Pausing for Station Identification: Most of My Swatch Cards

Today is day 3 of the Diamine inky calendar. I’m pausing my blog as I need to spend some time tackling today’s unique chameleon inky color and find some decent matches from my collection.

Speaking of my swatch collection, I wanted to share with my readers what I look at when I typically see a color I’m interested in. Do I have this particular color in my collection? For example, for the first few weeks of December what swatches come close to the daily colors I see. What is the base color? What are the underlying colors? Is there any sheen and how much? If it’s a shimmering, what color(s) do I see?

I process a lot of color information in my head and as a watercolor artist who enjoys mixing paint colors, I tend to see a range of colors that an average person may not see or recognize at first. Okay, let’s get back to my blog post on swatch cards.

I create and keep swatches of the many bottles of inks I have in my collection. The pictures in this blog post does not include the sample ink vials I also have. Awhile back, I’ve stopped swatching the many vials of ink as they were a waste of time for me and resources. If the color did not appeal to me, why create a swatch card?

Let me introduce to you to my largest swatch collection on a rather large binder ring. Here is my Robert Oster Signature swatch ring.

Yes, I am a big fan of Robert Oster inky colors. I’ve lost count on the number of bottles I have. I’ve probably used half of his colors in one of my many pen & ink wash sketches. My RO shimmering colors are at the front of my ring (upper right) and stop at the white Col-o-ring card. This rather large collection is organized by colors. I enjoy using these inks for writing in my journals and for my pen & ink washes on a variety of art paper.

My next largest binder ring is a collection that contains several of my favorite inky manufacturers. This ring is organized by ink manufacturers and colors. This ring includes Birmingham, Colorverse, Diamine, Jacques Herbin, Platinum, Private Reserve, Rohrer & Klingner, Sailor, Taccia, Van Dieman’s Ink, and Vinta Inks. These are the inks I would use for both writing and sketching in my journals and art papers.

My next largest ring contains a smattering of bottles of inks I have, but may not use the ink on a regular basis. Many bottles/colors end up on this ring which I would use for writing in my journals and not necessary use in my inky sketches. This ring is organized by ink manufacturer and color.

Here’s is my swatch family together.

I do have smaller rings of swatch cards. For example I keep all my Red Inkvent swatch cards on a smaller 1″ binder ring. I keep a small ring for my shimmering inks organized by color. That ring includes shimmering inks from various ink manufacturers. My Anderillium test swatches are still in its own ring.

When I have a few minutes later today I’ll try to remember to capture pictures of the other smaller rings I have and update this blog post.

In the meantime, I need to pull out my swatch cards for today’s chameleon inky color.

Day 1: My Turqoise Inky Swatches

Update 12/02/22: After I saw several people posts their Bliss swatches online, I started to see a teal green color appear on their swatches. I went back through my swatch collection and pulled out two additional colors to compare with Bliss.

I know colors can vary when pictures are taken and also how colors appear on the screens can look different. I just wanted to make that comment as I do not have a physical swatch to make better comparisons.

Original Post

I was not able to purchase the 2022 Diamine Green Inkvent Calendar this year. I’ve partnered with my lovely friend “T” who has graciously offered to share her inky Inkvent photos with me. My plan is to compare my inky swatches with each daily color.

Today’s Diamine day #1 inky color is Bliss which is a standard blue color. From T’s swatch and other online swatches I have seen, the color appears to be a beautiful turquoise color.

Here are the color swatches from my inky collection:

Diamine Subzero (shimmering) was from last year’s Red Inkvent calendar. It was the first color that came to my mind as being similar to Bliss without the shimmy.

Bliss appears to be a gorgeous turquoise with no sheen or shimmer, but I would not be inclined to purchase this color as I have several in this color range.

A big thank you to “T” for her picture and for her assistance with my inky project.

Ink swatches: Diamine Subzero and Aqua Lagoon. Birmingham Pen Co Glassmith. Robert Oster Torquay and Australis Hydra.

One Idea – Using Two Mediums

I’m a bit behind in blogging about my watercolor adventures as I’ve been busy focusing on my pen and ink adventures. Today, I will be sharing my two paintings I created with the same beach theme: water and sand.

I was in the mood to spend some time with my watercolor paints and my Escoda brushes and to quickly create a painting using the wet-on-wet technique.

I pulled out my Arches journal that I created a few weeks ago. I had taken my 9×12 paper pad and cut the paper in half. I then punched the holes using my disc punch and bound them with my discs. This gives me the ability to reorganize my paintings, remove bad pieces of artwork, and move my swatch page of colors around in my journal.

To create a nice border around my painting, I used blue painter’s tape to create a frame around my painting.

I wet my paper using my Escoda #10 Ultimo (synthetic squirrel) brush. This soft brush holds a lot of water and I was able to cover my paper with water quickly. To create the “water” in my painting, I used Cerulean and Phthalo Turquoise. To create the white caps in the waves, I used a clean damp brush and lifted out the colors.

To create the beach or sand, I used my Escoda #8 Versatil (synthetic Kolinsky sable) brush and created the first layer of color using Quinacridone Gold. While the paint was still wet, I also applied Burnt Sienna to the dark areas of the beach.

While I was taking a break, I had a brilliant idea to re-create this using just my fountain pens and inks.

I used my blue painter’s tape to create a clean frame around my sketch. The following picture shows three TWSBI GOs filled with Honey Bee, Glassmith, and Lucia inks. I actually used two additional colors to create this pen and ink art: African Gold and Sydney Darling Harbour.

To create the white caps on the waves, I used my gel pen with white ink to put in the highlights.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time today creating some artwork. I pushed myself to create two paintings while using two different mediums. I also challenged myself to create a “painting” using my fountain pens and inks. I’m having too much fun!

Watercolor supplies:

Brushes: Escoda #10 Ultimo (synthetic squirrel) and Escoda #8 Versatil (synthetic Kolinsky sable) travel brushes

Paints: Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue Chromium, and Phthalo Turquoise

Paper: Arches Cold Press 300gsm

Pen & Ink supplies:

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs and Medium nib

Inks: Birmingham Glassmith. Vinta Inks Lucia. Robert Oster Honey Bee, Sydney Darling Harbour, and African Gold

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta A5

Birmingham Pen Company Inks

Sometime last year I purchased a fountain pen from Birmingham Pen Company. It came with a free bottle of ink and I selected Arugula to matched my pen color. It’s a beautiful olive green ink color.

Fast forward to last week, when I was at their website looking for a few bottles of ink to try out. I have noticed Birmingham’s pen have been sold out for awhile and they haven’t updated their website with new pens. They are probably very busy creating new inks and are inundated with ink orders.

I must have ordered the inks at the right time as I received the bottles within a week. They did an awesome job with the packaging. Once I opened the mailing box, I found another box inside with this cute label.

Opening the “box from this side” resulted in a lovely display of a note, my receipt, and post card clipped together. The fountain pen paper clip was a nice touch.

Underneath the brown paper were meticulously wrapped individual bottles of ink.

The ink boxes are simple and contain rose gold lettering with the company name.

I had to unbox the inks to see the names of the inks on the bottles. As you can see, the boxes and bottles are very simple and not elaborate. So are their ink prices.

Birmingham carries six different formulas of inks: Crisp, Swift, Rich, Everlasting, Twinkle, and Wishy-Washy. They have a formula guide at their website that describes the different handmade ink offerings.

It was hard to select a handful of colors from their array of offerings, but I managed to find some unique ones that peaked my interest.

I selected three Crisp inks represented with a (c) and two Swift inks represented with an (s) in the following picture. Overall, the inks are quite lovely and wet. The two ink colors that surprised me in a good way was Eroded Bronze and Antique Sepia. They both showed some wonderful ink personalities.

I did not have any empty TWSBI GO stub pens available and had to pull three pens from my currently inked art pen case and proceeded to dump their inks. One of my GOs had to stay in “spa” mode as the shimmering particles wanted to cling to my pen.

Here’s a writing sample with Eroded Bronze, Antique Sepia, and Glassmith.

Overall, I think the Birmingham inks are nice and appears to be well behaved in my pens so far. Antique Sepia, Eroded Bronze, and Glassmith turned out to be lovely inks with a lot of personality.

Note: I mentioned earlier that I had received a bottle of Arugula ink with my pen purchase last year. I decided to do another swatch of this ink and found this ink color to be a dry ink. I’m not sure if this ink color’s formula has changed within the last year. It’s beautiful to write with, but I have no plans on using it in my pen and ink artwork. Just a personal preference.

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs and Medium nib

Ink: Birmingham Pen Company Eroded Bronze, Antique Sepia, Glassmith, Canterbury Raisin, and Hall of Fame Riveria

Journal/Paper: Stalogy 365 B6 ink journal and Rhodia paper

Enjoying My Maiora

Yesterday, I received a package from Yafa. It was my replacement cap for my Maiora Impronte OS Posillipo. My pen was headless for almost three weeks.

I took the cap out of the package and immediately examined the inside of the cap. I took a picture to send back to the online pen shop and to also document this experience.

At first, I wasn’t sure if they fixed or repaired my original defective cap. Then I looked at the resin pattern on the cap and noticed it was different than the original. Good thing I took lots of pictures. Here’s a look at my original defective cap:

There is definitely a difference between the two. I am extremely happy to have this issue resolved.

I had intentions of filling my pen with Diamine Aqua Lagoon ink. Too bad I could not get the girthy section of my pen into the narrow opening of the small Diamine bottle of ink. That was a first for me!

I shifted gears and flipped through my recent ink cards I just swatched and came up with Birmingham Pen Company’s Glassmith ink. It turned out to be a perfect match.

Glassmith is a beautiful turquoise ink with lots of shading and a tiny bit of pink sheen. It’s listed as a “Crisp” ink on Birmingham’s website and suppose to minimize feathering and bleeding on most papers. When I read that I assumed it would lean towards a dry ink. It is not. It’s a nice wet ink which I enjoy using.

I spent some quality time with my lovely pen and enjoyed this pen and ink combination.

The replacement cap fits nicely on my pen and the tip of the nib is not rubbing against anything inside the cap. One of the major issues I had with my original defective cap was a hole where the clip was attached. The air was getting inside the cap and drying out the nib and feed. The next morning I would have hard starts while trying to write with the pen. The replacement cap appears to be well sealed. I left the pen on my desk overnight and did not have any issues this morning.

All is good in my fountain pen world.

Pen: Maiora Impronte OS Posillipo with JoWo #6 Fine nib

Ink: Birmingham Pen Company Smithglass

Paper: GLP Creations journal with Tomoe River Paper (68gsm)