Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grumbacher Miskit Liquid Frisket

Frisket for batik style painting

According to Wikipedia, a frisket is any material that protects areas of a work from unintended change.

Batik mandala using frisket

I've always been interested in fabrics that use a resist as a way to create a design. Batik is one example, mudcloth another.

Batik Mandala using Frisket

I could visualize what I wanted to do, but I couldn't figure out what to use as a resist. Wax crayons didn't work, and white india ink did just so-so. Painting with the white ink also proved to be kind of challenging on white paper.

Mandala :: Release

I finally came up with the idea of using a liquid type of frisket most commonly used in watercolor painting to mask off areas you wish to remain white. I bought the bottle shown above at Blick, and applied it with a thin watercolor brush to the paper. Since it has a bright orange dye in it, it's much easier to see on the paper. The brush does eventually get all gummed up because the frisket is latex based, but per the instructions, "It washes out of pens and brushes with soap and water."

Once dry, (it dries pretty quick) I would work with water based fountain pen inks applied with a sponge brush. Sometimes I would let all of the ink soak into the paper, sometimes I would blot some of it off. All of the images above were created in this manner. Once the ink is dry, you start to carefully roll the frisket off the paper. It comes off in rubbery boogerish (sorry) bits.

On the last image, I used a marker to add additional detail to the white spaces.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My First Mandala

010607 Prismacolor Meditation Mandala

Looking back through my mandala images on Flickr, I came upon this image which if I remember correctly, was my first ever mandala. This is the comment I wrote below it, dated January 6th, 2007.

010607 Prismacolor Meditation Mandala

"This was inspired by Jouste's meditation mandala. It was done with Prismacolor markers, and completed in one sitting. (About 3 1/2 hours - the time just flew......) I was listening to Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now through most of it. I also did something a little different for about 90% of it from the center out. I sat with a bag filled with 12 markers (+ 1 blender pen) in my lap. I would pull out a marker at random, and that's the one I would use for that ring. I got a little tired of that at the end, plus I wanted to touch up a few areas with certain colors. Interestingly enough, "Red" didn't come up on a random pull till one of the last few pulls."

I think the red bumps with green/blue circles look like frog eyes."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Similar Inks: Herbin Orange Indien and Diamine Blaze Orange

Herbin Orange Indien and Diamine Blaze Orange

I always found J. Herbin's Orange Indien to be more of a "rusty" orange than a bright Halloween orange, (think Diamine's "Pumpkin") and side by side, it seems to be quite similar to Diamine's Blaze Orange. I'm not suggesting that they will function the same in a fountain or dip pen, just that happen to look alike on these swatches.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review: New Rhodia LeCarre Pads

Rhodia LeCarre

The new Rhodia Le Carre pads are available in 5 ¾ x 5 ¾" and 8 ¼ x 8 ¼" with orange or black covers, and contain Rhodia's 80g fountain pen friendly paper. 5x5 graph is the current option. As in all of the Bloc Rhodia pads, the pages are micro-perforated and are easy to remove.

I personally love the square format of the pad, as it is very easy for me to make a circular mandala on square paper, but the writing surface itself isn't square once you flip the cover back. I'm guessing that the overall aesthetics of the square pad are what makes this product appealing, rather than having a perfectly square writing surface.

The LeCarre pads sell for approximately $5 and $8.

LeCarre pads provided by Exaclair for the purpose of review.

Click here to locate a retailer near you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Save it for a rainy day

Acrylic Mandala on black scrapbook sheet

It's only been a few months that I have been working with acrylic paints. I initially bought them to paint on walls, windows, and other objects, and it only recently occurred to me that I could use them on paper. For whatever reason, I always imagined them to be super heavy and unsuitable for something thin like paper- maybe I thought they would crack or something, but apparently, I was wrong. They work quite well on paper and in this case, it was a square sheet of scrapbooking paper from the craft store.

For a rainy day

Since I'm still very new to working with this media, I manage to keep pouring out more than I need, so I pulled out a Canson sketchbook and filled a few pages with plain color that I can work over on another day - a rainy day perhaps? It's not much different than when I was doing the same thing with fountain pen ink.

For a rainy day

The paper in this particular sketchbook does not seem to like wet media like watercolor or even wet ink pens, so I thought I would give it a hand by coating the paper with acrylic ink. I have some Staedtler permanent markers I think will work quite well over top of these pages.

For a rainy day

Th paints I have been using are the little bottles of craft paints once again, found at the craft store. I've tried the Liquitex tube paints - you might remember when I painted Jaqui's column with them, but I found them to be too thin and runny for my liking.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Categories have been updated!

Mandala : Dream Big

Just a quick note to say that I have brought all of the links up to date on the category pages located at the top of my blog. Take a look at all of my ink reviews, journal and paper reviews, art supply reviews, and mandala posts.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Review: Leuchtturm New "Ink Proof" Journal - Blank

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

The Leuchtturm large journal - new "Ink-Proof" version. I'd always wanted to test these as an alternative to Moleskine, and Cynthia at JournalingArts.com graciously sent me this and one of the older versions to test and review.

*Of note - I tested this journal and took these photos several months ago and only now am I getting around to write the review. As I LOVE blank journals, I actually jumped right into this one and this is the first time ever I am writing a journal review after having completely finished it.

A Leuchtturm, Webbie & a Mole walk into a bar...

Top to bottom:

Leuchtturm: $13.99, 5¾" x 8¼", 250 (70g) acid free paper
Webbie: $19.99, 5½" X 8¼", 192 pages (90g) acid free paper
Mole: $15.99, 5" x 8¼", 240 pages (unknown weight) acid free paper

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Designed in Germany, made in Taiwan. Distributed by Kikkerland - Moleskine's old distributor.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

A whole bunch of stuff.... book labels, a thank you sheet, product flyer... Is this all necessary? Omission would surely reduce the cost....

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

One more freebie that came with this blank version, a lined/grid template.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Easy to see through the page.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Not so easy to store... Would make much more sense to have it sized to fit inside the expandable back pocket.

Note - Last 8 sheets are detachable.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

3 pages of index at the beginning of the book. (Which follow an inner cover page with space for your personal information)

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Numbered pages... Woot!!! I LOVE this feature. While I use my journals for a lot of daily ramblings, sometimes I write a specific memory or story and being able to note the page numbers at the front is so much better than post-it flags that I can't remember what I marked & why....

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Ribbon bookmark which seems much more fray resistant than the one in the Moles.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

While the spine on this journal allows the book to lie flat, it does NOT open flat. (Moleskine still hold the record for the book that opens the flattest) You WILL be writing in/out of a hump and at certain spots in the book it will be better/worse. I find it extremely annoying to have to push a book down to flatten the pages and if I don't, I lose writing space near the inner crease.

Large Leuchtturm

I noticed something new (to me) while using this journal. I had never tried folding any of my hard back journals back onto itself and was surprised to find that the Leuchtturms (in pocket & large sizes) fold back neatly. Pulling out a Mole & a Webbie, I find that they too will fold back on themselves, but each of those two seem to be a bit strained while the Leuchtturm does not.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Testing a pile of water based fountain pen inks in the new "Ink-Proof" Leuchtturm. These inks do take a little longer to dry on this paper. About the same as you would expect from Rhodia/Clairefontaine - but this paper is not as smooth as R/C. It's kind of smooth, but every now and then your pen nib will run over what feels like a tiny paper fiber, which to me, ruins the experience - I also get the impression that these are the same fibers which feather - as shown below.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Despite the fact that fountain pen inks do not bleed on this paper, they still do feather.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Though there is an occasional blood dot, fountain pen inks do not bleed through this relatively thin paper.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Interested in how this paper would take a huge Sharpie, I placed a piece of copy paper behind it "just in case."

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Can you believe it? Sharpies bleed through everything.....

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Now here's the crazy part. I tested the paper with a variety of gel pens and at the time I tested them, (mid February?) they wouldn't stay dry for the life of me. Everything smudged minutes, hours, DAYS later... but wait, there's more....

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Faber Castel Pitt pens smudged, ball-point ink smudged... I had never seen anything like this!

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Everything I tested, I tested in during the winter in my house that is heated by forced air - it gets very dry in here. As I mentioned at the top, I jumped right into using this journal not long after I tested it and it is the same journal I recently took with me out to Ohio. (Mid April & rainy) As I don't travel with my fountain pens, I took a handful of gel pens with me -fully expecting them to smudge but you know what? They didn't! Nothing smudged at all and it all dried fairly quickly. I am now convinced that this phenomenon is directly related to humidity or a lack thereof.

Of note, I noticed something in the Leuchtturm journals that I used to experience in the Moles, and that is if you rest your thumb/finger/palm on the page as you write, it soaks up the oils in your hand and it becomes difficult to write over that spot and the ink starts to bead up.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Artist grade watercolor paints look good on this paper but there was much buckling.

New Leuchtturm Journal w/ Ink-Proof Paper

Rear of watercolor.

All in all, I like the larger size of this book combined with the numbered pages and index, but I don't love the paper's texture and feathering with fountain pen inks.

You can buy Leuchtturm journals at JournalingArts.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Review: Leuchtturm Old Version Blank Journal

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

The Leuchtturm pocket journal - old version. (Pre ink-proof paper model) I'd always wanted to test these as an alternative to Moleskine, and Cynthia at JournalingArts.com graciously sent me this older version as well as one of the newer "ink-proof" models to test and review.

Small Leuchtturm & Small Mole

The pocket Leuchtturm is a bit longer than the pocket Mole and the price is similar, $8.99 for the Leuchtturm, and $9.99 for the Mole. Page count in Leuchtturm 187, Mole 192.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

Like the Mole, it has an elastic band closure, a ribbon bookmark (which seems as though it would resist fraying) and a similar cover texture. On this pocket version, I noticed that in one spot where the cover material was slightly bubbled near the top.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

Like the Mole, Leuchtturm's logo is discreetly stamped at the lower section of the rear cover.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

Inner page has a space for personal information.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

3 pages of index to be used with the numbered pages of the Leuchtturm.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

Logo on the bottom of every page which appears to have been removed on the new larger "ink-proof" version." My 1st time ever finding a journal with numbered pages. This plus the index are my absolute hand down favorite features of the Leuchtturm journals.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

Spine and bookplate type stickers included for further personalization of your journal.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

The book's spine allows the book to lie flat, but it does not open perfectly flat. You will be writing in/out of a hump. Depending on where you are in the book, it's better/worse.

Small Leuchtturm

I just finished using the larger journal and I noticed something new. (to me) I had never tried folding any of my hard back journals back onto itself and was surprised to find that the Leuchtturm (in pocket & large sizes) folded back neatly. Pulling out a Mole & a Webbie, I find that they too will fold back on themselves, but each of those two seem to be a bit strained while the Leuchtturm does not.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

This older pocket version has 32 (32!) detachable pages which I find excessive. I won't write on detachable pages unless I am specifically planning to tear them out. The large newer version has only 8 detachable pages (much better) - not sure how many the new pocket version has.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

Expandable pocket in the back cover.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

Fountain pen ink test.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

Much feathering....

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

Close up of feathering with the water based fountain pen inks.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

As I had heard before, significant bleed through (and see-through) with fountain pen inks - one reason why they probably switched to the new "ink-proof" paper. The paper itself feels very thin, (I like thin paper) maybe a 70g? It is nice to write on but is not smooth as in glass-like.

Older Version Leuchtturm Blank Journal

Gel pen did not bleed, watercolors did....

Since I am primarily a fountain pen user, I did not proceed to test additional media in this book, especially since a newer version is available. I cannot tell on the JournalingArts website which versions she is selling - (if they are all the new versions or not) I suggest dropping her a line to ask first.

Review of the newer version to follow.
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