Using a Fine Liner Pen in My Pen & Ink Sketches

As a few of you know, I enjoy using my Platinum Preppy (02) with Platinum Carbon ink to create my initial pen & ink sketches. I was struggling a bit and recently had a fall-out-of-love feeling with my Preppy. I found my Preppy fountain pen a bit too sharp to use on my Stillman & Birn Journal paper. I was not able to create some fine, continuous, and clean lines on my slightly textured art paper.

I dug around in my art drawers looking for a “pen” with permanent ink. I have a bunch of Sakura Microns, but they have brush tips that I used for my calligraphy. I finally came across a Faber-Castell PITT artist pen I had purchased several years ago. I was amazed that this pen still had some ink and I was able to do a few sketches including this gnome.

In the above sketch, I used my PITT fine liner pen with black ink to sketch the outline of my gnome. I also used the pen to add in some lines in the gnome’s beard. Sadly when the ink ran out of my PITT pen I had to dispose of it.

I watched a few art lessons and saw an interesting art pen other artists used for their sketches. This particular fine liner pen uses pigment ink and is waterproof. It’s the Copic Multiliner SP and it’s made in Japan.

This pen comes in 10 different nib sizes including a brush nib. The sizes start from a very, very fine 0.03mm to a 0.7mm line size. It took me awhile to figure out which nib size to get and I ended up getting three different pens in 0.1, 0.3, & 0.5 nib sizes. Copic also carries their Multiliner SP pens in a 10-pen set with all the different sizes one could need to sketch with.

Once my pens arrived I could not wait to try them out. I did a writing sample to compare the different the nib sizes. Initially, the 0.3 and 0.5 nibs appear to write very similar on my paper. When I looked at the nibs close up, I could see the 0.3 nib was slightly smaller than the 0.5 nib.

I can definitely see the 0.1 nib writes extremely fine compared to the other two sizes I have. Depending on the paper I use, my Copic pen with 0.1 nib makes a tiny noise when I sketch with it. Maybe I need to lighten my grip on the pen and put less pressure on the paper. I’ve read a few comments where other artists mention how delicate the finer nibs are especially the 0.03 and 0.05 nibs. My pen with 0.1 nib might fall into this category.

Here’s a close up picture of the Copic nibs. You can definitely see how delicate the 0.1mm nib is. The 0.5 and the 0.3 nibs are very close in size, but you can see a slight difference.

The nibs: 0.5mm, 0.3mm, and 0.1mm

Here’s my colorful gnome sketch where I used my Copic Multiliner SP to draw the outline of the gnome and a few lines around the beard.

I used my 0.1mm pen to outline the beard.

Here’s a pen & ink sketch of my fountain pen using my Platinum Preppy to create the outline of sketch. Notice the broken lines on the paper (left side) and in my fountain pen sketch.

The Copic Multiliner SP pens have an aluminum body. It’s lightweight and feels good in my hand. You will notice that I have been calling the Copic pen’s tip…a nib. That’s because the nibs are replaceable and can be pulled out of the pen. That is so cool! The ink inside the aluminum body contains a black ink cartridge that can also be replaced. When the ink runs out all I need to do is pull out the cartridge and put in a new one. I saw the spare nibs and ink cartridges are available online. It will be interesting to see if my local art shop carries them as well.

I can now say I’m a Copic Multiliner SP fan. I like the clean lines this pen creates on the various art papers I use. It’s a pigment ink pen. The ink is water- and Copic-proof meaning it will not smear when water or other Copic alcohol-based pens are used to draw over this ink. I like the idea I can replace or swap around the different size nibs. I also like the ability to replace the black ink cartridge when needed.

Fountain Pens: Lamy 2000 Makrolon with EF nib. TWSBI Swipe Salmon with Stub 1.1 nib. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs. Platinum Preppy with 02 nib.

Fine Liner Pens: Faber-Castell PITT artist pen in size S with black Indian ink. Copic Multiliner SP in sizes 0.1, 0.3, & 0.5 with black pigment ink.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardbound (4″x6″)

New Paint Palette and Another Turban Shell in Watercolor

The month of January has flown by rather quickly for me. I had plans (goals) to create some artwork, spend time with my Cricut Maker, sit through some online courses, and publish a few blog posts. I managed to do a little bit of everything and at the same time not a whole lot.

I thought I would end the month with another sea shell sketch. Oh and I might as well write about it here and include a new paint palette I used to create my artwork.

Sometime last year, I kept seeing some beautiful watercolor sketches appear on my social media feed. It was the paint colors that made the sketches appear to pop off the paper. I ended up acquiring two sets of palettes in different color themes: Currents and Tropicals.

Today’s post is about a new palette of colors from the Art Philosophy Confections series called Currents. This palette has some beautiful blues and greens and everything in between. The colors are gorgeous straight from the pans. I’ve also mixed a few colors to see what other color ranges I could create.

Here’s my latest creation of a Turban shell. Look how bright the colors are!

I found the Art Philosophy paint colors to be quite opaque. At first, I was not too sure how I would like using them. After working on a few pieces of artwork, I found I enjoy painting with this type of paint. The colors are bold and bright as you can see from my swatch of colors.

Art Philosophy advertises their Confections palettes to be “artist-quality” paints and highly pigmented. So far, I find their colorful paint pans to fall somewhere in between student-grade and artist quality paints. There’s no chalky look or feel to this paint so I would not classify it as student-grade. Plus there is quite a bit of pigment in their colors. I’m sure I’ll have a better description/classification for their palettes the more I use them.

There’s plenty of mixing space in the metal case. Clean up is easy and certain pigments will leave a slight stain.

I had to roll up some paper towels and place them strategically around the sides of the palette to keep it from sliding around inside the case and banging against the edges of the case.

The journal cover and watercolor journal I’m using are from Franklin-Christoph. This dark denim cover is called Vagabond and is similar in size to the normal Traveler’s notebook cover. The F-C watercolor journal came out late last year and well, I had to give it a try. I like this paper a lot. For watercolor sketches. I’m still on the fence with using my fountain pens and inks on this paper. I’m working on a future post on how this paper handles various art medium.

Watercolor Set: Art Philosophy Watercolor Confections – Currents

Brush: Cheap Joe’s Golden Fleece Travel brush in size #4.

Pen & Ink: Platinum Preppy 02 Extra Fine with Platinum Carbon ink

Journal Cover: Franklin-Christoph Vagabond NWF (natural wood fiber) Notebook cover in Dark Denim

Watercolor Journal Paper: Franklin-Christoph Watercolor Paper refill (100% cotton). Vagabond/Traveler’s notebook size.

Gnome #1 Created with Diamine Inkvent Inks

I was feeling extra creative and decided to try sketching a gnome. Here’s my first attempt using a few of the ink colors from my Diamine’s Inkvent calendar.

I used my Platinum Preppy filled with Platinum Carbon ink to draw the outlines of my gnome. For the hat I used Winter Spice. This is my top fave ink from the calendar. For the rim of the hat I used Vintage Copper. The nose required just a dabble of Party Time. The beard is made up of random wash lines using Ash. As you can see, the Carbon ink did not budge or smear when water was applied on top.

For the body I used Subzero and finished with the shoes in Festive Joy.

Inks: Diamine Ash, Winter Spice, Vintage Copper, Party Time, Subzero, and Festive Joy.

Pens: TWSBI GO Stub 1.1. TWSBI Eco Stub 1.1. TWSBI Swipe Stub 1.1. Pilot Prera CM. Esterbrook Estie Stub 1.1.

Journal: Stillman & Bern Alpha

Another Quick Pen & Ink Sketch – Calla Lily

I’ve been trying to sketch something everyday and build up what I call my muscle memory. Some days I have only 15-30 minutes to complete a sketch. To help keep me motivated through the week, I will spend an hour and sketch a few objects in my journal to be “painted” when I have time. This helps when I have moments where I do not know what to sketch. I can just flip through a few pages and select something based on the amount of time I have to create a pen & ink sketch.

I always start with a loose pencil sketch. Once I have the overall shapes in place, I redraw a few lines with my Platinum Preppy filled with Platinum Carbon ink. It’s a permanent ink that dries quickly.

For my Calla Lily, I drew a few lines with my Carbon inked pen. I try to avoid creating continuous lines in my final sketch.

Once the permanent ink lines are drawn, I take an eraser and gently erase the unwanted pencil lines from my sketch.

Before I begin adding color to my flower, I look for the direction of light and the shadows that are casted onto the flower. Once I figure it out, I start adding the dark color to the dark areas of the flower. My Lily is starting take life and not look as flat on the paper.

I build up the flower by creating layers of color and keeping the “highlights” in certain areas of the Lily

I add lines of color to show the curves of the Lily.

I try to keep my sketches simple and try not to overdue by adding too many layers of colors.

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks: Robert Oster Lipstick Red, Jade, and Thunderstorm

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta

Currently Inked

Here are my currently inked pens. I’ve been doing well in keeping my goal of having a handful of pens inked at one time. Sometimes a pen friend will ask a question and I’ll immediately ink up a pen to show the writing experience. So far, I’ve managed to keep variety of different ink colors available for my personal writing.

Here’s the list of ink colors:

The Rohrer & Klingner inks are fast becoming one of my favorite ink brands. Their ink colors are vibrant and stunning and they make beautiful ink washes.

Happy Wednesday!

Spring Cleaning and Spring Colors

I did not want to go a whole week without posting an entry on my blog. I’ve been busy with Spring cleaning in my studio and tackling other rooms in our house. I have also been creating several pieces of watercolor artwork that are taking some to finish as I need to let the paintings dry between the layers of paint I’ve applied.

I have also been enjoying the warmer weather in our area and getting into the change of season. I thought it would be a great time to start taking a few of my fountain pens out of rotation.

Earlier this week, I ended up cleaning about a dozen pens. Many of them I used for my pen and ink artwork. Most of my pens had a few drops of ink left in their barrels and I wanted to replace the darker colors with lighter and brighter colors. For now, the pens will remain empty as I’m focusing on my watercolor skills.

I needed a few pens to use for journaling and for setting up my BUJO (bullet journaling) for the month of April. Here are my three currently inked EDWs (everyday writers) that I could not wait to share. They happen to also be my three favorite fountain pen brands.

My Spring trio of pens (L-R): Platinum Century 3776, Franklin-Christoph #31, and Pilot Custom Heritage 92

It worked out that my Platinum and Pilot pens were a perfect match to go with my Candystone pen from Franklin-Christoph.

Cleaning out the old ink from Candystone

When I received Candystone a few weeks ago, I had filled it with Sydney Lavender. The previous picture shows the section with nib and feed sitting in a glass stuffed with paper towels. The colors in the paper towel confirms why this ink color is a perfect match with this pen. I went ahead and refilled my pen with the same color.

Pens/Inks:

  • Platinum Century 3776 Nice Lilas (Medium) filled with Robert Oster Red Lipstick
  • Franklin-Christoph #31 Candystone (Medium) filled with Robert Oster Sydney Lavender
  • Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Transparent Blue (Medium) filled with Robert Oster Tokyo Blue Denim

A Whimsical Shell

A few weeks ago, I had created a quick sketch of a shell. It was sitting in my art journal waiting for me to apply some color. Today, I finally got around to painting this shell with some bright and happy colors. This is what I came up with:

My colorful pen and ink wash sketch

I started with this pencil sketch. Notice my pencil lines are too dark.

My rough pencil sketch.

Once the sketch was complete, I used my Preppy with Carbon ink and created a few permanent lines to represent some dark areas. I used my kneaded eraser to gently remove some of my pencil lines.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures while I was applying the layers of colored inks.

Here’s the final results:

Look at all the lovely shimmering particles!

Several of my pen friends have mentioned that this colorful whimsical artwork has brought some joy in their lives during their days of gray skies and mounds of snow. I hope the happy colors are doing the same for you. Maybe just a little?

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 and Platinum Prefountes with 03 Medium nibs

Inks: Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide. Robert Oster Rose Gold Antiqua, Heart of Gold, Sydney Lavender, Saguaro Green, Melon Tea, and Thunderstorm

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta

Carrying Case for My Pen and Ink Wash Tools

I have a lot of TWSBI GOs! I mainly use them to create my fountain pen and ink artwork. The Stub 1.1 nibs are fantastic to use as I can create thin and wide lines from a single nib.

This was all the fountain pens I took with me on our trip around the Caribbean: Pentel water brushes, TWSBI GOs, and Pilot Custom 823.

Depending on my palette of colors, I can have anywhere from 5 to 20 pens inked at one time. When I travel, I try to limit the quantity to under 10. A manageable number and easy to keep track of. I attempted to use a regular fountain pen case to store and carry my GOs, but found the case somewhat bulky and the elastics that held my pens in place was a nuisance.

I saw a few pen and pencil cases that ranged from flat to round shapes. Nothing peaked my interest until I came across a fabric storage pouch on Amazon. This pen/pencil case or pouch has two zippered access areas. Plenty of storage options for my art tools.

Durable and soft fabric zippered case.

Under the top zipper is the main compartment. There’s two small side pockets to hold my kneaded eraser, clips, mini spray bottle, pencil leads and small accessories. The main area can hold my 15 TWSBI GOs and six Platinum Prefounte pens. That’s the most number of pens I currently have in this pouch when I took the pictures. There’s room to also store my folded shop towels.

My TWSBI GOs and Platinum Prefountes

Unzipping the side zipper reveals a storage flap with elastic holders. Here I have my Platinum Preppy with Carbon ink, Kaweco 0.7mm pencil, click eraser, Pentel mechanical pencil, Pentel water brush, and a Uni-ball Signo gel pen. From the side opening, I have access to the main compartment where my GOs and Prefounte fountain pens are located.

The design of this case allows me store a huge number of pens and accessories.

When I unzip the two zippers, I have full access to all the storage areas. I love how I can I can see all my tools and accessories. Easy to grab the colors and tools I need to create my artwork. When I’m done, I can quickly gather my art tools and place them back in my pouch.

Easy access to all my drawing tools

This is my main case for travel and for carrying around in my house. I’ve had it for over a year now. The fabric felt a bit stiff at first, but after a few weeks of use it’s more soft and pliable.

Look at what came out of my pen case!

I’m sorting through my currently inked pen collection and identifying colors I will not be using for the next few weeks. So far I have removed four pens. Hope to have more pens available as soon as I finish a few pieces of art.

Enjoy your weekend!

Benu Euphorias and My Pen and Ink Sketches

Here’s my tropical trio: Bora Bora, Tropical Voyage, and Big Wave

Some of you might remember I received my first Benu as a Christmas gift from my Hubby. I fell in love with the beautiful colors of my Bora Bora. The turquoise tropical blue color with silver and gold shimmering particles reminded me of the Caribbean. The medium nib writes smooth and wet and handles shimmering inks beautifully.

Edit: Here’s a tidbit of information. I was doing some research on Benu pens and found that the cap threads are square. So, naturally I unscrewed the cap from my Benu and took out my trusty loupe to see the threads on the body of the pen. Yes! I can see the squared off threads which would normally be rounded in most fountain pens. This square thread form shape has the lowest friction and it is hard to fabricate in a pen design. It’s also the most efficient thread form to screw a cap on.

Besides using my Benu for writing, I also enjoy using it as a tool to sketch with in my pen and ink wash artwork. That says a lot about this pen. I know I mentioned this before, but I could write for hours with this pen. Yes, it fits in my hand and has a nice long grip/section. It’s lightweight and sometimes I felt like I was holding a pencil. I naturally gravitated towards using it to sketch with.

My first Benu: Bora Bora

I sketched my first Benu using my fountain pen inks and a bit of iridescent watercolor to bring out the sparkles in my pen.

I was keeping an eye out for another Benu called Tropical Voyage and eventually added that one to my collection. Can you see a theme developing? There’s actually two themes: tropical pen names and the lovely shades of blue.

My second Benu: Tropical Voyage
My pen and ink version of my pen.
Here are the physical pens I used for my Tropical Voyage sketch.

In my art journal I now have a page devoted to my Benu artwork. I originally had planned to sketch my Everyday Writers or EDWs on this page, but my Euphorias were so colorful and beautiful it was inevitable to have a page dedicated to them.

As I was typing up a draft of this blog post, I received my third Euphoria. I was torn between the Big Wave and the glittering Vodka on the Rocks. I wanted to keep with my tropical theme. After much thought, I decided the Vodka was a bit over the top with all that glitter and too sparkly for me. Can you believe that? Too sparkly for me? Hahaha!

So here’s my Big Wave and all it’s beautiful shimmering tiny particles. It reminds me of a frothy shimmering surf. Be sure the click the arrows in the picture to see the slideshow.

Naturally, I had to do a quick sketch of my pen. I decided to do a test sketch to see how the ink colors and iridescent watercolors play together. I wanted to make sure I could capture the glittering frothy surf.

My quick practice pen and ink wash test sketch.

Here’s my writing samples from my Euphorias. All three are filled with shimmering inks.

My trio and writing samples and some gorgeous shimmering inks!

Here’s what the page from my art journal looks like:

My completed sketch of my Benu trios.

Here’s another picture to show off the glittering sparkles:

Sparkles!

My process of integrating my fountain pen inks and iridescent watercolor paints has greatly improved since my first Benu pen sketch. I do the initial sketch with my inks and let them dry completely. I add the iridescent color(s) and gently apply the sparkling wash over the areas. I try not to disturb the paper too much, otherwise I will lift the ink and move it around on the paper and get a mix of unwanted colors.

My palette of Daniel Smith Iridescent watercolors. This covers just about all the shimmering colors I need.

Bora Bora Sketch:

Pens used: Conklin Endura Abalone with JoWo Omniflex nib. Platinum Prefounte 05 Medium nib. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks used: Diamine Enchanted Ocean and Tropical Glow. Robert Oster Carbon Fire, Heart of Gold, and Thunderstorm.

Watercolor used: Daniel Smith Iridescent Pearl White and Aztec Gold

Tropical Voyage Sketch:

Pens used: Benu Euphorias Bora Bora and Tropical Voyage with Medium nibs. Conklin Duragraph Matte Black with Rainbow Trim Goulet Exclusive LE (JoWo Omniflex nib). Platinum Prefounte 05 Medium nib. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks used: Diamine Arabian Nights, Golden Ivy, and Tropical Glow. Robert Oster Sydney Lavender, Blue Moon, and Thunderstorm.

Big Wave Sketch:

Pens used: Benu Euphoria Big Wave with Medium nib. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks used: Diamine Starlit Sea. JHerbin Bleu de Minuit. Robert Oster Blue River, Carbon Fire, and Thunderstorm.

Watercolor: Daniel Smith Iridescent Pearl White and Pearl Shimmer

Journal: Stillman and Birn Zeta

A Vibrant Floral Pen and Ink Wash

My Floral & Vase pen and ink wash sketch

I used to be a wedding photographer many years ago. While I enjoyed the creative aspects and challenges, I did not enjoy having additional roles as hostess, seamstress, and assistant. I was hired to be a photographer. Not a last minute seamstress or a get things done at last minute assistant. Yes, I no longer photograph weddings.

When I grabbed a picture from my “to sketch” pile of photographs it conjured up memories of when I took that particular picture. This sketch I did last night brought back memories as a wedding photographer. It was a simple vase full of colorful flowers.

For this floral sketch, I used a lot of ink colors. I had pulled out 10 fountains pens with various ink colors and used all the colors I selected.

My Benu Euphoria in Tropical Voyage and TWSBI GOs.

My favorite brands of ink for sketching is currently: Jacques Herbin, Diamine, and Robert Oster. Especially the shimmering inks from JHerbin & Diamine. I mentioned that wet inks are great for ink and water washes as the “lines” I lay down blend nicely with my watercolor paper.

Close up picture showing some shimmers

Late last year, Robert Oster Sydney Lavender was a late addition to my ink collection. It blends beautifully with Diamine Arabian Nights (shimmer) ink.

A close up of my beautiful Benu pen. Look at all the sparkles in the flowers.

I’ve been enjoying my Benu Euphoria pens. Besides writing in my journals, I love using them for my artwork. The medium nibs lay down a nice amount of ink. Plus the pens are gorgeous to look at.

Pens: Benu Euphoria Tropical Voyage with Medium nib. Platinum Prefounte with (05) Medium nib. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs

Inks: Diamine Arabian Nights. Jacques Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte and Vert Atlantide. Robert Oster Sedona Red, Charred Hickory, Sydney Lavender, Melon Tea, Thunderstorm, Heart of Gold, and Saguaro Green.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta (cold press)