Archive for the ‘Paper’ Category

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Sunday Reads From Tomoe To Ink To Graffiti

08/28/2016

Another diverse group…

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Pentel Touch Pen Meets A Midori Traveler’s Notebook

08/20/2016

The Pentel Touch Sign Pen (SES 15C) with a flexible nib is amazingly smooth on Tomoe River paper. That means the Midori Traveler’s Notebook (013) is a good mate. Note there is ghosting as happens with most pens on such thin paper. Bleed-through only occurs when I overwrite to darken the color. Otherwise, there is none.

My review from a few weeks ago was on Moleskine, but I wanted to show how well the Touch Pen and Tomoe get along.

The full set of pens is still on my list, but for now, the black, sky blue and yellow ochre make a nice trio. At least one of them will work on every paper in my stationery collection. That makes my three pens practical as well as a lot of fun.

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Moleskine Surprise

08/05/2016

When it comes to journals, Moleskine has set the standard for form. Sturdy, but lays flat. Natural white paper. Ribbon marker. Elastic band and rear pocket. The size is just right in the hand. But in recent times, the paper has left much to be desired when it comes to fountain pen ink.

When I started using Moleskine some twelve years ago, my pens were quite happy with it and the few inks I owned would cozy up to the paper and leave marks with clean outlines. Extra-fine and fine nibs were perfect, especially a vintage Parker 51 fine-medium that was the pen I carried everywhere.

Skip forward a few years and the paper quality suffered. Spidery feathers bloomed from every letter and blobs of ink showed through on the backs of pages making them worthless. One-sided writing cut the value of the pricey journals by half. Moleskine betrayed my trust and I swore off for good.

To be fair, paper sources can change over time and being ever hopeful that the company had come to its senses, I tucked a squared notebook into a recent Amazon order. The wrapper says “Mix. Paper from responsible sources.” What does that mean? It also says the notebook was manufactured in China. Lots of paper comes from China, but most of it isn’t fountain pen friendly. Hoping to be surprised, I put the Moleskine to the test.

Every instrument except the fountain pens worked well enough that both sides of the paper were useful. Clean outlines and almost no feathering with only very faint ghosting from the Sharpie Pen and the Pentel Touch make the Moleskine an excellent choice.

The scan shows a new Moleskine at the upper left with a Rhodia notebook to the right. The bottom two are Moleskine journals purchased several years ago. The recent Moleskine has paper that is more white than in the past which is another indication that the paper is from a different batch.

Fountain pen ink produced mixed results. To the good, feathering has been reduced. Not gone entirely, but spidery offshoots did not happen. That is a significant improvement over the Moleskine journals I last purchased. Outlines are less jagged though under magnification still imperfect with some inks. It isn’t Rhodia quality, but it will do.

Bleed-through on the reverse proved frustrating, but ink and nib width made a difference. Noodler’s Black in a fine nib was perfect. Sailor Peach Pink did not bleed even from a Platinum #3776 Music Nib. J. Herbin Bleu Azure from a Platinum Century B Nib left only a couple of dots. Other inks in wide nibs left so many spots that the reverse was unusable at least by my standards. However, a dry nib or an extra-fine to fine nib should have less trouble. The narrow nib for many users will be more suitable for the size of the journal and the 5 mm grid spacing anyway.

The bottom line is Moleskine has improved the quality of its paper at least in the grid notebook I tested. Some pen and ink duos will work beautifully on both sides of the paper. If you only write on one side, use any pen and ink. With the feathering reduced, Moleskine is no longer off my list. Is it time to put it on yours?

 

 

 

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Pen And Paper Links

07/31/2016

Busy Sunday, but there are a few things to share…

That is a watercolor palette under the strap along with an Autopoint mechanical pencil, travel brush, Lamy Safari with Noodler’s Lexington Gray, and a Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook. Ready, set, go!

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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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