Diamine Ancient Copper – the perfect colour match for the chess heroine

For those of you that haven’t seen The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix – you are in for a real treat! After nearly a year of disruption entirely down to Covid 19 and dreadful political handling of the crisis, this mini series has been an absolute ray of sunshine!

Based on the novel by Walter Tevis the story is set around Beth Harmon, played superbly by Anya Taylor-Joy, who is a chess playing wunderkind. I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to spoil it, but it certainly got to me. Beth is an absolute darling and what better way to immortalise her than with that stunning red hair colour? Well you’ll be glad to know that Diamine have more ‘hair shade’ colours that L’Oréal and Ancient Copper is one of many! It’s a glorious colour and a delightful ink to use. Click here to view for an earlier swatch test.

I used a memory point angle brush with a rigger and a Noodler’s Creeper pen on Seawhite cartridge. The key thing here is to wet the paper in areas where you want magic to happen and then apply the ink. Then start the detailing with the rigger and the fine detailing with the Creeper. Eyes are crucial! They are the gateway to the soul and have to be perfect! Anja’s eyes are very distinctive – they have a Japanese anime quality about them – and that’s why I use a Creeper pen for all my detailing. Why not a zebra G? Because firstly they are not as controllable and secondly I don’t want to scratch the paper surface. But don’t under estimate the relevance of the ink – the Ancient Copper is crucial here and I think the qualities and behaviours of the ink have given the finished art something very special. It really is serendipity at it’s best.

But there’s one last thing to add. In the last episode, Beth realises that she has been somewhat remiss in appreciating the people who helped her realise her ‘gift’. I too owe many people a debt of thanks – but in particular, Peter Clarke, who was my school art tutor and a huge influence who put me on a path to meet the infamous Miriam Stribley, who also had this colour hair. I have never ever thanked him. Peter, wherever you are, if you should read this, ‘Thankyou!”

AND 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 ?

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