Sketching today after work a test with Noodler’s Gray ink

Sketching today after work a first test with Noodler’s Gray ink

Today finally, after work, I can have some sketching. It’s some time that I’m struggling to find a couple of hours to do that, just to recharge batteries. So I took also the chance to make  a first test run of serious 🙂 sketching with Noodler’s Lexington Gray ink, the second grey (or gray…) that I was reviewing before.

In few words my thought: Diamine Grey is a wonderful ink, like pearl grey, incredible, elegant, flowy ink. But not waterproof, can even disappear on certain papers with heavy washes. It will be my favorite ink for writing, for serious writing or sketching without any watery substance: filled on my best fountain pen.
Noodler’s Lexington Gray is artistically speaking in my opinion less appealing from the point of view of the color. It’s deeper in color than the Diamine Grey, it’s more like a slate grey, some shading, stronger in saturation. Artistically speaking I know that I’m not that genius but this ink is waterproof and more so is very very interesting from this point of view if not highly desirable!

By the way, few minutes ago, I went into our new fresh cool space for making some little art. I emptied first my faithful Lamy Safari from the last drop of Diamine Grey ink, and I filled the Noodler’s Lexington Grey. I started journaling on my dear journal in this environment. Very quiet environment (yes outside is raining but who cares…) just Dianne Reeves as musical background.
sketching today after work with noodlers gray 01

So this is the last sketch over the journal after several washes, using full water on the SeaWhite of Brighton sketch pad that is not heavily seized, and thick watercolors. The behavior is excellent.
sketching today after work with noodlers gray 02

A crop to have some more details. I’m very happy until now.
The other try will be soon on deep seized paper or the Moleskine Watercolor pad…
sketching today after work with noodlers gray 03

I can say that all my previous statement are confirmed, more, going over my expectations. This is a great ink for any sketching, journaling, doodling and many other artistic purposes, even calligraphy or simple note taking. Is a tough grey, is waterproof, and almost no feathering or bleeding. The color is a bold grey, and it’s so nice for my sketching tastes.
I love it.

I have to buy both inks now… Done!

Now I go, my wife is coming and I have to cook the dinner!


Sketching an attempt of self portrait

Sketching an attempt of self portrait

One of the most difficult tasks to me is the sketching of self-portrait. OK, sketching live people is difficult, or drawing the human figure is difficult. But to me seems more difficult to make my self-portrait.

I did this ugly attempt on my dear journal some days ago.
I was thinking about drawing me in this diary, and  rather to glue some picture of me to see in the future for the baby, I said with  my invisible friend “OK, let’s make a self-portrait”. I’m impressed, sorry, I’m actually scared to draw my figure, and more to make a self portrait, especially with these results.

So I can make this statement: sketching a good self-portrait is quite difficult, to me will be impossible.

And the results are here: several very different people. One looks a man who was jailed for several years, the other a bold man, and even worst I made also some humor on my figure. Moreover I took this picture at night with my phone ( as usually… I need to improve) and the results are even more astonishing to say at least. Wow, the more I look here the more I scare my self.


I did all these brute sketching using my lovely Lamy Safari filled with Platinum Carbon Ink and for the greys Talens Ecoline Warm Grey borrowed from my sister. Talens Ecoline are liquid watercolors very common here in Italy and Europe and they are quite good. Very used by illustrators or people who don’t like classical watercolors in pans or tubes and coloring people like my sister. They can be mixed each other very easily. My sister mix them with practically any other watercolor, acrylic, gouache whatever and she has a lot of fun.

I’m thinking to steal to my sister this warm grey Ecoline if not more Ecoline from his desk…




Wonderful Sepia Ink by mixing Noodler’s and Platinum

Wonderful Sepia Ink by mixing Noodler’s and Platinum

I’d like to share a new wonderful sepia tone ink that I made by mixing two premium inks Noodler’s Black (the bulletproof of course) and Platinum Mix Free Earth Brown. If you want a great ink mixed I strongly believe you have to use two great inks as starting point.

I needed to refill my faithful Pilot V-Pen, the workhorse that I use at work for notes, signing, doodling and every task that a pen can do in the office without any worry. So yesterday after work I took the chance to refill it, it’s so easy, and to change the color of the ink. Why not.
Coincidence, I’m searching for a good brown tone, to use for artistic works and to use for calligraphy or writing. So I took the chance again and this fantastic pen is the first actor.

So I decided to mix the Noodler’s Black, one of the best around, since it’s also bulletproof, and my lovely Platinum Mix Free Earth Brown: you know I love this earthy colored ink, but I needed also something more on the darkest side rather that on the reddish side so I did a first attempt. Roughly, I mixed the darkest color in smaller proportion into the lighter color, as normal color would do.
I think I did it so okay at the first attempt that I really feel very very satisfied and I will look no further for a brown or sepia.
The color obtained is a wonderful sepia, or a dark chocolate or like a burnt umber with a pinch of ivory black. I really love it, and today at work I’m finding any excuse to write and doodle today and the more I write, the more I love this color.

More I will let you see more on this picture I took this picture.
For the writing I used the Noodler’s Ahab Flex fountain pen for the Platinum Mix Free earth Brown  and a Rotring Art pen for the Noodler’s Black.

ink-mixing-noodlers-black-plus platinum earth brown

I even used my Pilot V-Pen without the metal nib. Just the feeder straight, jus to have a line like a marker. Very bold so to show more

mixing noodlers black and platinum-earth-brown-02

So finally I went writing with the fountain pen refilled. A very nice flow!

mixing noodlers black and platinum-earth-brown-03

mixing noodlers black and platinum-earth-brown-04

In conclusion I get crazy for this ink, at the first attempt! Yeah! It flows nicely, it’s not bleeding even on this cheapo paper from a common notebook you can find for 20c.
The color is dark, deep and pleasant. More, it should be almost bulletproof, smearing just a bit on not seized paper. Perfect.

Sorry for the ugly pictures taken with my phone but I think you can see from here the beauty of this color. I will post later a sketching done with this ink, few minutes later.


Sketching a ground flattener or something like that

Sketching a ground flattener or something like that

Today at lunch break I found the way to have some healthy sketching.
In these days there are a lot of noises or several kind in the place I work. There are a lot of heavy machines around, trucks, many vehicles and so on. So during the lunch break I went pout just curious, with my sketching grab  bag obviously, challenging the noise, daring against the dust and breathing I don’t know what.
But you know, sometimes everything is better than remaining sticky to the monitor in the office, and of course could be a different chance to sketch something different. And that’s the last statement that says to me “hey you’re not sketching that much, please do something”. It seems strange but sketching has impact to me mentally, physically and spiritually. I like to observe, I like to understand, I like to live and I like to paint. Simple as that.

So I seated under a safe distance form the work area where now they are graveling under a big fig tree and over white soft stones. It’s a nice warm day and there is a plenty of sun. And that’s was about my view. Still don’t know what’s the name of this machine in english.
sketching a working truck under a tree

In the start the flattening machine was off. Then a worker run on the engine so the big yellow machine started moving back and forth on the white gravel. Consequence is that I took major part of the shape of this truck but I tried also to finish some details and the color of the body while it was moving. Quite difficult. Different perspective from the original one. And movement. And more noise. 🙂

So despite the bad weather forecasts of the next weekend I’m taking any good moment for sketching even with these roaming and shaking beasts around my office.

And this is the result. The picture is quite overexposed (damn cell phones 🙂 ) and I lost a lot of details on the background and the indian yellow, simply perfect for this task is like a normal bright yellow losing some warmth. I suggest to use the indian yellow more often…
sketching a working truck ground flattener

As usual my faithful companions were my faithful Lamy Safari filled with Platinum Carbon Ink and Winsor & Newton Artists’ watercolors over a Seawhite multimedia sketch pad.

I guess I’ve to shoot again this picture because the beauty of the indian yellow is gone and so the olive green background.

Do you know how was made indian yellow before modern pigments? No?
So let’s read here, it’s a nice story… 😉

Sketching a truck during the lunch break

Sketching a truck during the lunch break

Sketching during the lunch break is going more often my only way to sketch something. In these days unbelievably full and rich, I fell very hard to sketch (even me, yes…) something. The path is gonna be fuller in the future, until now I think there is enough space to make interesting sketches.

Even in the office, changing tasks it becomes very hard even to doodle. Or until I find comfortable with my work so to be also more comfortable for sketching…

This time I was sketching a truck. we were relaxing under a really good sun, a breeze was caressing us under the pavilion, and we was talking and chatting nicely.
Our pavilion is now surrounded by all sort of trucks, and this one as catching my eyes, peeping out from one corner just asking to me “hey why you are not sketching anymore? Try me!” 🙂
So suddenly I decided to start sketching it, leaving all my colleagues (at least mentally) and my right brain started to work hardly and quickly.

sketching a truck during the lunch break

Some technical data: I just left some hints of the background in this sketch, very freely so to focus entirely on the main subject. And I used very few colors, not diluting them a lot (thanks also the Kuretake Zig Waterbrush it’s easier for my style) pure from the demi-godet, and only the gray was a mixture of sepia and french ultramarine. I was like possessed, and my Lamy Safari went so fast and the watercolors washes that I completed this small sketching in less than 20 minutes.

And even it’s a small sketching I’ve to admit that I like it a lot. From time to time… it happens!