went when it got banged off the walls from having siding done. The Col-o-ring has been on the market for a while and I finally went for it. Then a month or so after getting it and mulling over how exactly I was going to do it, I got this video done.
Do you have ink samples and how do you do them? Share in the comments!
This ink and I have been together since the beginning. I love it for its amazing ability to stay put when doing a watercolor wash over the top. You will need to be comfortable doing your lines in your sketch in a dark blurple... and that just isn't for everyone.
I went looking for something a little more neutral. It took me a long time to find a black that works just as well (deAtramentis Document Ink Black). I don't feel like Noodler's Ink offers a black that doesn't smudge or run a little when wet. Noodler's 54th Massachusetts is the closest to black that meets this criteria. Some folks think that Lexington Gray is waterproof enough. I disagree.
Working on these fish, I actually started with ink on wet. After the fish were all dry, I went in with watercolor and all the Kung Te-cheng ink stayed put beautifully.
Noodler's Ink comes in at an amazing price point and I love that Nathan Tardif is a small batch quirky sort of fellow. I almost have a full dozen of his ink bottles. Kung Te-cheng and many others have great archival and bulletproof properties as well. Bulletproof in the case of his ink means that it is forgery proof. So this is some serious ink.
It is an ink that likes to be used in a pen. Aside from when it's in my TWSBI Eco, I need to use it daily otherwise it can be a bit hard to get it going. I've never had it ruin a pen, but I hear it is one that is harder to clean out.
It is a good day when you get mail. It is a great day when you get mail from Goulet Pens! I am a big fan of the Goulets and when they sent me a coupon on my birthday for 8 free ink samples with purchase I said, “Yes, please!” I immediately inked up the new Kaweco Perkeo with Diamine Bilberry. The ink is reminiscent of Noodler’s Kung Te-Cheng, but this swab also revealed a bit of a sheen. It has been a month or so since I wrote a letter. The new ink was a great excuse to put a few words down. I found the ink to be cheerful, but not obnoxious; like a child who runs up to you to say something cute and immediately runs away to play again. These random ink samples Goulet sells (and gives away on your birthday if you sign up for the newsletter) are great because I always end up trying inks I never would have tried. Sometimes I find one I love and I didn’t have to spend hours researching to find it. It is a real win win.
What do you have inked up right now? Let me know in the comments!
Fountain pens are amazing. They write smoother with less effort. The inks have a variety of useful, cost effective, beautiful, and at times permanent properties.
I started using them circa 2012 and I'd like to say that I didn't look back, but I did. I put the wrong ink (India ink) in my first pen and it ruined the pen. My next pen came free with my bottle of Noodler's Kung Te Cheng. However, these Platinum Preppy's got cracks and leaked. My next upgrade was to a Pilot Metropolitan. Now these are enjoyable writers, but I found that if I didn't use them daily they dried out a little and they were hard to get started. Tired of fighting with them, I put them in a bin on my shelf for about five years.
About a year ago I found myself reconnecting with my favorite fountain pen retailer: Goulet Pens. Turns out they have been very busy over the last decade creating amazing YouTube videos educating you on all things fountain pens. They even have a shopping guide dedicated to Fountain Pen Tools for Sketching.
I have one and only one recommendation for someone new to fountain pens who wants to use them with watercolor. It is a TSWSBI Eco. I would get one with a Fine or Medium nib to start with. Here are some key features:
Ink Capacity: This pen holds a lot of whatever kind of ink you like. If you fill it up before a weekend away sketching you won’t run out.
Demonstrator: The clear bodies on these pens allow you to see at all times exactly how much ink is in there.
Ready to Write: You don't need to use this pen every day. In fact I've gone weeks in between uses and it is still ready to go. This was a big frustration for me with the Pilot Metropolitan.
Posts: This means that you can put the cap on the back of the pen securely. If you are out sketching or if you have kids, this is a very important feature.
Value: You get all these features at a very reasonable price. $31 seems like an expensive pen, but the ink is very cost effective and even more fun.
Lamy makes some great pens too. My brother in law swears by a Safari and keep my Al-Star with my on the go sketching kit (mostly because it doesn't fit in my pretty pen holder on my art desk). I also enjoy a Studio because it feels substantial and it makes me feel fancy. Liz Steel loves her Joy. I love that you can swap out the nibs easily on all these models, but sometimes I get surprised that the ink ran out. Just make sure you get a cartridge converter to go with your Lamy.
The TWSBI Diamond 580 is marginally more enjoyable to write with than the ECO for almost twice the price. The cap doesn't post nicely, but it is always inked up at my work desk and I reach for it all day long.
I have a couple other pens and there are certainly many better pricier pens on the market. However, for a budget friendly pen that you will not outgrow I recommend the TWSBI ECO.
I will do a more detailed post on ink, but to quickly pick an ink that is permanent for doing watercolor on top of I would go with either De Atramentis Document Ink Black or Noodler's 54th Massachusetts.
These reviews are purely from my own personal experience and I do not profit financially from you taking my advice.
Please share in the comments your favorite fountain pens for sketching. Do you do a watercolor wash over your ink?