Dominant Industry Inks

I came across Dominant Industry Inks a few weeks ago when I kept seeing two lovely ink colors appear on my social media feed.

Dominant Industry inks is based in South Korea. They designed the inks for their unique colors and effects. Their 25ml bottles are packaged in a cardboard box and includes a cloth dust bag and a single use pipette.

The heavy and unique shaped bottles look lovely sitting on my desk.

Strangely, I could not find a company website to get more details about their inks or any information about the company.

After looking at all the available ink colors, I narrowed down my choices to two Pearl ink colors called Sunset and Autumn Forest.

The Sunset ink is an unusual dusty purple ink that leans a bit towards rose. There are pink and blue undertone colors along with a rose gold shimmer. I feel as though the shimmers makes the purple ink lean a bit more towards pink.

I went through my ink swatches and the colors that came close to Sunset was Robert Oster Velvet Crush and Taccia Murasaki.

The Autumn Forest ink color is a unique ink color. I say that as it depends on what paper you use this ink on. On my swatch card, the ink appears to be a medium gray ink color. This ink has a pink and a bit of blue undertone colors as well as rose gold shimmer. Depending on the lighting, the ink color could also be considered gray-brown.

It’s interesting to look at other people’s swatches and see some green in their ink. I do not see any green at all.

I also went through my ink swatches to see what other colors I have that come close to Autumn Forest. I came up with a winner. Diamine Ash from the Red Inkvent Calendar. It’s very close match minus the shimmering particles.

The colors are gorgeous in my inky washes. For journal writing, I will use the inks in my broader nib pens. I prefer Autumn Forest over Sunset for readability. Sunset is a bit too light for me to write with.

Inks: Dominant Industry Sunset and Autumn Forest

Pens: Franklin-Christoph #31 Candystone with HPS Flex EF nib. Lamy LX Marron with Stub 1.1 nib.

Journals: GLP Creations The Author TRP 68gsm. Stalogy B6 Editor’s Series 365.

Workshop Prompt – Water Brush Sketch

Update: A question was asked about how I created the shadows underneath my objects. I’ve updated this post to include my answer. Look for the “*” paragraph.

I thought it would be a good time to sketch an art tool that we all have on hand, a water brush.

I started my sketch using my mechanical pencil.

I used my fine point pen with permanent ink to sketch over the lines I wanted to keep in my drawing.

After I gently erased my unwanted pencil lines, I applied my inky wash. I decided to use Sepia Nights for the main areas of my water brush and the shadow underneath my brush. I used Thunderstorm for the dark components inside my brush and added a tiny bit to my shadow to give my sketch a bit more depth.

* To create the shadows under my object, I leave a bit of highlight (white of the paper). I take my pen with same ink color as my object and sketch a line around the underside of my object. This creates a reflective shadow of my object. I dab a tiny bit of Thunderstorm where I think the shadows are the darkest. I slowly swipe my water brush across the two colors and pull the colors down and away from the object. This technique takes a bit of practice, but well worth the effort.

The following picture shows what my sketches look like in my art journal.

Try sketching your water brush. You have creative license on how much detail you want to include. For your first sketch use a blue ink color for your wash.

Challenge: create another sketch of your water brush and use a different ink color for your wash. This additional practice will help in observing your object a bit more and where the highlights and shadows are versus trying to copy the color of your object.

Pens used: Copic Multiliner with 0.1mm tip. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs.

Inks: Robert Oster Sepia Nights and Thunderstorm

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Softcover A5

Colorverse Butterfly Nebula/NGC 6302 – Special Edition Ink!

I was late to the show with this ink color. One of my workshop attendees had shared an inky swatch she had from the Colorverse table. It was so mesmerizing to see the lovely shimmers. You know how I love a good shimmering ink and especially one from Colorverse.

After my workshops were finished for the weekend, I immediately went to the Luxury Brands table to find this lovely shimmering ink. It was sold out! All I could do was look at the lovely swatch they had on their table. I was given some information and was told they would be releasing it to the local retailers in a few weeks.

Fast forward to now and I have this lovely ink in my hands. I could not resist turning my bottle of Butterfly Nebula to see what shimmering colors would appear.

Do you see the interesting colors inside my bottle?

It looks like purple shimmers inside the bottle. When I roll the bottle to the other side, the shimmers look pink.

This Colorverse Butterfly Nebula debuted at the 2022 DC Pen Show. It’s so special that this is the first time Colorverse has released a glistening ink in a large 65ml bottle. Colorverse is also the first ink company to be put on the cover of the Pen World Magazine.

The Butterfly Nebula is packaged with the Colorverse NGC 6302 in a 15ml bottle.

I looked through my swatch cards to see if I had something similar to NGC 6302. The two colors that came close were Sydney Darling Harbour and Hail Storm. The Colorverse NGC 6302 a dusty green ink color with blue & beige underlying colors.

For Butterfly Nebula, the closest color I had was Summer Storm which happens to be much darker and leans a bit more towards pink. I would call Butterfly Nebula a dusty periwinkle (lavender blue) ink color.

This ink shows pink shimmers on my swatch card.

I ended up creating two swatches for this ink. The first one on the left came out so light in color, I ended up writing over the ink name twice. For the second swatch on the right, I let the ink settle a bit in the bottle before dipping my pens. I was able to capture a darker ink color. Once the swatch dried, I was happy to see a some green appear on the card.

Here’s another look at the two ink colors on my Stalogy paper. Now, the Butterfly Nebula is showing some green along with some blue colors as well as the pink shimmers. It’s also the same colors shown in my bottle (2nd picture above).

Both ink colors have interesting personalities and are unique compared to other inks I have in my collection.

I was surprised how light the Nebula Butterfly ink color was compared to what I saw at the pen show. I wish it was a tad bit darker for my writing purposes. The writing samples on my swatch cards and on my Stalogy paper were written with a JoWo #6 Fine nib. I will definitely try this ink in one of my pens with a stub nib.

Inks: Colorverse Butterfly Nebula (65ml) and NGC 6302 (15ml) from Federalist Pens and Paper

Workshop Prompt – Quick Pencil Sketching/Drawing

I thought I would go back to the basics and work on pencil sketching with a simple mechanical pencil for this week’s prompt. Remember: no death grips, practice sketching quickly, and do not get caught up in the details.

Fruit Sketch and Drawing:

In my example on the left, I did a quick gesture sketch or outline of a pear. I used my mechanical pencil and a loose grip to create the light lines. My pear looks flat.

On the right side, is my final drawing. Here I’ve used contour lines to the give my pear a bit more depth. To create more depth or dark shading, my contour lines are close together. My contour lines follow the shape of the pear and shows the areas of roundness of the fruit. I leave quite a bit of white on my paper to show the highlights on the pear. I start out with light strokes from my pencil. The next layer is to go over the shadows again and adding a bit more pressure with my pencil.

Jar Sketch and Drawing:

On the left side of my picture, I used the same process of creating a quick sketch or outline of my jam jar.

On the right side is my final drawing. I added lines to show the glass has some decorative shapes. My label on the jar is curved a bit towards the ends of the label to help make the jar looked a bit more curved.

Notice I did not erase my unwanted lines. I keep my sketches/drawings “as is” so I know the next time what lines to leave out. It’s part of documenting my sketch journey and also building muscle memory.

Challenge: see if you can replicate my sketches. Practice sketching/drawing quickly. Also look around your kitchen and grab a few objects to sketch with. Practice contour lines.

Challenge +: do not erase your lines. Leave the good and unwanted lines in your pencil sketches and drawing. Move on to your next sketch.

Mechanical Pencil: Pentel Energize Pencil with 0.7mm HB lead

Journal: Canson Artist Series Mixed Media spiral bound

My Opus 88 Mini vs Omar Fountain Pens

I saw a fellow fountain pen user ask a question about the diameter sizes between my Opus 88 Mini and my Opus 88 Omar. I thought I would show a few pictures and try my best to show the differences!

When you read the specs about the diameter in mm, it might appear to be a slight difference between two fountain pens. When you put each pen in hand, I can say that there will be a noticeable difference between these two pens.

It’s better for me show in pictures and then try to describe what you might see and feel. So here we go.

Here are the two pens side by side with their caps off.

Let’s take a look at each pen individually. Here is my pen and it appears to be a short and chunky fountain pen. It really is!

In this close up picture, the section has a slight taper towards the nib and feed.

Here is my Opus 88 Omar.

The section is also tapered towards the nib and feed and there is a slight lip at the edge.

Here is a side view of both pens. The section on my Mini is quite a bit shorter than my Omar. At the top section of my Mini there is a thick metal band.

My Mini takes a #5 JoWo nib while my Omar takes a #6 JoWo nib.

Personally, the section of my Omar feels comfortable in my hand and I prefer #6 nibs for extended writing. Every time I start writing with my Mini it takes me awhile to get used to the shorter section and the thick metal band.

I basically use my Mini for taking quick notes and mostly for sketching. I prefer to use my Omar for longer writing sessions.

I hope my picture helps some of you who are undecided whether to get an Opus 88 Mini. Would I purchase another Mini? Probably not. One is enough for me.

Pens: Opus 88 Mini Love in Bloom with Franklin-Christoph Stub nib & filled with Diamine Subzero (Red Inkvent). Opus 88 Omar with Stylosuite EF Xwing Harpoon flex nib & filled with Colorverse Hayabusa (glistening).

Workshop Prompt – Shapes

In my workshops we created basic shapes for our warm up exercises. To activate our muscle memory. Our shapes will look flat which is okay for our warm up exercises.

Remember: no “death grips” and try to move your arm while sketching instead of just using your hand. I mentioned in my handout that if you just use your hand, you will start to feel some tightness in your grip and you may feel a cramp starting to develop in your hand. Remember to relax while you sketch.

Many of you wanted to see more of my sketches, my layouts, and my writing. Here is the most recent sketch I created while I was sitting at my studio desk. I had gathered round objects to create my two page spread.

Notice the cast shadows and the colors I used under my objects

Here are a few of my objects that I used in my sketches. This view is looking top down and off to the side.

Here I have my objects lined up on my desk with a side view of my inky bottles. Sorry my lovely miniature vase was too round to sit sideways.

My challenge is for you to look through your inky bottle collection. Pick out three (3) bottles of your favorite ink brands and try sketching them from the top down view and then from the side view (if possible).

Use your pencil to create the outline first and then sketch what details you like. Do not erase until you have all the lines created (good & bad). Take your permanent pen and redraw the lines you want to keep. Go back and erase the bad lines.

Use your fountain pens and inks to create your washes. Remember to keep the white of your paper to represent the highlights on your objects. If you need to make certain areas of your object darker, make sure your first layer is dry before adding more color to your object.

Most important thing to remember is have fun!

If you have any questions, you know where to find me. ūüėä

Kakimori – the Nibs

Update and Tips #1 (08/08/22): I was able to hang out at the River City Pen Company’s table during the 2022 DC Pen Show. I enjoyed my time sharing what I knew about using dip nibs and Rich’s nib holders. One show attendee mentioned that she disliked the Kakimori nib she had. She could not write with it. I gave her a few suggestions to try her nib again. One was to use a different fountain pen ink brand and color or use her favorite ink. Another was to lighten her grip on the nib holder. The other suggestion and probably the most important one is to write in the same position and angle as if you had a fountain pen in your hand.

Update #2 (08/08/22): I forgot to mention that I hosted an “after hours” pen & ink workshop for the exhibitors. Just for fun, I handed out my Kakimori nibs with my resin nib holders to try out. One had the brass nib and the other had the steel nib. I gave no instructions on how to use. They immediately took to this nib and nib holder immediately and spent some time writing with it. A few minutes later, they quickly exchanged nib and nib holder to see how the other nib felt in their hand. This was a great experiment for me to observe and I received positive feedback on both. It was interesting to see one attendee preferred the steel nib with the finer writing feel and the other attendee preferred the brass nib and the wetter lines that it could create.

(Original post begins here)

I found another nib that works great with my inky swatchings. They are round nibs and appears to have eight sides with long cut outs along the sides.

The cutouts allow for ink to settle into the nib when dipped into a bottle of ink. This allows for longer writing sessions before having to the dip the nib back into ink. You know what? It really does work.

I saw there were two offerings available. One in stainless steel and one in brass. I went with the stainless steel version as I know I would not have to worry about rust or much discoloration after use.

I took a picture for those who are curious as to what the backside of the nib looks like. The nib is hollow until the start of the cutouts. This allows the nib to sit into the nib holder.

The stainless still nib feels a bit stiff when I write with the nib. In my normal writing angle of around 45 degrees I can get a nice line width. I can also feel some feedback while writing. When I hold the nib slightly below my normal writing angle, I can get a broad stroke of color on my paper.

I enjoyed my stainless steel nib so much, that I went ahead and ordered a brass nib. I read about the differences between these two nibs. The brass nib tends to be softer and can produce broader lines. It’s also good for artists to use in their sketches.

I can definitely feel a difference between the two nibs. The brass feels a bit softer and produces a smoother experience while writing. I can also get broader strokes of color across my paper.

Do I prefer one over the other? It depends. When I’m creating my writing samples, I automatically reach for my stainless steel nib. I need a bit more time to work with both nibs.

While cleaning the nib, I did encounter some stubborn inks that wanted to cling to the nib’s cutouts. I have a child’s extra soft toothbrush that I dip in water and give a gentle scrub.

I can’t wait to use up all my inky sample vials using these lovely nibs.

Note: I enjoy this combination of nib and nib holder. I mentioned in my previous review of the River City Pen Company nib holders that for fountain pen users, there is a “familiar feel” while holding this nib holder. Once you have this combination in your hand, you just need to focus on getting used to this unusual & lovely Kakimori nib.

Nibs: Kakimori Stainless Steel and Brass nibs available at Yoseka Stationery

Nib holders: River City Pen Company – Pink, Green, & White DiamondCast (McKenzie Penworks) and Barrier Reef (Turnt Pen Company)

Inks: Diamine Party Time and Storm (Red Inkvent)

Paper: Rhodia Dot Pad

Sketching with My Lamy Ballpoint Pen

I set out to do an experiment with all the ballpoint, rollerball, and gel pens I found in and around my studio desk. What did I uncover? I immediately eliminated the SWAG pens I received from various trade shows I’ve attended over the years. Their inks dried up fast inside the pen and were deemed unusable. They were basically disposable plastic pens. You know what I’m referring to.

I had a few name brand pens in my possession. I created a sample page where I sketched with the pens and then apply my fountain pen inks over the initial sketch. I also created sample lines and then applied water over the lines to get a better idea of how the ink reacted with water.

My gel pens and rollerball pens basically smeared when I applied water to the lines.

I was surprised to see my Retro51 ballpoint ink react the way it did with water.

My Cross, Parker, and Lamy ballpoint pens handled the water a bit better.

Here’s my Lamy ballpoint pen collection which includes the Al Star in Green, Vista in Clear, and Al Star in Cosmic.

My Lamy ballpoint trio

My Lamy writes smooth across the different art papers I use. So far, no skipping or fading. The Vista model has a thinner grip section than the Al-Star. I do like the clear body showing off my ink refill.

I keep my Lamy ballpoint pens in my art journal and in my art pen case. I can find my refills (M16) at most online pen shops. They come in Fine, Medium, and Broad tips.

My Lamy ballpoint pen is fast becoming my favorite cool tool for creating quick sketches with a fairly permanent ink. The pen colors they come in are really lovely.

Ballpoint Pens: Lamy Al Star in Green and Cosmic with Fine tip. Lamy Vista Clear with Fine tip.

Journal: Canson Mixed Media A5.

Pompadour Cotinga Burgundy – Anderillium Ink

This is a lovely burgundy ink color from Anderillum Ink. I like this ink color for writing in my journal and for my artwork. There’s a bit of familiarity with this color.

This ink color has a bit of shading and is quite lovely.

When I first saw this ink color, I immediately thought of Raspberry Rose and Black Tongue Spider Orchid. This ink color falls somewhere in between the two colors.

I misspelled the ink name on my swatch card. It should be Cotinga. The ink shows a bit of green sheen.

I like this inky color a lot. It’s not too rosy and not too pinky. I have to say it’s just right.

Ink: Anderillium Inks Pompadour Cotinga Burgundy

Pen: Stainless Steel Kakimori nib in a nib holder by River City Pen Company

Papers: Canson Mixed Media. GLP Creations The Author TRP 68gsm

One More Use For a Nib Holder

This will be a quick post for today. Last week, I read about using a JoWo nib in my nib holder. I did not think too much about it until this morning.

I was in the midst of decluttering my studio and came across a tiny zip locked bag with two JoWo nib units. I remembered they had cracked housings. I pulled out the generic nib unit from my bag and removed the JoWo nib which was so easy to do as the housing was no longer doing its job.

I gently installed the JoWo nib into the nib holder. I was pleasantly surprised how well it fit.

Now, the true test was to see how well this nib wrote and also how much ink would this nib hold without the feed.

I’m liking this combination a lot. My writing feels similar to writing with a fountain pen. The nib holds a lot of ink as you can see from my writing sample. I made sure the ink covered the breather hole which turns out to be a decent amount of ink. Also, the nib is so easy to clean. I just dip the nib into some water and wipe with a towel.

I can definitely see using this for creating sketches and I can quickly change ink colors without too much fuss. I can also do the same for writing and journaling and using several different colors.

Nib Holder: River City Pen Company nib holder in Pink, Green, & White DiamondCast

Nib: JoWo #6 Fine nib

Ink: Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide

Paper: Rhodia