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The ‘Right’ Way To Do Ink Reviews To Serve One's Curiosity And Interests?



A Smug Dill

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@TSherbs, I have no idea to what you're referring.

 

Reviewers are producers of content. Producing reviews is an endeavour. I'm looking for advice and discussion that contributes to the endeavour, to make the process better, more cost-efficient, more consistent and faster, and ideally easily repeatable by other reviewers. It has logically nothing to do with what the prospective reader/consumer of the reviews want, except for and only if the individual reviewer wants to make a concern or question his/her own to answer in a review. That's what I'm pointing out.

 

It's not about the consumer. That's drawing a line in the sand, and not about being superior. If you position yourself as, "I am just a casual consumer of reviews", then logically you have no part in the process, and are not contributing to it. That is fine; if and when a review is produced and published, feel free to "consume" it, but understand that you have no say about the information/content requirements; you're not the/a client, you didn't commission the work, and you're not on the steering committee of any such projects.

 

That's my business analysis. In what way am I assuming an air of superiority?

 

If I'm unfairly undermining your role and downplaying your contribution to the ink review production process, please do explain how.

 

<EDIT>

Anyway, if you don't like my views and/or my tone, feel free to put me on ignore so that the system will filter out my posts on your behalf, or you could just choose not to read them when you see my avatar.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Another question for reviewers to ponder:

 

 

 

To prevent contamination (at which I haven't been particularly fastidious), I supposed transferring 1ml or so from the main bottle into a separate vial or inkwell should be adopted as part of standard operating procedure. I do tend to just dip the nibs (or naked converters) into the large bottle, to minimise cleaning (medical eye-droppers) and wastage (of plastic pipettes; oddly neither of my eBay orders of such have arrived, and it's been over a month of waiting).

 

Using q-tips as single-use swabbing tools is cheap enough, but they do have a tendency of soaking up far more ink than is necessarily to properly conduct testing or produce a visual saturation scale. Perhaps someone knows of a reliable, washable and reusable tool with a flat edge that is not so affected by whether an ink is 'wet' or 'dry'?

Dip-pen (and silicon spatula?) 'reviews' of inks?

 

What happened to following manufacturer's published instructions of dipping nib and filling and writing immediately after, you would need a bottle of ink for that eh? Not cost-effective, I suppose.

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What happened to following manufacturer's published instructions of dipping nib and filling and writing immediately after, you would need a bottle of ink for that eh? Not cost-effective, I suppose.

It's an ink review, first and foremost. If I'm going to demonstrate an attribute of the ink, such as shading or sheen, I can safely and will assume it has more to do with the interaction between ink and (the specific type of) paper than between ink and nib. The question to answer is not whether 'you' would elicit shading or sheen from that ink in 'your' use case, but whether I can demonstrate that the ink has that capability or potential provided that the individual user uses what tool it takes.

 

When the ink is used with a fountain pen, I shall assume that the majority of "consumers of ink reviews" will be following the instructions in the owner's guides from the manufacturers' of their pens, and take no account of their (or my) personal preferences for filling fountain pens.

 

<EDIT>

Oh, by the way, I always write holding the pen in my right hand, and so that's the only way (of holding the pen) I'm going to do any tests on the ink that involves writing, irrespective of the individual habits of any prospective reader or "consumer of" the review's writing. If someone wants to test and/or review what happens when writing left-handed using that ink, they're welcome to do so, but it's something I'm not prepared to entertain (after learning and practising to write with my left hand).

 

<EDIT seq=2>

Just to be clear, that does not mean I think right-handed people are superior to left-handed people in some way, but being left-handed is not who I am, and I'm not going to pretend that left-handed people are like right-handed people (and thus the former will or must adopt the practices of the latter) and insult them thusly. What I am saying, however, is that I don't care about their concerns when I prepare or produce a review, because I just don't write that way.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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For your last question, I don't like q-tips--they're wasteful and I don't like the swabs they produce. I usually use a palette knife (it produces a much different effect, though). I also use a color shaper (a silicone-head blending tool), which gives a bit more control than a knife. I don't think anything that's not absorptive will recreate the q-tip effect though, if that's what you're after.

 

(forgot to quote the post I was responding to--the question about q-tips and alternatives)

Edited by crahptacular
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@crahptacular, thank you for that.

 

All I want to do there is produce a visual scale of different levels of saturation of that ink (on the type of paper in question), to demonstrate its potential for shading (with a suitably 'dry' or 'wet' pen), as well as create a frame of reference against which the saturation of (normal, or a particular style of) handwriting with that wink can be assessed by everyone (subjectively, with their own perception biases and all).

 

I try to use both ends of a q-tip when testing multiple inks in the same sitting, and more often than not I end up with ink all over my hands from the already wet ends. :(

 

<EDIT>

Here's something I did two nights ago:

 

fpn_1538120705__swatches_of_the_first_th

 

It would be good if I can show, "Golden Sands will show up as the lightest yellow colour you see on the respective swatches, if 'your' pen is 'dry' enough," without using q-tips.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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For your last question, I don't like q-tips--they're wasteful and I don't like the swabs they produce. I usually use a palette knife (it produces a much different effect, though). I also use a color shaper (a silicone-head blending tool), which gives a bit more control than a knife. I don't think anything that's not absorptive will recreate the q-tip effect though, if that's what you're after.

 

(forgot to quote the post I was responding to--the question about q-tips and alternatives)

Dill,

The nuances between a silicon spatula and q-tips always escape me, pardon.

 

In my experience, silicon spatulas come in different thickness and thus different levels of flexibility. Perhaps this could be further explored to see how much ink is applied onto paper.

 

Perhaps it is interesting to note that the amount of pressure applied could change the intensity of the first layer of ink on your saturation scale.

Edited by minddance
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@TSherbs, I have no idea to what you're referring.

 

>>>>...and you're not on the steering committee of any such projects.<<<<

 

^^^^^In what way am I assuming an air of superiority?

 

 

"Steering committee", Dill? That's what I'd call a gratuitous snarky remark.

 

Look, it's also not my job to educate you on your tone. But for some reason you became resentful (your word) of suggestions here, and then also included some slighting language toward others, so I thought that I would ask. No one is debating you over what you can or should do in a review, yet you seem to have taken a defensive position that claims repeatedly that the audience doesn't matter. Cool, whatever. And of course I can ignore this thread. I gotta work on my own issues.

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I have not read the whole thread so apologies if this suggestion has already been made.

 

I too dislike cotton buds/q-tips for ink swabs. Im not very good at controlling the amount of ink take-up, so find swabs inconsistent. I also dont like the waste, environmental impact and the fibres that they can leave on the paper/in the ink.

 

So I use microfibre-tipped cleaning brushes, of the type used as lip brushes. Ive used them for mixed media art work for some time and like the controllability. They are lint-free and ink can be washed out, so they are reusable.

 

Here is a pic of something similar to the ones I use.

 

(Apologies for lack of punctuation. FPN seems to dislike posts from some devices and omits the apostrophes).

 

post-100486-0-46016700-1538145405_thumb.jpeg

Verba volant, scripta manent

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Yes, those look very similar. They are sold as disposable but I re-use them quite a few times.

 

Thanks. I never liked the idea of Q-Tips. Not sure I want to do swabs at all when I do my EF reviews, but Dill has me thinking. ;)

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In my experience, silicon spatulas come in different thickness and thus different levels of flexibility. Perhaps this could be further explored to see how much ink is applied onto paper.

Thank you very much. I'll be on the lookout for it. Are we talking about something that is generally found in art supply stores, or, um, kitchenware and cake decoration equipment stores? I'm really asking, because while I drop in to both types of shops on the odd occasion, I usually just go for something specific (paper, cutlery, etc.) and don't browse the entire variety of goods they carry.

 

So I use microfibre-tipped cleaning brushes, of the type used as lip brushes. Ive used them for mixed media art work for some time and like the controllability.

Thanks for the suggestion! I've never thought of that.

 

Too bad my fiancée is the type who does not believe in wearing make-up at all, so I can't just raid her supplies as there is no make-up application or removal kit at all here.

 

But for some reason you became resentful (your word) of suggestions here,

As I said, it seems some people were hell-bent on hijacking the discussion to become primarily what information to include in the output of the ink reviews, in order to satisfy their wants as consumers, instead of talking about the how to conduct reviews or generally improve the production process, no matter how many times I hint at or say that the information consumer's concerns and requirements are not the question here.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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"hell bent"?

 

Perhaps if you took the suggestions less as personal attacts or attempts to "hijack" and more as general suggestions in reply to your thread title and questions in the OP. Other people's ideas aren't nefarious just because they don't fit in the box of your mind.

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… general suggestions in reply to your thread title and questions in the OP.

I have just gone and re-read the thread title and my initial post, and I believe all the questions posed were focussed on the reviewer's concerns and the actual doing of ink reviews. Even though English is only my second language, I think I have a good enough command of it to be specific in the choice of wording to communicate my ideas, but perhaps I'm mistaken about my own ability.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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I went to the art supplies store today, and picked up one of these flexible, broad-edged spatulas that I was told is used for mixing glue:

 

fpn_1538222293__glue_mixing_spatula.jpg

 

It's OK for creating nice colour swatches, I suppose, but if there is some way of creating a compact visual scale of different levels of ink saturation (such as what I produced using a q-tip, shown on the card in the top left corner), I certainly haven't discovered the technique for myself:

 

fpn_1538222393__oxblood_shading_with_glu

 

I simply cannot control how the ink droplets will fall/roll down to the edge of the spatula, which sometimes happen quite unevenly, or when it will run out. If it doesn't run out by the end of the swipe, then some will pool on that end, but then the start of the swipe also tends to be quite saturated.

 

In the meantime, I've placed on order on eBay for 100 eyeshadow applicator sticks from China (much more cheaply than I can buy from the local supermarket or pharmacy), so I guess I'll have to wait and see how well they work.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Still trying to figure out what is the best way to elicit shading from an ink with a pen, and which are the most relevant variables.

 

fpn_1538273784__abusing_the_pilot_custom

 

I don't think the fineness or broadness of the nib is it.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thinking out loud here...

 

I suppose infographics that look a bit like these would make a good summary, even if just for my own ink cataloguing and future reference:

fpn_1540444610__stroke_wetness_against_o

but I haven't quite figured out how to produce that on a card or a piece of paper, or in fact gather all the supporting data to produce it on a computer.

I think what visvamitra labels 'Color range' in his/her reviews is exactly the frame of reference against which the 'wetness' of an ink (if such an attribute could be independent of the pen, or generalised across many pens, used with the ink), or any particular combination of a given pen/nib and that ink, can be shown. I can scan some writing samples and swabs of that ink, make some calibrated colour corrections, then find the lightest and the darkest cluster of pixels, and use those of the endpoints of the range, and then computationally generate a scale with a linear gradient, but I cannot (re)produce it meaningfully on paper, against which to 'eyeball' a writing sample (on the same type/piece of paper) and determine if whatever produced it is/was relatively 'wet' or 'dry'.

 

If I'm able to scan a substantial writing sample, and make some sort of histogram of the colours that are present counting pixel after pixel, using the linear gradient as the x-axis, that could tell me at a glance whether the writing sample is relatively 'wet' or 'dry'. Or I could then use that data to generate a probabilistic distribution chart in one dimension, looking something like the rounded 'swabs' above, with the colour itself presenting the value of the variable while the length of the 'swab' is an unlabelled linear 'axis' or scale for probability. However, counting the pixels isn't exactly practical, and I don't know of any program that would generate such a histogram but automatically reject all the background colours of the paper, dots, lines, grid, etc.

 

Another useful infographic could look something like this:

 

fpn_1540447290__pen_wetness_against_oran

 

and with enough data points along the top, one could guess at whether the ink is going to be 'wet' or 'dry' in a particular pen, by similarity with one of the named tested pens or (less ideally) by sheer numbers, i.e. if 15 out of 20 pens fall closer to the more saturated end of the scale, then the ink is relatively 'wet', and the likelihood of any random/unidentified pen also producing 'wet' writing is probabilistically greater. Of course, being able to crunch all the data and producing a single scalar summary value for a given (named and tested) pen is again where the difficulty lies.

 

There is also the issue of picking the colour for maximum saturation to be represented in the data, especially with some of the sheening inks; I think the colour should be what is not absorbed by the ink immediately on the paper surface or in its fibres, as opposed to reflected colours off the top of a dried glob of ink that wasn't 'absorbed' at all, but simply sitting atop another layer of ink.

 

For water resistance test results, I think a physical artefact like this illustration would be meaningful and useful:

 

fpn_1540447656__water_resistance_tests_-

 

but trying to do all of that on a single piece of paper, without neighbouring sections or 'strips' interfering with each other during the production process, is just too hard.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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That spatula is a great way of producing a 'true' swab.

Over the years I've seen the benefit of the CRV exchanges that Amber started. Photographs and (especially) scans can give quite a wrong impression of inks. There have been a few inks that I've seen in reviews here and thought 'meh' and then I've seen them in CRV's and thought 'oooooo'. That isn't to say reviews are useless. They're still good at giving you an idea of an ink you might like.

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