I finally got around to finishing my floral page in my art journal. In my last blog post I had created a helleborus flower as that was the only blooming flower in our garden. A few days later, additional flowers were blooming including miniature daffodils.
I’ve been taking reference pictures for future use. I do this as time flies by quickly and when I’m ready to sketch again, the flowering blooms have long expired.
Luckily, both my helleborus and daffodils are still blooming around our gardens. This morning I stepped outside to look at our miniature daffodils before I sketched the remaining flowers in my art journal.
I like adding the hazy and blurry colors in the background of my sketches. It gives me the feeling that there are other flowers in the background without adding any details.
Pens: Platinum Preppy 02 Extra Fine nib. Jinhao x159 Wine Red with Fine nib. TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs.
Inks: Robert Oster Heart of Gold (shimmer), Blood Rose (shimmer), and African Gold. Van Dieman’s Ink Anna’s Hummingbird Wing (shimmer), KWZ/Galen Leather Prairie Green (shimmer), and DeAtramentis Document Grey.
I’ve been writing my Jinhao fountain pens dry. Literally, I would run out of ink while in the middle of writing a sentence. My x159 pens are lovely wet writers and I’ve also been using them for creating my pen & ink sketches.
My favorite pinky red ink color to sketch with is Blood Rose. Yes, it’s a shimmering ink. My Wine Red x159 has been filled with this lovely color since I received it and turns out to be on its third refill of the same color. This might be the perfect pen & ink combination for me.
In my black x159, I filled my pen with the lovely Prairie Green shimmering ink color. My shimmering inks have been flowing well in my Jinhao’s.
I’m finding Blood Rose and Prairie Green are two lovely colors that work well together and perfect for floral sketches. The inks react beautifully with water on my sketch paper and they create lovely washes of color.
For the last few weeks, I have seen some blooming beauties in our gardens. A pop of color here and there. The flowering colors range from white with green edges to a light green to a deep burgundy/purple.
I decided it was time to start sketching again. I created this loose sketch of a Helleborus flower in my art journal.
I used my Document Grey ink to sketch the outline of my flower. I used Blood Rose for the flower’s petals and Prairie Green for the leaves and stem. To create the subtle colors in the background, I wet the paper around the flower and I dropped in some color using my water brush. I was careful not to blend the colors together or I would end up with a muddy mix.
Since I’m sketching with lighter inky colors, I’m thinking about using Document Urban Grey to create the lighter color outlines of my floral sketches.
Prompt: Go outside and see what is blooming in your yard, at a park, or at your local garden center. Take a picture or two of the flower. Create a pen & ink sketch. Don’t worry about the details. Focus on the shape(s) of your flower and petals. Create another sketch using a different ink color for the flower.
Cleaning Note & Tip: When I’m refilling the same ink into the same pen, I do clean my pen before refilling. Especially, when I’m using shimmering inks. I place a towel under my pen (with feed facing up) and I use my soft toothbrush dipped in water and gently clean out the feed and the underside of the nib. I will dip my toothbrush several times into water and then onto my feed/nib. The towel underneath will pull the water and remaining sparkly particles out from the nib. I’m often amazed how much shimmering particles come out of the feed/nib.
Pens: Jinhao x159 Wine Red in gold trim with Fine nib. Jinhao x159 Black in silver trim with Fine nib. Platinum Preppy 02 Extra Fine nib.
Inks: Robert Oster Blood Rose (shimmer), KWZ & Galen Leather exclusive Prairie Green (shimmer), and DeAtramentis Document Grey.
I took my pencil sketch and using my permanent gray ink, I sketched over my pencil lines that I wanted to keep. In some areas I straightened out the previous broken lines I had drawn. I also added in more details where needed. After my permanent ink had dried on my paper, I used my kneaded eraser to remove my pencil lines. Right now, my sketch looks flat and almost like a cartoon.
I left my inky sketch alone for a few days while I decided which colors to use for my inky washes.
I came back to my sketch armed with my TWSBI Swipe filled with Thunderstorm and started my pen & ink wash process. Thunderstorm has been my go to black/blue inky color for when I need to sketch something in black and also for creating shadows around and under my object. It’s a lovely color to use and it has quite a bit of personality as you can see in my sketch below.
I was careful to not inundate my sketch by dumping a lot of dark color onto my paper. It’s harder to “lift” dark colors let alone “lift” fountain pen ink off of my paper. With my first layer of color I applied a light or watered down color wash. To avoid creating a flat sketch, I made sure to leave some lighter color or the white of my paper as highlights. I am always looking for my light source. I let the first layer dry completely before attempting to apply the second layer of color.
When I apply my second layer of color, I can now focus on areas that are quite a bit darker. I think about the shadows within my object. Where are the darkest parts of my object. By applying the different values of a color, I can create a sense of “roundness” to my object. I can also make certain parts of my object appear closer to me like the numbered dial on my tension knob, the golden logo patch, or the horizontal light covering in the arm of my machine.
I used Morning Frost on the silvery pieces of my object like the throat plate, parts of the tension dial/discs, thread spindle, stitch regulator, bobbin winding system, and for the hand wheel/pulley.
While I’m creating my pen & ink wash, I have to remind myself to be a bit spontaneous and less controlling with my sketch. There are times when it’s harder to control where the ink color goes. I make the best of it and most of the time I create wonderful inky surprises.
I have also learned to know when to stop. Since I was using a mixed media paper versus a heavier watercolor paper, I noticed my second layer of inky wash was disturbing the paper’s surface. Small areas of my paper developed a “rash” while the paper was still wet. That was my clue to stop work in that area as the surface had been compromised. Once the paper is dry, the rashes miraculously disappear.
In case you’ve forgotten, this is where my pen & ink sketch started from. My quick pencil sketch.
Once I start sketching, I forget about properly centering my object on the page or in this case across two pages. To help remove the white space on the right side, I added the bobbin and two spools of thread. I intentionally left one of the spools half-off the page to balance out the left side where I ran out of space for the machine’s bed extension.
Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs. TWSBI Swipe with Stub 1.1 nib. Platinum Preppy with 02 Extra Fine nib.
Inks: Robert Oster Thunderstorm, African Gold, Steely Days, Melon Tea, and Blood Rose. Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost. DeAtramentis Document Grey (Preppy).
Pencil: Pentel Energize mechanical with 0.7mm HB lead
A couple of weeks ago, Hubby and I went on a trip. I made sure to set aside some time to figure out what art supplies I would pack and take with me for our adventure.
I thought about how I wanted to record this journey. Do I bring my watercolor paints and brushes? Or do I bring my fountain pens and inks? Or do I bring both?
I laid out my favorite supplies including my fave Maxpedition case and my new Rickshaw/Nock case. Based on my past traveling experiences I knew these would be the two cases to bring and it would be easy to figure out what supplies will fit in the cases.
After going back and forth between the two mediums, I knew I would not enjoy our trip if I could not decide what main art medium to use to capture our adventures. I decided it was best to bring my fountains pens and inks in my Maxpedition case. I used my Rickshaw case to carry just the essentials when I was out and about with my slender messenger bag.
I carried with me a slender A5 journal and wrote about our adventures each day. I was keeping a daily travel log. I found it was easier to write or jot down key points from our adventures as I sipped my coffee in the morning or while we sat in front of a fire pit enjoying the early evening weather.
I also included my A5 mixed media art journal for my pen & ink washes. Both journals fit inside my Lochby Field Journal.
Each day, I recorded objects and things that were easy to sketch. Sometimes I would have 5-15 minutes to quickly sketch something with my pencil or permanent pen.
In my two page spread (above), I created a variety of sketches from ideas in my head. Each object had Thunderstorm incorporated into the sketch which brought the sketches together or created a bit of harmony.
It was handy to have my Rickshaw case filled with my essential supplies as I was able to create quick sketches on the go. Yes, that meant I had to narrow down my choices to six inky colors to take with me.
My Pilot Custom 823 was filled with Hailstorm. I used this ink for writing in my journals. It’s a dark green color that leans more towards blue.
For this trip, I decided to fill a Preppy with a permanent Grey ink color. I used this Preppy mostly for the outlines in my sketches. I do like using this lighter color for my outlines versus using the bold black Carbon ink color.
For my peach sketch, I did not have an orange ink color with me. I used Blood Rose and African Gold and blended/dabbed the colors a bit on my paper. Again, Thunderstorm makes another appearance in each of my sketching scenes.
Here’s an example of a quick sketch I created in my art journal. I had about ten minutes to sketch a few things and not enough time to add my fountain pen inky colors to all of my sketches. I find it’s okay to leave out the colors and add them back in for another day. I can also go back into my travel log and find other things to add to my sketch and add the colors when I have the time.
I know the pages in my art journal looks a bit bare and there are quite a few blank areas in between my sketches. They are my invisible placeholders for when I will go back and write a story about my adventures.
Pens: Pilot Custom 823 in Amber w/Fine nib. Nahvalur Original Plus in Melacara Purple w/Stub nib. Platinum Preppy (02) Extra Fine nib. TWSBI Swipe w/Stub nib. TWSBI GOs w/Stub nibs.
Inks: DeAtramentis Document Ink in Grey. Van Dieman’s Ink Hailstorm and Anna’s Hummingbird Wing (shimmer). Robert Oster Sydney Lavender, Steely Days, Melon Tea, African Gold, Blood Rose, Sydney Darling Harbour, and Thunderstorm.
Cases: Maxpedition Beefy Pocket Organizer in Olive Green. Rickshaw Nock Sinclair model R in Black/Aqua.
Other: Pentel Energize Mechanical Pencil with 0.7mm HB lead. Pentel Water Brushes with small and medium size tips.
Art Journal: Stillman & Birn softcover Alpha A5 (5.5″x8.5″)
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.
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
Today is day 3 of the Diamine inky calendar. I’m pausing my blog as I need to spend some time tackling today’s unique chameleon inky color and find some decent matches from my collection.
Speaking of my swatch collection, I wanted to share with my readers what I look at when I typically see a color I’m interested in. Do I have this particular color in my collection? For example, for the first few weeks of December what swatches come close to the daily colors I see. What is the base color? What are the underlying colors? Is there any sheen and how much? If it’s a shimmering, what color(s) do I see?
I process a lot of color information in my head and as a watercolor artist who enjoys mixing paint colors, I tend to see a range of colors that an average person may not see or recognize at first. Okay, let’s get back to my blog post on swatch cards.
I create and keep swatches of the many bottles of inks I have in my collection. The pictures in this blog post does not include the sample ink vials I also have. Awhile back, I’ve stopped swatching the many vials of ink as they were a waste of time for me and resources. If the color did not appeal to me, why create a swatch card?
Let me introduce to you to my largest swatch collection on a rather large binder ring. Here is my Robert Oster Signature swatch ring.
Yes, I am a big fan of Robert Oster inky colors. I’ve lost count on the number of bottles I have. I’ve probably used half of his colors in one of my many pen & ink wash sketches. My RO shimmering colors are at the front of my ring (upper right) and stop at the white Col-o-ring card. This rather large collection is organized by colors. I enjoy using these inks for writing in my journals and for my pen & ink washes on a variety of art paper.
My next largest binder ring is a collection that contains several of my favorite inky manufacturers. This ring is organized by ink manufacturers and colors. This ring includes Birmingham, Colorverse, Diamine, Jacques Herbin, Platinum, Private Reserve, Rohrer & Klingner, Sailor, Taccia, Van Dieman’s Ink, and Vinta Inks. These are the inks I would use for both writing and sketching in my journals and art papers.
My next largest ring contains a smattering of bottles of inks I have, but may not use the ink on a regular basis. Many bottles/colors end up on this ring which I would use for writing in my journals and not necessary use in my inky sketches. This ring is organized by ink manufacturer and color.
Here’s is my swatch family together.
I do have smaller rings of swatch cards. For example I keep all my Red Inkvent swatch cards on a smaller 1″ binder ring. I keep a small ring for my shimmering inks organized by color. That ring includes shimmering inks from various ink manufacturers. My Anderillium test swatches are still in its own ring.
When I have a few minutes later today I’ll try to remember to capture pictures of the other smaller rings I have and update this blog post.
In the meantime, I need to pull out my swatch cards for today’s chameleon inky color.
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.
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.
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
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.