Posts Tagged ‘Tomoe River paper’

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A Watercolor Palette Plus A Few Tips and Tricks

04/17/2019

Before fountain pens caught my fancy, watercolors were my favorite distraction. Over the years, a number of brands and kits have come my way. After experimenting with the lot, the Sennelier Aqua Mini set has become my favorite.

The Aqua Mini is very good value for money at about $20 for eight small cakes of artist grade paint. They are cheerful, transparent colors reminiscent of Impressionist paintings and can be mixed to make a satisfying variety of additional colors. Perhaps because they are made with honey, they are sticky and yet creamy at the same time. They moisten readily and put down significant color with no effort. They really are a pleasure to use.

Unfortunately, the box and brush are somewhat less exciting. The brush is tiny though suitable for small details. I prefer a #6 or #8 round travel brush for painting in the wild. When at my desk, anything goes.

The box has very little space to mix colors. This is a design flaw that can be remedied by placing a flat container nearby for mixing purposes. White porcelain is the best at revealing a paint’s true color. It shouldn’t stain and cleans easily so I would recommend it over other materials. However, plastic might be more practical for travel.

Tip: A dessert or sushi plate can make a useful palette. Pans of paint can be attached temporarily to the plate with tape or a removable adhesive or putty. Following a session, allow the paints to dry. Then cover with plastic wrap or store in a resealable bag to prevent dust from accumulating on the paint. When it comes to working at my desk, this is one of my favorite arrangements.

Or you can pry the paints from the original tray, move them into plastic watercolor pans and then to a variety of containers from a mint tin to a proper watercolor box. A different option would be to pry the entire plastic tray out of the original Sennelier box and put it into a mint tin of similar size. One with a flat, metal lid would provide a more useful mixing area. If it’s white, so much the better.

Below is a Simply Gum Mints (not the chewing gum) metal box that will hold six large pans or nine small ones like those from the Aqua Mini set. Mia discovered how well these tins work and I am so glad she passed that along. My family has gone through a large box of the mints leaving me six containers for a variety of color groupings.

If you just want to play around with paint, the supplied brush and box will do. But don’t be surprised if you get hooked and need a better brush and not long after that, a real watercolor box. Then more paint and brushes and, well, you get the picture. Such things happen even with the best of intentions. Collecting paint is very much like collecting ink. Brushes are comparable to pens. You have been warned.

As for paper, Stillman & Birn make lots of journals for the traveler. Tomoe River paper will take a light wash of color as will a number of other brands. Should painting charm you beyond the occasional doodle, go for 100% cotton watercolor paper. It can be pricey but totally worth it.

My enthusiasm for Sennelier watercolors is what I really wanted to share with you. The container and brush deficiencies are easily overcome so don’t let that be a deterrent. The paint is great and that is what really counts.

Amazon Shopping List:

  1. Sennelier Aqua Mini
  2. Travel Brushes from Escoda, da Vinci, Silver Brush
  3. #8 round brush from Escoda or Silver Brush
  4. Metal Palette with plastic pans from Meeden, Honbay or JCT ECO
  5. Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook smooth enough to accommodate fountain pen nibs or the Beta for a slightly textured surface.
  6. Winsor & Newton Watercolor Journal, Arches, Strathmore, Fabriano (All are 100% cotton with a slightly textured surface.)
  7. Sennelier Watercolor Tube Test Pack (Fewer colors than the Aqua Mini but a larger volume of each color. Will need a palette/container and plastic pans.)
  8. Small (half) pans and large (full) pans
  9. Simply Gum Mints
  10. Sushi plate or appetizer plates or small porcelain palette
  11. Uhu Reusable Adhesive

At Parka Blogs, Teoh reviewed the Sennelier Aqua Mini set with similar conclusions.

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Sunday Reads: Flex Nibs, Ink, And Stifflexible

07/22/2018

Pen links and other goodies…

Four years on, these writing tools remain favorites.

 

Clairefontaine, Stillman & Birn, Platinum #3776 Century Nice and Nice Pur, Conklin Durograph Stub, Iroshizuku, J. Herbin, Noodler’s Ink, Sailor Ink, Tomoe River paper.

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Sunday Reads: Sheen, Tomoe River, And A Cat

05/06/2018

Ink sheen is intriguing, but using a cooperative paper can make even less well-endowed inks show a little dazzle…

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A DIY Journal With Tomoe River Paper

03/02/2018

It is always satisfying to assemble a DIY journal for a new year. For 2018, I discovered a leather passport case that will accommodate two Traveler’s Notebooks. It makes a small and lightweight companion that takes up little space, but looks great and offers enough pages to keep the writer in me creative and content.

The notebooks come in diary, blank, grid and lined editions all with fountain pen friendly paper. I prefer the Traveler’s #005 with Tomoe River paper that Leigh Reyes introduced me to a few years ago. Tomoe takes fountain pen ink like a champ, but also holds up to a light watercolor application which makes it fine for small sketches or to add extra color to written pages.

The Sea Green (more teal than turquoise) cover from Banuce is eye-catching and just the right size for the Traveler’s Notebook. It has lots of slots for credit cards, stickers, and other bits and pieces. Another passport-sized cahier might fit, but the Moleskine does not. I might purchase the coral to house all those lists and task notes that clutter my desk. Two notebooks doesn’t seem excessive when it comes to being organized, does it?

The leather is smooth to the touch, but firm enough to give the journal a solid writing surface. Either a writing board or a piece of blotting paper will protect lower sheets, but Tomoe has rarely bled through in my experience. The cover folds back easily for notes on the go.

The snap clasp will keep everything firmly inside. The corners are slightly round, and the stitching consistent. The black edging offsets the striking color and gives the journal a finished look.

The only drawback is the over-sized stamp of the manufacturer’s name. It would have been more subtle centered on the lower edge of the back cover.

This is not a pricey item and durability is hard to predict, but it should last through the coming year. It arrived attractively packaged should you want to give it as a gift. Add a Traveler’s Notebook and any writer would be happy to fill the pages. For less than $15, the cover and notebook make quite the bargain.

Banuce passport covers here and here. Traveler’s Notebook with Tomoe River paper. J. Herbin Blotter Paper. Taroko Design Pencil Board. All links are to Amazon. When you purchase through my links, I get a tiny commission but every penny helps keep this Inkophile supplied with new items to review.

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Sunday Reads On A Saturday?

04/15/2017

Holiday tomorrow so links are posting a day early.

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What Prompts You To Journal?

01/18/2017

What prompts you to write in your journal? Many of us start a new one in January which makes this a good month to examine and strengthen what works.

Fountain pen people may do it just for the joy of using a favorite pen or a pretty new ink. Sometimes it’s the luxurious feel of a perfectly tuned nib sliding across velvety paper. A touch of the hedonist may drive us to such pursuits, but it is good, clean fun.

It doesn’t have to be just words that make it on paper. A doodler can use a glyph or squiggle to fill lines and spaces. Watercolor may come into play, but glued on bits of ephemera count as well. Stickers, tickets and postage stamps can inspire lengthy entries or at least make the pages look satisfyingly full.

But what prompts the writer, the serious writer, to put pen to paper? What inspires that flow of words? An experience of the day, something in the news, an errant thought? Do you have a book of prompts or a theme to explore? Really, how do you do it and what do you do it with?

Writing in my journal can bring out the minimalist in me. I like using a light to medium weight pen with an ink to match the subject or something very neutral that won’t detract. Recently, four pens have graced my long sessions: two Pilot Metropolitan Mediums, a Lamy Studio Fine, and a Platinum Nice Medium. The Lamy is a little heavy for more than four or five pages, but the others are good for miles of adventure. Current inks are Iroshizuku ama-iro, Pilot Blue-Black, J. Herbin Terre de Feu and Sailor Tokiwa-matsu in the second Pilot Metro.

Today my journals include one from Paper for Fountain Pens with Tomoe River Paper, Staples Arc, a new Muji notebook and a (Midori) Traveler’s Notebook, most often a #013.

Any of these tools can prompt me to journal. Four pens, inks and journals would seem like enough variety for an inkophile. Or maybe not. The Stillman & Birn Epsilon, Stipula Verde Muschiato, and the lovely, lovely Platinum #3776 music nib are ready to go. Oh, look at that. Ku-jaku just waved at me with a charming, beauty-queen-riding-in-a-parade gesture. So much for my minimalist rotation. Is this a hopeless addiction or what!

 

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My Gear For The New Year

01/06/2017

Ink, pen and paper:

Sketching Kit:

Watercolor Supplies:

Accessories:

Want to purchase any of these items? Here ya go!

Ink, pen and paper: Pilot BBk,  Noodler’s Black, Diamine Mediterranean Blue, J. Herbin Cafe des Iles, Sailor Tokiwa-matsu, Stipula Calamo Sapphron, Stillman & Birn  Zeta Sketchbook, Tomoe River Paper from Paper for Fountainpens, Quo Vadis Plan & Note journal, Pilot Metropolitan, Platinum #3776 Century M, TWSBI Diamond 580 1.1, Staples ArcTraveler’s Notebook 013

Sketching Kit: Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils, Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser, Prismacolor Kneaded Eraser, Lowe-Cornell tortillions, Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook, Faber-Castell Sharpener

Watercolor Kit: Martin Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette, travel box, Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook, Arches 300 gsm watercolor paper, Schut Aquarelbloc 300gsm watercolor paper, Monaco Travel Case, Traveler’s Notebook 012

Brushes: Silver Brush Black Velvet Script #4, Round #8, 3/4″ Flat, Escoda Versatil Rigger #10, Isabey Petit Gris #0, SAA Gold Round #10

Tube paints for a watercolor mixing triad: Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue, Winsor & Newton Aureolin, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose.

Watercolor Metal Travel Box with colors especially good for mixing: American Journey Aureolin, American Journey Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Winsor & Newton Winsor Red, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose, Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue, American Journey Phthalo Blue, Daniel Smith Phthalo Green (BS)

Accessories: Coccoina glue stick, American Crafts washi tape, Bigelow Earl Grey Green Tea, Numi Chocolate Pu-erh Tea, Sadaf Special Blend Tea with Earl Grey.

 

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