Posts Tagged ‘doodle journal’

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Mattias Adolfsson And His Fountain Pens

05/25/2017

Mattias Adolfsson is a Swedish illustrator who uses fountain pens for detailed drawings. I became enchanted with his work via Fountain Pen Network ten years ago when he posted a drawing done with a Namiki Falcon and Diamine Monaco Red. The duo is lovely for drawing and elegant for shading as well as simplicity.

Sometimes I let the nib release a little extra ink and move it around with a swab, toothpick or small brush. Otherwise, the expressive line from the nib is gorgeous on its own. Any ink will do, though J. Herbin Lie de The is an especially good alternative. My Stillman & Birn Sketchbook loves the attention and with Mattias for inspiration, it’s a win-win activity.

 

Tools mentioned are available at Amazon: Pilot Namiki Falcon SF, Stillman & Birn Sketchbook, Diamine Monaco Red, and J. Herbin Lie de The.

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Easy-Peasy Way To Add Color To A Journal

04/28/2016

Adding a little color to a journal is easy with watercolor dots, a brush and some water. Contrast or complement with fountain pen ink for a unique twist to doodling in a journal.

American Journey is a line of watercolors from Cheap Joe’s and rumored to be produced by DaVinci. Whatever the source, it is artist quality and reasonably priced. Not long ago Joe began offering small dots of paint to get acquainted with the colors. Then last week one of the Essentials Sample Color Sets jumped into my shopping cart just to show me what I had been missing. At less than $6, it was an offer too good to refuse.

The packaging is simple but functional with a box that feels like a cardboard egg carton and a paper label that slides on easily to keep it closed. It is very portable though it lacks a mixing area. That can be overcome with a piece of Yupo trimmed to fit inside the lid. Or just allow the colors to mix together on a journal page by placing them next to each other for a variegated effect.

There is a sheet of paper inside the box with the names of the paints, characteristics, and pigment codes with enough room to paint a small sample of the color. It is printer paper so use a minimal amount of water, but it is a handy way to know which color you are grabbing.

The paint dots are small so a round brush is best for lifting color. The website claims it’s enough to make a painting. Heh, maybe a small one. However, it is enough to see the color though limited for making mixes when you consider how many you can create with a dozen colors.

Single pigment colors are preferred by most watercolorists and there are six in this set. The six multiple pigment paints are fine, but can make color mixing more complicated.

  • Aureolin lacks the brown/gray aspect of other brands of Aureolin and for me that is a plus. It’s more true yellow which is better for mixing purposes, the primary use for yellow. It is a multiple pigment paint, but the two pigments are both in the yellow family. So Aureolin behaves more like a single pigment paint.
  • Joe’s Yellow is benzimidazolone, a watercolor sold by Winsor & Newton as Winsor Yellow. It’s a good mixing color and useful as is for florals.
  • Gamboge (hue) is a double pigment color that is achieved with a single pigment in the Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton lines. At least both pigments are yellow and the combination does produce a more even color transition from orange to pale yellow than what some companies produce. I could get used to the AJ version.
  • Raw Sienna is slightly less red than many brands, but it is single pigment and makes very smooth dark to light gradients. When diluted to its palest form, it can be used for skin tones in landscapes where features are not defined.
  • Rambling Rose is made from the same pigment as Daniel Smith Quinacridone Rose and Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose. It is a versatile color that can be used in place of red and mixes well with a wide range of colors.
  • Joe’s Red is pyrrol red like Winsor Red and is closer to a true red than Rambling Rose.
  • Brown Madder (quinacridone) is similar to Transparent Red Oxide though a touch more orange.
  • Quinacridone Gold Deep is more golden than some similarly named paints. Like Raw Sienna is can be diluted to make a flesh tone for landscapes. This version is made from a yellow and a red pigment so if you add blue, it will produce gray.
  • Ultramarine Blue is exactly what it should be. It mixes well with the yellows in the set to create lovely greens or with Raw Sienna to produce gray. Try it with the reds for some lovely purples.
  • Blue Stone was reluctant to release color and never became as saturated as the other paints. It resembles Daniel Smith Lunar Blue though more green. It is not an essential color. Joe’s Blue (phthalo) or Cobalt Blue would have been better choices.
  • Royal Amethyst is a beautiful dioxazine purple and rightly called amethyst. Add yellow to make neutral and warm browns.
  • Skip’s Green is a yellow biased spring green and is a novelty color rather than an essential. I think the set would have been better served with a more useful green.

Add a #4 or #6 travel brush or a waterbrush to the Essentials Sample Set for a simple kit of basic tools to decorate your journal. Dots, dashes and doodles are all it takes.

Note: Daniel Smith offers watercolor dots on 8.5″ x 11″ sheets that aren’t nearly so portable. However, if you really want to fool around with a lot of different colors, it’s another way to go. There are three other American Journey sets, if the Essentials selection isn’t right for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Those Last Few Drops Of Ink

01/30/2016

Do you hate throwing out even a few drops of ink? Instead of sending it down the drain or waiting forever to use the last of a fill, make a colorful background for some unique journal pages.

I used leftover watercolor in a mister, but ink will work just fine. Dilute it with water so the color is soft enough to let the written word show clearly. Let the page dry thoroughly before adding words.  These mini misters at Amazon have long straws to suck up the last drop so even a small amount of fluid will be sufficient to decorate a page. As little as a single spritz can add visual appeal to plain paper.

The farther the mister is from the paper, the more diffuse the dots. Once applied the color can be smeared for a different effect. Tilt paper to make large drops spread color in any direction. Absorbent paper will reduce the time available to manipulate the fluid, but the misting will dry more rapidly. It’s a trade off.

If the result lacks color, touch a fountain pen to the wet surface to add more dimension. The same thing works with a rivulet of clear water as Leigh Reyes does in some of her ink and pen videos. If using more than one color but you don’t want the colors to mix, let the paper dry between applications. In my example, the first layer was Daniel Smith Transparent Pyrrol Orange that dried completely before adding Ultramarine Turquoise. The colors mimic this evening’s sunset and will make a suggestive background for the day’s musings.

Most journal paper will buckle, so use a light application. This Midori #013 with Tomoe River paper only wrinkled where there was a substantial amount of water. This technique will also work on plain stationery and blank greeting cards that are compatible with fountain pen ink.

Experiment with mixing colors. Even the muddy neutrals that can result from mixing more than two colors will make subtle, misted backgrounds.

Whether you play connect the dots or write daily musings, have fun with it. That’s what color is all about.

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Speedball Elegant Writer Is A Cheap Thrill

01/15/2016

Playing with the Speedball Elegant Writer is a lot of fun. Just grab a wet brush and make it dance around the paper. The more water the better so a paper of at least 150gsm will make the best surface and yield the most satisfying results, but Midori and Tomoe River paper like it, too. Four pens for less than $10 makes this an inexpensive tool for journal decorating or mixed media art. I predict much doodling ahead.

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Links About Using Pens

07/19/2015

So much in the news wasn’t worth linking to this week. Fortunately, there were a few good bits about writing that are worth passing along.

Macy Strikes A Pose

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Putting Old Junk To Good Use

07/13/2015

It took some trial and error, but several old cases and notebook covers are now fitted with new journals.  Some of the paper will take a light wash of watercolor so those notebooks will see double duty.

Leather Checkbook Cover

This leather checkbook cover must be at least thirty years old and hasn’t seen anything but the inside of a drawer for at least twenty of those years. Now it has a notebook all its own.

Passport Case

The passport case worked with a number of journals including those pictured from Rhodia, Exacompta and paper-oh though using Midori inserts transforms it into a Fauxdori. Midori bands hold the journals in place and keep it closed. The lock charm adds a whimsical touch as it floats across the equator.

Leather Diary Cover

This well-used notebook contained a diary from 1986 and a blank pad on the left. The leather still feels soft and inviting, but even more so now with a Rhodia pad and Canson art paper.

Shaver Case

This case was from my son’s first Braun shaver. I think concealing a journal is a much better use for it.

Travel Clock Case

This case is so tiny, it can fit anywhere. Discovering a similarly sized pad with paper that makes nice with fountain pen ink was a stoke of luck.

Not every journal needs a protective cover. Decorate a plain exterior with with washi tape (addiction warning), scrapbook paper, or decopatch. That will strengthen the cover as well as make it more attractive.

Whether it’s called recycling or re-purposing, matching old junk with fountain pen friendly paper creates new tools and makes each item useful again. No slackers in this lot now.

Platinum pens courtesy of Luxury Brands USA. Rhodia, Clairefontaine and Exacompta notebooks courtesy of Exaclair. Paper-oh courtesy of paper-oh.com. Fine folks all.

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Links From Pens To Nibs To Words

06/14/2015

If nothing else, do watch Leigh’s video about nibs. It will sort any confusions about flex nibs plus it’s a joy to watch her use any sort of pen.

Tuckered out after a bath and fifteen minutes of zoomies to get dry. Aren’t I just the cutest thing ever!

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