Archive for the ‘Ink’ Category

The way home in ink

Friday, September 16th, 2016


The trip home from Manchester offered a few neat drawing opportunities. One just beside my fav store in London, Cornelissen´s (where I happened to spend just a few pounds on a fabulous travel brush). Then off to Gatwick, where I was a bit early for my flight, so I could relax with some people spotting with pen in hand.


And so, end of journey, putting my feet up on a foot stool after emptying my bags at home. Aaaah. You know the feeling.


Top drawing: 19 x 19 cm, middle: 18 x 9 cm, bottom: 18 x 11 cm, all drawn with fude nib fountain pen with De Atramentis document ink on Stillman & Birn alpha series sketchbook paper.

Imagine the end of the year

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015


The blog has been on vacation (or we could call it that, it sounds better than being neglected…) for a while, because I have been busy drawing every day. Time by the computer has been scarce. I was not sure that I would succeed in drawing every day for a whole year, but the calendar I wanted to fill during 2015 only has two pages left now.



If you have missed the whole deal, all the images are available at Some of them can also be seen in my instagram account, along with a few timelapse videos of the work in progress.


Now to think up something to draw today and tomorrow – the last two days of the year…

All images: 8,5 x 13,5 cm, UniPin ink fineliners and PITT artist brush pens in Moleskine pocket calendar.

Waking up a sleeping imagination

Sunday, February 15th, 2015


On the 1st of January, I started a new year-long project – to sketch from imagination every day. I feel like I haven´t used my imagination for years and years, and find it difficult to think up things to draw that aren´t made from observation.


So, to try and do something about this, I bought myself a 1-day-per-page calendar, and decided to draw something from imagination every day during 2015. (I did miss five days already, but I´m not going to get anal about it.) To keep the pressure and my own expectations at a decent level, the calendar is very small, and has lined and flimsy paper.


The first few weeks I had a hard time coming up with ideas for these drawings, so I decided to take some help from the Rory´s Story Cubes – a bunch of dice with different symbols on, to help make up stories. These dice are available in physical form, but it would be a hazzle to carry them around, so I went for the digital app. (And that´s all I´m going to say about Rory´s dice, I have no association to them whatsoever, they´re just a good help in this little project.)


As the days have passed, I´m finding it easier to come up with ideas, I´m beginning to find inspiration almost everywhere, so I´m using the dice less and less.


I do occasionally look at reference photos for some subjects, simply because I don´t know how many wings a wasp actually has, or how the horns are positioned on a rhinoscerous. But I have given myself a rule about this, since I hate using photos to draw from – especially other people´s photos, it makes me feel like cheating: If I need them, I look at at least 20 photos and then try to draw the subject from a different angle than any of them. And quite frankly, I am happy that  I have drawn so much from observation, because it has really expanded my understanding of how to render 3D-objects on a 2D-surface. The thought “I wonder how this would look from underneath?” isn´t so madly difficult to try out, even if it still looks a bit stiff sometimes.


If you feel like following this project during 2015, all the images are posted here:

All drawings: 9  14 cm, ink fineliners on Moleskine calendar lined pages.

Dr Sketchy´s Anti Art School

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013


I went to my first Dr Sketchy session ever this evening. After reading about it online for years, but never found any in Stockholm before, it was great fun to finally try it out.


Dr Sketchy is like a life drawing session, but where the models dress up according to different themes (read more about it here). This evening was all about manga and anime, we got six poses from a short Lolita story, and a few figures from Studio Ghibli´s movies. Super fun and very difficult. Each pose lasted between six and nine minutes, I would guess, and I didn´t have time to do any shading or colouring. So many details, so little time!



Various sizes, Namiki Falcon with Platinum Carbon ink and Pentel Pocket Brush on cheap drawing paper.


Tuesday, September 10th, 2013


We went to a concert at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm a few weeks ago, and I took the opportunity to draw the orchestra. A real challenge but fun, and with a very enjoyable soundtrack while drawing (mostly Beethoven).

27 x 21,5 cm, TWSBI Diamond 580 and Pentel Pocket brush in Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook.

Ink mess at Slussen

Saturday, May 4th, 2013


I went to Slussen to sketch today, and brought some tools I haven´t used in a long time – bamboo pen and ink, grey paper and a white Uni Poska pen. Actually I have never used the Posca pen, it was a quite nice acquaintance to make.


The weather was nice and sunny, but unfortunately the wind tipped my ink bottle over, so it made a mess in the beginning stages of the drawing. I tried to mop up most of the ink with a tissue, and kept on drawing. It was a lucky thing I had decided to work with black and white, the Posca pen managed to cover most of the ink blob, but it wasn´t a pretty sight at first…

48 x 25 cm, bamboo pen with Noodler´s Bulletproof Black ink and Uni Posca pen on grey drawing paper.

Slussen, Japanese album

Friday, February 22nd, 2013


I started a Moleskine Japanese album today. I never liked these accordion-folded sketchbooks, and I don´t love the Moleskine paper either, but for working in and around Slussen with ink pens and PITT brush pens (which has the graceful property of not creeping through paper) it should be ok. I thought it would be cool to collect these drawings in a book that can be spread out and shown as a whole. An experiment. We´ll see how it goes.

18 x 14 cm, Staedtler black fineliner and PITT artist big brush pens in Moleskine Japanese album.

Chess the Dog

Monday, December 3rd, 2012


Chess is the kind of dog that you can never finish a drawing of, he is constantly moving, panting, running around, playing. A high energy little fellow.

We have been dogsitting my in-laws´ furball for a week, I managed to capture a few quick ones while he was asleep, but even then he managed to change his position every few minutes. High energy sleep, I guess.

13 x 13 cm, Duke fountain pen with Platinum Carbon ink on HandBook page.

In class

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012


Second drawing from work in one week, seems lika a record of sorts, since I rarely get to sketch at work. This is part of the classroom where my colleague explains 3DStudioMax to our students.

Approx. 15 x 10 cm, Duke fountain pen with Platinum Carbon ink, and design marker on a piece of marker paper.

About ink, and a thank you

Monday, January 9th, 2012


First: THANK YOU so much for all the comments concerning the video in my last post – I am overwhelmed by the positive attention it got, and I´m so happy that so many people seemed to appreciate it. I hope I can put together some more videos in a not too far away future.

I got a lot of questions after the video, about what ink I use. It seems a lot of people are struggling to find fountain pen inks that are waterproof without ruining the pens, so I thought I´d write a few lines about what I use. If you intend to try the Platinum ink that I´m using, please read this long ink nerd text to the end. I don´t want to be the one who tells you this is the perfect ink, and then you end up with expensive fountain pens ruined…

So, here goes: I draw mainly with two inks, or maybe three, when using fountain pens: Noodler´s Lexington grey, Platinum Carbon Black and sometimes Platinum Pigmented Sepia.

Platinum Pigmented Sepia

Platinum Pigmented Sepia is a quite new acquaintance for me, so I don´t have that much to say about it yet. It´s waterproof, a nice colour, and I think it´s probably a good idea to rinse the pen every now and then if you use it, though it´s not as mean as the Carbon black.

Noodler´s Lexington Grey

I´m not going to say so much about the Lexington grey either, because I have rambled on about that before, but I can say that it has never caused me any trouble whatsoever. I love it a lot, I like that it isn´t black, it´s a soft grey, very unobtrusive in a drawing. These days I even dilute it with water before filling my pens with it, to make it even lighter. It´s easier to use than the other Bulletproof inks from Noodler´s that I´ve tried, simply because it dries faster. It doesn´t smudge when painted over with watercolours, and works on any paper that I have used.

BUT. Because there is always a but when something sounds too good, right?

A while back, I got struck by Flex Pen Love. It started with Noodler´s flex pen, then a fantastic renovated vintage Wahl-Eversharp, and then I bought myself a Namiki Falcon with a customized nib (added flex), which is now my preferred drawing tool on some papers. And here´s where the ink “but” comes in.

Noodler´s bulletproof inks are meant to be somewhat waterproof, but they only turn waterproof in contact with the cellulose in the paper. With a flex pen, especielly the Namiki Falcon in my case, you lay down quite a bit of ink on the paper surface, because the pen has a really juicy ink flow. This means that some of the ink never comes in contact with the paper to become waterproof, it just lies on top like a drop. With the Noodler´s ink, this causes the ink to dissolve when you lay down watercolours on top of your lines.

Platinum Carbon Black – with a warning

So I started looking for something else to use with the Namiki Falcon, and found the Platinum Carbon Black ink, which works perfectly for me. It is black, and behaves well with watercolours. It dries fairly quickly, but not super fast. I often accidentally smudge a line with my drawing hand, as in the image above (lower right corner of the bottle). My bad.

BUT. Cause there´s a but here too. Two, actually.

But number one:
I have had to spend a lot of time finding good paper for this ink. It has a tendency to spread and creap on some papers, and a juicy pen makes it even worse. I am quite fuzzy about the surface of the papers I use, they need to be strong enough for working with several layers of watercolours, and still be smooth and good for drawing too, and this ink made some of my favorite papers impossible to use.

But number two, and the most important one:
Platinum Carbon Black ink isn´t very kind to fountain pens. It is a fountain pen ink, but you need to really take care of your pens to use it. I used to never clean my Lamy Safaris while using Noodler´s inks in them, but I have had to change my habits with this one.

If you leave Platinum Carbon black in a pen for too long without using it, there is a serious risk of the pen getting clogged. I have started a habit of rinsing the nib under the tap every time I refill the pen, and then taking the pen apart for cleaning every third or fourth refill. I always make sure to keep the pen capped when not in use – the ink dries quite fast on the nib, which is not what you want with a fountain pen.

During Christmas I had my pens with me on a flight to Northern Sweden, and usually flying is not an issue with the fountain pens that I use. This time, however, a Lamy ink converter containing Platinum Carbon ink decided to leak inside a bright red Lamy Safari, only I didn´t notice until I took the cap off the pen one and a half week later. The nib section of this pen is now severely stained by the black ink, and I haven´t been able to clean it off no matter what I tried. So this is a mean black ink, if you treat it the wrong way.

I think this product page on Platinum Carbon Black over at Cult Pens (I´m not associated with them in any way) is well worth reading before deciding to use this ink. Please scroll down to read all the way down to the end. For your own good.

With all this badness said, I have never had any problems with the ink other than the leaking accident. I do dare to put it in my Namiki Falcon, which is quite an expensive pen, but I make sure to treat the pen to a good cleaning now and then.

If you have any questions about this, please don´t hesitate to ask in the comments section, I´m sure others would be interested too. Ink is an important dark matter, isn´t it? ; )

13 x 12 cm, Namiki Falcon with Platinum Carbon black ink, and pencil and watercolours on Arches Satinée 300 g watercolour paper.

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