Posts Tagged ‘journaling’

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Esterbrook Fountain Pens and Journaling

10/27/2022

The esterbrook_official account on Instagram has posted some videos of fountain pens used in journals that have been embellished with ephemera. Also known as scrapbooking, this method of decorating a journal employs colors and shapes to make appealing designs using stickers, stamps and seals.

Fountain pen writing is not required when creating a layout. Here are two of mine that didn’t need words.

Although I used a Traveler’s Notebook, any journal will do including those that did not take well to fountain pen ink. You don’t have notebooks with less than stellar paper do you? Ha!

For years my planner has been divided into sections defined by washi tape and often stickers. Full-page layouts are a natural extension of that and are very satisfying to make. If there is interest, I will write a post about a few techniques, tools and products.

Very highly recommended activity if you need/want/crave another hobby.

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An Easy Way To Decorate A Journal

08/05/2022

This technique could be accomplished with all sorts of themes. I am partial to eucalyptus leaves as well as palm fronds both of which would work well. The stickers look like they were made with washi paper. It’s delicate but the colors are slightly muted and could easily be matched to fountain pen ink.

On Amazon, I found a camellia and an azalea made by the same company as the washi in the video, plus a set of  black, white, and gold stickers that looks promising.

Have you ever done something like this? How did it turn out?

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Finding Stickers That Work With Fountain Pens

07/08/2022

From a search for new ways to decorate journal pages, paper washi stickers are proving to be a very good option. Mine work with fountain pen ink although they can take a minute or two to dry. PVC stickers are plastic and repel ink so read listings to be sure you are buying the paper kind. The package I purchased contains paper as well as plastic stickers, the latter of which are waterproof and attractive for decorating journal covers amongst other uses.

The Traveler’s Journal in the photo has a 4mm grid for size reference. I have two additional packages on order, eucalyptus leaves and vintage flowers, for their small dimensions and subject matters. Combining them with my new rubber stamps ought to make my journals and notebooks colorful and lively, just the thing for summer.

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Something New In My Arsenal

07/06/2022

Sometimes my journal pages need a little flair, but not a time consuming one. So I purchased a few stamps to embellish my writings. Nothing fancy but they certainly are quick to use. With the aid of a blotter, I can close my journal immediately which is handy when I want to keep things private. Colored ink will make them lively and eye-catching not that any eyes ought to be perusing my journal. However, the planner on my desk is an open book, just ripe for some additional adornments and admiration. Dang, this could get addictive!

 

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Be Bold And Decorate Your Journal Pages

03/03/2022

From time to time, the subject of decorating journal pages with washi tape, stamps and watercolor doodles has come up. There are tons of watercolor sets from which to choose, but frankly many come with weak colors and cheap brushes. You deserve better. So after much research, a few sets have emerged that are better than the inexpensive sets that are marketed for children. The cost is a little higher, but worth the investment.

In the world of watercolor, there are three tools: paper, brushes and paint. For those who have a serious interest in learning to use watercolors, professional level tools are the way to go even as a beginner. For those who only have interest in decorating journal pages, correspondence, and making small paintings that will never get hung, saturated colors and decent brushes will do. They will also cost less than professional level products.

Mixing colors to create new ones is a fascinating aspect of painting, but especially in the beginning, it is easier to use paint straight. To do that, a wide selection of colors is needed. After significant research, a few sets emerged as worthy of mention though brands like Daniel Smith, Winsor and Newton, Schmincke, Sennelier, QoR, Mission Gold, DaVinci, and M. Graham always deliver high quality. Just like ink, the characteristics are different, but the paint is consistently excellent.

There are tons of cheap, student paint sets that I would not recommend. However, I discovered two sets that cost $20-25 and have enough color variety to keep anyone happy for quite some time. There is a video for an Artistro kit that applies to any set so start there. The company is a small, family owned enterprise that has put together an aesthetic kit containing all of the basic tools.

MeiLiang is the second set that offers good quality at the price point. It is the student grade set from Paul Rubens, a watercolor supplier that some artists recommend. I have no experience with the company, but there have been lots of good reviews. This kit only comes with a water brush so you might want to purchase a synthetic brush for more versatility.

Note that quality brushes can be purchased for less than $20 and I do recommend buying the best that you can manage even if it is only one brush. Especially for doodling in a journal, a single brush is all that is needed. More would be great, but one will do. A size #8 is the most commonly recommended, but a #6 will work well in a typical book-sized journal. A #2 is tiny and will produce thin lines and fine details.

Go for a short handle. Brushes come in a wide variety of synthetic and several natural hair bristles. Synthetics have improved so much in the last decade that recommending them is easy. Some are quite soft, but a firmer brush is a little easier to control. Be gentle with the tip of the brush and it will last a long time. Angle the brush to the side rather than loading paint from the tip and rinse well in lukewarm water before storing. Place a brush on its side to dry to prevent water seeping under the metal and loosening the glue that holds the bristles in place. Once dry a brush can be stored at any angle. Put a drop of water on each pan of paint or lightly spray with water to soften and to encourage the most saturated color. Well cared for brushes can last decades. Abused ones may only last months.

A travel brushs come with a cap that protects the bristles. It costs a little more, but can be just the thing for someone who likes to go out and about with a journal. This type of brush is by no means necessary but it is an option to consider.

Just as there is fountain pen friendly paper, there is paper that will work well for doodling with watercolors. Buckling is the biggest problem and can be minimized by limiting the amount of water on the brush. Tapping or holding the side of the bristles against a piece of scrap paper or a paper towel will remove some of the fluid. In my experience, paper that works well with ink will often work fine with small amounts of watercolor.

Below are some recommendations for watercolor sets and synthetic brushes with links to Amazon. The first two watercolor sets are hard to find elsewhere, but for journaling they have all the paint you will need. The recommended brushes might be available at your local art store. Just don’t buy into the idea that you have to “mix your own colors” rule. It isn’t a rule and isn’t necessary unless you are serious about becoming a watercolorist. Otherwise, just grab some paint, a brush, a cup of water, and have fun in your journal.

Being creative is a great defense against the turmoil of the outside world and unless you flash your journal for all to see, this activity can be just between us. And I promise to keep your secret.

Watercolor Sets

  1. Artistro
  2. MeiLiang
  3. Sennelier
  4. Paul Rubens
  5. White Nights

Brushes

  1. Princeton Aqua Elite, Series 4850, Synthetic Kolinsky Watercolor Paint Brush,Travel Round, 8
  2. Princeton Artist Brush, Neptune Series 4750, Synthetic Squirrel Watercolor Paint Brush, Travel Round, Size 6
  3. Princeton Aqua Elite, Series 4850, Synthetic Kolinsky Watercolor Paint Brush,Round, 6
  4. Princeton Aqua Elite, Series 4850, Synthetic Kolinsky Watercolor Paint Brush,Round, 8
  5. Princeton Artist Brush, Neptune Series 4750, Synthetic Squirrel Watercolor Paint Brush, Round, Size 8
  6. Princeton Artist Brush, Neptune Series 4750, Synthetic Squirrel Watercolor Paint Brush, Round, Size 6
  7. Princeton Artist Brush, Neptune Series 4750, Synthetic Squirrel Watercolor Paint Brush, Round, Size 2

Lastly, I have watercolor sets from Schmincke, Rembrandt, and White Nights to sell. Send an email to inkophile@gmail.com if you are interested.

Washi tape

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Need A Distraction? Pen Links To The Rescue!

03/29/2020

Whether you call it quarantine, lockdown or unscheduled stay-cation, fifteen straight days at home has provided too much time to squander in the pursuit of a quick fix, either intellectually or emotionally. Seeking out noteworthy sites has helped me stay out of trouble. Well, for the most part. What keeps you going?

From the archives, inks in rotation April 3, 2012.

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Taking Advantage Of What’s On Hand

01/06/2020

New year, new journal? For writers and artists, a journal is the perfect way to document the journey and keep track of ideas, explorations, adventures, and misadventures. With the huge number of choices, what to use tends to baffle me. For 2020, I have decided to use some unfinished notebooks from the past. Why put good paper to waste?

Two Traveler’s Notebooks were ignored last year and deserved better treatment. Time to put them to work especially the larger one that contains a Traveler’s Notebook (Refill 019) Free Diary made with MD Paper. Weekly calendar on the left with grid paper on the right is a week-at-a-glance format that should work very well for me.

My interest in brush pens has been renewed and the Exacompta Sketch Book that was my favorite in the past will now get its due. For watercolor exploration, a Stillman & Birn Beta will be fine while an Epsilon will be my all-purpose companion.

That’s my core group going into 2020.

Add to that five, two additional notebooks for specific uses. Should inspiration strike, a Paper for Fountain Pens bound journal will work for more serious writing. The other is a Strathmore Visual Journal for watercolor exploration. It contains paper that works quite well with Sennelier and similar honey-based paints producing brightly colored swatches. I will continue to look for a 140 lb., 100% cotton paper journal that won’t consume my entire annual paper budget. Perhaps 2020 will be the year for such a find.

Yes, that is a lot of journals but my interests are varied plus I have learned to keep subjects separated. Ink swatches have their own notebooks as do watercolor swatches. It would be confusing to have them mixed together.

A common characteristic is that all of my journals work well with fountain pen ink. The Uni-ball Signo 307 that writes so well over watercolor backgrounds will be another pen option. Luckily, all of the paper can handle a light layer of paint. It wasn’t a requirement, but it certainly is an advantage.

Seven journals won’t leave much need for any of the new products that 2020 will bring. But I promise to make room for whatever comes my way.

Which journal are you going to use this year? Do you keep just one or does it take several to meet your needs?

Shopping links from which Inkophile may earn a small commission should you click through and make a purchase:

Traveler’s Notebook Weekly Diary

Kuretake Brush Pen (Comes with cartridges but will need a Platinum converter to use fountain pen ink.)

Stillman & Birn Beta and Epsilon Sketchbooks

Strathmore Visual Watercolor Journal 140#

Uni-ball Signo 307

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