My Rugged Art Case for Fountain Pens

I have several fountain pen cases I use for travel. For my everyday writers or EDWs I like using my 3-pen case from Franklin-Christoph. I use my EDWs for my daily/weekly/monthly BUJO, for journal writing, and taking notes for online courses.

For my “durable” artsy fountain pens (e.g. TWSBI GOs), I have to use a completely different pen case. I like having several different ink colors available when the sketching urge hits me. This is where function overrides a nice looking case. I mentioned some time last year I was using a pouch like case like this one pictured below.

This case had served it’s purpose as it could hold a number of fountain pens in the main zippered pouch. I think at one point I was able to cram about 20 TWSBI GOs. Over time I found the pouch was cumbersome to use.

The main issue I had was I could only see a few pens on the top and I had to dig around inside the pouch to look for an ink color. Many times I had to dump all my pens out to see what I had or wanted to use.

I did some research (because that’s what I enjoy doing) and followed a few other artists to see what tools and cases they had in their art bag.

I came across a watercolor artist who was using a Maxpedition Beefy Pocket Organizer case. This case looks quite rugged and durable. I actually bought two of these when I came across a BOGO sale at the manufacturer’s site. One in black (shown here) and another in a pretty olive green color that I use to carry my watercolor brushes and paints.

Here’s the front of my case. I lightened the picture slightly to show off the stitching and how well made this case is. Remember I am a sewist and I look for good stitching. The front has two velcro pieces at the top if I wanted to add a personal patch. There is also a front pocket made of netting that is secured with velcro behind the Maxpedition logo. I added two fountain pens and a blotter card to show the pocket size.

Let’s start with the left side of my case. Immediately you can see the horizontal elastic loops. There are two sets of elastic loops with the narrower loop sewn on top of the wider loop. The top narrow loops (six of them) hold my individual pens in place. Behind the narrow loops are three wide loops. There’s an open pocket behind my pens that can hold more pens, pencils, a small notebook, or folded paper towels.

Here’s the right side of my case and there is another set of elastic loops. It’s a similar set up to the right side except the loops are sewn in vertically to maximize storage space. It also looks like the elastic loop space is wider. I removed my pens to show the configuration better. There’s a zippered pocket behind the loops for another small notebook or other accessories.

There’s a horizontal elastic loop at the interior edge of the case. This is a large loop that holds my three water brushes and my Platinum Preppy filled with Carbon ink.

I went ahead and put my pens back into the case. Again I’m only using the upper loop configuration to hold my pens. I can slip two pens into each loop.

Here is the backside of my Maxpedition case. It has a grab handle and another set of loops to hold more stuff. The loops on the back are not elastic and made out of webbing material just like the handle.

Since I use mostly TWSBI GOs for artwork, I have no issues with throwing those pens into this case and hit the road with them. My GOs are durable and can take the jostling around in my backpack.

This is a rugged and durable case. Think tactical gear. The material in the Maxpedition feels a bit rough. The elastic loops are stiff and have a rough feeling. I found the roughness eventually lessens the more I use my case. As you can see in the pictures, there is no padding in the case.

It’s perfect for my use to hold and carry all my artsy fountain pens (TWSBI GOs). When I open my case I can see all my pens and art tools and can quickly get to work creating art.

I will be back with another review on how I use my green Maxpedition case for my watercolor supplies.

Case: Maxpedition Beefy Pocket Organizer in Black

Pens: TWSBI GO, Eco, and Diamond 580. Monteverde Innova Carbon Black with Rainbow trim. Conklin All American Lapis Blue and Duragraph Matte Black with Rainbow trim. Maiora Impronte OS Posilippo. Esterbrook Estie OS Dreamer Purple. Turnt Pen Co Pynchon PM4. Pilot Stargazer Black and Prera Pink. Lamy 2000 Makrolon.

Other: Pentel water brushes. Pentel Energize pencil.

Day #20: Pink Ice

Inkvent Day #20: Diamine Pink Ice

Can you hear me squealing with delight? Hahaha!

I’ve mentioned the Diamine labeling system has been very helpful. Look at this label color!

My bottle is chock-full of shimmers. Some of which is stuck to the bottom of my bottle.

This is one lovely pink color! Another favorite from the calendar. Did I mention it is also appropriately named?

Can you see it? All that sparkly stuff? It’s so bright! Even the inside barrel of my TWSBI is covered in sparkles.

Besides the shimmer, there’s a lot of shading with this ink.


My favorite shimmering pink ink is Robert Oster Blood Rose. I think it’s been replaced with this lovely Pink Ice which is definitely brighter. In the following picture, I show my Diamine Red Lustre swatch card for comparison. Pink Ice is not a light weight pink color. It can definitely hold its own.

Pink Ice makes a lovely ink wash. The shimmer for the most part stays in place. I am soooo happy!

Pink Ice is a rosy-pink color ink with icy pink shimmers. How’s that for a description? There is also a bit of red sheen that might be hard to see when competing with all the sparkles. Another favorite ink color that is on my wish list.

Ink: Diamine Pink Ice (shimmer)

Pens: TWSBI Diamond 580 AL in Rose with Stub 1.1 nib. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with TRP (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Day #19: Festive Joy

Inkvent Day #19: Diamine Festive Joy

At first, Festive Joy looks like a standard purple ink color.

I found my purple TWSBI Eco matches the ink color perfectly. It’s a dark purple ink with something else going on.

This ink has an amazing bronze sheen.

My writing sample appears to be glowing around the edges. I was so enamored by the sheen, I apparently wrote one too many “la” in my sample.

Amazing! Right?

This ink color produces a bold purple ink wash. Look at all this sheen showing up on my mixed media paper. 🤩

This is an amazing dark purple ink with a stunning bronze sheen. It’s hard to believe Diamine calls this a standard ink when the sheen shows up everywhere including my ink wash. Festive Joy is on my wish list.

Ink: Diamine Festive Joy (standard)

Pens: TWSBI ECO Purple with Stub 1.1 nib. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with TRP (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Day #18: All is Very Shimmery with Subzero

Inkvent Day #18: Diamine Subzero

Do you see this label? I’m doing the happy-dance at the suggested ink color and it says shimmer. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Lots of shimmer here!

I see some blue metallics swirling around inside my bottle.

I have to say this ink color brings me so much joy! It sure brightens up the page in my journal.

A closer look shows quite a bit of bright blue metallic shimmer. Gorgeous!

In addition to the shimmer, there is quite a bit of shading.

There’s a tiny bit of red sheen.

Subzero produces a beautiful ink wash. The yellow from Candle Light bled into my turquoise ink.

I went through my swatch cards as this Subzero color reminded me of another ink color I have without all the shimmers. Birmingham Glassmith was almost a perfect match.

I would say this is a bright turquoise color with lots of light metallic blue shimmers and a smidgen of red sheen. A gorgeous ink color with quite a bit of personality. It’s another favorite from the calendar and on my wish list.

Ink: Diamine Subzero (shimmer)

Pens: TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with TRP (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Day #13: Ruby Blues

Ink: Diamine Ruby Blues

Ruby Blues is a perfect name for this ink color. A blue ink with red sheen.

There’s plenty of sheen in my writing sample while looking straight down on the page.

On my swatch card, the red sheen is amazing. Hmmmm. I’ve seen this color before.

Ruby Blues reminded me of two other inks I have: Diamine Skull & Roses and PW Ackerman #5 Shocking Blue. My friend “M” gave me a sample of Skull & Roses which happens to be a German exclusive ink. My friend “J” sent me a lovely bottle of Shocking Blue. All three inks have the same blue ink color and very similar sheen.

Here’s a view from a different angle.

My ink wash test. This is a bold ink color compared the other inks I’ve been using for my artwork.

Ruby Blues is a beautiful dark blue color with lots of vibrant red sheen. I think this ink is a good replacement for Skull & Roses and Shocking Blue. Let’s hope Diamine produces this color in a large bottle.

Ink: Diamine Ruby Blues (sheen)

Pens: TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with TRP (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Day #7: Oh So Bright!

Inkvent Day #7: Diamine Candle Light

After opening the previous days’ inks, it was nice to see a lovely bright ink color appear on my radar. It’s a beautiful yellow ink that is also readable on paper.

Door #7 was a bit tricky to find as I was looking for a normal number 7. Diamine was clever with the candy cane.

Candle light is a lovely standard ink color.

There is not too much going on with this ink color other than quite a bit of shading.

I’m very happy to see this ink has quite a bit of shading. For a yellow color it is readable on paper.

There’s a tiny-tiny bit of sheen. I can barely see it.

This ink creates a lovely ink wash.

I was flipping through my three (3) sets of Col-o-ring cards and the only yellows I have are from Robert Oster Signature Inks. The orange-y side of this color reminds me of RO Antelope Canyon. The bright yellow reminds me of RO Exclusive ink called Fire. No pictures (for now) of my swatches as I had a hard time photographing them and getting the correct colors to show.

Just for fun, I took my swatch and matched it against my Daniel Smith watercolors. It was quite close to Quinacridone Gold.

This beautiful Candle light ink color looks to be on the orange side and the underlying color is definitely yellow. How about a golden yellow?

Ink: Diamine Candle Light (standard)

Pens: TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1. Automatic pen

Journal: GLP Creations with TRP (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Day #6 is Everything Nice!

Yes! That’s how I am describing this lovely ink color.

Inkvent Day #6: Winter Spice

Winter Spice is both a shimmering and sheening ink.

There is some particulates at the bottom of my bottle, but I’m unsure what color it is.

My writing sample and swatch card shows a bright blue shimmer as well as a bright green sheen. It’s amazing how much the shimmer shows when I took this picture straight on.

Here’s a close up of my writing.

At a lower angle, I can see the green sheen on the last line.

This is one gorgeous ink! It has some amazing ink characteristics.

Here’s my pen & ink sketch. 🤩

This is a lovely brown ink with bright blue shimmers and green sheen. Another one added to my wish list for a larger bottle. This ink produces a beautiful ink wash.

Ink: Diamine Winter Spice (shimmer & sheen)

Pens: TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations TRP (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Day #4…Wow!

No, that’s not the name of this ink. That’s my description when I swatched my card. I’ll get to that in a moment.

Inkvent Day #4: Diamine Tempest

I had a hard time locating door #4. As you can see the number is partially on the door and not in the center like the previous numbers.

Tempest is a dark blue shimmering ink.

My bottle is chock-full of shimmering particulates.

Here’s my writing sample and swatch. I made a mistake and wrote in the title below the wrong ink type. This is not a standard ink. It’s a shimmering ink as you can see. I was caught up in the moment with this ink color and not paying attention to what I was writing.

Looking straight down on my page I can see loads of shimmer.

At this angle…just WOW!

Let’s look at this from another angle.

My pen & ink sketch for today.

This is another gorgeous color. The best way I can describe this ink: dark blue with gold shimmers and a bit of pinky sheen. I can definitely see the pink sheen on my swatch card. This ink is definitely on my wish list. 🤩

Ink: Diamine Tempest (shimmer)

Pens: TWSBI ECO Blue with Stub 1.1 nib. Automatic pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with TRP (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Day #3 with Ash

So far, I’ve been extremely happy with the Diamine Inkvent colors. Okay, I’ve only swatched two inks. There’s been a few OMG-moments especially when I apply water to my swatches.

Today, I was not surprised to see a true “standard” ink. Especially with an ink called Ash.

Inkvent Day #3: Diamine Ash

I just noticed Diamine’s labeling system includes the ink’s color on the label. Like this label shows an actual gray color.

Here’s my writing sample for Day #3. This is definitely a gray color. There is some shading and that’s about it.

When I add some water to my swatch card, that’s when I can see the ink’s personality.

Here’s a better view of my swatch. There’s a tiny bit of blue and a bit of blush undertone colors showing.

A quick pen & ink sketch on mixed media paper:

Overall this is an interesting ink color. With my stub 1.1 nib, the ink shows some shading qualities. I was on the fence when I first saw this color. As I’m using it more and more, it has grown on me.

Ink: Diamine Ash (standard)

Pen: TWSBI Swipe with Stub 1.1 nib

Journal: GLP Creations Tomoe River Paper (68gsm)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media

Happy Diamine Inkvent December and Day 1!

You’ve read in a previous post that I was able to get my hands on the Diamine Inkvent 2021 Calendar and I was anxiously waiting to bust open the bottles of ink. Well today is the first day of December and it’s only appropriate for me to share with you my first swatch (out of 25 colors). This will be a first for me as I will be posting an ink color each day until the 25th of December.

The front of my Inkvent Calendar box shows the numbers (1-25) and the perforated outlines representing the individual doors with the tiny bottles of ink behind them.

Here’s the back of the box.

I did open the top of the box and pulled out the plastic tray that holds the bottles of ink. Oooops! Two tiny bottles jumped out and landed on my desk. Uh-oh! I quickly figured out which day they belonged to and placed them in the tray. Box is now closed. Lesson learned. Must not open the box again. 🤣

Inkvent Day #1: Seize the Night

It’s not easy to open each door. I used the blade of my scissors to carefully “trace” the outline of the door and used my Cricut weeding tool to pull the door open.

Here is the bottle of ink behind Door #1. Can you hear me squealing with delight?

For those of you who are not partaking in the Inkvent calendar, I wanted to show the size of this tiny bottle (12 ml) in comparison to a bottle of Robert Oster ink (50 ml).

It took some effort to remove the plastic wrap from the tiny plastic bottle. Each bottle is labeled with the ink name in the front and on the side it shows the ink’s type. For Seize the Night, they called this a standard ink.

Here is a picture of my swatch samples and writing sample.

At first, the ink looks like an average brown/bronze ink. Until, I look at the ink from my swatch card at an angle. Do you see it? This ink appears to have a “vintage brass-like” sheen.

My writing sample showed very little specs of sheen.

Here’s a close up of my swatch card.

This ink color is hard to photograph. Especially with my writing sample. Is this a purple ink? Or a brown-bronze ink? When I added water to the ink swatch a reddish purple color appeared on my swatch card. It then dried to a purple hue. Yes, I was scratching my head on this one. I set my card aside to let it dry and did not see the color had changed.

I’ve changed my mind on this ink color. I would say this is a purple ink bronze ink with purple undertones and with a bit of vintage brass sheen. The more I write with this ink, the more I see a dark purple ink color on my paper.

Here’s my quick pen & ink sketch on mixed media paper:

Ink: Diamine Seize the Night (standard)

Pens Used: TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib. Glass dip pen. Automatic Pen.

Journal: GLP Creations with Tomoe River Paper (68gms)

Paper: Grumbacher Mixed Media