Archive for the ‘Watercolor’ Category

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Monologue Notebooks And Paper Quality

11/03/2014

Monologue offers a variety of notebooks and was kind enough to send several for review. Their generosity provided ample opportunity to test two grades of natural white paper, the 80 gsm ruled and the 140 gsm blank version. There are pluses and minuses to each.

The form is very well executed for all of Monologue’s notebooks. Details are available elsewhere and there was nothing disappointing in my use of their products. Okami covers the subject very well so head over there for info on those attributes.

Monologue Platinum

Notebooks in this line include elastic closures, ribbon bookmarks, pen loops, and inner pockets. Some have paper with gilded edges for those who like a little bling. The handsome bronze covered notebook above is pictured with a Platinum #3776 Century Nice fountain pen, an eye-catching couple to be sure. All of the notebooks have unadorned covers with the Monologue imprint placed low on the back cover. My favorite is the green Contrast Ruled Notebook with its orange elastic closure that is perfect with orange ink and an orange fountain pen. (Don’t mind me. It’s a seasonal affliction.)

My experience with the paper is slightly different from Julie’s. My acid-free, 80 gsm Platinum notebook showed less bleed-through and show-through though performance was inconsistent. Finer nibs produced the best results and Noodler’s Black with a Lamy EF was perfect. Other inks and pens were almost as good displaying faint marks on the reverse. Diamine Royal Blue, Violet and Aqua Blue as well as Sailor Nioi-sumire are worth recommending. Unfortunately, there was mild feathering with a few inks from wide or free-flowing nibs.

All other writing instruments tested had no issues though they did produce very faint show-through at a level that would not interfere with writing on the reverse. I wouldn’t call it even a whisper and for writing purposes it would be insufficient to bother me.

Monologue Basics

Monologue Basics paper is great for fountain pen ink as well as art tools including light washes of watercolor. The acid-free, 140 gsm Italian paper is heavy enough to tolerate a decent amount of abuse. The texture claims to be rough but I found it quite smooth. The binding is sewn and the book will lay flat, an important feature for the artist. The paper did buckle with paint from a traditional brush, though it did not buckle when using a waterbrush. It really gets down to how much water is applied to the paper. Dry media like charcoal and graphite won’t trigger that effect. Even crayons will do nicely. Journals are made for having fun, no?

A notable difference between Monologue Basics sketchbooks and most other brands, is that the paper is perforated. Detach a sheet and it won’t affect other pages. That makes it easy to remove a drawing that turns out especially well or to hand a sketch or notes to a companion. So much better than a napkin or the back of an envelope and the paper has no issues with fountain pen ink.

Both grades of paper have lots of applications. The variety of sizes and forms is another plus. Monologue should appeal to both those who journal as well as those who make a journal an art form.

More at Pens, Paper, Inks…Whatever! and On Fountain Pens and Life Imitates Doodles.

 

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Assorted Links For A Breezy Sunday

10/19/2014

Need a break from raking those leaves? Grab a cuppa, put your feet up and read on…

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It Was A Blue Sunday

09/28/2014

The images aren’t pretty, but the colors certainly are.

Fountain Pen Inks

 

 

Watercolors

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Another Simple Kit

09/10/2014

My autumn watercolor palette has joined forces with a

to form a compact kit for writing and doodling any time space is limited or travel is necessary. The notebook band holds everything securely so I can grab the kit on the go. It also keeps the journal closed so the pages do not get damaged and bits I’ve tucked between pages stay put. However, if I want to play things extra safe, a clear, plastic zipper bag that formerly held a pair of new pillowcases, is the perfect size for the whole caboodle. Another option is to place the waterbrush in a zip lock bag so that even under pressure, no water leaks where it isn’t welcome.

The beauty of this kit is that it holds enough tools for a variety of activities from writing to drawing to painting and all sorts of doodles in between. I do like to be prepared. Do you carry a kit and, if so, what goes in it?

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The Colors Of San Juan Streets At Dusk

09/04/2014

With eight of the paints from my newest watercolor palette, I was able to mix some muted colors that reminded me of San Juan streets at dusk. This kit holds twelve pans, takes up very little space, and travels well. It won’t hold all of my favorite colors, but a small box of extras is always an option. Painting in a café with a waterbrush, a Stillman & Birn sketchbook and this little kit is all it takes to make me a happy camper. Yeah, I’m easy.

 

This setup includes a Pilot Prera filled with Noodler’s Black, a Kuretake waterbrush, Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook and a metal watercolor box containing

  • Neutral Tint
  • Hansa Yellow Medium
  • Scarlet Lake
  • Permanent Rose
  • Manganese Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Prussian Blue
  • Sap Green
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Light Red
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Perylene Green

 

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An Antidote To Bad News

08/16/2014

Banish the world’s woes for a few minutes with an upbeat journal entry and a splash of brilliant color. Consider it a restorative and no doubt you deserve one.

This month orange and turquoise have been happy distractions from the turmoil outside my sphere of influence. Diamine Aqua Blue in the Platinum Century Chartres Blue broad nib and J. Herbin Indien Orange in the Platinum #3776 music nib along with some hits of Daniel Smith Permanent Orange watercolor made this happy page.

Not an artist? Me either. But anyone can decorate with colorful doodles or fill in different elements like a kid with a coloring book. In this case, coloring outside the lines is totally acceptable – even desirable.

If you aren’t ready to create a mini-masterpiece, go abstract. Put down some shapes and lines with a waterproof ink. Then fill it in with markers or paint.  Enjoying a time out at your local bistro? Even black coffee applied with a spoon, straw or toothpick will do in a pinch. Sometimes let it get away from you with drips and spatters that create unexpected results. Who says art must be tidy? It is whatever you make it.

The only requirement is that the paper will withstand your choice of tools. Below I’ve used Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks and Strathmore Windpower Sketch. The former is high quality while the latter is inexpensive. You can tear out the pages of the Strathmore if the results don’t meet expectations. However, it can be useful to retain disappointing entries to appreciate your progress and you will progress. Just keep at it. The more often you are creative, the better you will get at it. Promise!

 

 

 

 

 

More journaling inspiration from Susan Gaylord,  maria mercedes trujillo a, observeclosely, Marsia Bramucci, and Mia.

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A Few Links Plus A Giveaway

08/10/2014

Pens, inks and other treats…

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