Archive for the ‘My Desk’ Category

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The Good Stuff On My Desk

01/08/2014

What I’m working on and with today.

On my desk

Paperblanks Journal
Jackson’s Watercolors
Isabey Petit Gris 6234 #0 Brush
Daniel Smith 44-08 #3 Kolinsky Brush
Autopoint Mechanical Pencil
Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook
Tomoe River paper from PaperForFountainPens.com
Noodler’s Standard Flex Pen with Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses
Pilot Prera with Plumix medium (italic) nib and Noodler’s Black
Sheaffer Taranis with Diamine Steel Blue
Platinum #3776 music nib with Diamine Sepia
All overseen by a cloisonne bird that belonged to my mom

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Paperblanks and Jackson’s Watercolors

12/19/2013

Here’s a peak at reviews coming soon…

paperblanks journal

paperblanks – gorgeous and good with Noodler’s inks but not so much with R&K

Jackson's Watercolors

Jackson’s Watercolours – rich colors and a dollop of honey

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Too Many Inked Fountain Pens

12/18/2013

December is far and away the busiest month and this year has been the worst ever. A thirteen pen rotation is quite excessive under the circumstances. So here it is before half of them get a bath and go into storage for several weeks at least.

Fountain Pens and Written Samples

At least two are certain to remain on my desk: the red Lamy Safari with Diamine Emerald because it amuses me this time of year and the Platinum #3773MU because it makes writing a pleasure. The Pelikan pens will remain in use for now along with at least one Namiki Falcon and a Levenger True Writer. Well, at least that’s the plan. Six pens seems like a lot, but inadequate in terms of inks. Being an inkophile is hard work!

Ink Comparison

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November Pens And Inks

11/19/2013

Too many pens, but that happens when testing ink. The pens are in the same order as the written sample. Thinking ahead, I loaded the red Lamy Safari with Diamine Emerald ink. Red pen/green ink. Well, at least I am amused by it. Emerald was my first green ink and remains a favorite. Next up will be a brown ink, either Noodler’s or Diamine, and a burgundy. Must empty a few pens first. Ten is too many even for an inkophile.

Pen and Inks fo November

The paper is Rhodia and is excellent for ink tests.

So that’s what’s on my desk. What’s on yours?

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A Doodle Kit Because … Fun!

07/23/2013

Does your desk have too much gear on it? Mine, too. Overrun by the bane of modern existence, my desk is cringe-worthy. It’s a re-purposed breakfast table that has seen better days. The surface needs refinishing and gives out splinters liberally. No drawers so everything has to fit on the surface. Covered with stacks of paper and all manner of electronic devices, there is little room for creative endeavors even when I dump stuff on the floor. Anything intended for long-term residency must have a small footprint which is one reason fountain pens suit so well. Being an inveterate doodler as well as a dabbler in watercolor, I have melded the two interests into something small, fun, and easy to use, my desktop doodle kit.

My Doodle Kit

  • small Cotman palette with some favorite Daniel Smith watercolors squirted into empty DS pans – colors that make me smile without mixing or fiddling
  • travel brush(es) and/or daVinci Cosmotop-Spin Watercolor Brush no larger than #5 (smaller bristles afford more control but take up less paint and run out of color more quickly)
  • wirebound Stillman & Birn journal suited to both w/c and ink – folded back to conserve space
  • Pentel Pocket Brush Pen – original black cartridge or refilled with fountain pen ink
  • large blotter so the journal can be closed quickly (J. Herbin offers a good one.)
  • water jar with a lid (up to 8 oz) – start every day with clean preferably distilled water
  • folded paper towel for drips and to remove excess paint from brush
  • fountain pen(s) – whatever is inked

Watercolor palette for doodling

Extra tools:

  • water soluble colored pencils or Derwent Inktense Outliner Pencil
  • black felt tip marker – Sakura Pigma Micron 08 is waterproof
  • dip pen
  • quill brush or hake to lay in background color – sloppy, uneven color preferred
  • shaped brushes like angles, combs, ridges, and shaders like those from Robert Simmons for extra variety

Pen and ink dominate but watercolor jazzes up the pages with wider lines and splotches. The variety of colors and comparative low cost makes paint an effective addition to a doodler’s arsenal.

Watercolor Swatches

These squiggles were made with paint fresh from the tube. Some colors were more cooperative than others and none were diluted with water or worked into the brush. I just dipped in and put the color to paper.

Key points:

  • no paintings but lots of doodles. if something turns into a painting, that’s okay but not the goal.
  • goal is to relax – not tax
  • back, front, upside down – no limits
  • words are okay but long passages should go elsewhere
  • kit can be grabbed for off-site use – not a travel kit per se, but parts could be used for that purpose.
  • a pencil cup to house the pens and brushes keeps the desk tidy
  • not about color mixing but loading a brush and making squiggles so colors need to stand on their own
  • no erasing – who erases a doodle?
  • visitors/guests such as pencils and markers may only stay for a short time. this kit is for my favorite tools.
  • on occasion dip brush in ink but not from the bottle – no contamination allowed
  • 12 half pans (1.5 cm x 2 cm each) is like having a dozen pens inked

If you want to give this idea a try, the dozen Winsor & Newton Cotman half pan paints that originally came in my palette are for sale. You could tape them to a bit of cardboard or tuck them in a metal tin such as an Altoids box for an easy start to your doodle kit. I also have a slightly larger, new Cotman plastic palette with 14 half pans to sell as well as a couple of other kits so shoot me an email if you are interested.  Inkophile*at*gmail.com will do.

Cotman Watercolors

For inspiration try “Doodles Unleashed” by Traci Bautista. Also, Peter Draws and his journal.

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On My Desk 03-10-2013

03/10/2013

Time to clean some pens, eh?

On Bloc Rhodia No 16 of course!

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On My Desk To Start The New Year

01/01/2013

A neat desk is a good way to start the new year. I reckon I will have to wait until 2014 for that bit of holiday joy.

The top section of my list comprises only the pen related items.

  • 14 pens including three Platinum #3776 pens at various stages of testing, three Levenger True Writers and a Namiki Falcon B nib filled with Noodler’s Inks for testing,  four Lamys and a Kaweco Sport filled with inks from previous tests, and two pens that are in regular rotation, a True Writer Cursive Italic and a Pelikan M215 Cursive Italic.
  • The inks in those pens are Platinum Pigment Blue, Diamine Sepia, Noodler’s Golden Brown, Tiananmen, Beaver, Purple Martin, Australian Roses, 54th Mass., Q’E-ternity, Air-Corp BBk, Ottoman Azure, plus Montblanc Racing Green, and Kaweco BBk.
  • An Apica 6A10 Note Book, a Daycraft Signature 2013 Diary, various Rhodia pads, several Staples sugarcane spiral notebooks, Stillman & Birn Journals, an Exacompta Sketchbook, Staples notebook paper, and a couple of legal pads.

Then there is all the stuff that is not fountain pen related.

  • Two Autopoint mechanical pencils and assorted erasers
  • Pentel Pocket Brush Pen
  • Two Chinese seals and a bottle of Chinese ink for painting
  • One magnifying loupe
  • One 6″ jade statue
  • A container of watercolor brushes and two Altoid-sized boxes filled with pans of watercolor paint
  • A container of drawing pencils and Sharpies
  • Six bottles of hand lotion (Well, a girl has to have options.)
  • One roll-on bottle of Life TIME Stopain Topical Analgesic
  • Minolta E-323 camera
  • Small TV, cable box, laptop-sized keyboard, mouse, and a large computer monitor that dominates the whole affair
  • Clock radio and a phone
  • One LED and one standard bulb flashlight
  • Three pairs of glasses

You should see what else it holds. Or maybe not. No need to traumatize you neat and tidy people.

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