I had already used nib pens on Moleskine sketchbook paper. And it works better with fountain pens or fineliners. I have used other papers and the nib flows perfectly over them. On the other hand, the ink goes thought the paper. It had already spoiled some of my old drawings and I watched videos where it also happens. It is a 160 gsm paper. Surely I will be buying new sketchbooks soon.
I was testing the Moleskine sketchbook paper with different media. I was reviewing the sketches and basically I used ink and watercolor so I have started the series with graphite. The paper is smooth enough and it gets the graphite particles very nicely. I used Faber-Castell pencils (from 2H to 6B). I had to use a kneaded eraser only because I got in troubles with a vinyl eraser in my latest sketches: it erases the graphite and the yellowish paper color. There are several techniques that involve erasing in graphite drawing, therefore it is an important drawback.
Recently I bought some tubes of watercolor. Really I do not need more watercolors, I am happy with my Winsor&Newton Cotman box, but a store had a 3-for-2 promotion in Rembrandt watercolors and I got a good deal. Also I wanted to check out an artists grade watercolors. They are really good pigments that offer beautiful basic colors and combinations. Although I have not used them extensively, the colors are much brighter than the Cotman equivalents. Nevertheless, Cotman is the student grade of Winsor&Newton, I should compare them to the artists grade.
Concerning the colors, I am happy with my current palette although I do not use some colors very often, like the viridian and the sap green, and I never use others, like the white. I was pretty sure on some colors like the Prussian blue and the Payne’s grey. They were not in my palette and I was very interested on them. For the rest of colors I used the Bruce MacEvoy website. If you are interested on watercolor it is a must read. Great detailed descriptions of colors, pigments and palettes.
Finally I was on these colors: raw sienna (234), azo yellow medium (269), rose quinacridone (366), Prussian blue (508) phthalo green (675) and Payne’s grey (708). Some days later I added some new colors to the palette: burnt sienna (411), burnt umber (409), ultramarine deep (506), blue phthalo rouge (583), permanent red deep (371) and permanent yellow lemon (254). The idea is to keep a warm and a cool tone of each basic color and several earth tones. Usually the greens are a combination of a blue and a yellow, sometimes the greens from pigments seem unnatural in the paintings.
We are applying Linear Discriminant Analysis in our latest research. While I was studying the original Fisher‘s works, I learned that there is a stained glass window in the dinning hall of Caius College, in Cambridge, displaying a 7 x 7 Latin square in his honor.
In combinatorics and in experimental design, a Latin square is an n × n array filled with n different symbols, each occurring exactly once in each row and exactly once in each column. Latin squares have many interesting properties but I have only used the pattern to define the color in each cell of a array drawn with the Perry 1141. I wanted to check if the Indian ink was really waterproof. And, obviously, it is.
On the other hand, I have also experimented with the Gillott 404. I have used an exercise from the book Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill. Really I have used this exercise because I do not own this book. Surely I will purchase it, I do only read excellent comments about it. Does anyone have any experience with this book?
Although the pen should always be drawn toward the draftsman when possible  I wanted to check the nib behavior in several orientations. The image below shows the results. It works with regular and uniform orientations but when the curves begin to come… The Moleskine sketchbook paper does not seem very adequate to be used with this nib either.
I was experimenting with my new dip pens. It was just a quick test for checking the result that can be achieved with each one. I have compared them to my usual tools for pen and ink: the Uni Pin fine liners and the Lamy Safari fountain pen. I have used conventional fountain pen ink, Parker Quink blue ink, and Winsor & Newton black Indian ink.
The three nibs are a copy of a Perry 1141, a Gillott 404 and a Gillott 1290 (from left to right in the picture below). The Perry 1141 is a fine point nib mainly for copperplate writing. It is low elastic. The Gillott 404 is a sharply pointed drawing nib for drawing and copperplate writing. It produces from wide to fine hair-like lines and it is low elastic. The Gillott 1290 is a needle-point drawing nib for drawing and copperplate writing, with a curved-up tip that produces from wide to fine hair-like lines. It is medium/high elastic.
The nibs work great with the fountain pen ink. It is not as thick as the Indian ink so it is slightly easier to draw lines. Although the Indian ink is thicker, it allows very smooth moves over the paper. The Perry 1141 and the Gillott 404 produce similar strokes to the Uni Pin 0.2 and the Lamy Safari F nib. It is difficult to me to make fine parallel lines with the Gillott 1290, I guess I will need more practice. Also, as it is very elastic, a slightly different hand pressure produces a wider line. That is the advantage of the flexible nibs.
I hope this brief review can be useful for someone. For more information about nibs visit the Jacqui Blackman’s Art Studio. I will be posting some drawings made with them in the next few days.
As probably you did read on the sidebar, I made the following tweet a couple of days ago:
I got a couple of waterbrushes from my beloved girlfriend. Thank you! I'll be checking them out.—
Vinyl Eraser (@vinyleraser) January 06, 2012
I was using the waterbrushes in a sketch, so I have decided to write a post with some initial comments about their usage. The waterbruses are a Pentel Aquash (top) and a Kuretake Zig BrusH2O (bottom). Both have synthetic brushes with a quality similar to my regular synthetic brushes.
The Pentel has a fine brush and it could be equivalent to a regular brush size #2. It is pretty good for filling small zones and details. I noticed that when you squeeze the barrel for cleaning the brush, this waterbrush keeps more water in the inner mechanism than the Kuretake. If you are applying washes, it is very convenient, but you could consider remove some water with some tissue paper if you are detailing.
The Kuretake is smoother than the Pentel. The synthetic fibers are different and the brush size is also larger, it size could be equivalent to a regular brush size #6. It seems the water flow is more constant in this waterbrush than the Pentel. It is perfect for washes and for painting shadows. I’d like to check out a Kuretake with a fine brush or a Pentel with a large brush in order to compare both systems and fibers but they seem quite similar.
And this is the drawing in which I was testing the new waterbrushes. I used the Kuretake with the crimson, the cadmium red, the violet (crimson and cobalt blue), the ultramarine, and also for the gray in the edges. The drawing is inspired by a zentagle pattern.
You can see more photos of these waterbrushes and my other art supplies on Flickr. I will be uploading more photos in the next few days.