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How Do You Do Color Swabs?


Zuzu
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When reading ink reviews I notice many people do ink swabs - I have been wondering if those of you who do ink swabs on occasion have a prefered method?

 

I know you can make swaps using the back of the nib, q-tips and a piece of cardboard, but I feel somewhat uncomfortable sticking the later two into a bottle of ink, the cardboard especially (since I would need to cut it into pieces first with my sweaty little paws :P). Do you remove some ink from the bottle using a syringe first? Currently that's what I consider doing, even when a bit more ink is lost that way.

 

Also, what method gives the best results (in your opinion)?

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I do my swabs with a paintbrush dipped in the bottle/vial for my flex art reviews. Let's me put tons of ink down to begin with then less as I move to the left and the brush looses it's load. I get to see what the ink does when used this way, which is also how it will behave in a wet noodle flex nib - my favorite type of fountain pen nib.

Breathe. Take one step at a time. Don't sweat the small stuff. You're not getting older, you are only moving through time. Be calm and positive.

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I do swabs just for my own personal reference. I have a page that I print out of the inkjet and then use cotton swabs to apply a swath next to the named ink. Looks nice when done and provides me a quick reference that I keep in a binder with my other pen stuff. Works well for my uses.

 

 

post-95756-0-89820800-1403026118_thumb.jpg

PELIKAN - Too many birds in the flock to count. My pen chest has proven to be a most fertile breeding ground.

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THE PELIKAN'S PERCH - A growing reference site for all things Pelikan

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I dip a q-tip into the bottle or sample. I make sure the tip is covered with ink, but do not super-soak the tip.

 

I started out swabbing onto index cards and the results were not wonderful. The ink spread and created inconsistent messy results. Ick.

 

I've since found some wonderful cards at Maido in Japantown, San Francisco. (The SF Center store does not have them.) They are expensive, so I only use them for full bottles of inks (not samples) I have. I've searched online for other sources, but cannot find. Here's a link to my blog that shows the cards and how I store them.

 

For samples, I like swabbing onto Clairefontaine or Rhodia and I use these cards to create a "catalog" of samples I have. (I have no affiliation with JetPens.) They aren't perfect (the color is off-white, the paper is very absorbent), but I like the ringed solution. A link to my blog so you can see how they look when I scan them.

 

I'll probably give the paintbrush idea a try - but I like the disposable nature of q-tips. I also like my jar of used q-tips (will need to find a picture). I do prefer q-tip brand - the tips are larger and they hold more ink than other brands. I'm not sure I understand the concern about dipping one into the ink - I'd sooner dip a (clean..ha!) q-tip into my fresh bottle of ink than a pen.

 

Bottom line - for best results, use the best tools you can find.

pentulant [adjective]: immodest or wanton in search of all things related to pens<BR> [proper noun]: Christine Witt Visit Pentulant<br>

President, Brush Dance - we make high-quality, mindful Calendars, Planners, Journals, and other fun stuff you'll love

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I mostly don't do swabs at all. I find that swabs don't give a good enough representation of what the color is going to look like coming out of a nib. The only time I did was when I bought a vintage bottle of what turned out to be Quink Brown (the label was missing) a couple of summers ago in an antiques mall, and I wanted to make sure that there wasn't any SITB or sediment before I put it into a pen. I thought it was Quink Red that had partially evaporated and become more concentrated, because the swab was sort of burgundy color, but when I put it in a pen it was definitely Brown.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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I always use a Q-tip, anoint it with 100 µl of ink using a medical pipette (to keep things constant), then draw a line about 3-4 cm, then without any new loads, redo the last 2/3, and then the last 1/3. In my reviews, I call it my 1x, 2x and 3x swabs. I don't think swabs are all that valuable, but others do, so that I at least try to keep up with it. IMO it's best never to use swabs only. Do it, but include 2-3-4 nibs as well, like F, M, B, etc, and wet an dry pens too.

 

WHEW!

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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A dipped Q-tip creates an excellent representation of writing with a cotton swab. I never do that.

I dip a medium nib and write, doodle, etc.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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I haven't to date. Although I do like Sarge Talon's layout/idea of doing things.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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A dipped Q-tip creates an excellent representation of writing with a cotton swab. I never do that.

I dip a medium nib and write, doodle, etc.

 

One could say that a dipped nib creates an excellent representation of writing with that particular nib dipped. ;)

 

For most of my formal ink reviews (as if there really is such a thing), I use Lamy Safari or Al-Star to form a good basis for comparison.

pentulant [adjective]: immodest or wanton in search of all things related to pens<BR> [proper noun]: Christine Witt Visit Pentulant<br>

President, Brush Dance - we make high-quality, mindful Calendars, Planners, Journals, and other fun stuff you'll love

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Was able to get at my binder. Here is a bad cellphone pic of what my swab log looks like all swabbed up...

 

post-95756-0-34942800-1403097635_thumb.jpg

PELIKAN - Too many birds in the flock to count. My pen chest has proven to be a most fertile breeding ground.

fpn_1508261203__fpn_logo_300x150.jpg

THE PELIKAN'S PERCH - A growing reference site for all things Pelikan

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I like that all of the inks can be seen in one place - I attempted something like this for samples I had on hand, but this is much nicer.

 

(And now I'm wanting to dig out Apache Sunset!)

 

 

Was able to get at my binder. Here is a bad cellphone pic of what my swab log looks like all swabbed up...

pentulant [adjective]: immodest or wanton in search of all things related to pens<BR> [proper noun]: Christine Witt Visit Pentulant<br>

President, Brush Dance - we make high-quality, mindful Calendars, Planners, Journals, and other fun stuff you'll love

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I don't do swabs, they are not representative of the color I get out of a pen. A swab will usually make the color appear to be lighter than it will be when you're actually writing with it.

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On the odd occasion I've done them (see my review of Salamander or the Diamine Floral set) I've used a paint brush dipped in and then used three or four times in succession, without recharging. So the first is 'neat' then the others are progressively weaker or paler. That's just the way I do it.

The Good Captain

"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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http://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/2014-Inklings/slides/2014-Ink_657.jpghttp://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/2014-Inklings/slides/2014-Ink_658.jpg

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



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Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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... sorry for the delay, work had me in its demanding grasp ;)

 

... and thanks for the examples, sagetalon and amber :) Love the swisher devil!

 

 

I figured swabs might not be an overly accurate representation, but given how different some of my inks look coming from my different pens I hope the swap will be close to one of them. Eventually. I guess though, I will go with both a swap and amber's cross hatches for my purpose (exchanging some swaps via mail, as I can't seem to get my screen to display colors properly).

 

Not sure yet, if I will do some swaps/cross-hatches for personal reference while I am at it. Usually I just look at old journal entries. That said, I found some German inks still lacking reviews, so I might do those at least when I come around to it.

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Well, we look forward to seeing your reviews and the cat's reviews too.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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Hi,

 

I actually support the use of swabs; and use a method similar to that of Member lapis to get the same amount of ink onto the swab.

 

A series of swab samples of each ink, such as depicted in my recent Ink Reviews, will show the basic hue of an ink, and how the apparent hue might change as the value (light - dark) changes. e.g. If a Sapphire ink might appear Violet. If a Burgundy might blush Rosy-Pink. If an interesting hue is hiding in the shadows of a dark ink.

 

Swabs are highly useful when blending inks to arrive at the target hue, so any changes to value and chroma can be undertaken before running trials from a pen. When I'm blending there's often swarms of swabs on the bullie and BluTacked high & low.

 

Swabs are easily prepared, so taking them around to see the influence of different sources of illumination puts but a trivial amount of work product at risk. (Also useful when colour-coordinating an ensemble to see how garments/cosmetics in a shop will go with an ink.)

 

Swabs help select the base-tint of the paper, and achieving the degree/type of simultaneous contrast one desires.

 

Swabs serve as a 'fast & dirty' Xref/index to one's ink holdings and folios of written samples.

 

The shortcomings of swabs are many - as mentioned above, but so long as one recognises those shortcomings and takes reasonable care in preparing swab samples in a consistent manner, swabs do have their uses.

 

Bye,

S1

Edited by Sandy1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

 

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(Also useful when colour-coordinating an ensemble to see how garments/cosmetics in a shop will go with an ink.)

 

 

S1

 

 

OH, that's a great reason.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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  • 2 weeks later...

Results.

 

http://sheismylawyer.com/She_Thinks_In_Ink/2014-Inklings/slides/2014-Ink_658w.jpg

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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