Archive for the ‘moleskine’ Category


I am thankful for the Pentel Aquash, which I carry together with a pan of gouache. I know I can’t paint worth flapdoodle but it is interesting to observe how fountain pen ink mixes with other media. On the Fountain Pen Network, there’s a good thread that explains dye versus pigment versus paint.

Writing with a fine nib over gouache is iffy; when the water evaporates, the gouache feels almost powdery, and there is a real risk of getting pigment particles in between the tines of the nib, which can impair it. I think I prefer layering the gouache over the fountain pen lines and squiggles. It does give more depth, especially if I use a waterproof Noodler’s ink in the pen.


Fountain pen ink also behaves differently when spattered with a brush – at least the Caran d’Ache Saffron I decided to have fun with. It just plops down and stays there, unlike watercolor spatters which can run.

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Sliced by time

This was a quick exercise using three different nibs on Moleskine reporter notebook paper: a Bexley fine (bright green ink), a crisp italic from Mr. Binder (spring green ink), and a vintage Parker Lucky Curve nib (burgundy ink). The Bexley fine works out better than the other two, which have a touch more tooth (in the case of the italic, more than enough tooth to qualify as a veritable bite!). For everyday use, a plain vanilla fine or extra-fine nib with a quick-drying ink will let you enjoy your Moleskine reporter notebook more.

PS. Thank you, moleskinerie.com, for featuring my Hello There 2008 image!

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I’d give it an A for looks an a C+ for paper performance.

I bought several Moleskine reporter notebooks in Fully Booked, the unruled version. The format interested me: compact, with the binding on top instead of on the left side. Ever since Chiqui introduced me to Moleskines, I’ve always had at least one on standby. The flavor I prefer is the sketch notebook. The paper is substantial, and has a tinge of warmth. I’ve had issues with fountain pen ink beading on the paper surface, but it has become an additional texture to my calligraphic work rather than an intrusion.

I felt let down by the flimsy paper inside, but gave it a shot anyway, creating two detailed calligraphy exercises, using nibs with high flex. As I expected, I got bleeding and feathering – but not as bad as I had feared. Ink bleeds through and makes the reverse of the page I’m working on useless, but at least feathering is kept to a minimum. So if I skip every other page, my work still looks clean.

The vertical format is good for me. My first stroke doesn’t go where I usually put it – on the upper left of the page – and that is an intriguing change.

The Reporter notebook’s paper feels like it will be more amenable to crayon, graphite and collage work. Perhaps there lies another Moleskine adventure.

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