Art Journaling with just one ink

In the early part of the 19th century, following the Napoleonic wars, Europe and the surrounding nations enjoyed a period of stability. For the more fortunate ‘the Tour of Europe’ was as good as mandatory with other more adventurous types seriously pushing the boundaries in more extreme ways. Journal keeping became the standard to record all this activity and it has fascinated me for as long as I can remember.

Investigating fountain pen inks for the last four years has certainly opened my eyes in terms of creative possibilities. So what do I do with my findings?

Above is a facsimile page from ‘The Log of the Olivia’ an illustrated journal by the yachtsman William A Power from the mid 1800s. He had a pen, india ink and brush and over a period of 7 years recorded his voyages around Ireland and Britain using his charming illustration skills and beautiful cursive handwriting. This is not just fascinating, it’s personal and a real joy to behold and engage with. So what would William do if he had access a modern day writing ink with chromatic qualities?

I have attempted to put myself in his position. Keeping it simple using one ink and limited tools, I took a Clairefontaine Goldline journal (courtesy of Adam Whittaker at Exaclair), my Randall Blue Black ink with a Kaweco Steel Sport and a KUM Memory point brush and using his content have attempted to breathe new life into his work using the ink art techniques learned from my investigations – chromatography, serendipity and alchemy.

I’m very heartened by the outcomes and I hope that William would be too. There’s a lot more to come…

If you’d like to win a bottle of this ink, named in honour of a modern day adventurer, Randall Reeves, then head on over to – like his page and comment in the recent post displaying this image… please share and spread the word – its a phenomenal feat he’s currently undertaking! Each bottle comes with a signed swatch card artwork!

If you’d like to know how to create art with fountain pen ink, why not check out my tutorials course? Click for details.

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