Sketching on Nostalgie with Water-soluble Ink.

March 31, 2017
Page spread sketch in an A4 Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook. Details are in the post.

If you read my blog regularly you already know I love the Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbooks. I love sketching on this paper with any type of ink, but I wanted to look today at some of the fun I’ve been having with water-soluble ink.

In the main image you can see that it was time to sketch and I already had a texture down. This was December 24 and I was just coming down with a cold. I didn’t want to go to bed without sketching something that day. Also I really wanted to finish that journal before the end of the year.

This is also the first sketch in a long string of sketches I made from the Sktchy App. (It saved my life during January when I couldn’t get out and about to draw live subjects! I promise when things quiet down here I’ll write more about Sktchy another day.)

I left the whitest part on that spread for some journaling, but once I finished the sketch—which was a quick sketch using the Pentel Brush Pen with pigment ink I decided to lay in some shading with water-soluble ink.

For that I picked up my Pentel Colorbrush with a fat brush tip and started pulling ink off it with my Niji waterbrush.

Jet Pens sells these brushes in a range of tips so it’s great to have the brush tip that you want. (Locally I’ve only found them in regular and fine tipped brush sizes.)

If you look closely at the image you can see the pigment ink strokes staying in place as I wash over them with the water-soluble ink. You could do the same thing with other permanent inks and some washes of sumi ink.

I never did get to journaling. I thought I should just go to bed. At this point I still thought I might wake up and the cold would not have fully arrived. (I know, sometimes I do a little bit of denial.)

Sometimes I get really crazy with the washes. You can see more sketches like this here.

If you would like to see how I like to paint on this paper there are some fun examples here, made before Nostalgie was available in books.

Tombow calligraphy brush tip (solid tip) with Pentel Colorbrush washes. Read the post for details.

In the second image I’m working in my very small pack-size landscape book with the same paper. I was in a waiting room and when I’m there the coat rack always creates an interesting source of subject matter—because everyone has different tastes in coats!

For that sketch I used the solid fiber tipped Tombow Calligraphy Brush Pen for my line work and then quickly used a Pentel Colorbrush with water-soluble black ink and my Niji waterbrush, to add shading. In some areas I stroked the paper with the pen directly and then spread the ink around with the waterbrush.

I was working really fast for that sketch (3 minutes) and the splattered ink is the result of working fast with the ink pen and the water brush—one in each hand. (My students have also seen my hold the ink brush in my mouth, don’t tell my dentist!)

The patterned light blob at the left of the coat is where I held the book when I was called in to my appointment. I pressed my dirty paper towel into the paper. It was a rushed day, but I really enjoyed taking a momentary break to really look at and think about fur fringe on a coat and the drape of fabric.

I just started my fourth book containing this paper. I’m hooked. I used the paper in pads at home all the time, but having it in sketchbooks has made me very happy indeed.

Note: Tomorrow, April 1, my “Textures: Backgrounds for Visual Journaling and Mixed Media” class starts.  Click on that link if you would like to learn more about the class and register. You can register until 11 p.m. CDT on April 1.

    • Maven
    • January 20, 2021

    Your enthusiasm and detailed reviews of various papers and pens is SO appreciated. I just started my first Nostalgie sketchbook, and I don’t think I would have bought this without your guidance, because I wouldn’t have known what the paper was like. (I bought it from my local art store, but all my orders are online, we are in lockdown, so there is no way to test papers or anything.) I’m amazed at how well it takes even a watercolor wash, despite not being marketed for it, and I love its color and smoothness.

    1. Reply

      I’m so glad the review was helpful. THis is one of my favorite papers for sketching in pen and ink on. And I love painting opaquely on it with watercolor or with gouache. Have fun!

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