Pens that won’t dry out for a longer period of time

May 15, 2022 § 1 Comment

Platinum carbon ink pen – writing just fine after more than one year of not being used even once

So I don’t know, but if you’re just like me and you are using a lot of different pens at the same time, it will inevitably happen to you that some of them will dry out now and then.

Of course, we all know that we are supposed to take good care of them, to write often with each and to clean them of the ink if we plan to not use them anymore for a couple of weeks. Yet let’s be real, that kind of care is being reserved for the very rare and expensive fountain pens only. With my other pens I just expect them to write, but unfortunately most pens will simply dry up in about 4 to 8 weeks time, depending on the pen and the ink used in it.

However, there are some exceptions, like the pen above. It’s a Platinum carbon ink pen, which I bought probably four years ago. I have been keeping it in my urban sketching travel kit, which hasn’t been used often in the last 2 years. As a matter of fact I haven’t used it one single time, yet when I opened the cap it wrote just fine. First I thought that I was just very lucky with this one, until I stumbled upon another fountain pen of this type in my local art supply store. Apparently it had become so popular in our urban sketching circle here, that they decided to carry it. There it came with a small instruction leaflet and 4 cartridges of their waterproof black carbon ink. And in the leaflet they actually mention that this pen has a special cap construction which ensures a very tight fit, so it will not dry out in a long time.

And yes, I did buy a second version of this useful pen, so I can keep one in my sketch kit and the other one on my desk 😇

Yes, the design of the cap has changed.
What also changed is the nib and the way it is attached to the pen. However the line width is still the same with both pens. Both pens have a size F nib by the way, it creates a lovely fine line.

Your handwriting as font

May 11, 2014 § 1 Comment

Hello everyone!

Sorry for not posting for a very long time, but well, life was busy :).

Anyway, as the first post after a long break I thought about something nice for all of you. How about turning your own handwriting into a font? Wouldn’t that be nice for personalized (printed) letters and things like that?

I used to do that regularly many years back. Back then I would use a special software that was quite pricey by that time, yet it still took a lot of time and tweaking to get an acceptable result. The good thing is nowadays you do not really need any kind of special software (at least not if you do not want to create something exquisitely and fancy), there are websites that will transform your writing into .ttf (true type font) and .otf (open type font) for free.

So how do we go about it?

  1. Go to one of these websites like or
  2. Create your font. If you’re language isn’t English make sure you use a template that will allow you to add every kind of special character your language has. There are also templates for mathematical symbols and so on.create_template
  3. Print out your template and fill in the letters. There are guiding lines to help you get all characters in approximately the same height and length. It’s advisable to work with a bold black pen, to make sure that the characters will be read correctly by the software.fill_out_template
  4. Scan your template sheet(s) in 300 dpi and in greyscale. Save the file as either .jpg or .tif. Make sure that the file isn’t bigger than 2MB, because most websites won’t accept larger files.
  5. Upload it to the website, choose the type of font you want and don’t forget to give it a nice catching name aaaaaaand
  6. You’re done! 🙂finished


And that's what it may look like finished. XOXO Silvia


PS: Please don’t forget that you will have to install the new font into your computer’s font library, before you will be able to use it with your text editing or graphic programs.

Burn Notice: the Pilot Frixion ball pen

May 22, 2011 § 18 Comments

Pilot Frixion ball - the ink is meant to be erasable by friction

So here’s one of those writing supplies that drive me nuts.

It’s a Pilot Frixion (ball-)pen. It’s supposed to be erasable with the help of that little silicon point. And it actually is. Now everything would be dandy if that ink wouldn’t be erasable by any kind of heat just as well:

Erasing the ink of a Pilot Fricion ball pen by heat

Faster than friction erasing

By the way, please use your lighter beneath the sheet of paper instead above or even better don’t do it that way at all, I just did it that way to get a nicer photo ;).

It’s enough if you just leave your piece of paper upon your heating or use your hairdryer to make the ink disappear.

So whatever you do with them never ever use them for signing important documents.

Yet in case you already wrote something with it and the ink disappeared magically, there’s a simple resolution to it: put the piece of paper into your refrigerator for a couple of minutes. The ink will reappear. It will be more faded in color, yet still readable.

I tried to emulate the refrigerator with an ice cube for the sake of a nice photo again, but it didn’t work just as good.

Don't use ice, just put it into the refrigerator for a couple of minutes 😉

First painting in a long time

April 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Crane's Nest, 20 cm x 20 cm, acrylics on canvas

This has to be my fist painting in about 3 months or maybe longer. Well, okay, I did paint smaller paintings, but mainly into my sketchbook with WC pencils or with gouache, but I did not really paint on a canvas for a very long time.

It’s an acrylic painting and the truth is I cannot handle acrylics anymore. After painting with oil colors for over a year I’ve grown so used to them that it feels awkward to paint with acrylics. They’re so fast drying (and mind you I used the Interactives and the Golden Open which both already have a prolonged open time compared to normal acrylic colors!) and they just don’t blend as well as oil colors do. Seems the only good thing about them for me is that now I don’t have to wait for months until I can varnish them and I also don’t have to worry about finding a space in my rather small studio where I can leave them to dry, as the painting is already dry to the touch now, only three hours later.

I’m determined to switch to oil color from now on. Yet I still have a huge pile of acrylic colors so I’ll try to use them up as soon as possible. Guess I will have to finish a couple more acrylic paintings in the next days.

My problem with J. Herbin’s inks

August 28, 2010 § 3 Comments

Did I mention before that I actually like J. Herbin inks? Well, I certainly do. They have a fairly wide range of colors at an acceptable price. What I like less about them is that some of their colors are just too pale to be usable in fountain pens.

Pens used in this picture were a dip pen/shorthand nib and a Lamy/ M nib.

A sample of three different J. Herbin inks