Sketching with fountain pens is fun! I like to be able to use different inks which come in an astonishing array of colors. I love to add writing to my sketches, maybe a little about that day, or a quote I love, or something I’ve just read in a book. Art journaling is a good way to have a record, to have fun, and to relax!
My current collection is made up of:
- Mont Blanc Permanent Black
- DeAtramentis Archive Black
- Faber Castell Carbon Black
- Diamine – Red Dragon
- Lamy Blue
- Pilot Iroshizuku Ink – Deep Green
- Visconti Sepia
- J. Herbin – Purple Larmes de Cassis
De Atramentis Archive is the black ink I use in my Lamy Joy fountain pen for all the sketches. All the rest of these inks I use for writing the text on the page only. But I am looking forward to try sketching with some of them as well. I would not use watercolour paints , but maybe add little water for some shading, or blooming effects. Haven’t try this yet!
I’ve made some black ink shopping mistakes… until I finally found out from Liz Steel special ink post why DeAtramentis Document/Archive is the best (for our purposes!). But this ink was not to be found near where I live, so I had to order it online from Goulet Pens, which is a place where I could spend a fortune, in less than ten minutes.
Mont Blanc Permanent ink might be great, but for some reason it would dry up on my Lamy Joy too fast for my liking. This ink might behave differently in a another pen, so I need to do some more investigation.
The permanence of black ink is a big subject for most sketchers. There are many options out there, and this is part of the fun. From the little experience I have so far, I learned there are two approaches when you sketch with ink and watercolors:
- Paint your shapes, let dry completely, then add your ink lines .
- Ink your shapes with permanent ink, then paint.
First option requires more time for watercolours to dry, and this might be an issue when sketching outside on location. I also find it more difficult as a beginner, to add colours and shading before I see the outline of my sketch. With more experience, this will probably change.
My personal preference so far, is the second option. I love seeing shapes and volumes first, and then decide how to add watercolours. If your black is truly permanent, ink lines will not move with adding water, creating a big ugly mess.
A work of caution: only use fountain pen formulated inks with your fountain pens, to avoid a disaster and ruin them.