03 December 2015

testing inks (& wash) on toned paper

I'm really not used to sketching on this darker toned paper (Canson Mi-teintes in a handbound journal). Watercolor tends to dull quite a bit. Gouache works . . . but I'd really like to get better at pen & ink sketches, using the toned paper as the middle tone and black and white for darks and lights. So I tested my current pens on this journal page.

My new Kuretake brush pen is filled with Noodler's Lexington Gray ink -- I'm liking the possibilities of using this as a lighter tone in black and white work. It may be useful in light shadows for colored sketches as well since the ink won't smear when watercolor is added.

I need to learn to use a lighter hand and more variable lines with brush pens, so I've included three total in what I carry with me currently. From the top, the pens shown are:

white gelly roll pen
Kuretake brush pen with Lexington Gray ink
Pentel Aquash brush pen with light black ink
Lamy Safari pen with Platinum carbon black ink
Pentel Pocketbrush pen
Sharpie white water based marker with extra fine point
Platinum desk fountain pen with very fine nib
M. Graham gouache, zinc white
a mixed-in-the-pan gray watercolor (ultramarine blue & burnt umber) --- there is also a brown watercolor in this tiny set for when I draw with brown ink. I can't remember if it is burnt sienna or burnt umber.

Only two more double-page spreads left of this gray paper in my journal with which to practice . . .


  1. Wow, this is like landing on another planet! All the rules change when you work with toned paper. It's on my list of things to do but not right now. I sure like the possibilities, though. Have you bound up a whole journal of the toned paper or is it in a mix of paper types in one journal?

  2. These latest journals of mine are filled with Fabriano Artistico 140# cold press, but they seemed just a bit "thin" so I added 2 signatures each of toned paper. This darker gray is the most challenging -- the others are pale tan or cream colors, which still work well with watercolor, but the color really dulls on this gray.


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