As you all know, when it comes to art supplies I can get a little crazy. When I love something, I really love it--and make these mini proclamations to myself such as " I will use these tools until I die", or " I wil never change from these tools". These are always idle threats because (as I always forget) there is something better or different on the horizon, or (god forbid), I change. I was just declaring true love to the new group of tools and thought I should be a little more out about my love and devotion to the current infatuation.
First off, the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. I bought my first one as a whim at Cornelissen & Son (in London>>see to the right for link). Cornelissen is reason to go to London. It is a panelled store, all painted in a great matte black, with turnings and shelves and niches filled with predominantly things to paint with and/or do book binding with. Pharmacopia type jars line the room at the top of the casework filled with pigments--and the complete spectrum in every color, hue and saturation is there. I had to buy something...and this little pen seemed the ticket. First, it was not too expensive. Second, it was a portable brush. Third, it has and uses cartridges. I worked with it in my moleskines and it was a nice think to block in blacks. However the minute I started working with my second infatuation, the world stopped. I gasped. It was perfect. Nice matte blacks. Solids like you wouldnt believe and oh, no doing it a second time. Now, I burn through at least a cartridge a day and have 2 brush pens in my Captain Kangaroo pockets ready to go. Only place to get these brushes and cartridges is through "Wet Paint" (http://www.wetpaintart.com". All you need is a credit card and you will be blissful too.
Second infatuation: the Canson Montval Field All Media Book. Utrecht (one of the few who carry it) says:
"This Canson montval all-media book is bound with extra-wide rings so the pages lie flat. This black hard-cover sketchbook contains all-purpose 90 lb sized, cold Presseded, acid-free paper. 50 sheets.
An Excellent surface for watercolor, pencil, pen and charcoal."
Its the cold press...see. Terrific hand. Rich. Not too bumpy. And it takes the ink like no ones business. Plus as it is 90 lb paper, you can torture it with pencil and eraser forever. Only downside is not to torture the ink with an eraser too much (just a little, and only a white one) as the ink will muddy and or erase off (which can be good). It is so nice, doing work on the backside of the paper is not a problem. Only problem might be that you do something good on both sides and then you want to frame each one. So, new strategy is to work on the front with images, back with stuff having to do with patterns, frames, borders, typography as they are okay to have on the back of something...as you might not frame that stuff.
The thin Shaedler pens or the thin Pitt Pens have great longeviety and complement this set. I also love the Pilot V-5 (a staple from Staples or your corner mongo-pharmacy--as its pretty commonplace).
This is the stuff that is making me hum these days.