I was reading a local beach magazine and saw an outline of a crab. I had a few minutes this afternoon to do absolutely nothing. Instead, I pulled out my pen pouch and art journal and sketched a quick outline of a crab. I went through my fountain pens and looked for appropriate ink colors to use as a wash for my crab. Here is my wonky crab!
I’ve started to use more shimmering inks in my sketches. When I added the water wash I found the shimmers moved around a bit. Once my sketch has dried, I went back and added some shimmering lines around the edges.
Ink colors used: Robert Oster Gold Antiqua, Melon Tea, Heart of Gold, Carbon Fire, and Thunderstorm. Diamine Enchanted Ocean and Red Luster. Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide
Pens: TWSBI GOs stub 1.1 and Platinum Preppy (Carbon ink)
Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta
My Conklin Endura Abalone with Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide had it’s first clog. I was surprised this happened. I had stored my pen case nib up and the ink did not like this at all. I primed my pen and was able to get the ink flowing. I’ve decided to leave my pen case flat or horizontal and not worry about my pens with shimmering inks.
Lately, I’ve been in the mood to draw and sketch with shimmering inks. I love sweeping my water brush over the sparkling colors and seeing the ink move around. Right now, half of my pens are filled with shimmering particles of various colors. I saw a new sparkling ink popped on my radar a few weeks ago and there was a lot of chatter about a rose gold shimmer. I saw a picture of the ink swatch, but it was hard to tell if this ink was going to wow me.
I was able to get my hands on a new bottle of ink for 2021 called Rose Gold Antiqua by Robert Oster. It’s a beautiful pinky ink and to me it’s a tiny bit on the dry side. Not wet and not too dry. Somewhere in between.
The actual base ink color is more of a dusky pink. I was able to validate the shimmer color by looking at the bottom of my bottle and saw a ton of rose gold shimmers staring back at me.
I knew ahead of time I would be keeping this ink color in rotation and I selected my Platinum Procyon Luster in Rose Gold pen. Most Platinum pens have the “slip ‘n seal” caps which keeps the nib/feed nice and wet. I’m pretty sure I will keeping this ink in this pen for at least two or more weeks.
I was able to write my pen & ink entry into my ink journal and do a quick sketch on my Rhodia paper along with a writing sample. Oh my! A ton of rose gold shimmers can be seen all over my paper.
I left my pen on my desk overnight and came back to write some notes. I noticed my handwriting was getting lighter and lighter in color and finally no ink flowed out of the nib. Yes! We have a clog! Day #2! Hahaha!
I primed the nib with a damp paper towel. Removing any excess ink blob under the tip of the nib and at the top edge of the feed where it meets the nib. I also wiped the top of the nib and breather hole to make sure ink was still flowing. It was! Good sign!
I did my typical squiggles and lines across my paper to get the ink flowing into the nib. Still nothing. I primed my nib again and then decided to dip the nib and feed into some water. Again I wiped any signs of an ink blob under the tip of the nib. A few squiggles and my beautiful dusty rose ink was flowing again! Except, the rose gold shimmers were no where to be found. Where did they go?
I went ahead and stored my Procyon pen in a pen cup with its nib up. I wanted to wait and see how the pen and ink would perform a few hours later and the next day (Day #3).
Day #3 arrived and I found my Procyon writing brilliantly. Slowly, the rose gold shimmers started to appear again and I was writing a few paragraphs in my journal.
Day #4. I was able to write a sentence and then the ink slowly faded across my paper. Another clog! Primed. Squiggles. Dipped in water. Squiggles. Primed. Squiggles. It’s writing again.
This Rose Gold Antiqua reminds me of RO’s Australis Rose ink color without the shimmers of course. It definitely has more pink than his other shimmering Rose Gilt Tynte ink. Rose Gold Antiqua is lighter and not as “rosy” as his Blood Rose shimmering ink.
My favorite shimmering pink ink is still Robert Oster Blood Rose. It’s a true medium pink color that’s easy on the eyes and readable on paper.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been experiencing some clogging issues with my pens and shimmering inks. Some are not playing well together. I’m thinking it has to do with the timing in which I fill the converters. Yes, I give the bottles a decent shake and make sure the shimmers are mixed with the ink. I do immediately fill my pens. Maybe I should have waited 45-60 seconds before dipping my pen into the bottle. Do I want to fill my pen right away and maximize the ink’s characteristics? Or do I wait a bit to avoid having my pen clog? Priorities! Hahaha!
With the Robert Oster inks, I have had a few issues with the Schwarz Rose (TWSBI Diamond 580ALR-medium), Heart of Gold (TWSBI GO-stub1.1), and now Rose Gold Antiqua (Platinum Procyon-medium). I have been storing the pens nib up overnight to avoid further clogs. Over the next few days, it will interesting to see how these three pens perform as I will be carrying them in pen cases and not nib up all the time.
The other ink I had clogging issues with is Diamine Enchanted Ocean in my TWSBI GO with a stub 1.1 nib. Rarely, do I have an issue with Diamine shimmers. This will also be in my pen case for the next few days. We’ll see how it does as well.
My other current shimmering ink Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide is in my Conklin Endura Abalone (JoWo Omniflex nib) and performing brilliantly. No issues at all. I have not had any reason to store this pen nib up. It’s been writing flawlessly. As soon as the nib hits the paper, the ink is flowing nicely.
I’m sharing a bit of experience here. No need to be afraid to use shimmering inks. It’s just a matter of knowing how to remove the visible clogs, getting the ink to flow, and mostly enjoying the beautiful sparkling ink colors.
I thought I would start the new year by spending my day sketching. I picked up one of my currently inked pens and had a “just do it” moment. I started out with a rough sketch using my pencil for an outline and using a pen with my carbon ink to add in some depth and permanent lines.
A few weeks ago, I cleaned out all my TWSBI GOs that I had filled with ink back in July. Now, I’m slowly pulling out different ink colors to use for the winter months and filling my TWSBIs again. I now have a mix of Robert Oster and Diamine inks to use.
Here’s my sketch from this morning.
I had most of the ink colors I wanted to use, but I was missing a sparkling silver ink. (Thanks to my fellow fountain pen ink friends, I now have some good recommendations). I had a light bulb moment and pulled out my watercolor palette of metallic paints. I dabbled some silver and gold paints to my sketch.
I love using my porcelain dish to mix my watercolors. This is actually an appetizer dish that came packaged as a set of 4 plates. I found this at my local home discount store. It’s small enough that I can put one in my backpack, keep one on my desk, and the others in my art tote. I prefer to use porcelain as I do not have to do any priming to the surface. Plastic palettes require some priming to the surface.
For the next few weeks I will be busy creating some artwork, taking some fun online courses (technology and music), getting reacquainted with my embroidery machine and learning a new embroidery software. So much to do. A great way to start 2021!
Pens – TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1
Inks – Diamine Enchanted Ocean and Tropical Glow. Robert Oster Carbon Fire, Heart of Gold, and Thunderstorm
Paints – Daniel Smith Luminescent Watercolors
Brushes – Cheap Joes Travel size
Accessories – Metal Pocket Palette, Pentel Water Brush, blue shop towel, and Porcelain dish
Journal – Stillman & Birn Zeta
Plastic palettes have a surface that allows watercolors to “run off” in different areas. To prime the surface, I use a bit of Soft Scrub on a damp paper towel and rub the surface of the palette. I then rinse the palette with water to remove the cleaner. I only need to do this once. This process “roughens” the surface so the paint/water sticks to the areas where I am mixing the paints.
I have found porcelain plates/palettes are perfect for mixing watercolors. No need to prime the surface. I like the smaller plates that have a narrow sides. This allows me to carry my palette around without spilling the paint over the sides. Porcelain plates are heavy and less prone to tipping over or accidental movements.
Besides Robert Oster inks, I do enjoy using Diamine inks for sketching and water washes. I’m finding the Diamine inks are lovely saturated inks including their shimmering inks.
A few pen-friends mentioned and recommended Schwarz Rose to me, but that color never made it onto my inky wish list. Initially, I thought the ink was too dark for me to use. Was it a black ink color? Or a green? Was that a pinky shimmer I saw?
As I was placing my last ink order for the year, this ink appeared on my radar again. I thought let’s give this ink a try. I’m so glad I did!
Can you see what this ink is doing in the above picture? There is so much color and so much shimmer. I am talking rose gold shimmers. The ink itself is a dark saturated green color. In certain lighting the ink color can look almost black. Did I mention the rose gold shimmers? I had to tilt the bottle over to see what shimmering color was sitting at the bottom of the bottle. Some folks mentioned copper, but to me it looks more like rose gold.
How about a few close up pictures?
I have to add that a few minutes after writing my sample and creating my quick sketch, my TWSBI stopped writing. Squiggles and lines on my paper produced nothing. I primed my nib with a damp paper towel. A few lines came out and then the ink stopped flowing.
I ended up dipping my nib/feed into some water. I could see the ink flowing out and swirls of color floating in the water. After a few more scribbles and lines, the ink was flowing again. I decided to leave my TWSBI alone and let the ink settle down. I stored the pen nib up in my pen cup.
An hour later, I went to check on my pen and it is writing nice and wet. So, I’ll place my pen nib up in the pen cup for a few more hours and write a few paragraphs in my journal to make sure the ink is flowing.
This ink is beautiful and stunning at the same time. The ink has a lot of personality. It’s an interesting dark green color and I’m looking forward to using this ink in my pen/ink water wash sketches.
(“J”: This is another fab color! The rose gold shimmers really stand out against the dark green! You made another great choice! BTW…still waiting)
I started my journey of documenting my pen, nib, and ink writing samples back in mid-August. Some of you might remember I was looking for a nice green shimmering ink to use for sketching. I had received so many wonderful suggestions and I finally selected Diamine Golden Ivy.
Eventually, I used my writing sample to add and document my ink experiences. For example, if I had an issue with a shimmering ink it would most likely have happened on Day #2 (e.g. clogging the feed). Rarely would I have had a problem by Day #3. If I did, it would get documented along with a solution.
Over time, I expanded my writing samples to include descriptions of the ink color, my fountain pen, or some historical event that occurred. Every now and then, a sketch showed up along with my writing sample.
Now that I have accumulated roughly 80 sheets of paper, what will I do with all these writing samples? I’m thinking of putting them into a disc journal and use for future reference. I know a few of you will ask me about a certain shimmering ink or a specific fountain pen or a nib size and how it writes and I’ll be able to provide a writing sample and/or personal experiences.
Here’s my last sheet of paper from my Rhodia pad used for the lovely Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide ink.
Now to go find another pad of paper to start the next journey!
I have several different Rhodia #16 paper pads that come with grids, dots, and of course blank. I prefer using the blank sheets of paper. Grids and dots distract me. Especially, if I don’t draw a straight line on a dot paper. You will see it! Hahaha! Using the blank paper lets me practice my handwriting. I’m not limited to writing small or writing large. The same with my sketches.
Note: This had nothing to do with shipping issues, other than my bottle of ink made a pit stop in Houston on Christmas eve before arriving to its final destination. I’ve been waiting for this ink since the middle of September.
What say you? I did a pre-order for this ink. I knew just by looking at the color that this ink would be special. I waited. Patiently. Saw other online shops were slowly getting their inventory. There were a few times I was going to jump ship and go with another online store, but I was getting a really good price for this ink. So, I waited some more. My online shop of choice was more than likely going to be the last one to get theirs. They did. Right before Christmas. They immediately shipped my bottle which probably ended up in one of those USPS pictures you saw where boxes were piled so high at the sorting facility. Hahaha!
You can see in the picture that my Conklin Abalone was going to be a perfect match for this Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Not my chrome trim version, but my rose gold version.
Now, I have prior experience with using Jacques Herbin shimmering inks. Personally, it’s the best shimmering ink to use in a non-vintage fountain pen. Jacques Herbin shimmering inks are wet inks. They have less shimmering particles in their inks versus Diamine or Robert Oster. It would appear that the pens would be easier to clean. It is, but you still may have some shimmering residuals to deal with. Still, it won’t be loads of particles that you would see from the other two brands I just mentioned. Okay. Onto more pictures….
Note: Make sure you read my caption in the picture. Ooooops! That’s what happens when I have too many pens on my desk and reach for the wrong one while I’m sketching.
This Vert Atlantide shimmering ink is…beautiful! I love a good green color. Not too dark and not too light or bright. This one lands right in the middle. I was going through my other color swatches and the closest color that I have (non-shimmering) is Robert Oster Sydney Darling Harbour. So, if you are looking for a shimmering version of Sydney Darling Harbour…Vert Atlantide is a great choice.
I gave my bottle a good shake and checked the bottom of the bottle to make sure no shimmers were stuck. After a good shaking (of any bottle), l always do my ink swatches. That gives the ink time to mix, settle, and bubbles to disappear. After the swatching, I can give the ink bottle a gentle shake and fill my pen.
When I was filling my Abalone pen, I made sure I dipped my pen all the way into the shimmers. I wanted to see everything this ink had to offer!
You can see how wet this ink is on my swatch card. Hardly any streaks towards the bottom. Oh the shimmers! Not too much to distract from the color. Beautiful intense ink color. Easy on the eyes to read. Oh and did I mention the subtle shimmers of silver and gold?
This “350” ink is an anniversary ink celebrating the launch of the Jacques Herbin brand in 1670 (Paris). It’s a limited edition ink. I’m not sure what that means, but there are still plenty of bottles available online.
Jacques Herbin did a great job with this color and the blend of different shimmers. This might be my favorite shimmer for 2020. That says a lot about this ink.
So, this sketch is a much more subdued pen and ink drawing. More thought was put into it. Placement of object(s) on my paper, angle of the stocking, shading, etc. Still trying to avoid getting into the details. Sketch loosely. Leaving enough white on the paper. That’s a hard one for me. The white areas you see in the stocking have no ink and no water in that area. That’s where my happy surprises come about. While I would love to see soft edges, hard edges are just as nice. Plus when the ink and water dries, the sketch looks different.
That poinsettia sketch in the previous post was pretty wild. I enjoyed the spontaneous process of not thinking about it too much when I had my inky nibs on the paper. Then I had to figure out when to stop. Because I was having too much fun. Playing with all the beautiful colors. Like the bold reds!
Robert Oster Signature inks used: Red Candy, No Fixed Address (shimmer), Thunderstorm, Silent Nite, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint, and Heart of Gold (shimmer).
Fountain Pens: TWSBI GOs Stub 1.1
Water brush: Pentel
Journal: Stillman & Birn Zeta
Sketch loosely. Don’t get lost in the details. Objects closer to me will show more details. Objects further away will have less and can be blurred.
Work in layers and let each layer dry before adding more color or more water.
Perfection doesn’t exist in my art vocabulary. Practice sketching daily. Quick sketches. Sketch shapes and shadows. Things around the desk, the kitchen, food, cups, tools, etc.
Keep a pad of paper or a journal on the desk/creative place for quick doodles. (Oh…this sounds like a great idea for a future post).
Good Morning! I’m listening to an upbeat Christmas music channel as I’m typing up this post. So, if you can picture this. I’m be-bopping along in my chair as I type. Hahaha!
Okay. Back to our regularly scheduled program….
That’s my poinsettia sketch I managed to get done yesterday. I did a quick outline sketch using my Platinum Preppy 02 EF filled with Platinum Carbon ink. I used my TWSBI GOs and went over a few lines of the leaves using my favorite Robert Oster Signature inks: Red Candy, No Fixed Address (can see the subtle blue shimmers), Peppermint, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Heart of Gold (gold shimmers of course). I did add a bit Diamine Golden Ivy to outline the green leaves with a bit of golden shimmers.
So, when do I apply my water wash? Before, during, or after I apply all the ink? It’s during. I work my sketch by applying ink in sections of my artwork. For example, I apply the two red colors to three petals located in the same area. They I take my Pental water brush and give the area a quick swipe of water. Just one swipe to get the water to blend with paper and ink. I go and work on another area and do the same. It’s important to let each area dry.
I’ve been working on creating “loose” artwork. It’s hard as I want to draw the details and I have to tell myself. Stop it. Just wing it. Just create it. Just do it. Yes, I’m still be-bopping along! Hahaha!