New Shimmering Ink!

I ended 2022 with a last minute purchase of a new Van Dieman’s Ink that caught my eye. My new ink arrived in 2023, so it’s my first new inky color for this year.

This is a new series of inks called Birds of a Feather. The series is broken into six different birds: Anna’s Hummingbird, Blue Jay, Elegant Peacock, European Honey Bee Eater, Laughing Kookaburra, and Mandarin Duck.

The ink I selected is from Anna’s Hummingbird called Wing. The box has a colorful and gorgeous artwork that also appears on the bottle’s label.

This is a medium olive green ink color with lovely shading. At first it appears to have green shimmers.

I double checked the bottom of my bottle to see what the actual shimmering particles looked like. It definitely looked green to me.

I looked at my swatch from a slight angle, it looks like a bright green shimmer.

When I looked at my swatch from a side angle, I started to see another shimmering color appear. A lovely teal blue color.

I went back to my bottle and gave it a good shake. I tried to capture the shimmering colors I saw which could now be three colors depending on the lighting.

Once the shimmers started to settle inside the bottle, different layers of shimmering colors appeared. At the very bottom I could see some of the gold particles. In the middle was the green and towards the top is a tiny bit of teal blue.

The following shows my damp towel with some of the bluish grey underlying ink color and then blooming out into olive green and a bright chartreuse green around the outer areas. There is also a bright neon green color around the outer edge. I can honestly say this ink has a lot of personality.

As the my towel dried, the bluish grey color is more defined in the bloom.

So how does this VDI Wing compare to my other olive green inks? It’s very similar to Prairie Green, but a bit darker. Prairie Green has gold shimmers which gives this color a lighter appearance. Wing has several shimmering colors which gives the illusion the ink is darker.

This is another of my “trust my gut instinct” ink and I’m so happy to have this in my inky collection. Looking forward to sketching with this ink.

Ink: Van Dieman’s Ink Birds of a Feather series – Anna’s Hummingbird Wings (shimmers)

Tools used: Automatic Pen with 3A nib. River City Pen Company nib holder with JoWo #6 Fine nib.

Happy New Year! Updated: a Permanent Ink & a New Journal

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

Day 25: The Last Day with My Swatches of Green Inks

We are at the end of our Diamine Inkvent Calendar. I want to say a huge thank you to T for providing me with her lovely swatches. Today’s Diamine ink is Best Wishes a shimmering and sheening ink. It appears to be a dark green ink with a massive amount of red sheen and green shimmers.

I pulled out my green swatches from my collection.

Enchanted Woods was the only green ink I had that contained green shimmers.

Upon further inspection, the shimmers looks more like a silver-green.

I narrowed down my choices to three ink colors that had no shimmers.

Black Ivy, which also has a massive amount of sheen, was from last year’s calendar. There’s a dark blue underlying color in Black Ivy which makes it lean a bit towards a teal blue color. Sea Turtle is a true green ink color with lovely red sheen. River of Fire is a green ink color that leans a bit towards blue as I can see some blue in the underlying color.

Yes. Best Wishes made it to my wish list.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Black Ivy. Diamine Golden Ivy (shimmer). Van Dieman’s Ink Sea Turtle and Enchanted Woods (shimmer). Taccia Midori. Robert Oster River of Fire and Peppermint.

Day 22: My Eggplant Purple Swatches

Today’s Diamine Inkvent color is Deck the Halls. It’s a stunning chameleon ink with rose gold and copper shimmers. As more folks are posting this lovely ink color on social media, I’m seeing a purple color leaning towards red. The first thought that popped into my head was eggplant.

T’s swatch shows a pretty display of rose and gold shimmers.

Since this is called a chameleon ink, I expected to see two different shimmers in this ink. I can definitely see some rose and gold shimmers from T’s bottle.

I mentioned in my last blog post how I enjoy a good medium to dark pink color. I also enjoy a good purple leaning red color. You can see from my selection, this purple is also one of my fave colors.

I enjoy having a good range of colors. Each one has a unique personality or two.

I tried to narrow down my selection.

Sunset has a pretty rose gold shimmer.

If I had to choose three colors from inky collection, it would be these three.

Sydney Lavender and Summer Purple are my favorite purple ink colors.

Here’s a pen & ink wash circle I created back in November showing off Sydney Lavender’s underlying colors. Gorgeous, huh?

Yes, I will be adding Deck the Halls to my wish list as I do not have an eggplant ink color with the rose, gold and coppery shimmering particles.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Harmony. Diamine Frosted Orchid (shimmer). Robert Oster Sydney Lavender, Velvet Crush, and Silver Dawn (shimmer). Kaweco Summer Purple. Montblanc Amethyst. Van Dieman’s Ink Black Tongue Spider Orchid and Beetroot Relish. Dominant Industry Sunset (shimmer).

Day 16: My Teal Swatches

Today’s Diamine Inkvent color is Serendipity. It’s a teal ink color with an intense red sheen and a rose-gold-copper shimmer. I can see from T’s writing sample, I can hardly see the blue ink color. It’s mostly the red sheen I see.

In T’s swatch there’s definitely a teal base color underneath all that gorgeous sheen.

Here’s my three swatches from my inky collection. Yuletide is from last year’s calendar. I’ve included two of my fave ink colors Devil’s Kitchen and Blue Velvet Storm.

All three inks have the similar red sheen.

I enjoy writing and sketching with teal ink colors. I will add Serendipity to my wish list. This color which includes the rose-gold-copper-like shimmers is unusual and would be a good additional to my ink collection.

Ink swatches: Diamine Red Inkvent Yuletide. Van Dieman’s Ink Devil’s Kitchen. Robert Oster Blue Velvet Storm.

My Pen & Ink Wreath (prompt)

I mentioned in my previous watercolor blog post that I wanted to create a pen & ink wash wreath, but did not have the right colors in my five (5) artsy fountain pens. I decided this morning to “just do it” and see what happens.

Instead of using my normal blue painter’s tape to tape off the edges of my sketch, I’m using my colorful washi tape to create the borders. I found my washi tape has less stickiness than my painter’s tape and reduces the chance of peeling off parts of my paper when removing the tape.

I started my wash sketch using Sydney Lavender for the bow. I made sure to leave a few highlights and not overdue by adding too much ink.

Next I used Steely Days for the greenery. I did a combination of fir and holly leaves and little bit of eucalyptus here and there. I sketched out the leaves and then took my water brush and lightly went over a few lines to create a light wash of color.

The greenery in my wreath is finished.

I could have stopped here, but decided to add some color. I used Cherry Blossom and Mariner 4 and sketched in the berries. I also used Morning Frost to create a few berries as well. Now, my wreath looks a bit fuller.

I wet my paper around the outside edges and corners of my sketch. While my paper was wet, I dropped in small bits of Morning Frost to give my sketch a hazy look.

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost (shimmering). Robert Oster Sydney Lavender, Cherry Blossom, and Steely Days. Colorverse Mariner4.

Pens: TWSBI GOs with stub 1.1 nibs

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta softcover A5

My Jinhao x159 Fountain Pens (#8 nibs)

For the last few months, I saw quite a bit of chatter about a #8 large size nib. I saw a few pen turners making some beautiful pens with this larger nib. I forgot to test one out back in August at the local pen show. Since then my curiosity got the best of me.

I came across this Jinhao x159 and I was able to order it for under $15. Here is my dark blue acrylic pen with gold trim.

I was surprised at how light this pen was. The weight when filled with ink is around 28.30 grams.

Once this large nib hit my paper, I knew I was in for a treat.

My pen writes beautifully and my Fine nib writes smooth with a tiny bit of feedback. For the price, I knew I wanted to get the black version of this pen.

I filled my black acrylic pen with a shimmering ink called Enchanted Ocean.

There are two noticeable differences between my blue and black Jinhao pens. First, my blue pen has a large italic “x159” on the metal cap band while my black pen uses a smaller regular font. Also my blue pen has larger JINHAO printed on the cap band.

The second noticeable difference is my blue pen uncaps in two full turns. My black pen uncaps in three full turns. A few online reviews mentioned how the three turns to uncap was a bit of a concern. I’m assuming my blue pen is a newer version.

The pens with the silver trim will have a silver nib. The pens with the gold trim will have the two tone gold and silver nib.

I’ve read about folks comparing this to a Montblanc 149. Since I do not own one, I won’t make any comparisons or comments.

Here’s a picture of the nib size in comparison with my small Jinhao nib from my x750.

Here’s a side view of the nibs and the sections.

Both nibs on my x159 were aligned beautifully and they both wrote smoothly with just a tiny bit of feedback.

The pens are lightweight and easy to hold in my hand. The section is large, but not in a bad way. It means I won’t be holding this pen with a death grip. Hahaha!

The transition from the section to the body is just a slight step up. Hardly noticeable.

I’ve written with both pens posted and unposted. When posted, there’s a tiny bit of back weight while writing. I think I would notice it more after a full page of writing, but my hand was never tired.

I currently have these two pens inked up as my everyday writers and I reach for them often. My black acrylic is currently sitting in my “to clean bin” as the I wrote this pen dry.

I’ve enjoyed the writing experience with both pens. I feel as though I can toss them in my bag and carry them everywhere I go. They are affordably priced and if I lose one no big deal as I can alway purchase another one.

I’m looking forward to the new colors Jinhao will be coming out in the next few weeks. I have my eye on the avocado green color with silver trim.

Pens: Jinaho x159 Dark Blue Acrylic #8 Fine nib. Jinhao x159 Black Acrylic #8 Fine nib. Both comes with a converter.

Inks: Van Dieman’s Ink Devil’s Kitchen. Diamine Shimmering Enchanted Ocean.

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.

Another Two Sketches: Two Different Mediums

This morning I was in the mood to sketch a scene. When I get into these moods I “just do it” and see what happens.

I’m still learning to paint loosely so I can create something in less than 30 minutes. That way I can feel like I’ve accomplished something in a small amount of time.

I created this painting without doing an initial pencil sketch and without looking at a picture. I took my paint brush and dipped it into my paint pans and painted away on my paper. It felt a bit “freeing” to paint like this. It only took me less than 10 minutes to complete. I could get used to this way of painting.

For this first painting exercise, I used my granulating paints from Daniel Smith and Schmincke.

I then decided to sketch out another beach scene and this time I used my fountain pens and inks.

I have to include this picture of my work in progress. I used blue painter’s tape to tape off an outline or window for my scenes. I ran out of tape for my pen & ink sketch and had to borrow a piece from my watercolor sketch. No time to look for tape. Have to keep going.

For my pen & ink sketch, I used a similar process by not creating the initial pencil sketch. I used my fountain pens and water brush and quickly completed my second beach scene.

I’m finding that it takes a bit more thought when I create my pen and ink wash artwork. Once I commit my ink to paper, that’s where the ink will stay. I can move some amount of color with my water brush, but basically some variation of the color stays where I’ve initially placed the nib to paper. That’s why I feel as though my sky is looking a bit strange. I got carried away and also forgot that I was working with ink.

Unlike inks, it’s easier to manipulate watercolor paints as I can blot/lift to lighten the color before it dries.

I forgot to mention that I’m using a watercolor journal from Canson for my test sketches. My beach scene sketches are on the backside of the first page. I wanted to see if the backside of this watercolor paper could be used.

Tip: Adding a color legend to my sketches. A few weeks from now, I won’t remember the colors I used.

Watercolor: Schmincke Galaxy Blue and Galaxy Brown. Daniel Smith Primatek Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Genuine, Jadeite Genuine, Fuchsite Genuine, and Bronzite Genuine.

Fountain Pen Inks: Robert Oster Steely Days, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City. Diamine Shimmering Enchanted Ocean. Van Dieman’s Ink Devil’s Kitchen.

Fountain Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs.

Brushes: Pentel Water Brush

Paint Pans: Art Toolkit standard stainless steel pans

Journal: Canson Artist Series Watercolor Cold Press 140lb/300g (5.5″x8.5″) 20 sheets

Circles: Two Mediums, a Prompt, and Some Tips

I had a “circles” template I found in my art supply stash. I came up with a brilliant idea to create a two page spread of circles in various sizes. Before going crazy and adding my colors, I decided to split my two page spread into the left side for watercolors and the right side for my fountain pen inks.

I did go crazy and selected random colors to fill my circles. I was having too much fun!

Fountain Pen Inks

Here’s the right side of my page with just the fountain pen inks I used.

In some circles I took my fountain pen and drew an outline. I took my water brush and touched the breather hole of my fountain pen to draw out a bit of color. I painted inside my circle and also touched the outline to pulled the color into my circle. I tried to leave a bit of white or light color areas to represent the highlight of my circle. I also cleaned my water brush (wiping on clean towel) and gently brushed out the color where I wanted my highlight to be. A clean q-tip could be used to dab out the slightly wet color.

Sydney Lavender is my go to purple ink color. This ink’s personality really shows off its underlying inky colors when water reacts to the ink.

In the following circle, I created an outline for 2/3 of the circle or the edge that’s away from the highlight. This is another beautiful ink with lots of personality. Another favorite of mine called Steely Days.

This lovely green ink, Oklahoma City, is a wonderful surprise and appears to be bright and earthy at the same time. Another top favorite.

This pink color had been on my wishlist for sometime, but I always passed it up for other vibrant inky colors. I was so happy to receive this gift from a very special inky friend. It’s a lovely muted pink color with a tiny bit of blue. It appears to lean a bit towards a rosy purple color. It’s gorgeous!

Here’s my favorite shimmering pink ink color, Blood Rose. My painted circle came out bright and lovely. I’ve always enjoyed how this ink reacts to water. It’s a beautiful color to use for floral pen & ink sketches.

Watercolors

This left side of my page represents three (3) different brands of watercolor paints I used: Daniel Smith, Schmincke, and Sennelier. This was more or less a “test” page for me as I wanted to show off the different characteristics of certain lines of paints.

The Schmincke colors are represented by the “Galaxy” name. These are super granulating paint colors. Unfortunately, my paper did not have enough texture to show off what I call underlying colors or mixes for each Galaxy color. It does show off the granulation of the main color.

I used a few of my Daniel Smith PrimaTek colors which is represented with the “Genuine” in the name. I absolutely enjoy using these special granulating paints made from natural minerals and pigments. Jadeite Genuine is a gorgeous color. It’s made from the mineral called jade. Its fountain pen inky cousin would be Oklahoma City.

My Sennelier paint colors (lower half of the page) are a bit more vibrant and transparent in color based on the pan set I have. I found my Sennelier paint pans were the easiest to rewet.

Prompt: Create your shapes (circles, ellipses, squares) and practice coloring in your shapes with your fountain pen inks. Remember to leave the lightest areas for your highlights. See if you can create your colored shapes in two layers of color or less. Remember to let each layer dry before adding more color.

Tip #1: You might see a “bloom” appear inside of your shape. This happens when you add too much water/color to an area that is damp or nearly dry. The water/color has no where to go, but “bloom” out. Let the bloom dry. You can always add another layer of color on top of the bloom. If you are not sure what a “bloom” looks like, take a look at my French Vermilion circle in my previous picture.

Tip #2: When a water brush is filled with water, the brush tip will remain wet all the time. I no longer squeeze my water brush. Squeezing a water brush will force additional water onto the tip of the brush. It also requires frequent refilling of water.

I keep a small jar of water on my studio desk. If I need more water on my brush tip, I will put my brush tip into my water jar. I can also quickly clean my brush tip by dipping it into some water.

Tip #3: Keep a clean towel (paper, shop towel, Viva cloth) nearby. I use mine to wipe my brush tip clean or remove excess water.

Fountain Pen Inks: Robert Oster Sydney Lavender, Napa, Blood Rose, Steely Days, Aussie Gold, Oklahoma City, Cherry Blossom, and Sepia Nights. Colorverse Mariner 4 and Hayabusa. Van Dieman’s Ink Morning Frost and Enchanted Woods.

Watercolor Paints: Daniel Smith Perylene Green, Cascade Green, Lemon Yellow, Quinacridone Sienna, Rhondonite Genuine, Jadeite Genuine, Mayan Blue Genuine. Schmincke Super Granulating in Galaxy Blue, Galaxy Pink, Galaxy Violet, and Galaxy Brown. Sennelier Carmine, French Vermilion, Phthalo Green Light, Phthalo Blue, Dioxazine Purple, and Forest Green.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta A5 Softbound