26 December 2017

more Liliput fun

When I first received my brass Liliput fountain pen, I tried it out with the blue water-soluble ink that came with it. Fun to use to break in the pen but the color ran too much to use with watercolor, and I’m not that fond of sketching in blue ink.

I tried a couple of international-size short converters but neither one worked well with this particular pen, so I used a blunt-tip syringe to clean and refill the cartridge that came with the pen. I filled it with a dark gray ink that I had mixed of leftover Noodler’s Polar Black and Polar Brown, making a slightly more subtle color for standard sketching than using a harsh black ink.

Then I began looking at what refill cartridges are available for this pen. I love the “antique” feel of sketching in a water-soluble brown ink and watercolor. So I ordered three shades of brown ink from Jet Pens: Terra de Feu and Lie de The from J. Herbin, and a brown from Colte (this brand is 10 cartridges for only $2.80!).

I have tried the Lie de The before and love the subtle golden cast, something like a raw sienna. The Terra de Feu is a bit redder than the coppery brown I was looking for. But surprisingly, the very cheap brown cartridge ink from Colte is perfect — a burnt sienna / coppery color (Hmm . . . would be lovely in a second Liliput in copper, wouldn’t it?).

I tried each color ink on this 2-page spread, then had to leave it before getting to test watercolor. So the ink actually had all day to dry before finishing the test. When I came back to it, the ink on its own bled quite a bit with a waterbrush. But when I added watercolor to the quick apple sketches, there was very little bleed — just a subtle effect. I like all three colors, so will have fun with them over the next few weeks.


  1. Love your page on Lilliput use, Vicki. Seems you now have a copper one too :-) I'd love to get one of those myself as I carry my aluminum Lilliput everywhere.

    Those Kaweco converters are really horrible aren't they? Your post reminded me that Lie de thé comes in cartridges as well as in bottle form. I'll have to get some.

    Mostly, though, I'm writing to ask where you got the Kaweco pen holder. That looks dandy for a guy like me who carries this pen in his pocket. Jet Pens has a hard case but I can't find the soft case you have.

    Happy Holidays ---Larry

    1. LOL — I have you to blame for my new favorite pens! I asked for the aluminum one for Christmas but my son gave me the brass one instead. Weight isn’t an issue; I simply asked for the less expensive model. Then I decided to spend the stash I earned from selling artwork locally on a copper one as well — I love how both metals eventually gain an antique patina! My plan is to keep waterproof gray ink in the brass and water-soluble brown in the copper.

      The leather case is for sale on Amazon, both in 1-pen and 2-pen capacity. These ship from Germany, so they take a bit longer to arrive. I ordered the 2-pen one because it was listed cheaper; didn’t plan on buying a second pen at that time.

      Both fit snug in the case; even with just one pen inside, it will not fall out accidentally. I did insert a strip of heavy paper inside to separate the pens — otherwise they may scratch each other as one is removed.

    2. Truth be told, while I do dislike heavy pens, the weight difference between the different Lilliputs probably makes no real difference. Like you, I love the patina potential of the brass and copper.

      Some people complain about smell on their hands from the brass one. Have you experienced any of that? Seems a bit of an exaggeration but maybe it's a sensitivity issue.

      I did find the pouch on Amazon.ca but I also did a more thorough search on Jet Pens site and found that they sell it for less and I prefer buying from them anyways. I shall have one "real soon" :-)

      I threw caution to the wind and have been carrying my aluminum version in a pocket with steel keys and a pocket knife. I've been surprised that there is no evidence of this abuse on the pen. I suspect things might be different if I had a version that would oxidize over time.

    3. I have read of the concerns about an odor to these pens — I tend to be sensitive to smells but I have not noticed any unusual smell a all.

      Wish I had seen the pen holder at Jet Pens, as I prefer them also! I read in some reviews that the brass and copper can scratch, though I haven’t noticed any. The two pens fit so snuggly together, I just thought to put a teeny strip of watercolor paper between them just in case. If nothing else, it helps me pull out one at a time rather than them coming out together.

    4. *at all, not a all. I can’t edit comments on my iPad. 🤗

    5. Jet Pens search facility often gives bad results (like not finding stuff that they actually carry). In reality, they stock a whole bunch of Kaweco pouches and cases.

      I think the copper and brass would show scratches easily, because neither is 'raw' brass. The actual material is so much shinier and the scratches would really be visible. If I look closely at my aluminum version, I can see scratches from its steel co-inhabitants. They are just not different enough in color to be a visible problem. I'm concerned, though, that the surface may become rough so my pouch has been ordered. Thanks again, for showing it to us.


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