No words are necessary…
No words are necessary…
Even if you aren’t a painter, watching what these three artists can do together is an amazing demonstration of teamwork. Their enthusiasm is inspiring and the camaraderie and humor a reminder of what it takes to make life worthwhile. Gorgeous art is just a byproduct.
Jet Pens sent a bottle of Sailor Peach Pink ink and a Maruman Croquis notebook in the same box. Naturally they got paired for product tests, following a quick go on a Staples pad, and became fast friends immediately.
Sailor inks have a deservedly good reputation and an expanding catalog of lovely colors. The characteristics are well-matched to smooth Sailor nibs. Not that other inks don’t work well in Sailor fountain pens, but the flow and degree of lubrication seem especially well-suited at least to the Sapporo and the 1911 in my collection.
The photos don’t reflect the color well, but Peach Pink is a slightly warm pink that goes well with aqua and turquoise. It is pretty on cream paper and suits the Maruman Croquis very well.
It’s a good ink for a wide nib and showed some shading with a cursive italic nib, a dry-writing straight-cut affair. The ink isn’t very lubricating and would be a good match for a free-flowing pen that could use a bit of taming.
The Maruman Croquis S163, 4.2″ X 6″, notebook makes a useful sketchbook, but since it works beautifully with all of the pens I tested, it would make a good journal, too.
Of course Sharpies bled through, but they do that on most paper.
Watercolor sketching with a typical amount of water did cause the 45# paper to buckle. Using a dry brush lessened that effect.
Paint straight from the tube did not buckle at all.
The cardboard cover is strong enough to make the Croquis suitable for use in the field though the size is at my limit for a width I can hold without strain.
Colored pencils would be a very good match for the paper as would graphite. Ink produced some show-through, but it is at a tolerable level for a writing journal. For artistic purposes, one-sided use would be better so that nothing interferes with the appearance of the drawing or painting.
A pale painting could be a good backdrop for a haiku poem or an inspirational quote.
The performance was good enough to make the Maruman Croquis a multi-purpose journal in a very convenient size and Sailor Peach Pink makes a very good mate for the pale cream paper. Neither will go to waste around here. Not at all.
Want a bottle of Sailor ink, but can’t decide which one? Let me make it harder for you.
Oh, and a big thanks to Jet Pens for the ink and paper. I am always a sucker for both.
The colors are a challenge to photograph since the pearlescent effect is light-dependent. But at just the right angle, some of the reflective properties show very well. The darker colors can be used alone while the paler ones work better over another color like black paper, marker or paint.
Excellent for a background if your journal is friendly to water. Fountain pen inks write just fine over Niji Watercolor even when the ink is applied thickly. Other writing tools are good as well. Layering colors proved intriguing and worth exploration.
It takes some pre-wetting to get a good load of color on a brush. If you don’t have a watercolor brush, a waterbrush is an easy to use tool. Just squeeze a drop or two into the dry paint and give it a minute to saturate the surface. Then swish the brush around to create a creamy consistency. A spray bottle is another way to wet the paint and works great with a standard paint brush.
A thin layer of paint can be used for glazing. Many of the colors are very transparent and will shine on dark paper. Combine with a white or metallic rollerball pen for some very unique pages.
The paper used in the tests is Canson Mix Media, 98 lb, which is suitable for pen, pencil, watercolor, and acrylics. Paper weight is what counts, but most sketchbooks should work especially if you don’t overdo the water to paint ratio. Once fully dry, add words. My Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook is getting a number of pages decorated for future use. When the perfect words come along, the page will be ready for them. If the muse doesn’t strike, the colorful pages have their own appeal and can be filled with doodles or famous or perhaps infamous quotes.
Add something extra to a handmade greeting card or decorate stationery with a metallic swash or doodle. Use a template if freehand won’t do. Just let each color dry thoroughly before adding another so they don’t mix on the paper unless that is the effect you want. Even a stamp dipped in paint could pick up enough pigment to leave a colorful impression.
The Yasutomo Niji Pearlescent Watercolor kit is an inexpensive way to dress up your journal or add a flourish to your correspondence or a crafts project. At the price point, the set is an easy addition to add to an order of a bottle or two of fountain pen ink. Not that you couldn’t meet the minimum order for free shipping with other goodies. Just sayin’…
Whoa! Pelikan has announced a new cartridge model and Edelstein cartridges to go with it!
Jackson’s Art Supplies sent a box of Jackson’s Professional Watercolours months ago and it has been a real pleasure getting acquainted. Whether the assembled kit or a custom set based on your specifications, the paint is artist quality and reasonably priced which makes it suited to the novice as well as the pro.
My box of full pan watercolors:
471 Chinese White PW4 PW6 – Series 2
103 Lemon Yellow PY3 – Series 2
129 Naples Yellow PY 35, PW4, PW6 – Series 2
160 Cadmium Red Light PR108 – Series 5
187 Genuine Carmine PV19
257 French Ultramarine Blue PB29 – Series 2
277 Phthalo Green Deep B.S. PG7, PB 15 – Series 2
282 Hooker’s Green PG7, PY83 – Series 2
362 Burnt Sienna PBr7 – Series 1
382 Venetian Red PR101, PY43 – Series 1
424 Payne’s Grey PBk7, PB15, PV19 – Series 2
445 Ivory Black PBk9 – Series 1
Highly pigmented watercolors can be toned down by adding another color like Neutral Tint, but muted or less saturated colors cannot be made brighter. Artist quality paints contain more pigment which is one of the best reasons to purchase them. All of the paints in my Jackson’s kit are very saturated though Burnt Sienna took more effort than the others to reach its full potential.
The plastic pans that hold the paints are identical to those from Daniel Smith, so they will fit many boxes besides those from Jackson’s. There is a sticky label with the item number, color name, and pigment formula on the bottom of each pan. Each color arrived individually packaged in a tiny plastic bag. It’s up to you to assemble the pans in whatever order suits your style. The plastic tray comes out easily so the box can be thoroughly cleaned without harm to the paint. There is a slot for a full-sized brush and four wells for mixing colors. The box opens flat so it is well set up for painting on the road.
My kit came with a different set of paints than the set pictured on the website. However, you can get the same light-weight metal tin free when you order your own selection of colors. It’s the best deal I’ve seen for a custom palette.
Jackson’s Watercolours are preserved with honey in addition to the usual gum arabic. Just as it can make the paint flow better, honey can cause it to harden more slowly. For those who fill pans with tube paint to set up their own kits, note that the paint may stay soft longer than you might expect. Store your kit in a horizontal position so the paint doesn’t migrate. The formed cakes don’t flow unbidden, but the surface can stay moist for days.
Like other brands of paint, Jackson’s did benefit from pre-wetting. A light spritz of distilled water from a spay bottle and a minute later, the colors were ready to go, fully saturated and at their peak. Jackson’s Watercolours have a lovely depth and brilliance. They mix easily for lively colors and produce clear pastels when diluted. Genuine Carmine is the only color used for the flowers which demonstrates the range it can achieve.
The blue blob was painted with French Ultramarine, Phthalo Green Deep, and Hooker’s Green to see how the colors would flow together.
The trees were painted to play with the range and to test a couple of new brushes. The center painting was done with an Isabey #0 Mop while the others were done with a variety of brushes. The 6 x 9″ paper for the left and middle paintings is Canson XL Aquarelle 300gsm. The sketch on the right is on a scrap of junk paper. The main colors are Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Red Light, French Ultramarine, Hooker’s Green, Burnt Sienna and Payne’s Gray.
Often I put together a simple palette with three paints and then let the resulting mixes suggest the subject. Mediterranean landscape on a stormy day? Desert at dawn? Mountain range in autumn? Tea and biscuits on a cafe table? Three colors are all it takes. There are no limits save skill at execution. Make it an abstract or loose interpretation, especially in a journal, and skill becomes less a factor.
If color moves you, then make that the focus. All you need is a watercolor kit like Jackson’s, a brush for washes, a detail brush, paper and a cup of water. It really is as simple as that. Add a fountain pen with a neutral ink to put words on your painting and you’ll have a mixed media composition. You may not consider yourself an artist or painter, but you are a creative person as your journal will attest.
My thanks to Jackson’s Art Supplies for sending the watercolor kit and giving me the opportunity to explore what their paints can do. My doodle journal will never be the same.
Note that the last image is watercolor on Tomoe River paper, but done with a dry brush since the paper is very thin. Still I must say it held up well with only a tiny amount of buckling that was easily pressed out tucked in a book.