Day 17: My Orange Swatches

Today’s Diamine Inkvent color is a standard ink called Flame. It’s basically a bright orange ink.

From T’s swatch, I can see some lovely blooms created from the drops of water interacting with the ink.

I do not have too many orange inks. I think Wonderland and Flap Jack Orange are close matches.

I wanted to show the other inks I have that are a bit darker and not as bright. Burned Orange and Antelope Canyon have some lovely dark brown sheen around the edges.

Since I already have two bright orange inks, I won’t be adding Flame to my wish list.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Wonderland. Anderillium Flap Jack Oct Orange. Robert Oster Burned Orange and Antelope Canyon. Private Reserve Shoreline Gold.

Pausing for Station Identification: Most of My Swatch Cards

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.

Missing Sketching Mojo…Found

For the last few weeks, I have not been able to sketch anything. I had my watercolor palette and brushes sitting in my studio waiting for something to happen. I also had my pouch filled with TWSBI GOs (16 of them) inked and ready. Nothing. I carried my art bag around the inside and outside of my house. Just in case some inspiration surfaced.

There are times when many artists go through this mind boggling lack of creativity/motivation period. For me, it’s okay to go through this. I recognize it. I know better than to try and force myself to sit and create something while staring at a blank piece of paper or a page in my art journal.

I have been working on something else. My handwriting skills. Since the DC Pen Show, I’ve been practicing my handwriting skills daily. With the help of my new Stylosuite flex nib pen, it’s been easier for me to write something daily than to draw. I will save this writing experience for a future post.

For now, this was a sketch I created last week while sitting outside and looking at one of the plants Hubby brought home from the garden center. I felt like using my creative license and changed out the pot style as well as the color.

Pens used: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs. Faber-Castell Hexo Blue with Medium nib (Velvet Storm). Pilot Falcon with <SE> nib (Carbon ink).

Inks used: Robert Oster Saguaro Green, Eucalyptus Leaf, Honey Bee, Velvet Storm, and Thunderstorm. Private Reserve Copper Burst. Platinum Carbon ink.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Alpha 5.5″x8.5″

Day 3 at the Pen Show

Conveniently located near the entrance to the small ballroom…if you need cash right away!

I was up early again and had another early breakfast in the hotel restaurant. I made sure I had extra protein (eggs) for another long day. I was pretty sure a lot of people would be showing up for today’s show.

Before I forget, there were signs posted at the entrance into the show. It was good to see everyone wearing a mask.

After my breakfast I headed back to the ink tables to see what I missed from the previous morning.

I saw Barbara (one of the show managers) setting up a new ink table with Private Reserve Inks. Clearly she needed some help and I rolled up my sleeves which is a must if I’m anywhere near all things inky. I opened the boxes and then had to unseal the bottle tops and removed the caps and placed the bottles on the tables. My mind wasn’t too happy to see colors haphazardly strewn about on the table. I started to move the bottles around and arranged them by color. I tried to. Most of the bottles were full to the brim with ink and I had to be careful. I did manage to spill a doggie bowl full of pen flush across the table. Oooops! Initially it did not look like it was full of any liquid. That’s how clear the bowl was. Better that than valuable ink, right? Hahaha!

After rearranging the jars of ink, I grabbed my ink journal and proceeded to swatch all the Private Reserve colors in front of me.

I could sense people had started to arrive in the main hallway as the chatter of noise grew bigger. I checked my watch and the pen show had officially started for the public. I took a quick glance inside the main ballroom and could not believe the number of people.

I stopped by Stylosuite to say “good morning” to Les. A rare moment when his table was not busy.

Another picture of his beautiful pen displays.

As I walked around the tables and took pictures, one of the things I tried not to do is interfere or disturb people who were looking at pens. That’s why my pen pictures are scattered across several days during the long weekend.

Here are some Trenche pens on display:

The Laban tables were full of colorful and shiny pens.

Diplomat pens:

Diplomat Aeros


Esterbrook pens

I tried to walk around and get my laps in and steps counted, but even little ole me had a tough time walking through the crowds.

I wandered around the main hallway and snapped a couple of pictures where I could.

Taccia table:

Narwhal table:

Apparently I heard some folks missed or did not know about the small ballroom. I spent a lot of time in there.

Carolina Pen Company:

IronFeather Creative:

Riggs Pens:

I decided to head back to my room and unwind until it was time to haul my bags down to the meeting room for my second workshop.

In the meantime, I received a text from Hubby that he left the house and was on his way back to the hotel. I warned him about the crowds of pen-folks he might encounter.

Apparently at some point, the line to get into the pen show had extended to the double doors that led to/from the garage. I cannot confirm this, it’s just what I heard.

I was down in the meeting room getting the workshop setup when I see Hubby coming into the room. He asks “Okay, so what pen did you get?” Startled, my eyes must have gone big and wide as one of my workshop attendees started giggling. I immediately pull out my pen case and show Hubby my Stylosuite pen and the fancy flex nib. He thought that was the coolest thing. Before he left the meeting room, he mentioned that we were going shopping. I asked “where?” and he said upstairs. I was laughing as I thought we were going to the Mall.

After the workshop was finished, I quickly packed up my supplies and journals and headed up to the room. I had no idea what “shopping” meant to my Hubby and he does not like being around crowds.

Apparently he wanted to get me a fountain pen. I already knew which table I wanted to go back to. Hubby was brave as there still was a large crowd, but folks have told me it wasn’t as bad as the late morning/early afternoon crowd. We made our way to the small ballroom and we were in front of the Turnt Pen Co table.

Tim Crowe owner of Turnt Pen Co.

Besides creating/turning pens, Tim also creates his own blanks. They are absolutely beautiful and stunning.

I showed Hubby my PM 4 pen that I had purchased the day before and he loved the colors in that pen. That helped him figure out the next pen for me. Hubby saw a Peacock (Bob Dupras) pen with lovely swirls of blue and green. He said it reminded him of the Caribbean Sea. Tim immediately knew my process and asked which nib I wanted and installed it along with a converter into the pen. I did my imaginary writing and knew that all was well in my fountain pen world. Hubby purchased my Christmas present and not to be seen again until December 25th!

Now, that’s just plain rough for me for the next few months. Knowing there’s a new pen in the house and I can’t touch it. Hahaha!

Hubby wanted to leave the hotel and get some dinner. At that moment, I did not realize how good it felt to be outside. Besides having dry eyes from forgetting to blink while looking at all things pen and ink related, I was lacking my daily dose of Vitamin D.

I could not eat all of my meal. See the empty chip basket?

Later in the evening I started to pack up the supplies and clothes I no longer needed and packed a few things in my car. Less is better in the morning when I’m ready to check out.

More to come.

My Pilot Preras and Calligraphy Medium Nibs

Edit: I forgot to mention that the nibs and feed from my Pilot Metropolitan and Plumix fountain pens are swappable with my Pilot Preras. The nib and feed are friction fit. Pull out the nib/feed from one pen and push into another.

I have a thing for my Pilot Preras. Especially my pens that have the Calligraphy Medium or (CM) nibs. The (CM) nib writes like a medium nib, but with a stub-like feel. Instead of having smooth edges, the edges of the (CM) nib are crisp-like and can produce an italic style of writing with of course crisp edges. Because of the distinct crisp-like edges on the nib, there is a sweet-spot when writing with these nibs. If I turn my nib a bit while writing I can feel the edge of the nib grind a bit into the paper. It’s a reminder that I need to hold the pen with the nib flat against the paper.

My Pilot Preras are the colorful and transparent models. They are beautiful to look at and lovely to write with.

They are small in size, but when posted they are comfortable in my hand. I keep one or two Preras inked and they have a special place on my studio desk for jotting notes and for journaling.

In my pens, I use my empty Pilot ink cartridges instead of the converters. I find it’s easier to fill the cartridges and clean them. They also hold more ink than the included converters.

I recently filled all of my beauties with different brands of inks and used them to sketch with.

Here’s my writing sample showing the different ink brands I’m currently using:

The CM nib really enhances my handwriting and makes it look a bit more elegant.

These are fun pens to write and sketch with. The pens have a lovely snap cap feel that is smooth and solid when I remove and put the caps back onto the pens. When posted, the cap slides securely to the back of the pen.

The clip on the Preras are well made. My pens slide in and out of my pen cases without snagging or getting caught in the openings. I have a few other fountain pens where their clips enjoy holding on to the fabric as I try to pull them out of my pen case.

My Preras are noticeably smaller in size when compared to my favorite fountain pens. I actually don’t mind their compact size as I can easily slip my pen into a travel sized notebook or into a pen slot in my purse or backpack.

Pens: Pilot Prera Transparent colors (light blue, light green, black, pink, & orange) with Calligraphy Medium (CM) nibs.

Inks: Diamine Asa Blue and Amaranth. Monteverde Olivine. Private Reserve Copper Burst. Vinta Inks Damili.

Paper: Rhodia

Private Reserve Inks

I jumped on another fountain pen ink bandwagon. This time with Private Reserve Inks. This ink brand has been showing up on my radar and social media feed for awhile. I did some research and found the original owner had passed away in 2018 and the remaining ink bottles at the pen shops eventually sold out. Sometime in 2019, a new owner took over the Private Reserve Inks and partnered with Yafa Brands to produce the bottles of ink.

I’ve heard there were a few issues with some of the ink colors (like mold) and that was prior to the new ownership/management taking over this line of ink. I have not seen nor heard of any recent issues with the new inks.

I naturally wanted to get a teal and a pinky/raspberry/purple ink. I ended up selecting Blue Suede, Arabian Rose, Shoreline Gold, and Naples Blue to try out. Another ink color is arriving later in the week and I will be adding this ink color to this blog post.

My Private Reserve Inks

I initially swatched the colors on my Col-o-ring card and in my Stalogy 365 ink journal. I was amazed at the bright and bold ink colors that popped on the paper. Some slight bleeding occurred on the Col-o-ring card which is normal for me to see. I noticed that the ink was quite wet and my automatic pen saturated my swatch cards.

Stunning colors!
Shoreline Gold is a pretty and bright orange color with lots of shading
Arabian Rose if my fave color with beautiful shading and black sheen
Blue Suede is an absolutely gorgeous teal color with pink sheen and beautiful shading
Naples Blue is a beautiful medium blue ink with lovely pink sheen and shading

When I did my swatches in my Stalogy ink journal, I immediately noticed the feathering around the edges of the ink. This was the first time I experienced a huge amount of feathering on this paper. I flipped through the pages of my ink journal to see if I have experienced this with any other ink manufacturer or maybe an ink color. Private Reserve Inks are the only ones feathering.

I inked two pens to see if I would see similar feathering when I write with my fountain pens. I selected my two Taccia Spectrum pens. One with an Extra Fine nib and the other with a Medium nib. I also cleaned my Estie OS and filled it with Arabian Rose.

Adding my writing samples to my swatch page

As expected, writing with the Extra Fine nibs hardly shows any feathering. Writing with my Medium nib, I could see a bit of feathering.

As expected, writing on my Tomoe River Paper (TRP) did not show any feathering.

My Tomoe River Paper ink log

Here’s another writing sample using my Ayush Paper. I’m starting to come down from my fence with this paper. I like writing on this paper and especially with my Pilot Parallel pens. That’s another post for another day.

Can see the lovely shading on my Ayush paper

So I have a slight issue with Private Reserve’s jar. It’s a round squatty shaped jar. When I placed my pen into the bottle to fill with ink, I noticed there was not a whole lot of space between the tip of my nib and the bottom of the jar. Eventually, I will have to decant the ink into my Pineider or Visconti travel inkwells. I just remembered I have a few TWSBI inkwells that I could use. A better solution.

Private Reserve Ink jars are short compared to my sample vials and my small Diamine bottle

Update: A late add to this blog entry. Here’s my fifth bottle that arrived late. Lovely color!

An interesting copper color with character
Lovely shading with black sheen

I will have to spend more time with this ink brand. That includes creating a few pen and ink wash artwork to see how this ink behaves on different art paper. The ink colors are definitely gorgeous with a lot of sheen and shading characteristics I enjoy seeing.

Inks: Private Reserve Inks in Shoreline Gold, Blue Suede, Arabian Rose, Naples Blue, and Copper Burst

Papers: Col-o-ring swatch cards, Ayush Paper, GLP Creations TRP journal, and Stalogy 365 B6 journal