Yeah for awesome Instagram friends! If you’re not following the folks in the photo collage above, I highly recommend them for wonderful office accoutrement photo yummies.
In other news:
Paper and Notebooks:
Pens and Ink:
For Valentine’s Day:
Watercolor lettering sample (via Well-Appointed Desk)
Following the post this morning about painting with ink, I started thinking of other ways ink could be used. Its very much like watercolor paints so I thought I might share some fun ways to use watercolors that might inspire you to play and experiment with all those bottles of ink and ink samples you’ve accumulated. I wouldn’t recommend trying these with bulletproof or other waterproof inks but most fountain pen inks should play nicely.
Just brushing ink on paper, like you would with watercolors, can inspire and inform you. You can see the undertones of an ink color easily as well as the range of lights and darks of a color. Add a little water to ink in a dish or bowl to create color washes.
Try blending two colors and drawing your favorite quote in ink.
Ink dipped ediging on doilies to decorate gifts (via Decor8)
The inks can be used to tint other papers, create tissue puffs, coffee filter hydrangeas or something else entirely!
Use masking fluid to block out areas on your page. Let it dry and then paint over it with your inks. Then peel the latex away to create a fun, colorful piece.
While any paper should work, a heavyweight watercolor paper will give texture and will be less inclined to curl or distort. I’ve been using an Aquabee Super Deluxe 9×12 wirebound sketchbook for playing with watercolor and ink. It is textured (cold pressed) on the front and smooth (hot pressed) on the back. If you’re searching the internet for watercolor paper, think hot is like ironed (smooth) and cold is wrinkly (textured) if that helps to remember the difference.
Hope these ideas inspire you. Drop me a link if you try any of these. I’d love to see what you create.
I received an actual letter from Leah a week or so ago. She asked lots of different questions about pens and tools so I thought I’d include some of my answers here as well as in a letter to her.
What pen/nib did you use for the titles of your 12 Days of Inkmas?
The secret is that I didn’t use a pen at all. I used a brush!
I got the idea to use a brush from seeing some ink “swabs” on European Paper. They were using a brush to create a lovely little ink swab. I like that a brush was easy to clean and I wasn’t creating a landfill full of q-tips in sampling inks each month.
I’ve used several different brushes that I’ve accumulated over the years to not only create “swabs” but also to create a more interesting header for the 12 Days of Inkmas. I’ve tried to keep up the habit for future ink samples and reviews as I can see the range of shading with the inks this way.
EDIT: The word “Wide Strokes” was done with the Scharff FINELINE 3000 #3, not the #6. Oops!
I’ve acquired brushes over the years from friends, yard sales and various art supply stores. I’m stunned to see how expensive the Scharff #6 brush is ($67)! I’ll definitely take better care of it. I’m confident that any good quality round brush recommended for watercolor, acrylic or oil would make a perfect tool for “swabs” and ink tests. Visit your local art supply or craft shop to pick up a couple.
Just remember to wash out your brushes in water, squeeze dry and reshape the tip to dry. Don’t scrub them and make the bristles flair out or you risk breaking the fibers and/or hairs. Always dry your brushes with the tip up and don’t leave them sit indefinitely in your wash water or the bristles will bend at a weird angle. If you let them cake with inks or paints, try The Masters brush cleaner. It will save just about all your brushes!
I am so sorry I completely missed/forgot/skipped the Goulet Pens Ink Drop for November 2013. It was filled with colors that could be used for Christmas, unless, of course, you’re me and use green all year long. I also quite like reds so let’s call this my January Ink Drop and move on.
The inks included were Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku which is a green with a blue undertone like a blue conifer. The Diamine Kelly Green is in my sweet spot: a green with yellowish undertones. And the De Atramentis Pine Green with is a deep green black. Maybe its the cold bleak weather but the Pine Green was my least favorite in this assortment.
In the reds is Diamine Crimson which is a wicked, vampish red and De Atramentis Poppy Red which is a brighter red with a slight orange undertone.
At some point, I’ll probably purchase bottle of the Shin-Ryoku as its such a unique green and the Crimson which would be perfect for Valentine’s Day or my first vampire novel.
All the writing samples were done with a dip flexible nib which are a bit more prone to bleeding then a fountain pen but so much easier to test and clean quickly.
A lot of topics I’ve mentioned in the past, have made appearances on other blogs this week. I thought I’d start with those…
Note: In this section, the first link is my original post and the links in parentheses are the posts from other bloggers.
And now back to our regularly scheduled Link Love:
Pencils, Pens & Ink:
Several of my fountain pens seem to be clogged. Certainly the ink does not flow as freely as it did when they were new.
The tried and true cures – such as soaking in a bowl of warm water with two drops of ammonia – do not seem to work.
What is the approved 21st Century approach?
I have not had a lot of clogging issues myself. I have purchased several old pens that needed cleaning and I just let them soak in warm water for several days, changing the water every day and then flushing the pen completely with good success.
Since it sound like you have more serious issues, I put a call out to some of the folks out on Twitter and here are there responses:
- Azizah from Gourmet Pens: Can you disassemble it? Soak it in 10% ammonia and 90% water (section and nib) and flush it out with water.. Should clear it.
- Inktronics says: Time for a total tear down and getting the toothbrush out.
- FPGeeks says: After Azizah’s advice, next step would be to use ultrasonic cleaner.
- Anderson Pens says: How long did they let it soak? Overnight at least if no ultrasonic or use a bulb to force water through the feed.
I would also wonder about the ink that you are using if you are continuing to have clogging issues. You may want to try a new, different ink once you get your pen cleaned out to see if the issue was a result of gritty ink.
I hope these tips help. Let us all know if you have any luck.
Fabulous video of a hand-writing automaton boy built over 240 years ago (via Letter Writers Alliance)
Paper & Notebooks:
Pens and Ink: