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Diamine Inkvent 2021

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In 2019 Diamine released an Advent Calendar full of tiny bottles of ink - in other words: The Best Advent Calendar Ever.  25 beautiful inks formulated for fountain pens - with properties like shading, shimmer, and sheen.  Happily, they released full-size (50ml) bottles of the 2019 inks in 2020, so that I could stop hoarding my tiny bottles of favorites.

Diamine has done it again this year: the 2021 Diamine Inkvent Calendar dropped in September, and I pestered my spouse into buying me one.  I will admit that I opened it early.  But like last time (when I opened it early, because I'm a child, apparently - yes I know it's supposed to be bad luck), I am determined to open the doors/inks in order, and not proceed until I've done a test swatch and ink drawing with each, using the name of the ink as a prompt for the drawing.  Kind of like Inktober, but for Advent.  Unlike Inktober, I won't get around to posting every day, but I'll eventually get through all of them.  I hope if others (ahem, @AnasaziWrites ) have also procured an Inkvent Calendar, they might join me for the fun.

As participants on the Forum have often noted - you can use fountain pen inks with dip pens if you doctor them a bit.  I also use fountain pen inks for drawing and painting.  All the drawings I posted in the Inktober 2021 thread were done with fountain pen inks for instance.  They have some wonderful properties of shading and chromatography, making them a very exciting art medium.  Nick Stewart shows off their amazing range on his blog:

Hence, I'm posting to the "Tools and Supplies" area, since this thread will produce a catalogue of lovely, colorful inks that may be helpful for some future project.


For the purposes of consistency, all of my test swatches are done on Col-O-Ring paper.  The ink is applied onto wetted paper to test for shading and chromatography.  A line of bleach and "INKVENT 2021" is applied with a Nikko G nib on an area of high saturation.  The italic "Diamine" is drawn with a #6 Mitchell, the blackletter "Inkvent" is drawn with a #3 Mitchell, the name of the ink itself is written in cursive with a medium flex vintage Gillott nib in an oblique holder.  I do not add any gum arabic for testing purposes, to get a sense of the consistency of the ink and its suitability for different uses.  So sometimes it blobs a little, which tells me how I'll need to adjust later on.  I've also described what I'm seeing in words, because lighting and monitors produce different appearances, and for accessibility purposes, because some readers may be unable to distinguish between certain colors.

Drawings are done with the ink of the day (name of the ink used as prompt for the drawing), water, and sometimes bleach, with various water color brushes, ruling pens, and dip nibs.  Unless otherwise noted, they are all done in a Stillman & Birn Beta Series spiral bound notebook with medium-grain, cold press, 270gsm paper.

Diamine marks each ink with the designations: "standard" (shading, but no shimmer, no sheen), "shimmer" (containing metallic particulates), and "sheen" (caused by a residue that is not absorbed into the paper, making some portions reflect a different, often shiny, color).  Sometimes with a combination of shimmer and sheen.
* Hey, Diamine - if you're reading this and maybe like my work with your ink, contact me!  I work on commission!

Advent started on 28 Nov this year, but some people observe it starting on 1 Dec, so I didn't want to spoil it for anyone.  But we can get started now.  So here we go:

"Seize the Night" - a dark plummy-brown mauve, "standard" ink that nonetheless seems to have some mustard-gold sheen in the especially saturated areas.  Bleeds out violets and periwinkle.  Bleach produces a relatively clean, ivory line.

Amazing work K-2. Iím looking forward to the rest.

"Garland" - a dark teal ink with subtle blue shimmer and vivid ruby sheen.  On wetted paper it bleeds out cyan and green, down to delicate soft blues at the lightest end of the shading.  Clean ivory-white reaction to bleach (and in heavily inked areas, a neon blue).

Inkvent calendar in the house. I've opened two, but have not tried them yet, as I am attempting to get my Christmas cards out early (the recent holiday exchange card I sent to my wife at our address took a week to get here). Look forward to trying them out and will post here when I do.

"Ash" - a cool, medium grey, "standard" ink, with beautiful shading and chromatography.  On wetted paper, it bleeds out bright cyan, dusty taupes, wispy grey, and etherial blues.  Neon white (almost glowing pink) reaction to bleach.

BTW - as an exercise, I'm committing to drawing portrait studies for each of the inks, based on the name of the ink - hence yesterday's "Garland" = Judy Garland; day 1 was Josephine Baker for "Seize the Night".

My traumatic head injury a couple or three years ago left me with neurological aftereffects, including a sort of "face-blindness".  I was never very good at recognizing people's faces, and now I'm even worse - the condition is called "prosopagnosia".  I'm trying to train/retrain myself in how to recognize faces by using this year's Inkvent as an opportunity to practice studying what and how the topography and proportions of faces contribute to their individual legibility.  So maybe it can be a game to see if you (or I) can recognize any of them!


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