My Garden Gnome

It’s been amazing to see our gardens turn colorful in the last two weeks. Lots of “sticks” now have green buds and leaves. Many of our perennial plants have flowers on them. This was a great opportunity for me to take my camera outside and capture what was in our garden. A future blog post will be forthcoming with plenty of pictures.

In the meantime, I thought it would be appropriate to sketch a garden gnome.

Have I mentioned how much I’ve been enjoying the Diamine shimmering inks? Gorgeous ink colors and they are working beautifully in my pen & ink sketches.

Speaking of Diamine inks, the online retailers are starting to carry the larger bottles of ink from the Diamine Red Inkvent calendar. So, run to your fave fountain pen & ink retailer and grab your bottles of ink. No need to wait for me to make my purchase as I have to put my ink purchases on hold for a bit. I had an emergency to take care of this week which resulted in my priorities being rearranged.

Okay, back to my garden gnome showing lots of shimmering goodness. I liked how well my Golden Ivy and Starlit Sea colors worked together in my sketch.

I believe this is the first time, I’ve managed to have a dozen of my TWSBI GOs filled with shimmering ink colors. Minus one pen which is primarily filled with Thunderstorm. I use Thunderstorm for my shadows and that ink color has been used in most of my sketches.

Remember to take some time and enjoy the beauty around you.

Pens: Uni Pin Fine Line pen in 0.5mm and 0.1mm tip. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs.

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost. Colorverse Brane. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Red Lustre, Brandy Dazzle, Frosted Orchid, Golden Ivy, and Starlit Sea.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha 4″ x 6″ Hardcover

My BUJO (Bullet Journal)

I have a BUJO that I use on a daily basis. I started this back in August 2020. I would do a page a day of my to-do lists, reminders to drink water, exercise, declutter, organize, run errands, etc. I would decorate each day with stickers and add thin strips of washi tape around the edges of the paper.

That lasted a week. As my days got busier, I had less time for decorating. My detailed lists became brief and shorter.

As time went on, I continued to create my daily pages and tried out different formats that made more sense to me and my lifestyle.

My monthly calendar page changed from pre-printed calendars to a two page spread that I drew out with my fountain pens and inks.

My daily pages were a waste of space and I was able to come up with another configuration of putting all seven days across a two page spread. That made a huge difference in my ability to see the whole week at a time.

It was back in early 2021 that I started this monthly and weekly configuration you see here from the two pictures. As I have limited space, no stickers or washi tapes are used. I might occasionally sneak in a sketch or two.

The little red cups I sketched out are reminders to drink water throughout the morning and afternoon.

I also record the weather outside (sunny, cloudy, rainy) and the temperature for the day. This activity allows me to do a bit of sketching in my daily BUJO.

My Stalogy journal holds a lot of pages and can get chunky as a result of all the washi tape and sticker applications. It’s a lovely journal I can leave open on my desk and the pages lay flat.

Pens: TWSBI Swipe in Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nib. Narwhal Voyage in New Orleans with Fine nib. Pilot Prera Red with Calligraphy Medium (CM) nib.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Diamine Pink Glitz.

Journal: Stalogy 365 Editor in B6 with Navie Travels Journal cover

My Mushroom House

In my creative art experiences I enjoy experimenting with different types of art paper. Using fountain pens and inks allows me to use a variety from mixed media to watercolor type papers. When I come across a perfect pen & ink & paper combination I experience a lot of joy in creating my artwork. Here is one of them.

I had cleaned out some of my TWSBIs and filled them with more shimmering ink colors. I made a mistake in my swatch sample on the back of this post card paper. Apparently in my excitement I picked up the wrong GO pen that had Enchanted Ocean ink. That blue color is not in my sketch. Oooops!

There are so many shimmering particles in my sketch.

Pens: TWSBI Swipe in Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nib. TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Red Lustre, Brandy Dazzle, and Cocoa Shimmer.

Paper: Strathmore Watercolor Postcard 4″x 6″

A Garden Table?

Is it a door? Is it a chair? Is it a garden table?

I started with a pencil sketch and drew in the major lines or outlines of the various objects. I used my Copic fine line pen (0.7mm) and went over the main areas I wanted to include in my sketch. I used my Copic fine line pen (0.1mm) to add in some details and also to create some shadows.

By the time I’m finished my initial sketch, I had an idea which ink colors I wanted to use in my final sketch.

I’ve enjoyed using Winter Spice and I’ve had my pen filled with this ink color since last December when I was doing my daily Inkvent marathon of colors. Right now, the ink color is a bit too dark for my current sketching style. It was time to retire this color and clean out my pen. Finally!

It appears I have used too much Winter Spice in my sketch. I went overboard with this color, but look at the amazing green sheen. I should have left a bit more white on the paper. Lessons learned. I can always do another sketch using brighter colors.

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

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost. Robert Oster Blood Rose, Heart of Gold, and Thunderstorm. Diamine Cocoa Shimmer and Winter Spice.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover 4″x6″

Happy Easter Weekend!

I created my own version of Easter eggs!

Pens: Uni Pin Fine Line pen in 0.3mm. TWSBI Swipe in Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nib. TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte. Kaweco Summer Purple. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Pink Glitz, Subzero, and Starlit Sea.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover 4″x6″

My Inky Vials

Here’s a quick pen & ink sketch I created this morning. I’m in the midst of testing out some art papers for a project I’m working on and I drew a blank on what to sketch. I saw a few vials of ink sitting in a small glass jar and I thought this would be something quick and easy to complete.

I was wrong. I sketched the first vial on the left and had to leave to take my mom out and run a few errands. Four hours later I attempted to finish my sketch. My other vials were looking a bit out of proportion.

Did I mention we had lunch at Cava’s and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal? Maybe my happy tummy was making me feel a bit lethargic. Hahaha!

One thing about shooting a picture straight on is the lack of sparkly details. I had to take another picture from a different angle.

Pens: Copic Multiliner SP 0.1mm. Pilot Prera Red with Calligraphy Medium (CM) nib. TWSBI Swipe in Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nib. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Pink Glitz, Cocoa Shimmer, Vintage Copper, and Starlit Sea.

Paper: Hahnemuhle Watercolor Postcards 230g/m (105lbs) 4.1″x5.8″ cold press

My Whimsical House

Sometimes I just feel a bit whimsical. Enjoy!

Pens: TWSBI Swipe in Coral with Stub 1.1 nib. Uni Pin Fine Line pen in 0.1 and 0.3mm.

Inks: Colorverse Brane. Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte. Robert Oster Heart of Gold and Thunderstorm. Diamine Vintage Copper, Amaranth, Cocoa Shimmer, and Winter Spice.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover 4″x6″

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″.

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″

My TWSBI Swipes!

I was certain that I had wrote about my Swipes in a blog entry from last year. I was not able to find it. I did find a draft and I apparently forgot to hit the publish button. I thought I would take what I wrote last year and combine it with my current post for today. That way you can see the progression and thoughts I had about this pen model from TWSBI. Here we go starting with the blog post that did not get published.

Last Year (August 2021):

I purchased my first two (Smoke & Prussian Blue) at the 2021 DC Pen Show. I had to go to two different pen retailers (Vanness & Lemure Inks) to find my favorite Stub 1.1 nibs. The Swipes sold out quickly during the show.

When I initially had the Swipe in my hand, I was “on the fence” as to whether I liked it or not. That was weird for me. Normally, I know within a minute if I really like the pen or if it’s just okie dokie.

I love what I call my “art” fountain pens with a snap cap. Which is why I enjoy using my TWSBI GOs. My other snap cap go-to pens include the Platinum Preppy and Prefounte and my Pilot Preras. So the Swipe definitely falls into this snap cap category.

The Swipe includes two different types of converters and an ink cartridge. They hold a decent amount of ink, more so than the standard converters and standard ink cartridges. That’s a plus in my book.

The Swipe is 2gms lighter than the GO. The Swipe’s grip is 9mm while the GO’s grip is around 10mm. The Swipe is also a noticeably thinner in the body and not chunky like the GO.

The GO material feels a bit more substantial in my hand and maybe a bit more durable.

It will be interesting to see if TWSBI produces this new model in other colors. I could see going crazy with some bright colors. That’s just my thoughts.

It’s only been a little over a week and I think I need to spend a bit more time with my TWSBI Swipes. Spending some time writing in my journals and sketching with them.

Today:

Apparently, I must have had an inkling or gut instinct that TWSBI would be coming out with Swipes in bright colors.

Now, I have had six months to figure out if I like the Swipes or not. I do like them. I find the Swipes to be a bargain. The pen is packaged with a rather large black ink cartridge. It also comes with two ink converters. One is a traditional twist converter and the other is a spring-loaded/plunger type converter. Like the TWSBI ink cartridge, the converters hold a large amount of ink.

In my Swipes, I prefer to use the spring-loaded plunger type converter. I find it’s easier to fill and clean. That’s one of the reasons why I like my GOs so much with it’s spring plunger.

I was so happy get a brightly colored Swipe pen that I had to do a sketch. I filled my pen with Cornaline d’Egypte.

I managed to get a nice fill of shimmers in my pen.

When I saw that TWSBI was coming out with another Swipe color, I knew I had to get that color as well. When I received this Pear Green pen, I was torn between filling it with Rohrer & Klingner Alt Goldgrun or Colorverse Brane ink. When I use my TWSBIs I tend to fill it with shimmering ink.

I’m sad to admit that it took me a year to open my new bottle of Brane. It’s a beautiful and bright olive green color with a tiny bit of blue sheen and lots of shading. The shimmering particles look like metallic green sparkles. It’s a stunning ink color.

If the shimmers were removed from Brane, I think the remaining color is very close to Alt Goldgrun. They are both gorgeous ink colors and Brane looks to be a tiny bit darker in color.

For me, the shimmering sparkles in Brane makes the ink color a better choice over Alt Goldgrun. Also Brane feels like a wetter ink.

I know a few folks dislike the GOs because they look and feel chunky. I think the Swipe is a great alternative.

Pens: TWSBI Swipes in Smoke, Prussian Blue, Salmon, & Pear Green with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks: Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte. Colorverse Brane (Glistening)

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardcover 4″x6″

Paper: Rhodia