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 some objects in the office

Sketching some objects in the office

Still sketching some objects in the office in the spare time, during the lunch break mainly.
Yesterday I needed to make some services for the family, online this time, so I didn’t move a step from my office desktop.

I save almost all sketching and doodles that I make in the office in a folder of my drawer, sometimes for a later coloring or adding. So I saved this sheet with some sketches that I did, using this sheet as testing for the refill of Pilot V-Pen. And I let it out again sketching some more objects that I;m collecting from time to time on my desktop.
sketching objects on my desktop

So I used obviously the refilled Pilot V-Pen and I added some slight watercolor washes with my office watercolor micro kit and the Kuretake waterbrushes. I’ve to say that I also tricked on the nib of this pen to let the Noodlers’ Black Ink flow more. Now it’s perfect and I’m very pleased. And in this paper it behave nicely for artistic purposes or you can read it not smudge a lot.
The paper is a simple photocopiers’ paper, it’s a bad office print. Now even my colleagues are helping me in collecting some more paper… wow!

Pleased by the results I took out also my wrapping paper sketch pad and I did one more sketching very quickly on it. I used also the Stabilo All China marker in white and brown. Again the refilled Pilot V-Pen well behaved and the Noodlers Black Ink too.
sketching old phone on my desktop

Yes I like to sketch anywhere and when I have the chance or I’m inspired. And I find all these objects beautiful and worth to be sketched. Am I mad? 🙂


How to refill a Pilot V-Pen (V4) Disposable Fountain Pen

How to refill a Pilot V-Pen disposable fountain pen

After receiving more than a question on how to refill a Pilot VPen (V4) Disposable Fountain Pen (or Varsity in the US market) disposable fountain pen I catch this chance on my blog to post some useful information.

But first let me spread some words about this fountain pen. Disposable fountain pen.
First of all we are talking about the Pilot VPen (V4) Disposable Fountain Pen. This is a great fountain pen, probably the better (disposable) fountain pen under 5 bucks available worldwide.
Or at least can come with Platinum Preppy that has two nib choices and it’s refillable with cartridge or to be transformed into an eye dropper pen (but this will be another story).It comes only with a medium nib, and it writes always smoothly as silk. It could be also the first fountain pen if you want to start to taste the world of fountain pens. It writes as silk in almost every paper and the combination ink and nib is pretty wet.
I like wet nibs and inks. The nib is not springy but I don’t care, I’m not doing calligraphy. The most important thing is that it writes and writes well and smoothly like more pricey pens.
That I will still continue to buy of course.

So… why I have to refill this pen? Why taking a lot of effort to refill this pen when it is disposable? Personally I do it for fun first, I think I can refill it for several times until it will leaks. Second, I refill this pen because I can play more freely with it:  I have battlefield fountain pen that I use mainly at work with Noodler’s Black Ink, next time I will do some ink mixing with it. Third: a small recycling does good for the environment.

Filling this small jewel is really easy, just we have to dismantle it with some care. Clean, refill with your favorite ink, re-assemble.
Here what’s needed: a kind of pliers with small noses, a piece of rag or paper. For instance I used my Leatherman sidekick and a piece of paper.

Here it is:

  • Grab firmly the sides of the nib with the pliers with. Use some paper or rag to avoid too much scratching.
  • Pull off the nib from the sides with some force and you will hear a click. The nib and the feeder are now detached. Still pulling will free out all the feeding compartment.
  • Now you can detach even the steel nib from the feeder with the same technique as above. Pretty easy, you just have to hold the feeder with a hand: the other will grab the sides of the feeder
  • Clean everything with warm soapy water and let dry all the sections if you want. I did it but it’s obviously optional

Pilot V-pen dismantled

After everything is dried you can go for the refilling of the Pilot. Or you can hack even more the feedback as per your choice. For the refill just use your favorite ink: you have to refill the barrel with a syringe, with a eye dropper, with a teaspoon or with a drinking straw. Use what you have and your imagination. Then…

  • Slide the nib over the feeder
  • Insert the feeder firmly and straight into the barrel until you hear a pleasant click.
  • Start sketching or doodling or chicken scratching. our choice.
  • I used to make the ink barrel transparent just rubbing hardly it against the corners of my desktop  covered with simple photocopiers paper or bad prints. But use whatever you have in hand, even rubbing the barrel against the corner of a magazine works.

So now you know how to refill a Pilot VPen (V4) Disposable Fountain Pen. Simpler to do than to describe here in this post. 🙂

I have also did a little hacking the nib feeder after the refilling of this pen, to better accommodate the flow of Noodler’s Black Ink that is some what viscous than the original ink.

Pilot V-pen re assembled and filled

Have fun!

Sketching at the dentist

Sketching at the dentist

Even sketching at the dentist! In these days I feel like unstoppable!
Yesterday another full afternoon at the dentist. Me first and later my wife.

I was with my wife, and so the doctor was curing her slowly. Obviously going slowly, my wife cannot talk for obvious reasons: great match for sketching the doctor operating. 🙂

sketching at the dentist

I sketched very quickly, and between pause showing the becoming results to my audience there. I was reluctant to do it but she wanted also to make a picture so it’s okay. More over the time while sketching fled so fast…

I did this sketching not using my grab bag but using my Micro Kit. I wasted my cheap pigmented pen because I left it uncapped so I used my Pilot V-Pen (Varsity in US markets), that probably is the best disposable fountain pen in the world. But the ink, excellent for any use, is quite average for art because it smudges a bit as you can see here. Than I did just a couple of washes with my watercolors of my micro kit (6 colors are quite enough…) and et voilà!
I hope you will like it!


Sketching in the office and making a sketching pad

Sketching in the office and making a sketching pad

Sketching in the office during the lunch break is already a good established habit as far as I can. Today I didn’t sketch a lot outside because the weather is going even hotter, raising 40 degrees Celsius. But luckily, within the astonished eyes of my colleagues I started sketching when I was having lunch, and starting when I even not finished to eat.

So I started sketching the coffee machine that was shining in front of my eyes. This coffee machine we call in italian “caffettiera” it’s a lovely subject to sketch: its lovely straight lines, that specific shape and a lot of metallic reflections are so interesting to me. Also the content is interesting indeed. I sketched on the boxing paper pad that I made as an experiment and I keep always here in the office. I sketched with my Pilot fountain V-Pen that has good nice flow, very wet, a nib size is medium and works lovely on this paper.
Moreover I discovered with a lot of pleasure that with this pen on this paper I can make watercolor washings easily, although is not water-resistant with any other paper, so I think it’s a killer combo. Than I added some light touches with a white china marker or all around pencil marker from Stabilo and I had fun. Lot of fun.Sketching of caffettiera

So while eating, I was sketching this caffettiera, and since there was still some time remaining of my lunch break I sketched quickly what I had in front of me, some bookshelves.
Sketching of bookshelves

And since I had also some watercolor paper sheets gifted to me from my friend that works in a typography, I’ve tried to make a simple sketching pad. So I made the pad with this sheets, I folded them with care. I’ve also added as cover an old thick paper cover from an old document.

And I binded the sheets with the simplest way to bind: pamphlet binding. Since in the office I don’t have a thread supply, I used the soft nylon core of a piece of paracord (…)! The instructions of pamphlet binding can be found easily on internet or here at this fantastic blog of book binding. It’s easy. You just need some thread, something to pierce, sheets and something to make as cover and a trimmer (optional). Five minutes of time. Sketching pad done.
Recycled paper Sketching Pad 02 06082012

The results are 12 pages of good 300gr watercolor paper, just sightly less than A5 size. Not that much pages but in this way I make something my own. And such things are very rewarding.

Now I’m collecting sheets coming from bad prints to my colleagues to make some more books for sketching or writing. Why not to reuse and recycle?