I have just returned from 2 weeks cycling in the French Alps and when not on the bike enjoying the scenery, I had the opportunity to test out the new Troublemaker inks sent to me. These are proper duotone shading inks – each ink composed of 2 colours shading one into the other.
The Lake at La Motte Chalancon using only Abalone and Petrichor
Duotone shading inks – as the coloured strips reveal on the packaging
The Church at La Motte Chalancon – using all four inks
The wonderful surprise for me is that this limited palette of Milky Ocean, Abalone, Petrichor and Kelp Tea gave me all the colours and tonal depth that I needed at the time.
I’m fully aware that the painting sketches displayed are not graphic representations in terms of colour but here’s the point, if I wanted that, I might as well have taken a photograph and left it at that. It’s the in-built chromatography of the inks that, for me, make the images. Simple, quick, unique and graphic. No overworking – just as it comes! Instant watercolours!
A typical tree lined French road – using only Kelp Tea
The Grand Bassin in Castelnaudary – using only Petrichor
Domain de la Prade, where we stayed – using only Abalone and Petrichor
Domain de la Prade, where we stayed – using all four inks
‘A patchwork quilt of fields’ viewed from the lookout at Fanjeaux – using all four inks
When I set out on this project four years ago, to reimagine fountain pen inks as a creative medium, I had no idea where it would lead. To be able to use one pure and unique medium throughout a journal for both imagery and writing really is the dream come true.
Simple, subtle and just beautiful to look at. Great colours. So, if you’re looking for inks with great chromatic qualities and a good tonal range that you can write and illustrate a travel, art or diary journal with, these would appear to be made for the job.
The sketch book used is a Hahnemühle ZigZag
Many thanks to Troublemaker Inks for sending me the samples.
HEY! If you’re interested to know more about how to use fountain pen inks in more creative ways – whether it’s simply to observe their chromatic behaviours, or, to recreate one of my swatch cards, or, to learn how to use them in watercolour painting, illustration and calligraphy, why not check out my online course or, even better, sign up for a workshop?