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.

New Shimmering Ink!

I ended 2022 with a last minute purchase of a new Van Dieman’s Ink that caught my eye. My new ink arrived in 2023, so it’s my first new inky color for this year.

This is a new series of inks called Birds of a Feather. The series is broken into six different birds: Anna’s Hummingbird, Blue Jay, Elegant Peacock, European Honey Bee Eater, Laughing Kookaburra, and Mandarin Duck.

The ink I selected is from Anna’s Hummingbird called Wing. The box has a colorful and gorgeous artwork that also appears on the bottle’s label.

This is a medium olive green ink color with lovely shading. At first it appears to have green shimmers.

I double checked the bottom of my bottle to see what the actual shimmering particles looked like. It definitely looked green to me.

I looked at my swatch from a slight angle, it looks like a bright green shimmer.

When I looked at my swatch from a side angle, I started to see another shimmering color appear. A lovely teal blue color.

I went back to my bottle and gave it a good shake. I tried to capture the shimmering colors I saw which could now be three colors depending on the lighting.

Once the shimmers started to settle inside the bottle, different layers of shimmering colors appeared. At the very bottom I could see some of the gold particles. In the middle was the green and towards the top is a tiny bit of teal blue.

The following shows my damp towel with some of the bluish grey underlying ink color and then blooming out into olive green and a bright chartreuse green around the outer areas. There is also a bright neon green color around the outer edge. I can honestly say this ink has a lot of personality.

As the my towel dried, the bluish grey color is more defined in the bloom.

So how does this VDI Wing compare to my other olive green inks? It’s very similar to Prairie Green, but a bit darker. Prairie Green has gold shimmers which gives this color a lighter appearance. Wing has several shimmering colors which gives the illusion the ink is darker.

This is another of my “trust my gut instinct” ink and I’m so happy to have this in my inky collection. Looking forward to sketching with this ink.

Ink: Van Dieman’s Ink Birds of a Feather series – Anna’s Hummingbird Wings (shimmers)

Tools used: Automatic Pen with 3A nib. River City Pen Company nib holder with JoWo #6 Fine nib.

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

Day 25: The Last Day with My Swatches of Green Inks

We are at the end of our Diamine Inkvent Calendar. I want to say a huge thank you to T for providing me with her lovely swatches. Today’s Diamine ink is Best Wishes a shimmering and sheening ink. It appears to be a dark green ink with a massive amount of red sheen and green shimmers.

I pulled out my green swatches from my collection.

Enchanted Woods was the only green ink I had that contained green shimmers.

Upon further inspection, the shimmers looks more like a silver-green.

I narrowed down my choices to three ink colors that had no shimmers.

Black Ivy, which also has a massive amount of sheen, was from last year’s calendar. There’s a dark blue underlying color in Black Ivy which makes it lean a bit towards a teal blue color. Sea Turtle is a true green ink color with lovely red sheen. River of Fire is a green ink color that leans a bit towards blue as I can see some blue in the underlying color.

Yes. Best Wishes made it to my wish list.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Black Ivy. Diamine Golden Ivy (shimmer). Van Dieman’s Ink Sea Turtle and Enchanted Woods (shimmer). Taccia Midori. Robert Oster River of Fire and Peppermint.

Day 24: More Blue-Purple Swatches

Today’s Diamine Inkvent color is One More Sleep. This is a standard blue ink. It reminds me of a blue-purple color with cornflower blue and pink underlying colors.

Here is T’s lovely and interesting swatch of this Diamine ink color. I’ve read this ink leans a bit more on the wet side.

I immediately found a few blurple swatches from my collection.

Yes – Grey Seas, Evening Sapphire, and Midnight Sapphire look very similar. Especially when I use use all three in my pen & ink wash sketches. It’s hard to tell them apart.

Grey Seas is a medium blue color while Midnight Sapphire is a dark blue color. Evening Sapphire falls somewhere in between the two other ink colors. It’s more prevalent in my writing on my swatch cards.

I narrowed down the choices to three. Storm and Night Shade are from last year’s calendar. Storm has a lovely golden-green shimmer.

One More Sleep did not make my wish list as I have plenty plenty bottles of blurple ink color.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Storm (shimmers) and Night Shade. Robert Oster Grey Seas, Evening Sapphire, and Midnight Sapphire.

Day 23: My Non-Coral Red Swatches

Today’s Diamine ink color is Celebration. This is a coral-red-peach color with golden shimmers. Thank you T for sharing your lovely swatches.

When I first saw a few swatches of Celebration, the first color that came to my mind was coral. The closest swatch color I had was from last year’s Red Inkvent calendar called Peach Punch. This is a red that leans a bit towards orange.

I initially pulled a few other swatches and ended up with the following colors that leans a bit more towards red-pink.

Red Lustre and Pink Glitz has golden shimmers.

I picked Sushi because it’s another fave color of mine. A plain pinky-red ink color that creates a lovely light pink wash.

Looks like I will be adding Celebration to my wish list as I do not have a true coral ink color.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Peach Punch. Diamine Red Lustre and Pink Glitz (shimmers). Robert Oster Sushi.

Day 22: My Eggplant Purple Swatches

Today’s Diamine Inkvent color is Deck the Halls. It’s a stunning chameleon ink with rose gold and copper shimmers. As more folks are posting this lovely ink color on social media, I’m seeing a purple color leaning towards red. The first thought that popped into my head was eggplant.

T’s swatch shows a pretty display of rose and gold shimmers.

Since this is called a chameleon ink, I expected to see two different shimmers in this ink. I can definitely see some rose and gold shimmers from T’s bottle.

I mentioned in my last blog post how I enjoy a good medium to dark pink color. I also enjoy a good purple leaning red color. You can see from my selection, this purple is also one of my fave colors.

I enjoy having a good range of colors. Each one has a unique personality or two.

I tried to narrow down my selection.

Sunset has a pretty rose gold shimmer.

If I had to choose three colors from inky collection, it would be these three.

Sydney Lavender and Summer Purple are my favorite purple ink colors.

Here’s a pen & ink wash circle I created back in November showing off Sydney Lavender’s underlying colors. Gorgeous, huh?

Yes, I will be adding Deck the Halls to my wish list as I do not have an eggplant ink color with the rose, gold and coppery shimmering particles.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Harmony. Diamine Frosted Orchid (shimmer). Robert Oster Sydney Lavender, Velvet Crush, and Silver Dawn (shimmer). Kaweco Summer Purple. Montblanc Amethyst. Van Dieman’s Ink Black Tongue Spider Orchid and Beetroot Relish. Dominant Industry Sunset (shimmer).

Day 21: My Lovely Red Swatches

Today’s Diamine Inkvent color is Cosy Up. This is a lovely standard red ink color. It’s a basic medium red ink with a pink base.

Here is T’s ink swatch and writing sample.

A close up of T’s swatch shows a tiny bit of dark sheen.

I have to mention again how lovely this Cosy Up ink color is. It wasn’t too hard for me to come up with several comparison swatches from my inky collection.

I’ve included last year’s Red Robin swatch along with other Diamine and Robert Oster reddish-pinky ink swatches.

Here are three standard inks that remind me of Cosy Up. Sushi is a fave ink of mine.

Here are my dark pink and red inks with shimmering particles.

Pink Glitz has gold shimmers while Pink Ice has silver shimmers. These two are my favorite medium to dark pink shimmering ink colors. No Fixed Address is a red color with blue shimmers.

I prefer to use medium to dark pink ink colors for my journal writing and sketches. My pink inks are used as a substitute for using red in my sketches. I find reds to be a bit bold and overwhelming while a good pink ink can be subtle and blends well on art paper.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Red Robin. Diamine Pink Glitz and Pink Ice (shimmers). Robert Oster No Fixed Address (shimmer), Red Candy, Rubine, and Sushi.

Day 20: My Dark Blues Swatches with Sheen and Shimmers

Today’s Diamine daily ink color is Arctic Blast. This is a dark blue chameleon ink with lots of sheen and shimmers. There’s a lot going on in T’s writing sample.

In T’s photo, I can see the blue shimmers in her bottle. Others have mentioned seeing turquoise blue and pink shimmers.

Here is my swatch selections for today. All five show off some lovely red sheen.

All but my Ruby Blues have shimmering particles.

I’ve narrowed down my swatch selection to three choices.

Each of these three inks have a unique personality especially with their shimmering colors. I really do enjoy a gold rose gold/copper shimmering ink. That’s probably why I like Ham so much. For Stars & Stripes, the ink appears to have slightly larger shimmering bits or perhaps the shimmers are more metallic and shows off the bright sparkles more.

Ham does lean more towards a dark teal color. It’s a beautiful ink to write with and creates a beautiful color wash.

Yes. I have too many bottles of blue ink. Yes. I will be adding Arctic Blast to my wish list.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Ruby Blues. Diamine Jack Frost. Colorverse Stars and Stripes and Ham Glistening inks. Robert Oster Blue Moon (shimmer)