Had an unusual start to the day, with an early morning walk before my usual morning run. I’m embracing the spirit of experimentation with these, so this one was sketched using diluted Sennelier shellac based ink (non fountain pen friendly) in waterbrushes, paired with a fine nibbed TWSBI ECO filled with J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor, and a Diplomat Aero with a fine nib filled with Colorverse Golden Record. The Midori MD Cotton paper does not take nicely to any amount of moisture and there was bleed through (and of course see through) to the other side of the page, but in general it held up much better than I expected.
Here are all the tools used for this quick sketch:
It’s time for a wash, and this time it’s just water over Colorverse Golden Record ink. The sketch was done with a Diplomat Aero fine nibbed pen, which you can see at the bottom of this post, and on A4 Midori MD Cotton paper, which is not built for washes. It buckles almost immediately.
Here’s the complete page:
And here’s the pen that I used to sketch it all, the wonderful and highly recommended Diplomat Aero (in this case in orange, but it comes in a myriad of colours). The Colorverse Golden Record ink was part of a set, and I don’t recommend it.
I’m going for a page of sketches with this pen and ink combo, so here’s another small one, of two kayakers braving the stormy sea. Diplomat Aero fine nibbed fountain pen with Colorverse Golden Record on an A5 Midori MD Cotton notebook.
I had a busy day, so it was a very quick sketch this time, of a brown toy poodle sitting on her owner’s lap on the bus. She was quite the attraction, and reminded me of my old dog in the pure joy she took from everything around her.
Drawn on an A5 Midori MD Cotton notebook with a Diplomat Aero fine nibbed pen filled with Colorverse Golden Record. This ink has a tendency to dry out in pens, and it becomes darker in the pen after a day or two.
There’s something about black fountain pens and black ink that make them popular beyond what common sense would dictate. The blacker they are the more popular they are, especially if you add the word “stealth” somewhere in their name or the copy. Apparently everyone wants to be a ninja.
Colorverse Selectron is a pigmented ink that I obtained as part of the Electron/Selectron Multiverse box. Colorverse have lately started to sell some of these paired inks as individual bottles, and so if orange isn’t your thing (Electron is orange, don’t ask me why) you may be able to obtain just Selectron soon enough.
I bought this Matte Black Vanishing Point from Goulet Pens in 2013 I think, but it hasn’t seen much use in recent years. As part of my move to both use my fountain pens more and see if there are any that I might want to part with I dusted this one off and filled it with an “appropriately” coloured ink.
I’ve written about Colorverse Selectron before as part of other reviews. I initially thought that it would be a perfect drawing ink, as it’s pigmented and fountain pen friendly I was hoping that it was also waterproof. As you’ll see later on, it is not.
In terms of the ink itself, there’s nothing remarkable about it. It’s a solid black with some sheen when layered and no variation, which is what you usually want from a black ink.
The Matte Black Pilot Vanishing Point is a VP like all VPs: a pen with a great nib, a body design that you either love or can’t use (depending on how you grip your pen) and a solid click mechanism. It still has a converter that holds about a drop and a half of ink and is annoying to fill, and it still suffers from nib creep.
The novelty here is in the matte finish, which is both very nice and not very durable. I hardly used this pen and already the coating is becoming glossy where I usually grip it. It’s a shame because the coating feels great and looks great when it’s unblemished, as in the body of the pen:
Like some other pigmented inks, the Colorverse Selectron is Moleksine friendly: there’s no feathering, spreading and bleed-through with fine/medium nibs (show through is going to be there no matter what). It’s also a fun ink to draw with:
And here are the results of the waterproof test:
Matte coated pens are difficult to do well, and Pilot haven’t done a stellar job with this Vanishing Point. Black fountain pen inks are a dime a dozen, and Colorverse haven’t done much beyond packaging and copy to create one that stands out. If I could have tested these in person they would have probably both remained on their respective shelves, but the online hype of the time swept me away. I’m much more wary of it and FOMO in general over the past two years.
Invest in things that will stand out and stand the test of time. And take care of yourselves (and your pens) in these troubling days.
A quick sketch on a Moleskine Star Wars Limited Edition plain paper with a Waterman Phileas fountain pen (Extra Fine) filled with Colorverse Selectron pigment ink. I thought I’d test how Moleskine friendly the new Colorverse Selectron ink is (it is), while also creating a farewell sketch to my old headphones.
I just received a pack of the Field Notes Signature blank page edition and noticed that on the front of the band it said,”Sketch Book” right below the “Plain Paper”. I opened it up and saw that unlike my beloved Dime Novel edition, these notebooks had no page numbers (a plus for me) and their pages were white and not cream coloured. That made me decide to break them out for a very quick sketching opportunity, to see how well they faired.
The notebook doesn’t open flat, and it tends to want to close on itself, so I used a clip to keep it open when I was sketching. Ideally you’ll need two clips and maybe a backboard of some kind to use it comfortably. The paper, as is normal with sketching paper, doesn’t take washes too well. It’s relatively thin and it buckles pretty easily, so only the lightest of washes should be attempted with it.
The drum set above was sketched with a Sanford No-Blot Pencil. You can see the paper buckling even though very little water was applied with a water brush.
The paper fared better with fine brush pens:
A tiny bit of spread when you lay down the ink too thickly:
Zero complaints when it comes to pencil sketches:
As is to be expected with this kind of paper, it works well with pencils and coloured pencils, having just enough tooth to make it work well with them, but not so great with fine and extra fine fountain pens and thin technical pens.
As you can see above, the Extra Fine Waterman Phileas (with Colorverse Selectron pigment ink) stuttered on the page.
The Signature also suffers from being an awkward size for a sketchbook: too large to be truly pocketable, too small to allow for anything more than tiny, quick sketches.
As a sketchbook, I’d not recommend it. There are better options in the market, ones that open flat, in better sizes, with hardcovers (a plus when sketching on the go), that take washes a bit better than the Signature does.
That being said, it’s a fountain pen friendly Field Notes, and so long as you’re not set on using nibs that in the extra fine realm or using this notebook as your main sketchbook, it’s a nice little thing to carry around and play with. There’s nothing wrong with a notebook that can take a little doodle next to your todo list…