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

Merry Christmas! Updates: Sketching in Two Different Mediums and a Prompt

Holly & Berry: Pen & ink wash sketch

Edited 12/26/22: I had to pull this post early this morning and work on adding additional pictures, better details of my sketching process and do some major edits to what I originally posted. I was one tired puppy when I pushed the original blog post last night. My apologies. Here’s my updated post.

For the past two weeks I was busy with my watercolor paints and fountain pens & inks. When I had a rare “down time” moment, I made sure to spend it on sketching. Mostly, it was Christmas related sketches.

Watercolor: Holly & Berry

I created a quick holly & berry sketch.

I ended up using my porcelain palette so I could make batches of color ahead of time and not worry about running out of color while in the middle of painting.

My approach to this painting was to paint a section of my sketch one at a time and to allow each layer of color to dry completely.

The technique I used was wet-on-wet.

I painted one side of the leaf.

I then moved on to the other leaves and painted the left side.

Before I can paint the remaining sides of my leaves, I used a quick test to check by using the back of my clean hand and touch the areas I painted. If it’s cool to the touch, the paint is still damp. If it’s warm to the touch, the paint has dried.

When the first leaf had dried, I added paint to the right side.

I continued to paint the remaining sections of the leaves.

I waited for my leaves to completely dry before I moved on to my berries.

I painted one berry at a time and waited for each berry to dry before I painted the next one.

I forgot to show my test strip I created. This allowed me to see how the colors would “get along” with each other.

Here’s my final watercolor painting with the shadows. I used a blend of Neutral Tint and the associated paint color of the object. Under the leaves there’s a hint of green with the Neutral Tint color.

Pen & Ink Wash: Holly & Berry

After I finished my watercolor painting, I went ahead and filled a bunch of my TWSBI GOs with several different ink colors. I was anxious to sketch something with my pens. A light bulb went off in my head and I thought I would create another holly and berry sketch using my GOs with fountain pen inks.

I quickly pencil sketched another holly and berry on my watercolor paper. Instead of working on the leaves first, I decided to start with the berries.

Since my fountain pen inks dried fairly quickly, it allowed me to fill in the colors quickly and move on to different areas of my sketch.

I wasn’t paying too much attention to my uncapping of my pens, until I saw an inky spot or two that appeared on my paper.

For the leaves I used a lighter green color (Oklahoma City) for the edges and for the dark areas of the leaves (shadows).

Once the leaves were completely dried, I used a medium green (Eucalyptus Leaf) to add more color to the leaves and darkened the shadows a bit more. I left some highlights here and there in the leaves to show some bending. They no longer look flat like in the previous pictures.

For the berries, I used Blood Rose and added layers of color to the darker areas. I made sure to keep the highlights white by not adding color. The last layer of color was added along the back side edges of the berries.

Prompt

Sketch some berries and holly leaves. Feel free to use different color inks. Try reversing the colors and use green for the berries and red for the leaves. Think outside the box in regards to colors.

Summary/Comments/Tips

Unlike my watercolor sketches taking days to complete, my pen & ink sketch takes less than an hour to complete.

I’m glad I took a break from my pen & ink sketches to spend more time with my watercolor paints and brushes. I found I was a bit rusty and had to remind myself to be patient and let my paintings dry. Also, I had to relearn a few techniques like using less water to get a milk or creamy mix of color versus a watery tea mix.

Use the back of your clean hand to see if the paper is dry or not. A cool touch means the paper is still damp. A warm touch means the paper is dry.

I hope everyone is staying warm today and enjoying their time with friends and family.

Paper: Bee Watercolor (100% cotton)

Palette: Porcelain Flower with 7-wells 4-5/8″ x 4-5/8″ x 1/2″

Paints: Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor in Sap Green, Cascade Green, Perylene Green, Quinacridone Rose, Quinacridone Magenta, Perylene Violet, and Neutral Tint

Inks: Robert Oster Blood Rose (shimmer), Oklahoma City, and Eucalyptus Leaf

Pens: TWSBI Go with Stub 1.1 nib. Jinhao x159 in Black with Fine nib.

My Jinhao x159 Fountain Pens (#8 nibs)

For the last few months, I saw quite a bit of chatter about a #8 large size nib. I saw a few pen turners making some beautiful pens with this larger nib. I forgot to test one out back in August at the local pen show. Since then my curiosity got the best of me.

I came across this Jinhao x159 and I was able to order it for under $15. Here is my dark blue acrylic pen with gold trim.

I was surprised at how light this pen was. The weight when filled with ink is around 28.30 grams.

Once this large nib hit my paper, I knew I was in for a treat.

My pen writes beautifully and my Fine nib writes smooth with a tiny bit of feedback. For the price, I knew I wanted to get the black version of this pen.

I filled my black acrylic pen with a shimmering ink called Enchanted Ocean.

There are two noticeable differences between my blue and black Jinhao pens. First, my blue pen has a large italic “x159” on the metal cap band while my black pen uses a smaller regular font. Also my blue pen has larger JINHAO printed on the cap band.

The second noticeable difference is my blue pen uncaps in two full turns. My black pen uncaps in three full turns. A few online reviews mentioned how the three turns to uncap was a bit of a concern. I’m assuming my blue pen is a newer version.

The pens with the silver trim will have a silver nib. The pens with the gold trim will have the two tone gold and silver nib.

I’ve read about folks comparing this to a Montblanc 149. Since I do not own one, I won’t make any comparisons or comments.

Here’s a picture of the nib size in comparison with my small Jinhao nib from my x750.

Here’s a side view of the nibs and the sections.

Both nibs on my x159 were aligned beautifully and they both wrote smoothly with just a tiny bit of feedback.

The pens are lightweight and easy to hold in my hand. The section is large, but not in a bad way. It means I won’t be holding this pen with a death grip. Hahaha!

The transition from the section to the body is just a slight step up. Hardly noticeable.

I’ve written with both pens posted and unposted. When posted, there’s a tiny bit of back weight while writing. I think I would notice it more after a full page of writing, but my hand was never tired.

I currently have these two pens inked up as my everyday writers and I reach for them often. My black acrylic is currently sitting in my “to clean bin” as the I wrote this pen dry.

I’ve enjoyed the writing experience with both pens. I feel as though I can toss them in my bag and carry them everywhere I go. They are affordably priced and if I lose one no big deal as I can alway purchase another one.

I’m looking forward to the new colors Jinhao will be coming out in the next few weeks. I have my eye on the avocado green color with silver trim.

Pens: Jinaho x159 Dark Blue Acrylic #8 Fine nib. Jinhao x159 Black Acrylic #8 Fine nib. Both comes with a converter.

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Devil’s Kitchen. Diamine Shimmering Enchanted Ocean.