Painting with Troublemaker Inks

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 OceanAbalonePetrichor 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.

WORKSHOP – I am running a fountain pen ink illustration workshop at the Huguenot Museum in Rochester, Kent, England on Saturday 28th September 2019 (next Saturday!). For anyone who is planning to do the INKTOBER challenge this year and can get to the workshop, I will be offering top tips on how to maximise ink skills, design layouts, concept development etc. Top Tips! Loads of inks to try (including these, of course)! For further info please email Hannah Birkett:

Swatch cards are now available to buy. Click for details. If you’d like to know how to create these yourself, why not check out my tutorials course? Click for details.

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