Saturday, August 28, 2010

And The Winner Is....

The winner of the Diamine Classic Red giveaway is..... axolotl66!!!

Axolot166, please e-mail me your address at so I can send you your ink :)

To everybody else: Thanks for participating! I just finished moving in to my new apartment, going grocery shopping, registering for classes, going to grad student events/, talk about hectic.

Speaking of classes, mine start on Monday. I'm going to try real hard to do....biweekly reviews/posts? Does that sound good? We'll see. I'm sure I'll need the wonderful world of pens, inks, art and penpals to keep me sane as I proceed through grad school :^)

Upcoming: Ink review of Diamine Hope Pink


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Diamine Classic Red Giveaway!

There will be no new posts for a while, because I am currently in Wyoming with my family to see Yellowstone National Park (yay!). So, to hold you over till then, how 'bout a giveaway?

I'm not really a red ink person. So this ink that was generously given to me by Diamine to review should go to someone who will actually use it, right?

Since I'm currently in a "red" state, I'll be sending out a bottle of Diamine Classic Red to one winner. The contest will end when I get back to my own state. (Isn't that a nice tie-in?)

Rules & details--

Prize up for grabs: Diamine Classic Red, 30 mL

Contest duration: Sunday August 15th to Friday August 27th, 10 AM EST

How to enter: My big summer trip this year was to Wyoming state to see Yellowstone National Park. What about you? Comment to this entry, and tell me where you went this summer Day trip to the local beach? Valid. A week in Costa Rica? Valid. An afternoon picnic in a nearby park? Valid. Antarctica? Valid. Basically, it doesn't have to be a huge exotic excursion to count. Just as long as it isn't your house :)

(Your living room? So NOT valid.)

Winner will be chosen by random draw when I get back.

Ink Review for Diamine Classic Red HERE.

Good luck!!!


Ink Review: Diamine Classic Red

I find it a bit odd that Diamine has waited until fairly recently to release a "classic red" color. Isn't that a color you'd release for the original lineup? Well, it's never too late to go back to basics, I suppose...


The colors are slightly deeper in tone than they appear in the swatches, but look pretty accurate in relation to each other. Specifically --

Rouge Bourgogne is dark pink
Poppy Red is red-orange
Widowmaker is a very deep, dark red (without being maroon)
Classic Red has no orange tones at all

Close-ups of the writing:



Do you like this color? (of course you do!) Would you like to own it? (of course you would!)

If the answer is "yes" (and you know it is), stay tuned for a Diamine Classic Red giveaway!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Homage to a Bat

After seeing the bat that decided to visit my new home, I decided to pay it a little homage. Unfortunately, I incorrectly identified it as a small brown bat, not a big brown bat. So, I drew an image of the latter instead of the former. Oh, well. Live and learn, I guess. Either way, it's still kinda cute:



Done with Sakura Micron Art Pens on a smooth Bristol pad.

By the way, this is interesting: Quite a few cultures (Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Native American) think of bats as good omens. Go figure that India is one of the countries that considers bats to be BAD omens. Boo. Not that this does anything to change how I view my little fuzzy visitor :-)


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bat Medicine

Some of you may know that I shall soon be packing my bags and moving from the suburbs of New Jersey to upstate New York for graduate studies (WHOO!). This past spring consisted of me frantically trying to find a place to live for the school year, starting this fall.

At the end of May, I finally found a place! The day after I saw it, I went back to sign the lease -- and discovered that I already had my first visitor:

Do you know what that is? It's a bat! Fast asleep, clinging to the screen with its tiny bat feet. It was actually inside! I guess it's not that surprising, considering that I'm technically underground.

I'm pretty sure that this is a big brown bat. Here's a close-up of the critter:

Because I love animals and was so excited at seeing a bat up-close, I considered the creature to be a good omen. I was really surprised, however, when a pen pal of mine pointed out that to the Native Americans, bats represent rebirth, transformation, new beginnings, taking a journey of spiritual and personal growth, and release of old habits or ego for a new way of life. Bat symbolizes the need for letting go of a way of life that no longer suits your new growth pattern. Maybe that's why, she wrote, I received bat medicine that day.

Hmm...sounds pretty fitting to me!

(By the way, before I left I told the owner of the house to have it humanely removed. No worries. Also, the photos were taken with my cell phone camera, hence the lousy quality)


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Year of the Tiger (Now in Technicolor!)

Here are the finished works from the last post:


^It's difficult to tell, but the dragonfly glimmers.


In the above piece, a tiger is startled by a gorgeous (and glittery) butterfly that suddenly appeared. That directly reflects how pleasantly surprised I was by the good fortune this year has brought for me. Done with waterproof ink (outlines), watercolors, and glittery gel pens (accents).

Hmm. At some point I'm going to have to redo the list of links to other blogs. But that's boring, and so true to form I have been procrastinating on it. I know, I know...


Monday, August 2, 2010

Year of the Tiger!

It's pretty well known that this year is the Chinese Year of the Tiger. This has special significance for me, because I am -- you guessed it -- a Tiger. Not only that, but this year has brought me some pretty amazing new opportunities and chances at self-improvement on a variety of different fronts. So several months back, I created several Year-of-the-Tiger-themed, handpainted stationery on Crane & Co Letterwriting Sheets.

Here are some rough sketches:



My attempt at tiger realism...

Photobucket well as a simpler style.


Here is one that I'd already finished by the time I got to work on the above ones. This one went to an excellent pen pal of mine in Canada. You can't really tell, but the eyes are glimmery -- I used gold glittery gel pen to make them stand out. I used a brush pen with waterproof ink for the outlining, then colored it using watercolors.



This paper handles both fountain pen ink and watercolors incredibly well, and you can see previous works I did on Crane paper here and here.


Ink Review: Diamine WES Kensington Blue

WES is an acronym for The Writing Equipment Society, an organization for which the ink was named. I personally find it to be a very boring shade of blue...but that's just me. I way prefer Diamine Midnight.
Here's the review -- I darkened the image because the original photo showed the ink as being too light. Likewise, the darker areas on the color swatches in the Ink Comparison section show where I had to use Photoshop for color-correction.




Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ink Review: Diamine Midnight

Great flow, great color -- what more to ask for when looking at blue-black inks? It's certainly not the darkest blue-black I've ever seen, but this does allow for excellent shading. Take a look--


The obligatory close-up: