My Permanent Grey Inks

When I create my sketches, I typically start out with a pencil sketch. This helps me outline my shapes and also helps me with placement and location of my objects on my paper. When I’m satisfied with the look of my sketches, I will typically go over my pencil lines with a permanent ink like Platinum Carbon ink. Platinum Carbon is a black ink color that does not budge or move when I apply my ink washes or watercolor paints over it.

Late last year, I found that the black ink color I use is just a bit too dark or bold for my sketching style. Especially, when I apply light color washes to my sketches.

I was on a mission to find a good permanent grey ink color.

I started looking in my ink collection cabinet and found I had a bottle of Document Grey ink that I purchased in 2019. While I was researching online I found a newer (to me) Urban Grey color. I was trying to do an online comparison between the two colors and I could see they were different and I was curious by how much.

I went ahead and ordered Urban Grey. Appropriately named, it mostly reminded me of creating urban sketches with this color. I assumed lots of urban sketchers use this ink color. I had a hard time finding it in stock.

Once I received my new bottle of ink, I could see the difference between the two DeAtramentis Document Ink bottles. The label on the Urban Grey bottle portrayed it as a lighter grey color.

I could not wait to create my inky swatches. My swatches also show a difference between the two grey ink colors. The following picture reminds me of a monochromatic photo. I should have placed a bright red fountain pen for a pop of color in my photo shoot.

Urban Grey appears to be a softer and slightly lighter grey color.

I originally purchased my bottle of Grey for it’s lovely medium neutral grey color.

I would consider Urban Grey to be a light neutral gray color. From the writing on my swatch card, it’s definitely a readable ink color. It would also work nicely for writing descriptions and documentation in my art journal where I would not want it to compete with my sketches.

So, which color do I like best? I like them both for different reasons. I’m still working on test sketches and hope to show my fellow readers some sample sketches using the two colors. Stay tuned!

Inks: DeAtramentis Document Inks in Grey and Urban Grey

Current Travel Fountain Pen Case

I brought a dozen of my artsy fountain pens with me in my Maxpedition case. I tried to cover the gamut of colors I would need to create my artwork. I used my Maxpedition case as my basic traveling “art case” to carry all of my art supplies including various water brushes in different sizes, swatch cards, paper towels, fountain pens, permanent fine line markers, and my portable watercolor palettes. I think of this as a “home base” case where I can pick and choose what supplies I want to use or take with me on the go. One day I might want to take my fountain pens with me. Another day I might want to take my watercolor paints with me.

To help me carry my essentials with me, I brought along my Rickshaw/Nock case to carry a few pens and accessories in a smaller bag. From the dozen fountain pens I brought with me, I had to narrow down my choice of colors to take on the go.

I’m able to stagger my pens in this case and zip it close. There’s a front pocket that could hold a slim journal or in my case, it conveniently holds my shop towels.

I bought this Rickshaw/Nock case a few months ago when Rickshaw was introducing this new case style with an awesome introductory price. I’m in love with this case!

Looking back, I should have bought another one in a printed fabric. Little did I know that I would fall head over heals with this case.

I’ve been sketching daily while on travel. Mostly carrying around my Rickshaw/Nock case with me. This comes in handy when I’m sitting at smaller tables and space is limited for me to spread out my case, journals, and pens.

Case: Rickshaw Nock Sinclair Model R in Black/Aqua.

Pens: Nahvalur Original Plus Melacara Purple (stub 1.1). Pilot Custom 823 Amber (Fine). Platinum Preppy 02 Extra Fine nib. TWSBI Go Stub 1.1 nib.

Inks: DeAtramentis Document Ink in Grey. Sailor Shikiori Tokiwa-Matsu. Robert Oster African Gold, Melon Tea, Blood Rose, Steely Days, Sydney Darling Harbour, and Thunderstorm

Other: Pentel water brushes in Small and Medium tips. Pentel Energize mechanical pencil with 0.7mm HB lead.

Happy New Year! Updated: a Permanent Ink & a New Journal

A few years ago, I had purchased a few bottles of DeAtramentis Document ink colors and used them for writing in my journals. I never thought about using them for creating outlines for my sketches. Until today.

I started with a pencil sketch and then sketched over my pencil lines with my Preppy filled with DeAtramentis Document Grey ink. I’m happy to report this ink performed well with my inky washes.

This is a neutral-grey ink color which creates lighter colored lines that are not as harsh as the Carbon black color. The ink dried quickly and when I applied my color wash over the ink it performed the same way as my Carbon ink.

I came across a new-to-me watercolor journal from Hahnemuhle. This white and slightly textured paper is 100% alpha-cellulose and it handled my fountain pens and inks brilliantly. This paper allowed me to create some lovely washes of color. I used quite a bit of water in my sketch and from the backside there was no ghosting or bleed through. Also, I did not experience any buckling or wrinkling in the paper while I was applying my inky washes.

This small journal contains 30 sheets of paper which makes it a thin journal. I can easily slip this into my slim messenger bag.

I placed my TWSBI strategically where I was supposed to write something about my sketching adventure. Some days I have no idea what to write and I’ll wait til the next day to write something while I’m sipping on my coffee.

The following picture shows the size of my journal in comparison to my fountain pens.

This Hahnemuhle journal has a stiff textured cover and an elastic band to wrap around the cover when it’s closed.

I have to mention the cover feels a bit rough. It’s definitely not going to slip out of my hand.

I purchased this smaller size journal to keep in my messenger bag for when I’m out and about and have an opportunity to create quick sketches. This could also be used to document my adventures while traveling.

I’m looking forward to a new year with new sketching adventures and new sketching prompts to share. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Permanent Ink: DeAtramentis Document Grey

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost (shimmer). Robert Oster African Gold, Melon Tea, Sydney Lavender, Steely Days, Eucalyptus Leaf, Blood Rose (shimmer), and Thunderstorm.

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs. Platinum Preppy with 02 (EF) nib. Pilot Custom 823 Amber with Fine nib. Jinhao x159 Black with Fine nib.

Water Brush: Pentel Water Brush

Journal: Hahnemuhle Watercolor Book A6 (4.1″x5.8″) 200gsm, 30 sheets/60 pages