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Personal Favorite Supplies

What Journaling Supplies Work for YOU?

We all like to see what other artists enjoy using in their journals; I started our with just a hardback journal, a technical pen and mechanical pencil (and actually before that ringbound school notebooks and a ballpoint, but who's counting?)

Since, I've discovered how much I love adding color, as do many of our journalers here.  What and how will be the subject of this page!  Here are two of my personal favorites...

This is my little home made Altoids tin with only the primaries...I've since gotten rid of the opaque white and added a half pan of cobalt, which I love.  I'll show more photos of this as I find them!  I've also added a second mixing area, a tiny pen, and a cut off pencil!
Ah, found a later picture.  Can you believe I can get all this in a tiny Altoids tin?  I made the extra mixing area from a second tin, with the inside painted white as well.  Here, you can see a tiny pencil eraser, a bit cut off a white vinyl eraser, a reed pen, a pencil and extender, a colored pencil, and that wee waterbrush.
I love my re-purposed Prang boxes!  What fun to use something I had as a kid...you can still find these sets in good condition on eBay.  Just pop out the tray with kids' paints and add your own in empty pans. (I stick them in with rubber cement so I can change them out easily if I want.  I like the full pans I can get a good-sized brush into , but if you like more color you could fit a LOT of half pans in one of these and still have room for a couple of brushes.
These are most of my current crop of traveling brushes--I simplify periodically and only one of the folding travel brushes is in the set now...I think I got rid of the white birthday crayon for resists, too...the metal pencil box keeps everything together nicely and doesn't weigh much.

This lightweight, inexpensive folding palette was my favorite for a LONG time.
Maria Hodkins uses three like this, because she LOVES color.  I still use this one frequently at home, but it doesn't travel with me as much now...

This is my favorite water container when I'm working outdoors...it's lightweight and versatile.  I can spray my paints to soften them before beginning to paint, spray the paper, hit a wash with a bit of water to soften it or make textures.  I was lucky enough to find a second tiny sprayer that was just large enough to fit over this one when I cut off the top, so I have a nesting cup, too!
Easy to get my brush into...

Noodler's Flex Pen

I got mine today, and I am VERY pleased.  It's amazingly versatile, with a wide range of line widths.  Interestingly, when you fill it with their Lexington Grey ink, the lines vary in value too...thinner lines put down less ink, so are grayer.  Press on the nib to flex for a wider line, and you get quite dark ones!  (You do need to wait a bit for those dark ones to dry...)

The pen is lightweight, which I like, and it writes and draws smoothly, particularly on this paper--Fabriano Hot Press.  No feathering or sinking in in blobs...

It has a screw cap, which I like and my husband doesn't--I LIKE it to stay put.  It has a built in piston so you don't need a separate converter or a cartridge to fill it, and little translucent "windows" so you can see how much ink you have left.

All in all, I am well pleased...it was worth the wait!  For $14, I am in LOVE.

I got mine from Goulet Pen Company, who were very nice to work with, but I understand there are a few other places that sell them, like ISellPens.com.

For this price, they can't be beat...and I'm delighted that they flex as much as my beloved antique Waterman 152, which wants to leak all over the place!

*Note:  There have been some negative reviews too, please read the comments below...

And nope, I don't get a cut from Noodler's, I don't work for them, I just trust Nina's judgement and had to try one.  As I said, for the price I am delighted!

Pen Tests...favorite tools

Many of us are on a never-ending hunt for the Perfect Drawing Tool...and for some of us that means a fountain pen, with it's ready supply of ink.

A lot of us use a Lamy Safari or Vista (which is clear but the same pen!)--with the charcoal nib rather than the steel one, they're smooth and dependable.  (If you want to replace the nib, it's EASY, and you can get replacement nibs from several sources, including JetPens Here's one of the many tutorials for replacing the nib.)

This one's a favorite of mine, a Waterman Phileas--it's dependable and sturdy, and almost never skips--when it does, it's usually the paper's fault, not the pen's!  I've gotten these for a reasonable amount on eBay, and one was a STEAL, complete with a converter.  They also come in cobalt blue, red marble, and other colors...

NICE pen.  Interestingly, the Lexington Gray ink looks almost black with the Phileas, much grayer with the Lamy--a difference in how they deliver the ink or how the nib is designed, I believe.

Here, I've tested a variety of nibs--click on the image if you want to see them better!    I've tested out the Lamy Joy nib, too, which you can also find at JetPens--if you already have a Lamy, this may be the way to go, just replace the nib.  New Joy pens can be found for a reasonable amount, though--try Googling!

Our friends and blog correspondents Liz Steel (Interview # 2 on this blog) Alissa Duke (Interview #7) have both had good success with the Joy nib, thank you for the recommendations!

I have a lovely, flexible antique waterman pen which unfortunately likes to leak and clog...you can see that the Joy nib somewhat approximates the thick and thin lines though with a bit more if a mechanical effect.  (Now if I could just get hold of one of Noodler's new Flex pens correspondent Nina Johansson--our Interview # 10!-- mentioned on her blog--but they're out of stock till mid-May.)

Finally, you can see a quick sketch done with the Joy nib, Noodler's Lexington Gray ink, and watercolor washes...FUN.

Let us know what YOUR favorite pen is...
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