Trying to do a doodle a day. Last night’s, based upon a small person with a penchant for pirates and princesses turned out pretty fun, so I thought I’d have a play with this digital colouring malarkey.

Original with Waterman fountain pen and Noodler’s Bulletproof Black.


Two versions, digitally coloured and with paper backgrounds I scrounged from the intertubes.

I used a new plugin for creating the ink overlay for colouring under which is pretty handy, I mean you can desaturate, set to multiply and adjust the opacity – or just apply this filter – it’s free and you can get it here

The final inked version (with drawing inks).  Delivered with laserjet copies of the line drawing for personalised colouring in funs. The exciting string on the packaging was a BIG HIT.

View larger versions on my flickr feed

writing to the prime minister

Apparently this is not something I should do with my new ink; Noodler’s Burma Road Brown. [citation needed]

Personally, I think brown is a perfectly respectable ink colour, and more importantly, it is an awesome colour for sketching..

A perfect time to try out my newly enbladderated vintage Waterman lever fill I obtained in a job lot on the ebat.  I managed to remove the old ossified bladder without too much incident and replaced it with a new one from www.penmuseum.co.uk.  Luckily, I did not yet shellac in the new bladder, as it splurted a big blob on my ferret’s foot as I was doodling him (I think this might be because the bladder was too near the pen walls, and was warmed by my hand – I could be entirely wrong..).


ahm a fretti!

I might try diluting it slightly, to see if I can get some better colour graduation – and it does seem a little prone to clogging slightly if I am using light strokes.

I also have the Noodler’s bulletproof black – the main point behind these two ink purchases is their relative water resistance, for ink and wash painting.  Dip pen ink contains shellac, which is death to fountain pens, hence permanence in fountain pen ink is not by standard, very good.

Next: Pen, ink and wash!

New toys

This is mostly about my lovely new Waterman ringtop lever fill pen, but I couldn’t let a new toy post pass without a showing of this:

a belt that is a tool that is a belt!
ohhh yeah.


Right? Nice chunky full grain leather belt with detachable buckle that’s an 8mm, 10mm, 11mm hex wrench, phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver and bottle opener. See it here.

Anyway, on to the pen.  I bought ‘im on the intertubes  (it is a 52 1/2 V to be precise. Which I think means it’s from about the 20s and is made of hard rubber), expecting to have to replace the sac and fiddle with it quite a bit – but no. It was pretty much good to go. I cleaned it out a little and just started straight in. It’s really very lovely – I am no fountain pen aficionado, but I have heard of the fabled artist nib that Waterman made in the ’30s, and long to try one – but this one is really very nice to use, and seems to have a good thin – thick range.

testing the new nib..

testing the new nib

With a standard Parker 51 for comparison – the ring top pens are quite a bit smaller than a standard sized version.

ringtop waterman and parker 51 for size comparison

The nib’s not quite an Artist nib but pretty pointy and flexy I think..

I’ve just started on a distance learning children’s book illustration course, for which one of the first exercises is a study in textures. I tried out the pen. In sketching mode I don’t seem to use the thickness variation a lot.

it’s a cardboard cutout wall, ok?

Ringtop pens are supposedly less sought after because they are smaller. I don’t understand this. Smaller things are awesome!

People are wrong.