Archive for Artist Inspiration
Like Faber-Castell, Rhodia has kept manufacturing at home for the same reasons: the Made in Germany or Made in France still mean something; and to keep the style and manufacturing know-how unique to themselves.
There is also a shared belief that writing will never disappear, and that people are willing to pay a premium for good quality products.
Earlier this year, Palomino introduced a third member to their Blackwing family. For those who aren’t familiar with these pencils, Blackwing was a pencil first introduced by Eberhard Faber in the 1930′s. The pencil was manufactured until 1998 when it was discontinued but not forgotten. Original Blackwing 602 pencils were selling for upwards of $40 apiece until Cal Cedar worked to reintroduce a modified version of the original Blackwing in 2010. The retro “602″ was then introduced in 2011 to be closer to original design and now the Pearl makes three and is said to be somewhere in between the Blackwing and the 602.
I have tried the first two but have not yet had the opportunity to try the Pearl. I like the softer smudgier dark lead of the Blackwing for sketching and the slightly firmer lead of the 602 for writing.
What do you think about these pencils?
This is an image from Gentian Osman, our friend from the blog Drawing with a Squirrel. I personally love looking at all the images of her grand calligraphy and also her watercolor paintings – and even when she’s just trying out a new color combination or testing new art supplies, it’s all really interesting. Even this image of torn up calligraphy in a dozen inky colors is fun to look at.
Do you keep your ink test sheets? I had two different notebooks that I used for a long time to try different inks. I still have them but I don’t really use them any more.
There was a time when I was trying and buying practically every kind of drawing pen I could find – especially if I could buy them individually as opposed to having to purchase an entire expensive set of colors I wasn’t likely to use. The Staedtler Triplus Fineliners shown above have a super fine 0.3 mm nib which makes them great for writing or drawing and they have a triangle shaped barrel which makes them easier to hold over long periods of time.
Have you ever tried these? Do you have any other brands of drawing pens/markers that you recommend?
Top image courtesy of chic ambition on Instagram. Bottom image by Stephanie.
It always makes me happy whenever I have the opportunity to play with new art supplies. Shown above is a variety of Decopatch products (paper, brush & varnish) that Exaclair distributes within the US.
Decopatch papers are specifically designed for decoupage: (Per Wiki) “the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and so on. Commonly an object like a small box or an item of furniture is covered by cutouts from magazines or from purpose-manufactured papers. Each layer is sealed with varnishes (often multiple coats) until the “stuck on” appearance disappears and the result looks like painting or inlay work. The traditional technique used 30 to 40 layers of varnish which were then sanded to a polished finish. This was known in 18th century England as the art of Japanning after its presumed origins.” Continue Readering »
Cary Schwarz is a saddlemaker from Salmon, Idaho with three pieces currently on exhibit at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for their Traditional Cowboy Arts Association 15th Annual Exhibition & Sale entitled “Cowboy Crossings” The exhibit is on display from October 11 – January 5, 2014.
One of the pieces Cary is exhibiting is this folio which features a cover hand-carved in a Morning Glory motif. Cary recalls how such vines in the row crops were bad news on his childhood family farm, but they work beautifully on this notebook. The set includes a Leland Hensley rawhide-braided pen and special Rhodia paper inside.
Cary’s work has been exhibited at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Sun Valley, Idaho, the “Gathering of” exhibit at Elko, Nevada’s Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the “Trappings of the West” in Flagstaff, Arizona, “Trappings of Texas” in Alpine, and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame inaugural TCAA show in 1999.
Most people I know (myself included) don’t just have just one fountain pen and one bottle of ink, they have many. This leads to the inevitable question of which to choose at any given time. While it isn’t difficult to change inks in a fountain pen, it does take time to properly flush a pen from its previous ink. Once your pen is filled, it becomes a small commitment to use that ink until it either runs out, or you take the time to flush it.
How do you choose which ink to use? Do you have a specific color family that you stick with? A favorite brand?
Image courtesy of DIYSara – be sure to check out her blog!
There are always lots of goodies to be found within the French Clairefontaine Catalog and the good folks at Exaclair (The North American distributors of Clairefontaine, Rhodia, J. Herbin, etc.) have their work cut out for them when deciding which products to import from France. I find it almost painful to flip through page after page of what I refer to as “The Big Book” screaming like a young Veruca Salt “I want that! and that! and THAT! I want that and I want it NOW!”
*Ahem.* (Taking a moment to calm my composure.) So what do you think of these new Clairefontaine ‘Graf it’ Pads? Would you buy them?
Translated from the French Clairefontaine catalogue:
Graph It Dot Grid stapled pad is the perfect companion! Simple, modern & very practical. 80 sheets of white drawing 90gmm PEFC paper with pre-printed lilac light dots. The light geometric dot matrix is used as a skillful guide for your sketches, technical drawings or note taking. This subtle matrix will become almost invisible at scan, or on photocopy to reveal only your sketch.
160 pages / 80 sheets
90gsm / 41lb white paper
Available in A4 & A5
I don’t usually fiddle with compasses and rulers, preferring instead to do all of my drawing freehand but after being inspired by a friend to try a little Art Deco style of doodling, I decided to give it a go on a dotPad.
This prompted me to wonder how the designers of that period doodled their own early sketches – did graph paper exist at that time? Though I’ve found some conflicting info, it seems as though “coordinate paper” was first used in the late 1790′s and so some form of it was likely available in the 1900′s.
I then had to quickly school myself on the differences between Art Nouveau and Art Deco, as I almost incorrectly named this post “Art Nouveau on a dotPad”. The simple answer is that Nouveau came first (early 1880′s) with designs that were more organic and inspired by nature than Deco’s sleek, straight and symmetrical lines. Continue Readering »
Our Rhodia Journal Swapping friend Andrea, (biggaydragon on Instagram) posed an interesting question within the tags of this Instagram pic: #howmanypensisreasonabletotakeonvacation? I hear you Andrea. For the week long art intensive I just took I literally spent weeks trying to decide what to take and now that it’s over, I can honestly say that I used less than half of what I packed.
How much is enough when traveling? Do you have specific pens/pencils that you enjoy traveling with? Please share!
This past week, I had the great pleasure of attending a Visionary Painting Intensive at CoSM (Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors) in Wappingers Falls, New York with Alex and Allyson Grey. The week included numerous lectures and about 8 hours a day of studio time, (which took place in the Grey’s personal home studio) and while I almost always saw Alex with a sketchbook in hand or somewhere close by, this image depicts the first time I noticed him sketching with a fountain pen.
The pen is a Pelikan 150 (I forgot to ask about the nib width!) currently filled with Pelikan black ink. I say “currently” because Alex was not familiar with Herbin inks and I promised to send him a sample of the Perle Noire which made him very happy. (Good to know that even famous artists get excited at the prospect of trying new supplies!)
If you are interested in hearing more about my experience with the Grey’s, (I took close to 600 photos during the week!) follow me on Facebook at Stephanie Smith’s Mandala Art.
Rhodia notebooks can be used to keep track of all kinds of things on a regular basis such as:
- Food consumed for dietary purposes
- Wine tastings
- Medical history
- Learning a new language
- List making
In what other ways do you regularly use a notebook to record important information?
Rhodia Drive reader Tony Thomas recently brought these beautiful pens to my attention. Dale Parrott creates handcrafted exotic wood pens & touch screen styluses and sells them in his Etsy shop: Wood Turning City.
Description on this pen: “This pen was handcrafted in my shop and not made from a kit. The wood I used is Red Heart (Chakte Kok) with a lacquer finish. The Bic refill this pen uses is easy to replace and available at most office supply stores. This is a large pen with a diameter of a bit over 1/2″ and almost 6″ long. Comes with Black ink.”
“Since grade school I have always enjoyed making things out of wood. Fast forward 45 years and now I have the time to once again dabble and become more proficient at my hobby.”
When Wayne Wolfson sent me this image and told me that he is working artist that travels. I had to know more about what went into his personal travel kit which is in essence, a portable studio allowing him to create wherever he goes. (I always struggle with what art supplies to take with me so I usually end up with way more than enough) Per Wayne:
“My main visual mediums are: Continue Readering »
It is now time that your favorite pencils got a Rhodia Fan photo page of their very own! Favorite Pen has been our most popular photo page for pretty much forever, (followed 2nd by In Your Bag) and I think it’s time we gave the pen people a run for their money. All you have to do is send me a photo of your favorite pencil – any brand of wood, mechanical, etc., via e-mail with the subject line “My Favorite Pencil” to stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com to be included in our new gallery.
My favorite pencil? I’m still trying to figure that out but I am definitely a fan of the Palomino’s and the Hi-Uni!