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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s my writing samples from my Euphorias. All three are filled with shimmering inks.
Here’s what the page from my art journal looks like:
Here’s another picture to show off the glittering 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.
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
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 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.
Late last year, Robert Oster Sydney Lavender was a late addition to my ink collection. It blends beautifully with Diamine Arabian Nights (shimmer) ink.
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.
I have a picture I took a few years ago from a charcoal art class I attended. It’s a still life that incorporated two bottles, a mug, and some fabric. My art instructor placed several objects (pottery, bottles, styrofoam shapes, etc) on several tables. She told me I could sit at any table. I was drawn to this simple composition that incorporated the use of odd numbers (two bottles and a mug) and the draped and folded fabric. It was the most challenging table compared to the other still life tables she had set up for the class. While the other students chose the easier objects to sketch, I wanted to create something that would challenge my brain.
It was easy for my eyes to say I can draw/sketch this simple mug. When I grabbed my piece of charcoal and started to draw the shapes, my brain said “this looks wonky” because my ovals looked more like circles, the top and bottom of the mug did not align, and the handle on my mug looked like one of Mickey’s ears. That’s what happened with my initial warm up sketch.
At the end of that charcoal class, I took a few pictures of this beautiful still life. I knew this would be “the one” picture I would use over and over for my practice study using graphite, pastels, oils, watercolor and now pen and ink.
I like using a single color to sketch/draw and create a monochromatic piece of art. This helps me understand the qualities of the medium I am using. With fountain pen inks, I get to see so many surprising colors appear on my watercolor paper that I might not see in my regular writing journals.
Here is my latest pen and ink wash sketch using a single ink color from Robert Oster.
The base ink color for Schwarz Rose looks like a dark green with rose gold shimmering particles. I sketched an outline using my Preppy with Carbon ink (water resistant). I drew the lines around the objects with the Schwarz Rose ink color and used my water brush to soften the lines a bit. After I let the paper dry, I went back in with bolder and darker lines to create the shadows. I took my water brush and “painted” over the dark areas and pulled the colors out over the paper.
I had to be careful not to overwork the areas with the dark ink. It’s harder to remove a dark color once I applied the ink to the paper. Plus when too much water is added, the color looks less saturated.
Once my sketch was dried, I was amazed to see other colors appear such as green-black, a few shades of teal, and rose pink.
Since the month of January was the month for shimmering inks, I ended up using a few of my shimmering inks in my sketches. Once water is applied to the shimmering inks, the shimmer particles will start to spread and collect in different areas of where the water has pooled. A few times the diluted shimmers might look faded on the paper. In the final layer of color, I go back with my shimmering inks and draw a few lines to bring back the highlights or shimmering effects on the object.
Pens: Platinum Preppy with 02 Extra Fine nib (Carbon ink). TWSBI Diamond 580ALR Prussian Blue with Medium nib
Edit: I’ve added a picture of my final pen and ink sketch below. Enjoy!
Just when I thought I was done with acquiring new inks, Robert Oster comes along and creates some new exciting and exclusive inks. The first set that I blogged about a few days ago was an exclusive trio that included Charred Hickory, Hemp, and Blue River.
Now, there’s another set of exclusive ink colors that includes some beautiful and saturated colors. The trio of colors are called: Sedona Red, Saguaro Green, and Monsoon Sky.
The colors in this new palette reminds me of my time spent in Arizona many years ago. Unfortunately it was not for vacation time, but for work. I had an opportunity to travel and spend a few weeks with a team of fellow co-workers.
We spent our days and nights working on a project and then we were given time off on the weekend to go exploring. I grabbed my rental car keys and my girlfriends and we headed to Sedona. The red rocks of Sedona took my breath away. I have pictures of my adventure, but unfortunately will have to dig deep into my archives to locate them. For now, my color swatches, writing samples, and artwork will have to suffice.
The new colors are bright and bold.
The only non-inked art pens I had available were my Prefountes with fine nibs. Sometimes I find it harder to draw with finer nibs and create a good water wash of colors. Here’s my artwork:
I was surprised at the Monsoon Sky color. The label on the bottle looked like a dark blue color. Once I applied the ink to the paper, I found it leaned more towards a beautiful teal blue color.
My plan is to continue working on my artwork and adding more color especially in the sky. I’ll be back to post a finished version later this week.
Stay safe and have a great day!
Pens: Platinum Prefountes with 03 Fine nibs and TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1
Inks: Robert Oster Sedona Red, Saguaro Green, Monsoon Sky, Heart of Gold, and Thunderstorm.
Some of you already know that I love to take pictures. This has been an ongoing hobby that started many, many years ago. I have a huge collection of pictures that I’ve been using to create my artwork. I don’t have a photographic memory and so I have to rely on my photos for shapes, size, colors, etc. I also use my photos to avoid any copyright issues.
I start my rough sketches with an HB pencil and go over my paper with a very light touch. Sometimes I do have to erase rogue lines and erasing the light lines will avoid tearing or roughing up my paper. I then take my Platinum Preppy filled with Carbon ink and gently go over certain areas of my sketch to show a few outlines of my shapes and also to show where I might want darker areas (shadows and shading) to be.
Here’s an initial sketch with my pencil, Carbon ink, and the first fountain pen ink (Robert Oster Gold Antiqua) application.
Once the initial sketch starts taking shape, I will continue to add other colored inks to my drawing. I typically start with the lighter colored inks and then work my way to the darker inks. I’m careful to watch where my light source is coming from and place the appropriate shadows. In my sketch, the light source (the sun) is coming from the upper right side of my paper. I applied more gold to the right side of the palm leaves or fronds to make them glow a bit and a few on the left side of the tree.
I apply a water wash over certain areas of my sketch. I do this in stages and by sections before the ink dries on the paper. A little bit of water goes a long way. That’s why I use the smallest brush size. By the way, the Pentel Water Brushes comes in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and Flat.
I’ve added the palm tree’s shadow at the bottom and on the left side of the tree. I applied a few lines RO Melon Tea and dabbed a bit of RO Thunderstorm into the Melon Tea and used 2-3 strokes of my water brush to blend the two inks together and careful not to overdue it. It’s okay to have some hard edges where the ink colors pool together.
I used the Melon Tea ink for the shading of the tree trunk (left side) and also used that color for the tree’s shadow. I use the Thunderstorm ink color for all of my base shadows and it mixes well with other colors on paper. It’s a dark blue black color the shades beautifully when water is applied to the ink. My palm tree looks grounded versus floating on the paper.
If I have diluted the ink on my paper too much, I will let that area dry completely. I go back with my pen and redraw the lines/shapes over the diluted/faded area.
I have been carving out some “art time” during the day and enjoying my time playing with some gorgeous ink colors. I plan on showing some incredible inks in future posts. Stay Safe!
Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs
Inks: Jacques Herbin Vert Atlantide (shimmer) and Robert Oster Heart of Gold (shimmer), Eucalyptus Leaf, Thunderstorm, Melon Tea, and Gold Antiqua.
Tools: Platinum Preppy 02 Extra Fine nib and Platinum Carbon ink (permanent) and Pentel Water Brush (Small).
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.
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!
I quickly gave some of my pens a quick bath down at my kitchen sink. I’m back in my studio tending to my pens for the rest of my Pen Cleaning Day process.
I scanned my PCD bin and saw that they were mostly my lovely Platinum pens. I Love My Platinum Fountain Pens! There I said it. I just promoted my devotion to this brand. Platinum has now become number one in book. It’s unseated my previous number one…Pilot. Now. I’m talking about Japanese pen brands.
So how does a brand rank for me? We all know that nib swapping is important to me. I have to omit this pen function for Japanese brands. So, we all know that Japanese nibs can not be swapped around. Many of the brands have warnings. Voided warranties. Break the pen while trying to pull out nibs, twisting out nib units, or break the feed…not covered under their warranties.
The other pen function that is important to me is cleaning and maintenance. If I can’t take apart my pen, how easy is it? To clean. Not just regular ink, how about shimmers?
Today, I found this out with my Platinum pens. Specifically my Platinum Prefountes. I had my Jacques Herbin Cornaline de Egypte ink in my Prefounte from the beginning of August of this year. That’s four months that this shimmering ink has been sitting in my Prefounte pen. I had also converted this pen to an eyedropper pen. I used it every now and then. Maybe every two weeks. When I would need to use an orange shimmering ink for writing or sketching. The Prefounte wrote brilliantly when I put the nib to paper. No hard starts or drying out. That’s because of the Platinum “slip ‘n seal” caps.
I should add that I kept my Prefountes lying around on my desk. Horizontal. No storing nibs up in this case.
You can see all the orange shimmers in the section. My thoughts were this will take some time to get all this out.
After the bath, I placed the section nib down into a jar filled with paper towels. I used my pipette to drop water into the section and let the water do its thing. Thirty minutes later and to my amazement, the section is clear of most shimmers or ink residuals. It bled out into my paper towel.
Now, I have two additional Prefountes that had been filled with normal ink (from the end of September) and you can see the sections are filled with ink.
Now your mileage may vary on how easy it is to clean fountain pens. Like the Jacques Herbin shimmering inks are light with their shimmering particles. I do have additional Prefountes filled with Diamine shimmering inks. Filled around the same time I used my Cornaline de Egypte ink. I will report back how well the Diamine shimmers clean out of those pens. My goal for the end of this year is to give my remaining inked pens a good bath.
My current pens that ended up getting their spa treatments: Platinum 3776 Century Chartres Blue, Platinum Procyon Luster Rose Gold, Platinum Prefounte, Montegrappa Elmo Blue Cross Gentian, and TWSBI Vac Mini.
Now to go and take apart my TWSBI Vac Mini and give that a good scrubbing….
Here’s a quick post of a new pen and ink I received today. I saw someone post about a Platinum rose gold pen. It’s a new series in their Procyon line called Luster. Here’s my rose gold pen:
I have a few Procyon pens from Platinum’s 100th anniversary collection in various colors with Fine nibs. The pens are not too light and weigh around 23 grams. I actually enjoy posting the pens and they feel well balanced in my hand.
I decided to go with a Medium nib on this beautiful rose gold version. I found out the sections on my other Procyons are swappable. So I can swap around between Fine and Medium when the mood hits me. Too bad they don’t offer additional nib sizes like Extra Fine or Broad.
Like their other models, the Procyon also has the “slip ‘n seal” cap which prevents the ink from drying out on the nib and feed. It really works. I had a Procyon inked for a year and forgot about it for several months. One day I picked it up and it wrote as soon as I put the nib down onto my paper. No hesitation.
The Procyons are well made and durable. The nibs are smooth and I do enjoy the writing experience. Who doesn’t love a rose gold pen?!