Swatch Card for September

I’ve been pulling out my fountain pens filled with shimmering inks and cleaning them out. A few have been in use since May and I thought it was time to rotate the colors out and try some new inks.

I used a 4″x6″ watercolor paper post card to create my swatch card. So far, this includes 19 inky colors I am currently using for this month. These inky colors reside in my TWSBIs, Pilot, Opus 88, Nahvalur, and Indy pens. That includes about a dozen TWSBI GOs.

I am still missing a few colors like a golden yellow which I will add to my currently inked collection in the next day or so.

I keep my swatch card with me in my art bag along with my fountain pens and inks. There are times when I forget what inky colors I have ready to go for my sketches or when I’m trying to find the right inky shade for a particular sketch.

Post Card: Tumuarta Watercolor Post Card 4″x6″ 140lb/300gsm cold press

Pens: turnt pen co “Grisham 13” in Peach Agate (Bob Dupras) with Fine nib. Pilot Custom 742 with Soft Fine <SF> nib. Nahvalur Original Plus in Melacara Purple with Stub nib.

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

One Idea – Using Two Mediums

I’m a bit behind in blogging about my watercolor adventures as I’ve been busy focusing on my pen and ink adventures. Today, I will be sharing my two paintings I created with the same beach theme: water and sand.

I was in the mood to spend some time with my watercolor paints and my Escoda brushes and to quickly create a painting using the wet-on-wet technique.

I pulled out my Arches journal that I created a few weeks ago. I had taken my 9×12 paper pad and cut the paper in half. I then punched the holes using my disc punch and bound them with my discs. This gives me the ability to reorganize my paintings, remove bad pieces of artwork, and move my swatch page of colors around in my journal.

To create a nice border around my painting, I used blue painter’s tape to create a frame around my painting.

I wet my paper using my Escoda #10 Ultimo (synthetic squirrel) brush. This soft brush holds a lot of water and I was able to cover my paper with water quickly. To create the “water” in my painting, I used Cerulean and Phthalo Turquoise. To create the white caps in the waves, I used a clean damp brush and lifted out the colors.

To create the beach or sand, I used my Escoda #8 Versatil (synthetic Kolinsky sable) brush and created the first layer of color using Quinacridone Gold. While the paint was still wet, I also applied Burnt Sienna to the dark areas of the beach.

While I was taking a break, I had a brilliant idea to re-create this using just my fountain pens and inks.

I used my blue painter’s tape to create a clean frame around my sketch. The following picture shows three TWSBI GOs filled with Honey Bee, Glassmith, and Lucia inks. I actually used two additional colors to create this pen and ink art: African Gold and Sydney Darling Harbour.

To create the white caps on the waves, I used my gel pen with white ink to put in the highlights.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time today creating some artwork. I pushed myself to create two paintings while using two different mediums. I also challenged myself to create a “painting” using my fountain pens and inks. I’m having too much fun!

Watercolor supplies:

Brushes: Escoda #10 Ultimo (synthetic squirrel) and Escoda #8 Versatil (synthetic Kolinsky sable) travel brushes

Paints: Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue Chromium, and Phthalo Turquoise

Paper: Arches Cold Press 300gsm

Pen & Ink supplies:

Pens: TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1 nibs and Medium nib

Inks: Birmingham Glassmith. Vinta Inks Lucia. Robert Oster Honey Bee, Sydney Darling Harbour, and African Gold

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta A5

More Vinta Inks!

My order arrived a little over a week ago and I’m just getting around to posting an update with the new colors I received. I thought about adding this to my previous Vinta Inks post, but decided my latest lovely colors required their own post.

Here’s a quick pen and ink wash sketch I did. I was itching to use the Pamana ink color and sketched some peaches. It’s an absolutely gorgeous ink with a peachy undertone color!

My pen and ink sketch: Peaches

My box arrived after traveling around the postal system and was delayed in the next state over for a few days. It looked like “big foot” stepped on it. Hahaha!

My damaged box arrived
Another view of my box

Inside the mailing box, I found my boxes of ink safely wrapped and looking pristine. Amazing, right?

I had a sample of Pamana that I fell in love with and had to order a large bottle. The other colors fell into my cart and went for a ride. I like the way Vinta Inks label their boxes and bottles.

Beautiful amber glass jars

The top three swatches were from my previous post. I added the new three colors to the swatch page. Look how vibrant the colors are showing in my ink journal!

I almost forgot to include my swatch cards.

Swatches from my current acquisition.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the Vinta Inks brand. They are well behaved inks. I can’t wait to create additional lovely pen & ink sketches with the colors I have.

Inks: Vinta Inks in Pamana, La Paz, Damili, and Leyte

Pens: Glass dip pen, automatic pen, TWSBI GO with Stub 1.1 nib

Journals: Stillman & Birn Beta (art journal) and Stalogy 365 B6 (ink journal)

Vinta Inks

I mentioned in my previous blog post about finding a new ink brand (to me) that took my breath away. It was three colors I wanted to start with that caught my attention immediately.

While I was waiting for my package to arrive, I was researching and looking at all the Vinta Inks color offerings. I had a good feeling about the three ink colors I had selected and was putting other colors on my wish list.

Vinta Inks are handmade inks produced in the Philippines. For every bottle purchased, they donate a portion to the Teach for the Philippines. Their goal is to provide quality education to all Filipino children.

After I received my package, I quickly swatched the ink colors (Lucia, Makopa, and Pamana) and was truly amazed at what I saw.

Lucia or Deepwater Blue, is a beautiful dusky medium blue with pink undertones and lovely shading.

Makopa or Malayan Apple, is a bold magenta color with a monster green/gold sheen.

Pamana or Heritage Brown, is a beautiful orange brown color with a peach/green undertones and a monster green sheen. It is shockingly beautiful! I enjoy seeing the peachy undertones and shading. I went ahead and ordered a full bottle so I can enjoy writing and sketching with this lovely ink color.

Here’s a page from my ink journal with the three beauties:

Let’s have a better look at each ink color up close. Beautiful, right?

After swatching the colors, I wanted to use the inks for my pen and ink wash artwork. Luckily I had two available TWSBI GOs ready to be filled.

The Lucia color is a new favorite for me. To me, it’s almost what I call a “sleeper color” in that it appears to be another light colored ink that’s borderline readable when writing in a journal. This is based on the samples I saw on the Internet. Lucia is a nice dusky medium color and it leans more towards blue than green which I think helps make it a readable color on paper. It really looks awesome in my pen and ink wash art as I enjoy seeing the pinky undertone color.

Pens: TWSBI GOs Stub 1.1

Inks: Vinta Inks: Lucia (bottle), Makopa (bottle), and Pamana (sample)

Journal: Stalogy 365 B6

An Ink Swatching Morning & Catching Up

I’m so happy to be busy with several projects. My mind is constantly on the go during the day and I’m sure it’s doing the same while I’m sleeping.

I’m taking a short break from my projects and enjoying some quiet time at my studio desk. I have several bottles of new inks to swatch and to try out for a few of my pen and ink wash artwork.

I was so excited about the ink colors and started swatching my inks quickly. I jammed up my ink swatching process. The ink swatches were so wet on the paper and I could not turn the page in my ink journal. I stopped what I was doing to let them dry. That’s when I decided it would be a great time to create this blog entry.

Oh my goodness! The Vinta Inks took my breath away! Besides my ink journal, my Col-o-ring cards are still drying as well. I’m enjoying the vibrant colors with some major sheen and shading. So far, they are producing some lovely ink washes on paper.

I was thinking of stopping my swatching process and fill a few pens with my lovely inks, but I will behave myself and continue on. Sigh!

A few things of interest:

  • I still have a few more flower pictures to post.
  • I’m still waiting to hear from Yafa about my Maiora cap replacement. Based on the tracking information, I know they received my defective and wrong size replacement cap 1-1/2 weeks ago. No news is good news, right?
  • I received an envelope with some lovely stationary from Robert Oster. A wonderful surprise and all the way from Australia!
  • I inked a few pens with some lovely Ink Institute inks. I created a few sketches and within an hour dumped the inks from my pens. The colors I selected are beautiful to look at. They were too light for me to use. This was a first for me to dump ink within an hour. Oh, maybe not. I did something similar with a few Ferris Wheel Press inks. So, there is a pattern here with me. Light and unsaturated inks are not my thing to write with or for sketching.

Looks like my inky swatch page has dried. Now to move on to the next brand of ink colors. I’ll be back!