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Messages - K-2

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Tools & Supplies / Re: Diamine Inkvent 2021
« on: Today at 02:04:30 PM »
"Harmony" - a medium violet "standard" ink, well-balanced between red and blue.  Subtle chromatogrphy bleeding out dusty pinks, lavenders, and hints of periwinkle.  Crisp lines for writing, even without gum arabic, and a neon white reaction to bleach.  A very pretty ink!

Tools & Supplies / Re: Diamine Inkvent 2021
« on: December 04, 2021, 08:22:50 PM »
"Tempest" - a moody, dark, blue-green, with gold shimmer, and (although not labeled as such) a subtle coppery sheen.  Beautiful chromatography on wetted paper, bleeding out a variety of bright and medium blues, vivid cyan, an intriguing celadon, and dove greys.  Clean, bone-white reaction to bleach.

It may be too early to have a favorite, but I'm impressed with the potential of this ink - so much so, that I did two drawings to explore its range more fully.

Tools & Supplies / Re: Diamine Inkvent 2021
« on: December 03, 2021, 01:31:20 PM »
"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!

Tools & Supplies / Re: Diamine Inkvent 2021
« on: December 02, 2021, 02:07:54 PM »
"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).

Tools & Supplies / Diamine Inkvent 2021
« on: December 01, 2021, 12:49:34 PM »
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.

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Dante Commemoration
« on: December 01, 2021, 11:30:22 AM »
@Erica McPhee and @AnasaziWrites - thank you so much for your kind thoughts about the project!  It was strangely, mentally exhausting to produce, knowing that my grant funding gave me ONE enormous piece of canvas (which has to be specially coated for ink work) and enough ink to have ONE SHOT at getting it right.  I did a lot of test pieces before committing to the big canvas, but you know, it's easy to make mistakes.

As for the color work - the idea of the rainbow derives from the very end of La Commedia, in the final stanzas of Paradiso.  Dante describes the cloud of unknowing that comes upon him, subsuming his powers of speech into a living light:

And in the profound and clear substance
   Of that high radiance three rings now appeared,
   Of three colors and equal circumference.
Two reflected each other, as rainbow
   By rainbow, and the third seemed like fire
   Breathed forth equally from the other two

If anyone is up in Northern Minnesota on Friday morning (3 Dec 2021), come join us and make your mark - we'll be in the UMD Bagley Classroom (next to the pond - bring your skates for some fun and exercise afterward; it's frozen and we've been sweeping the snow off).  The panel presentation starts at 10:00am.  The event is free and open to the public.

--yours, K

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Dante Commemoration
« on: November 30, 2021, 09:29:39 PM »
And the "title" image.  I know, I know - they're hard to read.  I can only say that they're way more legible in real life.  And it's going to look so cool when people get to drawing and writing on it.

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Dante Commemoration
« on: November 30, 2021, 09:26:37 PM »
Close up details

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Dante Commemoration
« on: November 30, 2021, 09:19:32 PM »
2021 marks the 700th anniversary of the death of the Italian poet, philosopher & statesman, Dante Alighieri.  I'm organizing a commemorative event on 3 Dec 2021 at my university that will feature a student panel discussing "how and why we read Dante today", and an experiential, collaborative, performative, artwork, drawing on Dante's magnum opus, The Divine Comedy.  The artwork combines passages from the poem with creative responses generated by participants in the form of drawings, poems, memoir, and other expressions. The Divine Comedy takes place in an imagined literary "afterlife," but fundamentally meditates on the physical & spiritual traces we leave in this world through our interactions with our families, friends, and societies.

Participants in the project will add their responses to the text, prepared on a large (6' x 2') canvas. Prompts will include the following:

Draw one of the sinners or saints or monsters represented in Dante's poetry
Draw a symbol of hope, of sorrow, or of suffering
Write a poem or a story in response to Dante or one of the drawings you see
Write a memorial tribute to a loved one or someone you admire
Write an apology for a wrong you've done
Write a note of forgiveness for a wrong done to you
Leave a handprint where you see yourself
Write an aspirational goal (spiritual or physical)
Write a thank you note expressing gratitude for something.

Dante's work stands at the intersection of social science, arts, and humanities. The project embraces diverse responses to his ideas about justice, rendered in Dante's exploration of sin and redemption through the three parts of The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The project's immersive experience supports the mission of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences by encouraging participants to place their own stories in the context of Dante's narrative about the human capacity to learn from the past, understand the present, and shape the future. here's the prepped canvas (which is a bit hard to make out in this small-scale photo).  Participants will use bleach to write/draw on it - that lifts the ink creating something of a ghostly effect.  I'll show some details from it that show off the calligraphy better in another post.  And I'll post what it all turns out looking like after the event.

@InkyFingers - historically yes(ish) regarding the italics, but more on the later end of their development.  In particular the Cancelleresca from the mid-late 16th century had a similar w.  It became more stylized in the mid-17th century pointed-pen Italian hand that derived from the corsiva forms, and continued from there into the beautiful 18th century English example that @Ken Fraser displayed.

Alas, my paleographic expertise runs out around the same time italics enter the record in the 1400s, except that I end up reading stuff produced in the Papal Chancery.  And since I don't spend as much time looking at italics or Renaissance or Baroque hands, I'm having trouble remembering if it's as prevalent in other hands, historically.  As far as modern italics go, we don't see that w form in Johnston's, but that's all I know about modern italics!

And I feel that this has gone further off the topic of hairlines and gouache than perhaps intended, but I'm a great fan of thickening up gouache and fountain pen inks with gum arabic in order to produce crisper lines with broad edge work too; I am, however, with Ken in the opinion that particularly etherial hairlines are hard to read.

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Addressing Christmas Envelopes
« on: November 27, 2021, 12:18:21 AM »
@AnasaziWrites - I'm using broad edge for my cards!  It goes much faster with a fountain pen -- the Pilot Parallel pens are especially speedy, because you can use the corners to put in the hairlines and other details and ornaments.  You can also squirt fancy, colorful fountain pen ink into a spent cartridge for a festive touch.  Prepping the envelopes with matte spray (or hairspray in a pinch) will help show off the special shimmer/sheen/shading properties of the ink too.

@Erica McPhee has a great suggestion about using a quicker/simpler script for the addresses - USPS also prefers a simple Roman capital script, which makes it less likely your beautiful envelopes will end up back in your own mailbox marked "undeliverable".

My own light-box is an ancient vintage drafting & photo layout table - ready made for the purpose - that my university's art department decommissioned a couple decades ago to make room for more high-tech equipment.

--yours truly, K

Broad Edge Pen Calligraphy / Re: Medieval calligraphy
« on: November 17, 2021, 12:35:02 PM »
Hmmmm - interesting script, @AnasaziWrites

My first instinct would have been Rotunda, based on the K, t and e - but the e isn't usually at that angle, and Rotunda usually uses the double-lobed a.  Batarde sometimes uses a single-lobed a, but the left tilt and angularity of it don't match that style, although the upswept e certainly does.  It's quite unusual to see such an angular a with such a rounded e.  Perhaps a form of Secretary hand?  An early form of Court Hand, before the K's got really ornate?

I'm intrigued!

--yours, K

Word of the Day / Re: Inktober 2021
« on: November 02, 2021, 11:33:50 AM »
@AnasaziWrites - those 2019 Invent swatches are on Col-O-Ring paper.  I use them to keep all my ink swatches in sort of chromatic order so that I can refer to them for projects.  The drawings are on Fabriano 140lb/300gsm paper.  It's not my favorite paper, but it's priced well for everyday sketching and study purposes.

@darrin1200 - Thank you so much for your kind thoughts.  After I finish this Dante project, I'm going to owe myself a new pen.  How's that BlueDew project coming along?  Can you make me an orange body for one?  Hmmm.  that reminds me - I'd better send your holiday card now, so that it gets to you before... Easter.

--yours truly, K

Word of the Day / Re: Inktober 2021
« on: November 01, 2021, 10:55:30 PM »
@Erica McPhee - I'm going to be testing inks from the Diamine 2021 Inkvent Calendar for my own purposes, and I could post the results here on the Forum if anyone is interested in them.  My process is as follows - I make a swatch with a broad edge script, a pointed pen script, a chromatography test to see how the ink bleeds, and a bleach segment.  Then I draw a picture with it (using the name of the ink as a prompt).  I do this with pretty much all of the inks in my studio collection, so that I can refer to them for various art and calligraphy projects.  It helps me know about their level of bleach reactivity and suitability for various sorts of lettering, drawing, and painting.

So here are two test swatches from the Diamine 2019 Inkvent Calendar with their corresponding drawings.  The inks are "Purple Bow" (a standard purple) and "Happy Holidays" (blue with a red sheen and a silver shimmer).  This year I'm going to do more rigorous test swatches though.

I know at some point the Forum decided that an ink thread might be more trouble than it's worth, given the variability of how color appears on different monitors and such.  But maybe this sort of experimental design might encourage other forum members to try out different types of ink in different ways.  Maybe some flourishers might even already be planning to get this year's Inkvent Calendar and could post their own work too.  I don't know - if you don't think it sounds relevant, I completely understand.

Word of the Day / Re: Inktober 2021
« on: October 31, 2021, 05:27:42 PM »
Happy Halloween, everyone!  And thank you and congratulations to all the Inktoberists out there.  The last prompt is "risk", and what a fitting way to end a challenge to practice creativity and practice putting yourself out there.

I also noticed that "risk" has three of the letters most challenging to me in my Copperplate journey - but aided by the gracious encouragement of @AnasaziWrites and @Erica McPhee, I'm taking the risk to present them here.

Erica - thank you again for making Flourish Forum such a welcoming and friendly environment to learn and grow.

--yours truly, K

31. Risk

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