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 – 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. 😊

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.

Sketching Around Me

This morning, I gathered a few of my fountain pens and my sketch journal and placed them in my messenger bag. I ended up at a coffee shop I’ve been meaning to visit and never had a chance to stop in. It turned out to be one of the best coffee shop and sketching experience I’ve encountered.

Inside the shop I saw lots of open space with plenty of tables and chairs. Lots of folks wandered in and out of the shop and grabbed their coffees to go. A few folks, who sat towards the back of the shop, were busy working on their laptops. I was receiving positive vibes here.

I sat at a table in the middle of the coffee shop and started sketching what was immediately in front of me: my cup of coffee and my sugary treat. Then I looked around and saw the display cabinet at the back of the shop. There were colorful cups and bags of coffee on display. I felt a challenge hit me and I started sketching the back wall.

When I stopped to see my progress, I felt there was something missing in my sketch. I looked around and saw a vase with some blue and yellow flowers on the counter and I thought adding a floral scene would be a perfect way to finish my sketch.

I’ve been seeing lots of self improvements over the last few weeks. I am no longer hiding at the back table and sketching. My art supplies are spread out across the table for everyone to see. I’m becoming more efficient with my observations and sketching less which results in less lines to erase. It could be I’m getting better at memorizing what I see. Also, I find myself smiling more while I’m creating my artwork.

Pens used: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs. Pilot Prera with CM nib. Faber-Castell Hexo with Medium nib. Lamy Al Star with Cursive nib. Copic Multiliner with 0.1mm tip (permanent ink).

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost and Hail Storm. Robert Oster Heart of Gold, Melon Tea, and Thunderstorm. Diamine Pink Glitz, Golden Ivy, Enchanted Ocean, Seize the Night, and All the Best.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Softbound A5

One Subject and Two Different Art Mediums

Sometime last year I created two beach sketches. One was a watercolor sketch in my watercolor journal. The other was a pen & ink sketch created in a different art journal.

This year, I thought it would be fun to create another one. This time I used one sketch book to create the two art samples.

Here’s a side-by-side view using the two different mediums.

The left side was created using my fountain pens and inks. The right side was created using my watercolor pans of colors.

I have several watercolor palettes in my collection and I chose a palette where I thought the colors would be similar to the fountain pen inks I used. During my watercolor session, it was amazing to see how close I could capture the colors I used in my pen & ink sketch.

My pen & ink sketch took less than an hour to create. I used three layers to build up the colors and contrast.

My watercolor sketch took a few hours to create. I started with the lightest colors first and built each layer using a darker color. I also had to wait for each layer to dry completely before I could paint additional colors. That is why it took so long to finish this piece.

I love working with this watercolor paper. It can handle the brush strokes and all the water I lay down on this paper. There is hardly any paper buckling and no bleed through on the back side of the paper.

Pens: Platinum Preppy in 02 (extra fine nib) with Carbon ink. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks: Diamine Candle Light, Vintage Copper, & Black Ivy. Robert Oster Thunderstorm

Watercolor Paints: Art Philosophy Confections Palette: Apple, White Mocha, Pistachio Cream, mix of Blackberry and Pecan (grays), and a mixture of Key Lime and Blueberry (teal)

Journal: Franklin-Christoph Watercolor VN

Journal Cover: Franklin-Christoph Vagabond NWF

A Simple House Sketch

When I saw a picture of a house with an interesting roof tile, I thought it would be too challenging to sketch and so I put the picture in the bottom of my pile to sketch later. Something was telling me to just roll up my sleeve and create the sketch. I often remind myself to push away the negative thoughts and self doubts and just do it. I’m sure I’m not the only that goes through this.

One key point I mention in my pen & ink workshop is not to compare your artistic skills with someone else. Many years ago, I used to struggle with this. I would see a watercolor painting and say to myself I want to paint just like that artist. Weeks later I would struggle, be disappointed, and stop painting.

When I started using fountains pens as a tool to create my artwork, I found an artistic style that was unique to me. With each new challenge I tackled, I gained much more experience and comfort to the way I sketched.

I was taken back at how simple it was to sketch the basic lines. I started with a rough sketch using with my pencil. I used my Copic pens to sketch over my pencil lines and areas I wanted to define. The remaining lines were erased.

The fun part of my sketching process is figuring out what inky colors I will use. I currently have a dozen TWSBI GOs filled with various ink colors. I make sure to have a color variety that includes reds, blues, yellows and other colors that fall in between.

As I apply my ink to paper, I’m constantly reminding myself to leave enough white space (paper). I’m also reminding myself to add darker colors for contrast and to add more depth.

I plan on recreating this sketch within the next three months to see how much my artistic style has changed.

Pens: Copic Multiliner SP 0.7mm and 0.1mm. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs.

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost. Colorverse Brane (glistening). Robert Oster Thunderstorm. Diamine Vintage Copper and Winter Spice.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha 5.5″ x 8.5″.

My Favorite Diamine Red Inkvent Calendar Colors

So I’ve been wanting to do a blog post about my favorite fountain pen inks from the Diamine Red Inkvent Calendar. When I think about my favorites, it’s because the ink color looks great in my writing journal and also looks great in my pen & ink artwork.

Top view of my ink swatches

It’s rare that I will have two pens filled with the same ink color. If I do, it’s because I want to write with it and I typically will write with an Extra Fine or Fine nib pen. You already know that I enjoy sketching with my TWSBI GOs with stub nibs and so one of them will get the same ink color. I enjoy using my stub nib pens for sketching as I can get two different line variations from one nib.

Slightly angled view of my swatches to show off the sheen and shimmers

One morning while I was sipping my coffee, I went through my ink swatches from the Red Inkvent Calendar. I was narrowing down my choices and came up with a list of my favorite colors. I read somewhere and saw pictures that Diamine was manufacturing big bottles of ink from their calendar. I think April is the magic month when we might see some of the colors. It’s always good to plan ahead and figure out the faves. Right?

I decided to put my favorite colors together for a group photo. I wanted to show how uniquely different the blue colors are next to each other.

My favorite 10 ink colors each have unique personalities and nine of them have shimmers. Black Ivy (no shimmers & lots of sheen) is lovely dark green ink color. When I use the ink in my pen & ink sketches, the ink changes towards a teal/turquoise color.

Here’s a slightly angled view to show off some of the ink’s characteristics better:

Here are the individual photos of my faves and in no particular order:

My 10 favorite colors shown in the above photo collage represents the colors I’ve used for both writing and sketching. I’ve been happy with the colors and how they look on a variety of papers I have used to write and sketch with. Most of the calendar colors spoke to me. Some colors shouted more than the others. Hahaha!

I’m almost certain that Vintage Copper will come in a larger bottle. That was a color I saw in one of Diamine’s picture. I had to zoom in closer and take off my glasses to see the labels.

I have to admit, this was the first time I spent some quality time with Diamine inks. I was happy to spend the last few months filling & testing their calendar inks in my collection of fountains pens and in my TWSBI GOs. It gave me a better appreciation for their ink’s quality and gorgeous colors.

In case you missed all the colors, here’s my sketch using all the Diamine inks from the calendar:

Inks: Diamine Red Inkvent Calendar.

A Quick Q & A for Today

(Update 03/23/22: I was asked another question related to the Avery labels I use. See * below)

I’m absolutely thrilled to see some wonderful feedback and comments about my art adventures and my blog. It’s always wonderful to share experiences and insights as well as ask questions.

I thought I would spend a few minutes answering a few questions that came up within the last week or so.

I received a question about removing the nib unit from a Maiora Posillipo fountain pen. I pulled out my pen and tried to unscrew the nib unit from the section, but it would not budge. I answered the question with a “no” and then realized that I might be wrong. I went back through my blog to find out that the answer should have been a “yes” and here’s the result:

I used a piece of my grippy rubber liner (shelves) and gently unscrewed the nib unit from the section.

Another question that came up was about the labels I use for my TWSBI GO fountain pens. I use the Avery 5408 – 3/4″ round white labels. Besides identifying the ink in my GOs, I’ve also used the stickers on the lids of my ink sample vials. I’ve also used the stickers to label the tops of my ink boxes (e.g. Van Dieman’s Inks).

*An additional label question came up related to how do I keep the labels on my pens. Here’s a tip. Once I apply the label to my pen, I place my thumb over the label for about 30-60 seconds. This heats the adhesive on the label a bit and the label adheres to the pen.

The next question is related to issues with pen/nib drying out or having hard starts. The questions I received were related to Maiora Impronte and I want to add I have had issues with another pen brand model.

Let me begin by saying I hardly ever have any issues with a pen drying out or having hard starts. If I do, it’s more than likely because of a cap problem. That’s based on my personal experience and a consistent pattern I’ve seen.

My Maiora Impronte Posillipo had an issue with hard starts within an hour of receiving the new pen. I wrote with it for a few days and I documented the issues I was having. I provided writing samples and pictures of my cap: a rubber disc inside was not secured and there was a hole where the clip goes into the cap. Yafa Brands was able to resolve it by replacing the cap with a new one. You can read about this on my blog by looking for “Category” on the right side of my blog and click on the drop down menu and look for “Maiora” or you can click here to get the same information: https://susiegstudio.com/category/maiora/ .

The other cap issue I have is with one of my Conklin All American pens. I have several of them, but one of them always has a hard start. I’m sure it has to do with air going into the area where the clip connects into the cap. When I use a different colored cap on the pen, the pen writes fine. I found a work around.

For those of you who have pens with hard starts, the problem may or may not be with your nib. I would check your cap first to see if there are any openings or holes. Do you see daylight or feel any air when you blow into the cap? That’s where I would start before touching the nib.

Before I go, I thought I would add this picture from this morning. I cleaned out 12 fountain pens I had inked from last year’s workshop. I placed some paper towels in a jam jar and placed the nearly clean nib units on the paper towel to draw out the remaining ink.

A lovely tie-dye pattern from Robert Oster Thunderstorm ink.

Year End Thoughts for 2021

So I ran out of time to do a pictorial collage of all the things I was involved in this year. One could say I was all over the place. Sometimes the mood or an idea would hit me and I would switch gears on the fly. This month had been an extremely busy time for me as I had to take care of year end tasks and long to-do-lists . I also had 30+ blog post entries for the month of December. Yes, I had a lot of inks to chat about as well as share a few pieces of my artwork.

I started the year creating lots of pen & ink artwork. That was mostly because I had too many fountain pens filled with shimmering inks and I had the overwhelming urge to just sketch with my fountain pens. It also helped that I sketched my pens dry. Used up more ink!

I also entered an art contest over at Pen Chalet. I received honorable mention for my Sedona sketch using the three Robert Oster Exclusive Pen Chalet ink colors: Sedona Red, Saguaro Green, and Monsoon Sky. They used my artwork to create some stickers.

I also started 2021 with a lovely Benu Euphoria called Bora Bora that Hubby gave me for a Christmas present at the end of 2020. I also ventured into and acquired a few unique fountain pens made by a few boutique pen turners.

I played around with pointed pen calligraphy and tried out different flex nibs. I attempted to do my daily calligraphy practice until I got bored. This hobby likes to come and go throughout the year.

I did a few reviews on fountain pens (Esterbrook, Franklin-Christoph, Pilot, Opus88, SchonDSGN, Maiora), inks (Vinta Inks, Birmingham Pen Co, Private Reserve, Rohrer & Klingner, Van Dieman’s), papers and journals, graphite pencil holders, watercolor paints, paint palettes, carrying cases/pouches, and art tools that caught my interest.

Let’s not forget my fiber arts where I remembered to squeeze my yarns and fabrics as they were feeling neglected from the lack of attention. This was the result of having too many hobbies and therefore no blog posts were created in this area.

I was invited to teach a pen & ink wash workshop at the DC Pen Show. The one workshop turned into three workshops. I felt blessed to be able to share what I know about fountain pens and inks and how to create art with these tools. Oh and use up more ink! 😂

I had some time to get back into my Cricut hobby. I created lots of stickers of my artwork, personalized many water containers, mugs, coasters, journals, and accessories. I also ventured into engraving acrylic (future blog post).

In my artwork, I tend to see too many details and want to sketch everything I see. I made an effort this year to practice sketching loosely and quickly. I just focused on the main shapes and what was important to show on paper. This way of sketching is something I’ve always wanted to do well with and this will take me into another adventure in the new year.

Here is my last artwork for 2021. This morning I spent a few minutes with “drawing my day” or DMD which I will refer to in my future blog posts. My theme for this morning was what I had for breakfast. My hope is to do a daily sketch of my day. Practice sketching techniques and develop my muscle memory. Fill up a page or two. Write a description. Tell a story.

Pens: Turnt Pen Co Pynchon in Primary Manipulation 4 (F-C Fine nib) and Peacock (Esterbrook Medium nib). Lamy 2000 in Makrolon with Extra Fine nib.

Inks: Rober Oster Thunderstorm. Diamine: Seize the Night, Winter Spice, Candle Light, Party Time, & All the Best. Van Dieman’s Ink: Morning Mist, Parrot Fish, and Devil’s Kitchen.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha

Journal Cover: Lochby Field Journal

The 25 Days of Daily Inky Madness

I might have mentioned before that this was my first attempt at doing a daily ink post on my blog. Was I feeling a bit excited and overwhelmed at the same time? Yes! At first, it felt like an unknown adventure was going to take place for 25 days in December. In the back of my mind, I was concerned if I would be able to commit and finish this daily ink project.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I started to think about a process of what I was going to do when I opened each new bottle. I knew I would keep my current ink swatching process. I would have to add a writing sample and I had to come up with a theme. I chose to write down Christmas songs in one of my journals.

Next thing I knew I had to include daily sketches to show off the ink’s characteristics. What was my theme for my daily sketches? A round ornament.

I also decided to create a large sketch to incorporate all 25 ink colors! Add a color a day to the sketch. I decided a wreath would be a good choice. I had no clue what the wreath would look like and decided to go with the flow. I’ve included a picture of this wreath in my previous post.

Initially, it took me five days to figure out my process and get into a rhythm. Open a new bottle. Fill a pen or use my glass dip pen. Create my swatch card. Create my writing sample. Create my ink wash ornament. Add a sketch to my wreath. Clean my glass dip pen (if used) and my automatic pen. If I filled one of my fountain pens with ink, I added an entry into my Ink Journal along with pen name & nib size, ink name, and the date I filled my pen.

Included in this process were the many pictures I had to take for each bottle of ink I opened. Also I had to check and make sure the ink colors were close to accurate before I posted my daily blog entry.

Well before I reached the halfway mark in the calendar, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. My friend “M”mentioned I was “obligated to finish. You can’t quit 10 days in. REVOLT!” Hahaha! While “M’s” comment lingered in my head, I continued to march on.

I mentioned in a previous post that I ended up opening two to three bottles of ink a few days earlier in order to stay ahead. That turned out to be a game changer for me as I had so many other projects grabbing for my time and attention. I was able to set aside a block of time and focus on each ink color and inky characteristics.

Some ink colors took a bit longer for me to write about. Their inky swatches required me to grab all of my other ink swatches and compare colors. A few ink colors had me stumped and I had to use my watercolor swatches to check the color range. Brandy Snap was one of those colors. The color Sienna kept popping into my head and I knew it was in a similar color range.

There were teal and turquoise colors that were very close. It wasn’t until I pulled out my other swatch cards that I could see whether the color in question was leaning more towards blue or more towards green.

This inky experience turned out to be a fun journey for me. I’m glad I took this leap into an unknown adventure and found a fondness and love for the new inks I have. It was definitely time well spent and I enjoyed getting to know each ink’s characteristics.

For those of you following my daily Inkvent blog posts I want to say “thank you” for following along and absorbing all this inky information. I hope you found it helpful and maybe take a second look at the beautiful ink colors. I hope Diamine will produce the larger bottles in the near future as they did with their blue version of the Inkvent calendar from 2019.

In my daily posts I had created the ornament pen & ink wash sketch for each ink color. The ornaments became part of my Christmas tree sketch.

Thank you for following along in my 25 days of inky madness.

Inks: Diamine 2021 Inkvent Calendar