Posts Tagged ‘Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook’

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A Superior Ink And Pen Duo From Platinum

03/26/2017

This might sound like a crazy risk, but I filled a Platinum Plaisir with Platinum Carbon Ink months ago and left it idle on my desk. When the pen got a taste of freedom and took a stroll around some junk paper, it wrote well from the first mark. No skipping. No hesitation. Just a clean, black line, no different from when it was initially inked. That Slip & Seal cap really works!

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Review: Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen

11/22/2016

The Platinum Plaisir has so much going for it, that calling it an entry-level pen is too limited. It is a fountain pen that offers excellent functionality at a reasonable price with features anyone can appreciate.

The Plaisir is a well-constructed, anodized aluminum bodied model that comes in a variety of colors. It is a medium sized pen at 142.5 mm long and 15 mm in maximum diameter. The weight is 15.4 g and should be comfortable in most hands. The cap is friction fit, but does not pop off without a little effort perhaps due to the Slip & Seal mechanism that prevents ink from drying in the nib. It is a great feature, particularly for anyone who is lackadaisical about pen use or care.

The pen comes with the same much loved, stainless nib as the Platinum Preppy. My fine nib has good flow and a little definition. It isn’t an italic, but the shape does enhance line edges.

With the smooth and luscious Platinum Carbon Black, the medium nib puts down a substantial line that is comparable to some broad nibs. The bonus is that it can be used upside down for a fine line. It isn’t quite as smooth as a pen with a true fine nib, but with the right ink on quality paper, it is perfectly serviceable. This can be especially useful for sketching or doodling. A Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook  made fast proof of that.

The section is clear revealing the ink’s color and whether the nib is running dry. It can look a bit messy, but a brilliant ink turns this into a colorful feature rather than a liability.

Some people consider the Plaisir to be a beginner’s pen. Using one revealed one of the reasons: the medium has a very large sweet spot. It can be rotated and held upright or even at a low angle and will still write well. As a gift to a newbie, the fine is worth considering as it produces a line more comparable in width to the familiar rollerball or gel pen.

The Plaisir comes in many colors, an array recently expanded with the a new release called Nova Orange. Compared to orange inks in my collection, the colors that match the barrel best are Iroshizuku yu-yake and J. Herbin Orange Indien. The metal barrel reflects light producing a variety of tones adding to the appeal of what Platinum has christened the Color of the Year for 2017. The Frosty Blue pen is well-matched to Diamine China Blue, but that’s only to give you a sense of the color. Gunmetal is a welcome change from the ubiquitous black and a neutral home for any ink. The three pens look very inviting on my desk. For a color lover having only one of these jewels may not be enough.

The pen comes with a single cartridge. If bottled ink is on the menu, a converter will be needed. Since it’s a metal pen, staining won’t be an issue. Bring on those inks that are known to misbehave and let the Plaisir tame them.

With its quality fit and finish plus variety of colors, the Platinum Plaisir is a good choice for the budget conscious whether for personal use or as a gift. It makes an attractive travel pen and, if lost, easily replaced. If you fancy carrying a loaner, the firm nib should withstand a few minutes in the grip of a heavy-handed newbie and provide a good initiation into the world of fountain pens. The more the merrier, eh?

A big thank you to Carol at Luxury Brands for the Platinum pens and Carbon Ink. It was great fun getting acquainted. The Nova Orange is good for a smile every time I see it. Yeah, I am a sucker for orange and in that I am not alone. Bet you won’t be able to keep this one in stock.

More info at Platinum Pen Co.

Where to buy:

Fine nib at Amazon

Medium nib at Amazon

Platinum converter at Amazon

Platinum Carbon Ink at Amazon

Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses

 

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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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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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Color Me Happy

08/06/2014

Look what came in the mail today.

File this under “good things that come in small packages.” It’s a silver Altoids sized box with 18 paint wells and a tiny, size 3 travel brush. It won’t get filled until my order of Daniel Smith Hansa Yellow Light and Permanent Orange arrives. However, the beads will be the inspiration for the palette and I can work on selecting the 16 additional colors in the interim.

Given the small mixing area, I will either use paint straight from the wells or let it mix on the paper. Both methods produce vibrant colors and intriguing effects.

A mini waterbrush would be a good tool to carry with the little kit and, of course, my trusted Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook for reliable paper. Well, that settles that, eh?

Thank you so much, Karen, for the cute, little box and the super fast shipping. Now to work on colors that resemble those beads. A good challenge and total fun for a color lover like me.

Oh, if you are interested in a watercolor palette from Karen, search eBay under “small paint tin” or click this link to her listings.

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Yasutomo Niji Pearlescent Watercolor Set

04/10/2014

On occasion a company sends a truly fun product to explore. Jet Pens did so this time with the Yasutomo Niji Pearlescent Watercolor set. It is a kick to use and a very cheap thrill at $5.25.

The colors are a challenge to photograph since the pearlescent effect is light-dependent. But at just the right angle, some of the reflective properties show very well. The darker colors can be used alone while the paler ones work better over another color like black paper, marker or paint.

Excellent for a background if your journal is friendly to water. Fountain pen inks write just fine over Niji Watercolor even when the ink is applied thickly. Other writing tools are good as well. Layering colors proved intriguing and worth exploration.

It takes some pre-wetting to get a good load of color on a brush. If you don’t have a watercolor brush, a waterbrush is an easy to use tool. Just squeeze a drop or two into the dry paint and give it a minute to saturate the surface. Then swish the brush around to create a creamy consistency. A spray bottle is another way to wet the paint and works great with a standard paint brush.

A thin layer of paint can be used for glazing. Many of  the colors are very transparent and will shine on dark paper. Combine with a white or metallic rollerball pen for some very unique pages.

The paper used in the tests is Canson Mix Media, 98 lb, which is suitable for pen, pencil, watercolor, and acrylics. Paper weight is what counts, but most sketchbooks should work especially if you don’t overdo the water to paint ratio. Once fully dry, add words. My Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook is getting a number of pages decorated for future use. When the perfect words come along, the page will be ready for them. If the muse doesn’t strike, the colorful pages have their own appeal and can be filled with doodles or famous or perhaps infamous quotes.

Add something extra to a handmade greeting card or decorate stationery with a metallic  swash or doodle. Use a template if freehand won’t do. Just let each color dry thoroughly before adding another so they don’t mix on the paper unless that is the effect you want. Even a stamp dipped in paint could pick up enough pigment to leave a colorful impression.

The Yasutomo Niji Pearlescent Watercolor kit is an inexpensive way to dress up your journal or add a flourish to your correspondence or a crafts project. At the price point, the set is an easy addition to add to an order of a bottle or two of fountain pen ink. Not that you couldn’t meet the minimum order for free shipping with other goodies. Just sayin’…

See also Ardith’s Art Journal Review.
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I Cheated But Just A Little

03/28/2014

Taking a cue from my Colorful Background post, I sploshed some blue and green watercolors on a page in a Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook. Unlike the artist who made the video in my post, I didn’t want to write on the painting so I cheated, but just a little.

The trick was to make the words temporary without obscuring the background painting. After a few so-so ideas, I remembered a packet of translucent vellum that disappeared years ago. It took some time to locate, but provided the perfect solution.

With a Pilot Prera/Plumix Italic and Noodler’s Black ink, I wrote the Eurythmics lyric several times on the vellum until it looked suitable. A little paper tearing produced uneven edges that echoed the watercolor. Then I made another written piece using a Uchida Gold Opaque Paint Marker. With a Scotch Wrinkle-Free Glue Stick, I attached the written words to the watercolor. Lastly, a swath of gold dots on the left side and the page was complete.

The Daniel Smith watercolors are from my basic palette and include Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Turquoise, and Green Gold with a touch of Ultramarine Blue. I may have inadvertently dipped my brush in Sap Green on one pass, so that could be added to the list or not.

Epsilon paper is 150gsm so it can handle a fair amount of liquid, but it still required quick work to keep things fresh and flowing. The Isabey Petit Gris Mop brush from Leigh was perfect for the loose wash. It holds a huge amount of paint and added to the fun of getting the colors to mingle on the paper.

If you aren’t into painting, a similar background effect can be achieved with wide or brush markers. The latter works extremely well when held horizontally, almost parallel to the paper. Another option is to doodle with Sharpies and write with a fountain pen over your design.

If you want to write with a fountain pen more than paint colorful backgrounds, Jet Pens has a fun palette that could be used to create a pale wash of color over which ink will stand out nicely. More about the Yasutomo Niji Pearlescent set next week, but it could make a good starting point paired with a waterbrush. It does take a few drops of water to get the paint thick enough to put down significant color. However, a less saturated look might be just the thing to make your writing stand out on the page.

Whatever way you go, writing over a colorful background adds pizazz to your words. If it inspires you to write, so much the better. Play with it and have fun. That’s what should happen with all artistic endeavors.

Speaking of having fun, I think I’ll add a few more gold dots. One can never have too much gold, right?

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