Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Biffybeans Top Picks in Pens, Paper, Inks & Art Supplies for 2010

Red on Lilac

Once again, it's that time when I like to review my favorite products from the past 12 months. Click here to review against my 2009 list, or here for what I liked in 2008.

And so... in no specific order I present:

In Paper:

Blank Journals. I think that 2010 was the year that I fully embraced the blank page for writing. Late in the year was also when I started to nudge my way into the realm of art journaling. It's going to be hard for me to pick a favorite because I carried 4 different books through some amazing personal experiences and I loved each for what they were to me during that time.They were:
large Rhodia Webbie 3.0, large Leuchtturm, small French Habana (60g ivory paper) and a large Pentalic ala Modeskin. (Pentalic review being re-written)

How I strive to live my life....

Rhodia Meeting Book - I love the format and the small version is my absolute favorite Rhodia product.

Rhodia Meeting Book

Canson Universal Sketch Pad  -I've been using these books for years, but the one I used in 2010 was important for a number of reasons. It's where I started to play with, and become comfortable using color. These books are versatile enough to use with a variety of media - I used watercolor, colored pencils, acrylic, marker, fountain pens....  I have always especially loved the side spiral.

6 pointed mandala

In Fountain Pens:

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - What can I say? I have 6. I love them and just keep using them.

Safari's

Sailor Sapporo Fountain Pen - The Sapporo is the perfect weight and balance for my hand.

Sailor Sapporo Fountain Pen


In Fountain Pen Ink:

Aurora Blue Ink - For now, it's just the right shade of blue. It's been inked up both in my dark blue Safari & my Sailor Sapporo for quite a while....

Aurora Blue Ink

Diamine Poppy Red Ink - After trying bottle after bottle of red ink, (too pink, too orange, too light...) I have found my all-time favorite red ink.

Diamine Poppy Red and Levenger Fireball

Rohrer & Klingner Solferino and Magenta Inks  These colors ROCK! I no longer feel that I need to hunt for perfect shade of purple or magenta inks.

Latest Acquisitions

In Art Supplies

Golden Acrylic Paints - It took me a long time to build up the courage to invest in acylic paints & supplies. Now that I have, there's no going back. It's just too much fun. After messing around with craft paints, I bit the bullet and opted to spend my money on Golden acrylics and I LOVE them!My fav color is Cadmium Red Deep. (Not all Golden paints were used in the image below. Some Daniel Smith & Liquitex were used.)

Change in Heart

Liquitex Black Acrylic Gesso - Gesso is an acrylic primer typically used to ready canvas or other supports before applying paint, I found that the opaque black gesso was not only fun to paint/draw on, but to paint WITH. I started by buying a Bob Ross brand that I found at Micheals, then moved to Liquitex which I now get from Blick. (The Liquitex is blacker than the Bob Ross brand.

Movement (In Reverse)

Colleen colored pencils - I had 1st learned of these on the Pencil Talk blog and had to have them. (Through Ebay via Thailand) Though I've suffered a love/hate relationship with colored pencils in the past, these are smooth, buttery and a joy to use. They absolutely helped me to discover a love for color.

092010 069

Uniball Signo Broad White Gel Pen - The most perfect white gel pen I've yet to find.

Affirmation mandala

Daniel Smith Watercolor Paints - Highly saturated artist grade paints. If I had to do it all over again, I'd buy all DS paints. (Image below does not contain ALL DS paints.)

My watercolor palette.

Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Watersoluble Crayons - Crayons for grown ups. Great on black paper, can also use with water.

011011 041

Tombow Calligraphy Pen - This pen has a short firm brush nib that works perfectly on my typically smaller pieces. Kuratake #14 brush pens are also one of my favorites.

Circular Gayatri Mandala

Special Mention: Quiver leather pen holders. Loved using one on my small Habana!

Quiver Leather Pen Holders

Product of the Year: Paul Stanley Fountain Pen Holder. Just try and find one of these babies!

Paul Stanley Fountain Pen Holder

And that's it for 2010! See you next year!

10 comments:

inkophile said...

R&K Solferino and Magenta inks as well as Daniel Smith watercolors are some of my new favorites, too. :)

R.E. Wolf said...

Paul Stanley Fountain Pen Holder. FTW!

Anonymous said...

wow, very cool. Your review is exactly the sort of things I was looking for ;) One question: what paper do you use for for art that you "present"? I'm new to the world of fountain pens and "nice" paper ;) thanks!

Biffybeans said...

Anon - I'm not sure what you are asking.... What do you mean the art I "present?" I used several different kinds of paper in this review...

Anonymous said...

To clarify... e.g. I draw a lot in my journal, but I don't always choose the best paper quality for my journaling because some of that is just for me. If I were developing my work to share with others, then I would choose nicer paper to present my drawings. I was curious about paper suggestions for 'doodling for self' and also for 'sharing with others' ;)

Biffybeans said...

Anon - Ok, I hear what you are saying. Hmmmm.... I actually prefer to always be working on paper that I feel good about - because I am the one doing the expressing and my comfort is most important. :o) When you say "share with friends" if you mean that literally, I still would just work on whichever paper makes me happy. If you mean to try and sell or show in galleries, then I would probably be looking for materials that are acid free and can somehow be easily removed from a book without destroying the book.

When choosing paper, you should also consider the media you are using. Pencil, pen, marker, ink, paint.... if you only use one media, then you would want to select paper that is most suitable for that media. If you use mixed media, then you choose paper for a variety of techniques.

I have lots of paper reviews on this site - there is a link up top. Be sure to alao check out the art suppl review link - there is more paper under there.

Anonymous said...

ah! just found your paper reviews. WOW :)

Thanks for the thoughtful response. I hear ya.

When I draw in my journal, it is indeed paper I enjoy and is suited to my current medium -- otherwise it would bug me and I wouldn't enjoy my art and the creation process :) I've chosen acid free and a convenient spiral bound format.

But, it's still not the "nice-looking" sort of paper I'd sell ('cos with the amount of my doodling the cost starts to add up :)). I'll take a look at your reviews for some suggestions -- exciting :)

Angie said...

Wonderful 2010 reviews! I'm a pen person, and I agree with your pen holder of the year award. Paul Stanley is great! Leave it to KISS to make a pen holder.

Anonymous said...

It looks like TheInkFlow.com does not sell Diamine inks anymore. Do you have another online dealer to recommend? Thanks!

PensMakeMeHappy said...

I love articles like these. I especially like the idea of that leather pen holder. Neat!

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