Archive for the ‘Ink’ Category

Dr Sketchy´s Anti Art School

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

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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.

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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!

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

Berwaldhallen

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

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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

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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.

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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

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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_dec12

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

3dstudiomax_lesson

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

platinum_carbon_ink

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.

The end of Aspudden public bath

Monday, December 21st, 2009

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Before all the Christmas joy begins, I want to tell you how things went with Aspudden public bath, that I have posted about before. (If you missed the earlier posts, they can be found here, here and here.)

The struggle to save the bath continued outside the building after the police ended the occupation. People demonstrated, formed a Bath group to raise money, held meetings, went to Municipal government meetings trying to talk to politicians – you name it, they did it. The bath and the demonstrations around it have been mentioned in both local and national newspapers and TV news, but to no avail. The politicians would not listen, and the demolition started from inside the bath, with police guarding the outside.

On the night between Dec 9 and 10, the demonstrations to save the bath were called off. The cars parked in the middle of the street outside, to prevent the excavators from reaching the bath, were moved. At midnight a large number of people from Aspudden (including myself) marched past the police guards to lay down roses in front of the bath. A very sad moment, and many of us had tears in our eyes. A few days later the last walls of the building were torn down, and now the site is just a pile of dust and snow.

bathsign

I don´t often post photos, but I just happened to photograph the bath sign on the 24th of November – which turned out to be the last night the sign was lit. I´m posting it as a little tribute to a bath that was in use the whole time from 1919 to a few months ago.

Big cities can seem so anonymous sometimes, and the people living there a bit jaded, and you often get a feeling that no one really cares what happens around them. But in this case both old and young – ordinary people! – stood up for their beliefs. In the process, a lot of people got to know each other and I know Aspudden is a few degrees warmer now, in spite of the snow. I am so proud to live in a community where people care about their surroundings and are ready to give their time and efforts to try to change things for the better.

15 x 13,5 cm, ink on Fabriano Rosapina paper (sketchbook page).

Aspudden public bath – part III

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

aspuddsbadet_closed

A text message and a massive explosion of fireworks outside our kitchen window woke me up at 06.00 this morning. The police was down at the old public bath here in Aspudden, and the action group trying to save the bath from destruction wanted everyone´s attention. A little crowd of people gathered outside the bath when the police ended the 59 days of occupation. They emptied the building, sealed all windows and doors with sheet metal, and put up a fence around it. And just to make sure no one would try to save the house again, they pointed a flood light at it, and placed two guards outside.

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What a waste of people´s efforts in trying to make their community a better place, and what a waste of historical value – the bath has been around since 1919! The responsible politician has never set her foot in this place, even though this matter has been discussed for almost two years now. I suppose travelling six kilometers from City hall is too much to ask to have a meaningful dialogue with the people you represent.

This has been in the national television news today, and in the morning papers. If nothing else, I hope this opens the eyes (ears!) of politicians who forgot to listen to ordinary people.

I wrote and drew about this before, here and here (and the same drawings were also posted at Urban Sketchers).

Oh, and if you want to see some actual photos of this place, check out excellent news photographer Lars Epstein´s blog posts about this subject, he has covered it over a period of time:
Nov 25 (evening)
Nov 25 (day)
Nov 21 (Aspudden public bath festival)
Nov 13 (oppositional politicians show their support)
Nov 8 (art barricade)
Sept 29 (the bath is occupied)
Sept 4 (about decision to tear down the bath)

Top drawing: 16 x 17 cm, Uniball eye pen and watercolours on Fabriano Rosapina paper
Black and white drawing: 14 x 9 cm, Uniball eye pen and Copic marker on same paper.

Docs continued

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

docmartens_continued

I kept drawing on the spread with the Doc Martens, just one more spread now, and this book is full!

27 x 17 cm, Lamy Safaris with Noodler´s Lexington grey and Polar Black ink and watercolours on sketchbook spread.


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