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.

Green Kingfisher Green – Anderillium Inks

Green Kingfisher Green reminds me of a medium olive green color. I can see several underlying colors which include light dusty gold and bright cyan blue. I’m thinking there’s another color, but won’t know for sure until I sketch with this gorgeous ink color.

This is another ink color I had a hard time photographing. The olive green color is a tad bit lighter than what my writing sample shows. There is some shading that shows up while writing with my TWSBI GO with medium nib.

It was not too hard to find comparable inky colors from my collection. They each have their own personalities especially when using different papers. You can see how my swatching process has changed over the years.

Another look at my sketch along with my swatch card together.

I had to pull out my watercolor paint swatches to help identify that tan/beige color that kept appearing in my artwork.

My Thoughts:

As I sketch more with fountain pen inks, I’m finding certain colors appeal to me more than others. If I had to choose a green color, I would gravitate more towards the olive green color.

This ink leans more towards the wet side. It’s not gushing wet (like Van Dieman’s Inks), but it’s also not dry.

I am having too much fun with this lovely olive green ink. I might put off the next ink color for a few days so I can write my TWSBI GO dry. Hahaha!

I’m adding this ink color to my wish list. Yes, I know I have other olive green ink colors in my collection for writing. I would get this for sketching. It has some unique qualities.

Look at the explosion of colors that appear when I add water to the inky splat on my paper towel. The blue is close to a light cyan blue color.

The ink is still damp and I can see remnants of olive green around the edges
The ink is dry and the golden orange color appears

Pen Used: TWSBI Go with Medium nib

Ink: Anderillium Green Kingfisher Green

Journals Used: Canson Artist Series Mix Media. GLP Creations The Author TRP 68gsm Dot Grid. Stillman & Birn Alpha.

Indigo Bunting Blue – Anderillium Inks

A few weeks ago, I thought I was missing a color from the Anderillium samples I received. I initially swatched 15 inky colors. I checked the packing slip and I counted 16 sample vials.

This morning I took out my sample vials and placed them on my desk for a quick photo op. I looked inside the supposedly empty box and found the missing vial of ink stuck in between some bubble wrap. I now feel as though all is good in my world and I can now proceed to chat about the inks.

I quickly did a swatch of this (supposedly missing) ink and immediately enjoyed seeing this dusty blue color. A very calm and enjoyable color.

I did a quick sketch to see how well the ink interacts with water. It’s gorgeous!

Before I get too far into this fun adventure, I have to come up with a plan on how to best present the Anderillium inks on my blog. I think I will do a quick sketch and then follow up with a writing sample. If this sounds familiar it’s because I did a similar process for the Diamine Inkvent Calendar.

This ink color dries a bit lighter than what my writing sample shows

This ink has some lovely shading and no sheen.

I’m sure it will be helpful to include other swatch colors I have for comparisons.

Looks like this will work. Short and sweet, right?

My Thoughts: After using this ink for two days, I find I’m using this color for sketching. It’s a decent color for writing, but after looking back on the paragraphs I wrote I do wish the ink was a tad bit darker. It’s a lovely wet ink with lovely shading.

Pen Used: TWSBI Go with Medium nib

Ink: Anderillium Indigo Bunting Blue

Journals Used: Canson Artist Series Mix Media. GLP Creations The Author TRP 68gsm Dot Grid. Stillman & Birn Alpha.

It’s Fude Nib Time!

A little over two years ago my friend “M” sent me a package. Inside was a gorgeous and ornate fountain pen.

My initial thoughts on this pen was how wet and how broad this fude nib was! At that time I was into Extra Fine and Fine nib fountain pens. As you can imagine I was thrilled, but also a bit curious about this nib.

The Fude nib or bent nib

I’ve inked and tried this pen a few times. Initially, I found the pen to be quite slender. I think this is the skinniest fountain pen I have in my collection.

Platinum Prefounte, Duke Ruby, & Platinum Preppy

The pen weighs about 35 grams. The cap and body appears to be made of brass with a black lacquer finish. It’s a snap-cap pen which I prefer to use for my artwork as I can quickly remove the cap and start sketching.

It took some time for me to really appreciate what a fude nib can do. I follow a few artists on their creative adventures and found they keep a fude nib pen in their art bag.

With renewed interest, I pulled out my Duke pen and filled it with Smokescreen. I was feeling a bit creative and wanted to use this fountain pen to sketch with. I left my pencils and permanent fine tip pens on my studio desk. I went outside with my sketchbook and my fude fountain pen filled with ink and started sketching.

It took me about 15 minutes to complete this piece. This turned out to be a loose sketch as the Smokescreen ink with the fude nib had no issues laying down color on my paper. I literally went with the flow in my sketch.

I’m enjoying the broad strokes this pen creates. The line thickness reminds me of my TWSBI stub nibs. This pen can also create fine lines when I hold the pen between 45 to 90 degrees over the paper. The line is even finer when I turn the nib upside down and write with it.

Here’s my writing sample and a look at the different line variations this pen can produce.

At around a 40 degree angle or less, the line width reminds me of a Stub 1.1 nib. At 45 degrees and higher, the line width gets narrower and close to a Fine nib. At a slightly less than 90 degree angle, the line reminds me of an Extra Fine nib. When I turn the nib upside down, it produces a consistent and slightly narrower Extra Fine line.

There is a learning curve to handling this pen. For me, I had to be cognizant of how I was holding the pen in my hand. For sketching, I found if I held the pen like a paint brush (around the top of the section) I could control the stroke sizes easier. The key here was holding the pen loosely. The other thing I had to think about is what angle the pen & nib was over the paper. Did I want to create a broad stroke or a fine line? After a few inky refills and some practice sessions, I finally became one with this pen.

Overall, this is a smooth nib to write and sketch with. It’s a sturdy nib and well made. The smooth grip area has a slightly textured feel that I hardly notice in my hand. It does keep my fingers from sliding down the section.

Now that I understand the Fude nib’s capabilities, I’m having a blast sketching and writing with this pen.

The decorative filigree and a man-made ruby bling on the cap

Thank you “M” for introducing me to this wonderful and gorgeous fountain pen. Sorry it took so long for me to really appreciate how well this pen sketches and writes.

Note: I have an inexpensive Sailor Fude nib pen arriving soon. I am looking forward to seeing how this light weight pen performs in my sketching adventures and how it compares to the Duke Fude pen. Stay tuned!

Pen: Duke Ruby with Fude nib

Ink: Robert Oster Smokescreen

Paper: Rhodia

Journal: Canson Artist Mixed Media sketchbook

Random Sketch of a Wall

It appears I’m going through a shimmery-sparkly ink phase. I noticed most of my art fountain pens are filled with shimmering inks. I have to admit I enjoy seeing the shimmering particles in my sketches and especially when I’m moving my paper around at different angles.

I still have a few Diamine Inkvent inks in my GOs that were filled from last December when I was blogging about the daily ink colors. Yes, three months later and my pens are still writing. One yellow ink color (Candle Light) has slowly become a dislike for me. I felt as though the yellow leaning orange color was not working in my sketches. So that pen finally went into my cleaning bin.

I looked for another yellow color to add to my palette and went with Heart of Gold. This is a lovely and bright shimmering gold ink color. More shimmers!

For the last few weeks, my focus has been sketching buildings and I’m currently experimenting with a few shimmering brown colors that I have in my collection. Winter Spice has been fun to sketch with and leaves behind a lovely combination of green sheen and blue shimmers on my paper. It has a lot of personality for a brown ink.

I went ahead and filled another empty GO with Cocoa Shimmer. This is a lovely warm brown ink color with gold shimmers. A lovely subtle brown color. In my sketch above, I accidentally picked up Winter Spice and used it on the middle section of the wood. When I saw what I had done, I decided to use Cocoa Shimmer for the remaining wooden structure. It will be interesting to see how these two colors work together in my future sketches.

From the picture above you can see I’ve switched to a different journal for this sketch. I was trying out a wire bound Canson sketch journal for an upcoming project I’m working on. So far, it’s working nicely.

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

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost. Colorverse Brane (Glistening). Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Vintage Copper, Winter Spice, and Cocoa Shimmer.

Journal: Canson Artist Mixed Media 138lb (224g) 5.5″ x 8.5″