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  1. NickiStew

    Multi Purpose Fountain Pen Inks

    It’s taken a while, but at long last, the mission has been accomplished. Multi-purpose fountain pen inks. Inks that one can write with and inks that one can use for painting and illustration. The perfect limited palette that one can take ‘on the road’ and use however one wishes, whether its writing down one’s thoughts or recording what’s going on around you. What I didn’t want to do, was label up 4 pure off the shelf colours and call it a job done. No. I wanted to create 4 unique colours that would stand up as four beautiful unique fountain pen inks each with their own personality and chromatic behaviours BUT also have the ability to blend with each other and create secondary and tertiary colours. Not as easy as it sounds and as always, there have been compromises along the way. So how do they shape up? Well at this moment in time they don’t have any names, but the recipes are finalised and I’m very happy with them. And they all react with bleach. Blue – this is a deep blue colour that reacts easily with water bleeding out bright turquoise, cyan with a hint of pink. There is also evidence of a delicate red sheen at the edges when dry. As a writing ink, it flows well with evidence of some shading. Red – this is a deep magenta that reacts easily with water bleeding out rose reds but also with yellows at the very edges. This took a long while to get right. As a writing ink, it flows well with some shading. Yellow – I needed to darken this, to give it a darker tone, otherwise it would be difficult to write with it as it wouldn’t read. The ink reacts easily with water bleeding out mottled ambers and lemon at the edges. Because of the deeper tone one needs to add plenty water when wishing to achieve those lighter greens and oranges. This took a long while to get right. As a writing ink, it flows well with great shading. Black – My favourite of them all. This a dark black that reacts easily with water bleeding out greys, blues and reddish browns. For some ochre brown colours this mixes with the yellow superbly. This also took a long while to get right. As a writing ink, it flows well with a hint of shading. So how do they mix? Please see the colour wheel below: The inner ring is a light wash of the black showing the tertiary colour possibilities. And below are some very quick secondary and tertiary colour mixing experiments: I’m confident that these inks can produce most of the colours that a traveller would need without taking up much space in the rucksack. These are now going to be put into production. The food on table image is rendered in the style of John Minton. A simple and graphic example to demonstrate how these vibrant inks can be utilised as well as the wet in wet watercolour techniques. I used 2 Da Vinci travel brushes – an 8 and 5 – as well as a Serendipity dip pen. The palette plate was a cheap plastic 10 dimple dish. Paper used was heavy cartridge, Bockingford 200lb rough and Rhodia dot matrix. For more info, check out my profile page. Thanks. Nick
  2. Saturday 23rd September was my first first proper ink and bleach workshop and an international one at that! Very kindly hosted by Catherine Van Hove at her gorgeous Sakura Fountain Pen Gallery in Diest, Belgium, with ink kindly supplied by Robert Oster. If you'd like to know how the day unfolded there is a full write up on my blog, with some images. My blog is at www.quinkandbleach.wordpress.com and you can link to via my profile page or click the direct link here: https://quinkandbleach.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/fountain-pen-ink-and-bleach-workshop-at-sakura-fountain-pen-gallery/
  3. ​I frequently receive messages like the one below: >>I've seen a bunch of your ink tests over the months and one thing I'm unclear on is - how do we use these for our ink selection? Does mixing with bleach and water inform something about an ink that everyday users should know? Or consider when selecting an ink? I feel like you put a lot of effort into these and there's something to learn here but I'm just not sure what that is. By way of an explanation: What I'm doing here is all part of an art based project to see how I can use fountain pen inks in my artwork to best effect. Fountain pen inks often reveal hidden colour hues when blended with water and can react with bleach in a magical and dramatic way. To best illustrate this here is a link to a swatch test for some deAtramentis inks: https://quinkandbleach.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/de-atramentis-inks-review/ in particular check out the ebony swatch! As a result of this ebony swatch test I then went on the create this: https://quinkandbleach.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/de-atramentis-ebony/ And there are many other examples on my website of finding something quirky happening in a swatch test and then creating an artwork around this behaviour: https://quinkandbleach.wordpress.com My swatches are not purely aimed at handwriting and fountain pen enthusiasts, but creative art enthusiasts too. The issue, I think, is finding the correct platform to host fountain pen ink art and discussion? The art community in general don't take us seriously (we are not a recognised genre), the calligraphy community are understandably concerned with letterform, so the only home were there is some friendliness, understanding and interest is amongst the fountain pen community, where users and makers of our medium hang out. The good news, is that our small niche activity is gaining interest. We are all fascinated by the same characteristics and magic of fountain pen ink. And I like to think that we are, in our own abstract way, adding a little something extra to the fountain pen community? What do you think? Should we stay or should we go? And if we have to go, where do we go to?

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