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  #46   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-17-2011, 12:29 PM
tuan tuan is offline
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

In my library excursions, I've seen that Claudia Nice frequently does ink and (watercolor) wash using gray ink. When she does, she always uses acrylic ink (in a Rapidograph), which she says gives her the color, zero smearing when painted over with watercolors, and lightfastness she needs. I assume the price is LOTS of time spent fussing with Rapidograph maintenance. The very fine lines of the Rapidograph also make the pen lines more subtle, less overwhelming, than lines from broader pens. The hair-thin gray lines become details in the wash, where broader black lines would have looked more like coloring book outlines.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:33 PM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

I've read of folks have issues with clogging in Rapidgraph pens. . . but so far I have had not clogging in my two Rapidosketch pens and they are .35 and .50. I think its because I use them at least a little most every day and have read that its when they are left to sit for long periods that they can dry/clog.

So far have only used the koh-i-noor ink that came with them but I am getting some FW inks in a swap and intend to try those in them as have read that they are non-clogging. In there, I am getting a gray and look forward to trying that with the watercolor to see if I can get those subtle lines Jamie mentions.

Did you guys try the Nightshade yet? Any samples to share? Eager to see them!
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:36 PM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainySea
Did you guys try the Nightshade yet? Any samples to share? Eager to see them!

Rainy, I wasn't going to post these....but because you're so eager to see them, in the interest of showing you the color issues, I went ahead and photographed them. Here are three quickie sketches --- two with Nightshade and waterbrush, one with Velvet Black. I'm posting it larger than life, but hopefully you'll be able to see it better this way.



It's hard to see that I switched nibs for the second one because then I went and drew it larger. LOL.... But in the actual drawing I can see that the M Lamy Safari nib does lay down a thicker line.

Below is a tiny, quick 3x5" on Moleskine watercolor paper, using Nightshade ink followed by watercolor. (Plein air.) I only did it to test drive the ink with watercolor, so I wasn't looking for anything show-worthy!


Perhaps some folks would like this combination of colors, but I am not one of them. LOL This color is way too strong for me in this context. I need something much more neutral.

I hope that helped for you to see those examples of Nightshade. I was hoping to get a couple more done before show and tell, but haven't had time.

Here's one more quickie from today. I finished a 16x12" oil painting, but my painting buddy was still working away, so I did this little sketch while she continued painting. I have a ways to go to learn to control this pen and wash thing; now I know to paint the trees with water and let them dry before trying to wash the background hillside! HA! I was tempted to do watercolor over it, but I think it would be too dark. I'm looking forward to the arrival of my gray samples!!! This is 9x12, across a two page spread in my Fabriano Venezia journal.


If you're interested, you can see the oil painting version here.

I LOVE your Grey Flannel color! Nice and silvery. Thanks so much for those color samples. I have some coming in a couple of days --- browns and grays, so I'll add to our collection here!

Jamie
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:15 PM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Quote:
Originally Posted by Studio-1-F

RE: Pilot Iroshizuku Inks --- Take a look at the two gorgeous greys in this sampler sheet. Wow.

I believe I found a place to get samples of this stuff.

Jan

Oooooooh! Those are gorgeous! The lighter one looks a lot like the J. Herbin Grey Cloud. I hope you can get samples, Jan!

Jamie
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:39 PM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Jamie, thanks for posting the experiments/tests. Its a pretty color but I do think I agree with you that its not nearly neutral enough for most techniques. Nor is it a color that would lend itself to much IMHO unless one does a lot of landscapes maybe.

LOVE your landscape spread. . . is that the velvet black?

I decided to share this just because wanted to show what the Chocolat could do with flesh tones. This was a real quickie done on my half hour lunch break while munching so not the best but I think it shows possibilities for portraits

"Tear for Japan"

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Old 03-18-2011, 12:21 AM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Rainy, thanks for the portrait and test of that color. It's a very difficult color to use.

Jamie, I do like the ink piece more. It's loosely done and have great tonality. One thing that I have yet to figure out is how to not have the lines define my shapes. It's difficult because then, I'm just borrowing the ink from the pen like watercolor and it defeats the freeness of using lines.

For today, I've jazzed up the houses for the March Landscape challenge with some Hokusai waves and Sandra's cliff.

Montblanc fountain pen and Montblanc black ink with wash
Pen Sketcher's 70 lbs sketchbook 5.5 x 8.5 inch

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Old 03-18-2011, 07:41 AM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Rainy, I think you're right that the Nightshade might have possibilities for landscape work, as long as there are no other colors added. I saw some sketches that I thought were done with Nightshade on the Sketches forum. They were figures, quite well done I might add. I thought she worked the ink well. I think I might stick with it for awhile for Monochrome work. Yes, the landscape spread in my sketchbook is Velvet Black.

The Chocolat is too red for me, the more I see it.....But I think I'll still pop some into a pen and give it a whirl. I ordered some Preppys that arrived yesterday, so I'll do that over the weekend.

Sandra, what a creative sketch. I LOVE that Montblanc Black. It has undertones much like the PR Velvet Black. You do well with it!

Sandra, you're so right about the pen and the ink lines defining shapes. I have two ideas about conquering that to test drive. One is to make broken lines that supply just enough ink to handle the wash. The other is to use ink leftover on the brush to do those washes, then go back in after the wash is dry with the pen to put in details.

Jamie
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:29 AM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

PR Velvet Black vs. Noodler's Nightshade, both applied from the bottle using a dip pen. See below. I am not thrilled with the way I lose the line in the Nightshade sketch. I seem to have a pretty heavy hand when it comes to the water and I like the way the Velvet Black sort of fights back. I tried a few more sketches with the Nightshade and lost line in all of them. It's a pretty color but not "wet" (gooey, thick, dense) enough for me, I suspect.

RE: The lightfastness test procedures used in Greg Clark's Fountain Pen Inks A Sampler; 2006 Edition, and quoted in the test results on the Harmless Dilettante ink review pages ---- this is the description I got from a reader in FPN of Mr. Clark's test: I have the 1999 edition of this. He did a 10-day test, where he put one sample up on the roof, exposing it to sunshine. The other sample was his ongoing ink sample book. He would compare the two samples for fading after 5 days and then again at 10 days. He then assigned a rating for each ink as follows: E = excellent, VG = very good, G = good, F = fair and P = poor.

So that's a good test, and didn't involve any rain or sleet. Which is good.

With regard to a light touch line, vis-a-vis the grey inks, I urge everyone to at least try the cheapie Pilot Razor Point, black ink. You can get them at any office supply store. They really are pretty remarkable.

Sandra and Jamie, can you expand on this a bit for me, please:
Jamie, I do like the ink piece more. It's loosely done and have great tonality. One thing that I have yet to figure out is how to not have the lines define my shapes. It's difficult because then, I'm just borrowing the ink from the pen like watercolor and it defeats the freeness of using lines.
I am not clear on "to not have the lines define my shapes" vs. "the freeness of using lines". This notion is eluding me. (sorry!) Using lines implies that the lines will define the shapes, right? Can you provide a bit more explanation on this? Thanks.

Jan

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Old 03-18-2011, 10:38 AM
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gakinme gakinme is offline
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Jan, your samples are beautiful.

Can you post which ink you got an E or P? I have very limited time to surf these days and can't focus on searching for ratings. Is Velvet Black an excellent?

In watercolor, they don't like lines at all. Say for a face, if we use ink, it's always an oval face with line marks. There's no escaping from it. But for somethings like the horizon of the sea, if I don't have to draw a line to tease the ink, then it would look a bit more natural. But then of course, if I just borrow the ink from the tip of the nib with a waterbrush, it's not pen and wash work. I'm still trying to figure out how much lines I should allow for such work, and when not to have lines but still have the ink wash.

For instance, the cliff pix. Perhaps if I hadn't done the lines on the sunny side, it might have been sufficient already to show the shape of the houses, and perhaps just using lines on the dark side.

Perhaps similarly, your little ink well, the line could be omitted on the right side but wash it up to the edge right under the lip. That's what I'm still trying to understand.

The mountain outline of Jamie's fall in the same dilemma as my cliff one. I should have left out some of the outlines of the cliff and left it bare and used wash to flesh it out instead.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:58 PM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Lovely samples, Jan and Sandra!

Jan, I agree with your assessment of the look of the Nightshade vs Black Velvet. In fact, I feel like the two I have found that have the best density, darkness and substance when washed are the PR Black Velvet and Chocolat. I put that Pilot pen in my cart on Blick, but it has been out of stock, so waiting. I've not seen that exact one in the store and want to make sure I get he same one. Maybe will check if they have at Jetpens.

That is a cool black you have there, Sandra.

It sounds like though if one wants to use ink like watercolor, that it could easily be done by using brushes rather than applying with pen. That would make it emulate watercolor and have seen artists that do that. But in pen and wash, it seems that there will by nature of what we are doing, be some lines. . . even though depending on the ink and the paper, they may fade quite a bit or stay sharp.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:54 PM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Wow. So much to respond to here that I don't know where to begin! LOL

Jan, love your samples. I think the fact that you use so much water is what allows the ink to break into more component hues than the rest of us seem to get most of the time. Thank you also for the quote on the ink lightfastness process that Clark used. Perhaps on some of the sunny days, I'll urge my samples along by putting them out on the patio facing the sun!

Sandra gave a really good clarification of what we were saying regarding the lines. On your little pots, for example, a watercolorist might put a wash in the negative space to the right of the lights on the pots, rather than a line to show where the pot ends and the background begins. These edges between areas of lighter values are where we are having the problems.

Sandra, I think borrowing ink from the pen tip with the brush is fine, and it's still ink and wash. Many who do ink and wash work have several different dilutions of their color that they work with.....Which brings us to another option of having a waterbrush or brush marker filled with a halftone wash of the ink color. Voila. Problem solved! (Unless we find something even better.)

Jan, I have one of those Pilot pens and it's great, but I thought that ink is not lightfast. My plan was to empty it and refill it with better ink! The black ink that comes in the Preppy black pen also washes nicely, though without as much color variation as the inks we're keying in on. I don't know about its lightfastness though.

Jan, I think I cracked the shell today on retaining the lines with Nightshade! Here's what I did this morning, out sketching with a friend at a park that has an old, abandoned factory:



What I've discovered is that once the Nightshade ink is hit with water and has a chance to set, it holds fast. So, I went over all the darkest areas first, as well as many of the dark lines that I wanted to retain. Then I went back and did the wash areas. I think I like Nightshade a lot for this kind of monochrome work! I wonder what it would be like to neutralize it just a tad with a drop of Velvet Black or green added to the converter.

Jamie
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:30 PM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Aha, yes. I see your points with regard to the wash vs. the line. Thank you both. It gets into the process and the difference in intent, where tone is applied with the pen and where diluted ink (a wash) is applied alone. I think I've got it. (BTW, I carried a waterbrush loaded with diluted ink around for a while, for just what I think you're talking about, but gave it up as too much of a bother. At least in my everyday sketch kit.)

The Pilot Razor Point is available at Blicks and all over the place. It's cheap as dirt. Here it is. If its ink is lightfast I'll be mightily surprised. I apologize. I should have provided a link to it, so as to avoid you thinking I was talking about the Pilot Parallel. Sorry!

I am going to order some Iroshizuku ink next week. The colors are so nifty . . . they'll probably wash into cartoon-like colors that Tuan talked about. Oh well!

Jan

Oh ---- and PS --- The Old Factory is very good. Nice strong line. Bravo!
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:37 PM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Quote:
Originally Posted by gakinme
Can you post which ink you got an E or P? I have very limited time to surf these days and can't focus on searching for ratings. Is Velvet Black an excellent?
If you are talking about a rating on the Harmless Dilettante site, then no --- it appears that she has not rated Velvet Black at all.

It that the rating you refer to?

Jan
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:23 PM
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

Thanks for putting the right words for me, Jamie, Jan. And you're right, they are not exclusive. After I posted what I did, as I drove to work, in truth, there's no hard fast rules that I have to lay down lines first. I could always dip a waterbrush in ink and then do a general block in and then detail later on. That's still pen and wash only that it's reversed.

Jamie, now that's a nice piece using that color. Thanks for showing it. In monotone, these pieces are superb. The Pen & Ink black ink too, once dried, would not wash very much and the lines stay extremely sharp.

Today, it's Sheaffer fuschia ink cartridge in a Sheaffer calligraphy pen.

This black is a mix of Velvet Black Private Reserce and Pen & Ink Black and washed. The red is Sheaffer.




Even after many hours, you apply a waterbrush to it, it washes. I'm not sure I like this color. The purple is Sakura Koi watercolor as a comparison, and the black is Sakura Micron pen.

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Old 03-19-2011, 02:14 AM
jmb57 jmb57 is offline
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Re: Ink Samples and Setting Up Lightfastness Tests

hi to all,
thanks so much for all the contributions to this thread, i am finding it most interesting and helpful.
had been wondering for awhile why there wasnt more info here about different inks...well, now there is so much info.
i think i will try the nightshade ink, or maybe the black velvet...really cant decide between the two. only good thing i suppose, i cant go wrong with either one.
anyway, thanks again
janine

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