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  1. Just look at that electric blue effect with bleach! This was a throwaway exercise that just came good. I have a feeling that the culmination of this fountain pen ink arts project may well be something along these lines - simple imagery with a harmonious combo of chromatography, serendipity and alchemy, BUT before that possible eventuality there are quite a few more chapters to be explored and documented!
  2. And a very pretty Teal blue sheen exclusive from Papier und Stift it is too. And a fabulous name for an ink as well. And the first thing that strikes me about this ink colour is that it feels familiar. It is without doubt a very strong and pretty sheen turning that familiar metallic deep rose pink, but where have I seen it? Take away the gold shimmer and you have an ink base similar to the great and wonderful Emeraude de Chivor. And what's wrong with that? A stunning colour with a great tonal range and when used in a pen, hints of that sheen can easily be seen at the edges of the ha
  3. I have been sent three – The Pebble Stationery Co Tomoe River 52gsm pocket notebook, the Made for Ink Pocket Junglist Special Edition 100gsm Fedrigoni Milk stock with Fluoro cover pocket notebook and one sent a long while ago, the Choosing Keeping Blue pocket book. But I’m also including the Seawhite A6 140gsm all-media cartridge paper sketchbook. Here are some of the images from the tests in the following order: Pebble Stationery Co Tomoe River, Made for Ink Junglist Special Edition, Choosing Keeping Blue and Seawhite. PEBBLE TOMOE RIVER – IDEAL FOR SHEEN AND SHIMMER INKS The Pebbl
  4. By employing water based techniques, one can achieve a convincing watercolour style painting by simply letting the inks do what they do. The demonstration below, has been created using one ink, Diamine Earl Grey. At first glance, one might assume that 3 or 4 colours have been employed. The wonderful thing is that this simple wet in wet technique is actually easier and quicker than watercolour painting! Without even touching upon the word ‘serendipity’ I think this may appeal to all amateur artists for this one reason alone. The sky and foregrounds have created themselves! What is also of i
  5. NickiStew

    Diamine Inkvent Calendar

    SPOILER ALERT! If you do not want to see the colours before Advent, then please do not read this article and do not scroll down! Many congratulations to Diamine! A superb idea and what a fabulous gift too! Behind each of the 24 doors is a bottle of 7ml ink, while behind the 25th is a 30ml bottle. All the inks are brand new. Some are standard, while others sheen or shimmer - and some do both! Their names reflect the festive season, so once you've opened all your doors, you'll have a collection of inks called: Blue Peppermint, Candy Cane, Snow Storm, Polar Glow, Triple Chocolate,
  6. Art today sadly seems to be more about plagarism, pastiche and poor rendering than creative exploration and expression! That is why fountain pen ink art is such a special medium. Here is my Major Arcana Tarot Deck created with Fountain Pen Ink, water and bleach with the minimal amount of computer assistance to set up the print artwork. Art from destruction and totally authentic utilising the natural chromatography, serendipity and alchemy inherent in this genre. Once these are back from the printers and photographed, I will post a more detailed account about the Personal Tarot project both her
  7. NickiStew

    Lucy In The Sky With Diamine

    Even though I was a toddler at the time, the music of the Beatles has been an influence on my creative career. I still listen to their music and often refer to my copy of The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics by Alan Aldridge for both pleasure and inspiration. Sgt Pepper, Magical Mystery and Abbey Road are all regularly played in the studio, but it's the White Album that truly fascinates me and so the portrait shots that I chose to replicate of the Fab Four are from circa 1968 when the album was recorded. So what better way to pay homage than to take four of Liverpool's finest musicians and reima
  8. NickiStew

    Vinta Inks - Range Swatch Test

    A couple of months back, I swatch tested 100 samples from the Sailor Ink Studio range and four new colours from Troublemaker Inks. I was hugely impressed with all of the dramatic chromatic behaviours and their magical effects when used for watercolour painting. So, when Anja Gebler from Papier und Stift suggested that I swatch test Vinta Inks, how could I refuse? Like Troublemaker Inks, Vinta Inks are a small artisan ink manufacturer based in the Philippines. The range currently consists of twenty colours featuring eleven standard inks, 4 sheening inks and five shimmer inks.The inks are a
  9. NickiStew

    Diamine Exclusive - Manggis

    Introducing Manggis. A Diamine extreme sheen exclusive for Pen Gallery. To be honest, I really like this ink. It is extreme in tone ranging from near black to light pinks. I appreciate that most pen users won't ever experience this but the opportunities are there and the base colour together with the metallic green sheen is simply stunning! Available exclusively from Pen Gallery in Malaysia.
  10. NickiStew

    Bloody Brexit

    And yet another Diamine sheen exclusive with a topical name... Bloody Brexit. Whatever your political opinions may be, this is another heavy sheener for Seitz Kreuznach and their expanding collection of 'Bloody'inks! A deep rich blue serious sheening ink, that bleeds out bright turquoise with tiny hints of Royal blue when blended with water. When dry, the concentrated areas dry a heavy metal red. Check out that blot and the squiggles! Depending on your paper surface the ink writes a deep blue with hints of red sheen in evidence. I thought the abstract calligraphy title worked quit
  11. I have just returned from 2 weeks cycling in the French Alps and when not on the bike enjoying the scenery, I had the opportunity to test out the new Troublemaker inks sent to me. These are proper duotone shading inks - each ink composed of 2 colours shading one into the other. The wonderful surprise for me is that this limited palette of Milky Ocean, Abalone, Petrichor and Kelp Tea gave me all the colours and tonal depth that I needed at the time. Milky Ocean- A Royal blue that when dropped onto a wetted watercolour paper bleeds out pink, blue and bright turquoise. No sheen in evidence
  12. NickiStew

    Cult Pens Christine And Philip

    Cult Pens have 2 new extreme sheening inks to add to their collection - Christine and Philip. Appropriately named after the two leading lights at Diamine who have created them. When Maureen and Robert were released in 2018 I honestly thought that here are two extreme sheen inks that won't be bettered. Here we have a purple and deep teal, which appear to be the 'in' colours for 2019 but how do they fare? Philip (Purple) has no chromatic qualities and sheens a brown/gold. Christine (Teal) also shows limited chromatic qualities and sheens a deep red. As with Maureen and Robert they are both cr
  13. This is the seventh part of my Sailor Ink Studio swatch tests. The swatch cards shown are part of a lovely range of Pinky Browns. Incredible chromatography! Tests on Bockingford Rough 200lb watercolour paper with handwriting using a Noodler's Creeper pen.
  14. This is the final part of my Sailor Ink Studio swatch tests. The swatch cards shown feature the blacks, olives and what can only be described as something magical and truly beautiful. Sailor 027 - A true black with just a hint of grey feathering at the edges when blended with water. A hint of activity in the less concentrated area when bleach is added. A great solid black when used for writing. Sailor 024 - A black with blue greys feathering at the edges when blended with water. A deep sheen in evidence. No reaction when bleach is added. Sailor 023 - A black with purple greys featheri
  15. This is the tenth part of my Sailor Ink Studio swatch tests. The swatch cards shown are part of a lovely range of what I'm going to call Green. Sailor 160 - A light translucent green with a slight blue hue. Washes well with water with limited chromatography in evidence. Turning a neon white/blue when subjected to bleach. Sailor 767 - A rich mid grass green with yellows in evidence in the watery edge areas. A limited white/blue effect when subjected to bleach. Sailor 967 - A grubby mid grass green with yellows in evidence in the watery edge areas. A dull white/yellow effect when subjec
  16. This is the ninth part of my Sailor Ink Studio swatch tests. The swatch cards shown are part of a lovely range of what I'm going to call the Grey Greens. The first is arguably more purple in origin but hey! And just check out that chromo in 762 and 462! Sailor 723 - What appears to be a deep muddy purple with green feathering at the outer edges when blended with water. A black sheen in evidence. A neon blue purple green effect when subjected to bleach. Sailor 762 - A deep grey with light greys, greens and purples feathering at the outer edges when blended with water. A neon blue green a
  17. Close Hauled! Painted with Randall Blue Black Fountain Pen Ink using a KUM Memory Point 10 on Bockingford 140lb with line work using a Kaweco Stainless Steel Sport with an extra fine gold nib.
  18. This is the eighth part of my Sailor Ink Studio swatch tests. The swatch cards shown are part of a lovely range of Oranges and Pinks. These are bright! And I mean bright, with the first six colours revealing some striking chromatic behaviour I have not witnessed before. Sailor 230 - A heavy rich bright orange pink that creeps down the card when added to a wetted surface. A pronounced acid yellow is in evidence at the outer edges and in spite of the ink density, bleach works very well, turning neon white. Sailor 730 - A heavy rich bright orange pink that creeps down the card when added t
  19. As a keen sailor, there's nothing quite like getting stuck into a marine painting. I knew when Randall Blue Black was created that it would be a very good writing ink, but what I didn't appreciate at that time, was how special it is for marine painting too. My scenes from the East Coast of England were chosen to demonstrate the very subtle chromatography, the inherent serendipity and the depth of tonal range that Randall can offer. I used Bockingford 200lb rough watercolour paper as the surface with 4 synthetic brushes of various sizes for all the wash work and my Kaweco Steel Sport with
  20. Here we go then! The 10 Diamine Purples produced exclusively for the Fountain Pens UK Facebook Group. And what a selection to choose from. From red purples sheening green to blue purples sheening yellow. A wealth of chromatic behaviours on show too. The swabs were created on cartridge paper and the swatch tests on Bockingford watercolour paper. For the creatives amongst you, the bleach tests have also proved to be very exciting as the abstract alphabets demonstrate. So, ten fabulous purples to choose from. If you want to get involved and vote for your favourite colour sign up to Fount
  21. NickiStew

    Diamine Smoke On The Water

    Diamine Smoke on the Water. Another German exclusive. A deep rich emerald green with fabulous chromatography and a gorgeous metallic pink sheen.
  22. This is the sixth part of my Sailor Ink Studio swatch tests. The swatch cards shown are part of a lovely range of reds and pinky purples. Once again, what is instantly striking is the dramatic chromatography.
  23. This is the fourth part of my Sailor Ink Studio swatch tests. The swatch cards shown are the second part of an extensive range of blues. These ones are what I'd call the pretty blues. And I think you can see why? Once again, what is instantly striking is the dramatic chromatography.
  24. This is the third part of my Sailor Ink Studio swatch tests. The swatch cards shown are the first part of an extensive range of blues. These ones are what I’d call the dusty marine blues. Any one of these inks or a combination of inks would be ideal to consider for marine painting? Once again, what is instantly striking is the dramatic chromatography.
  25. NickiStew

    A Four Ink Cockerel

    I painted this cockerell using four fountain inks and used him as subject matter because all the colours of his plumage and crop have had to be created/mixed i.e. none of the colours are straight from the bottle. The reason for me posting this is that fountain pen inks (and there are thousands available) are legal to use for art! Yes! They are NOT an offence, there is no need to cower in fear and they are amazingly versatile. More people should be made aware of this! If you'd like to view the time lapse video of this being painted click the link in my sign off below:





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