Archive for the ‘Paper’ Category

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Namiki Falcon And J. Herbin Meet Clairefontaine

07/19/2016

A Namiki (Pilot) Falcon sporting a soft fine nib makes a lovely bridge between J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir and Clairefontaine French-Ruled paper. This isn’t calligraphy, but rather whimsical, swirly lettering that suits the way the nib likes to dance over the smooth surface of the paper. The ink provides proof that the pen and paper came together.

If you want the trio, Writer’s Bloc carries the pen, paper and ink. Nibs.com carries the pen and will modify it in amazing ways. John Mottishaw is their nibmeister and he may well be the best at his craft.

If you want to experiment with a flex nib but not tax your budget, Noodler’s makes fountain pens that will give you a sense of what it’s like to achieve thick and thin in the same stroke. Amazon offers the range in various colors though my clear Standard Flex is hard to beat when it comes to showing off ink to its best advantage.

 

So go have some flex fun filling lots and lots of pages, but don’t be surprised if it becomes an addiction. It’s a fat-free, guilt-free one and will even keep your hand out of the cookie jar while you doodle away. Cool, eh?

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World Watercolor Month And Supplies To Get You Started

07/02/2016

Yesterday was the first day of the very first World Watercolor Month. It might not be on your calendar, but don’t let that stop the celebration. Angela Fehr sent an invitation to participate and I’m game. Check out Doodlewash for inspiration and use the #worldwatercolormonth hashtag when you post your watercolor sketches.

If you are new to watercolor painting, Angela has a YouTube channel that can help you get started. Her style is to let the paint do the talking without using pen or pencil to draw a scene first. It’s very loose and exciting to see the colors mix together on the paper.

Another method is to draw a subject and use paint to fill in the color. It reminds me of a coloring book and works very well in a journal. Teoh is an urban sketcher who does it that way.

Want to give it a go? All that’s needed is paint, brush, a container for water, and of course water. Here are some products from Amazon.com to get you started.

If you want to minimize your investment, Cotman is as good as it gets for student grade paint and it is much better than the stuff sold for kids. Student grade can have more fillers and be less lightfast than artist grade, but it’s good enough to get acquainted with watercolor painting. The box can be refilled with artist grade colors as needed.

Just as important as the paint is the quality of the paper. Crummy paper will yield unsatisfactory results even with top quality paint. Buy the best you can or you may never know how much fun painting can be.

For a newbie, a synthetic brush can offer more control than natural hair and provide a good transition from writing and drawing to painting with watercolor. If you are only investing in one brush, buy one with a good point for lines and details. You can always paint with the side of the brush when more coverage is needed.

So there you go. World Watercolor Month and the few tools needed to participate. Are you on board?

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Sunday Links From Paper To Cursive To Butterflies

06/19/2016

Temps are headed into triple digits so it’s a good day to lay low and take it slow…

Noodler’s Rachmaninoff from Luxury Brands USA lit by flashlight. The tile is white so the ink shared its pinky goodness in every direction. My kitchen is still recovering from the shock.

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The Leuchtturm1917 Finds A Few Mates

06/15/2016

The Leuchtturm1917 paper is so nice to write on that finding compatible inks and pens has become a quest. Every duo on hand whether for personal use or testing purposes gets a page to itself in the search for suitable matches. With a few exceptions, wide and flex nibs have caused dots of bleed through. There is some show through, but it isn’t a deterrent for me. At least in my journal, neither is the tiny degree of Moleskine-like feathering. How the pen moves across the paper is more important for private musings and the sheer joy of writing.

Best duos

Most disappointing duos

  • Platinum Nice M with Diamine Wild Strawberry
  • Platinum Yamanaka SM with Diamine Merlot
  • Pelikan M200 italic with Iroshizuku tsuki-yo
  • Noodler’s 1820 Essex Konrad Flex with Noodler’s Dostoyevsky

The paper is absorbent so free-flowing inks produced the most bleed through. After testing more than twenty, this is now a predictable characteristic eliminating some inks from use in the Leuchtturm. No hardship since other inks work just fine.

However, the tendency to feather along a few of the fibers will be off-putting to some users.

A Pentel Pocket Brush Pen with J. Herbin Lie de The or Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan showed no feathering or bleed through. Good mates for this journal are to be found.

What continues to surprise is the way in which the paper handles light watercolor washes. There is very little buckling though with some colors I had to work at getting enough paint down. The paper held up well considering the abuse. No bleed through, but watercolor is more dense than ink. With more coarsely grained pigment particles and less water than ink, paint dries on the surface. It isn’t as translucent as ink, but for a hit of color or some doodles in margins, watercolor will do the trick.

This might seem like heresy, but the Leuchtturm1917 journal provides a wonderfully soft surface for my Autopoint mechanical pencil with HB lead. Should the need arise, a FACTIS extra soft eraser will leave the paper’s surface intact. It can even be used gently on art paper.

The deal here is that I love the paper and needed to persist to find good mates for it. Hey, persistence is a positive trait, isn’t it?

 

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Pencil Board As Part Of My Summer Kit

06/14/2016

Oops. Forgot to include the Taroko pencil board in the list of resources for my summer kit. It’s a helpful tool for use with the Midori Traveler’s Notebook #013 or any Tomoe River paper journal where thin paper lets the grid show through. The board is flexible so it won’t make a floppy journal rigid, but it will add a little firmness. Sometimes I use small colorful binder clips to keep it in place. Taroko boards come in several sizes and are one of the few such products tailored to Traveler’s Notebook dimensions.

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Paper, Pens And Summer

06/13/2016

It only took a couple of 90 °F days to signal summer is on its way and it is time to reduce my writing tools to an uncomplicated few for the season. This is a simple feat I attempt every year with varying degrees of success. Annual modifications are often suggested by new products, but also by rediscovering good things from past summer kits. It is a mix of both this time.

This year it will be two Midori Traveler’s #013 Notebooks with Tomoe River paper, one as a journal and the other for ink and watercolor experiments. A grid pencil board will help with writing level and drawing squares for color swatches. I haven’t settled on a cover yet though a lightweight leather or a colorful fabric hold the most appeal. Last year I purchased a fabric cover from DesignsbyRamona107 on Etsy, but I’d like something different for the next few months.

For long term, keep forever notes, a journal from Paper for Fountain Pens will get pressed into service. The bound format is perfect for the purpose and it was a gift which makes it extra special.

My rotation will dwindle to five or so as the currently inked pens empty. However, testing new colors will fill several pens and no doubt the crew will return to a dozen by summer’s end. Incoming inks from Noodler’s will keep things lively and fresh along with several from last year that have yet to be reviewed.

The Platinum Century pens with the Slip & Seal caps endured the heat last year better than other pens and will see duty throughout the summer. A medium and a broad nib will provide variety. Though not in the same class, the TWSBI 580 and the Conklin Duragraph 1.1mm will represent the italic nib range along with the Platinum #3776 music nib just because it is my favorite.

Although they aren’t in the right pens yet, the inks most likely to be in the rotation are

  • J. Herbin Larmes de Cassis
  • Sailor Peach Pink
  • Stipula Calamo Sapphron
  • Diamine Meadow
  • Diamine Aqua Blue
  • J. Herbin Vert Reseda

All are evocative of summer’s sun bleached hues, but a deeper blue might be needed for business. Noodler’s General of the Armies, Diamine Mediterranean Blue or Pilot Blue-Black are likely candidates. Platinum Pigment Blue in the Platinum Century Chartres Blue or Waterman Florida Blue in the Pelikan M400 would be more conservative duos should the need arise.

To mix things up a bit, I’m going to order a set of Papermate Liquid Flair pens on Ed Jelley’s recommendation. Fountain pens may dry out in the summer heat, but these porous tip pens shouldn’t. Add to that an Autopoint mechanical pencil and a medium Sharpie Pen and my tool kit will be more than adequate for the months ahead.

Do you reorganize for summer? If so, how do you do it?

Resources mostly through my Amazon Affiliate link:

Macy interrupted the photo shoot to see what I was up to that did not include her.

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Strathmore Writing® Paper

06/11/2016

The Strathmore Paper Company has been in business since 1892 so they know a thing or two about making paper. Their line of Writing® paper products is aimed at those who want the best in a writing experience and they have done a creditable job of achieving that goal.

Writing® paper is available in pads, envelopes, flat and folded cards as well as hardbound and softcover journals. The soft white paper has a mildly textured, wove finish that slightly resisted a few inks, but is otherwise quite nice for fountain pens. The stationery is heavy at 24 lb (90 gsm) and comes with 50 blank or non-photo blue, dot-lined sheets to a pad.

The artist who created the calligraphy logo, Heather Victoria Held, is given credit on the cover which is a very nice touch.

A few days ago, I wrote a letter on the paper and decided it has more texture and absorbency than some of my nibs can handle well. Round nibs worked better than italics though a very light touch with a free-flowing ink somewhat improved the latter. Pale inks looked a bit dull on the soft white paper, but aqua and blue took the paper color in stride producing very legible and attractive writing.

The sturdy cardboard back would make the Writing® pad a good traveling companion. For a simple pad, it is well-constructed and should tolerate a modest amount of abuse.

The lines are on only one side of the paper so presumably Strathmore does not expect double-sided use. Even so, there was absolutely no bleed-through and only the faintest hint of ghosting. In that regard, it is an admirable product.

The only version tested was the 6″ x 8″ pad, but the website indicates the same paper is used for the whole line except the cards that are 110# (297 gsm). That rivals watercolor paper which could make them useful for one-of-a-kind, original greeting cards. Strathmore lists the Writing® line under its 500 series paper which is their premium line for artists.

Currently, Amazon offers the pads and journals. Walmart and a few other retailers carry some items from the line, so that is another option.

Admittedly, I am partial to soft white paper and 8 mm line spacing for my widest nibs. Now to find the perfect pen and ink for the Strathmore Writing® pad. Isn’t that half the fun?

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