Friday, February 23, 2018

Ink Review: Red Beans and Rice by Papier Plume

This is my first ink review, so bear with me. I thought I would wait until I could take better photos, write more with the ink, etc. But my schedule will not permit it right now, and I wanted to give a review and recommendation of this ink and its parent company.

I haven't seen many reviews of Papier Plume inks on the fountain pen and writing blogs I read most often. I hope this changes and we get to see more experienced ink reviewers giving these inks the attention they deserve. I was excited about the Papier Plume "New Orleans Collection" selection the moment I came across them. Admittedly I was drawn to the bottles because of the great looking wax-sealed lids and the New Orleans themes. As a kid who grew up in Louisiana eating red beans and rice, I knew that namesake ink would be my first purchase.
My ink came packaged with the shipping box bearing a matching wax seal to the logo that adorns the bottle. Inside, it was well protected with bubble wrap, and only a few tiny pieces of the wax seal had broken off.

The ink is an excellent color that certainly looks like its namesake beans-and-rice red with hues ranging from maroon to light purple and pink. It looks great contrasted on bright white paper, and on the white pages of my Passion Planner (pictured here) and Field Notes (not pictured). For this review and ink test I used the Twsbi Eco stub nib. I think it helped show some shading and may also account for the 30- second dry time, with the stub nib laying down more ink than the standard medium or fine nib of my other pens.

I recommend this ink and the company for excellent service, fast shipping, and quality of product. I purchased this ink with my own funds and provide this review without any input from Papier Plume. I plan to try their other inks in the New Orleans collection, which include: Street Car Green, Calle Real, Sazerac, Mardi Gras Indians Purple, Garden District Azalea, and Bayou Nightfall. Check them out at:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Space-Rover Rewards Complete this Week!

 The Library Builder Level included one of every book I've written and illustrated. Not pictured here but included: Eleven Chickens in a Boat! As always, I enjoyed creating the rewards, including sketch cards, paintings, custom illustrations, and the Space-Rover mini coloring book. This week, Space-Rover lands in the hands of readers around the world.

From left to right: Space-Rover book 1 and 2, Vertically Challenged: A Tall Tale of a Short Story, Ramone Cologne: A Skunk's Tale, Ramone Cologne: Skunklock Holmes, Ramone Cologne: This Skunk, This Hamster, Ramone Cologne.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Dip Pens, Cartooning, and Inking

Last week my wife and I visited a local antique mall and spent quite a bit of our Black Friday searching every booth for treasures. Success! The last booth I checked, near the checkout counter on my way out, included a box of old-school dip pens on the bottom shelf of a dusty display case. The cashier unlocked the case and set the box out for me to explore.

I bought the five dip pens pictured and a marble-barreled U.S. Senate mechanical pencil by Sheaffer. I headed home, got a bottle of India Ink and started experimenting with the dip pens.

Off to a messy start, I dripped a puddle on Space-Rover's ear, then got the hang of it and started inking the sketch below. The handwriting and illustration were both done with the dip pen. The nib has great flex to allow line width variations for illustrating. I wrote a couple of pages of text in my Field Notes Dime Novel edition and it has good control and consistency - the steel nib produces text comparable to a medium nib by standard fountain pen sizes (like Lamy or Kaweco). I enjoyed the drawing experience with these pens and I'm looking forward to creating some complete pages using only my old dip pens!

I'm always amazed and appreciative of past creators who penned documents, inked drawings, and completed entire books with pens like these. I would encourage every artist to try out a dip pen. It's a great way to experiment with old-school tools and techniques. You may find out you enjoy drawing with these. If so, and time is the only deterrent to prevent using one more often, there are many great fountain pens that offer the flex nib and line variance options with internal ink reservoirs or refillable cartridges. The best of both worlds!

Space-Rover: Out and About on Planet Earth

Space-Rover and the Prickly Planet, the second book in the series, has been mailed to supporters of the Kickstarter project and I'm starting to hear back from those who have received their copies! Part of the fun of Kickstarter projects is creating the rewards that go to backers. The images seen here are some of the sketch cards that were produced as inserts for backers. Blue pencil and brush pen ink on bristol sketch cards. I enjoy drawing these and admit that they often prompt ideas for new adventures and future books.

Some backers also receive the exclusive mini coloring book with additional sketch card pages. Others requested custom caricatures of themselves, drawn in my Vertically Challenged Artwork format.

If you missed the project, you can order the books via Amazon and have them in a few days!
Book 1: The Fantastic Adventures of Space-Rover!
Book 2: Space-Rover and the Prickly Planet!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Ramone Cologne, Fountain Pen and Field Notes

Ramone Cologne is back after a long break in my artwork schedule! I've missed this little skunk and his adventures. Ramone returned this week with this sketch from my new Lamy fountain pen in the Field Notes Dime Novel edition. A children's book is in the early stages featuring a new side of Ramone Cologne that's never been featured in any of his previous comic books and comic strips. Hope to share more artwork and details soon.

Friday, March 3, 2017

New! Space-Rover's New Book is Funding on Kickstarter: Space-Rover and the Prickly Planet! Needs Your Support

If you're a fan of any of my past artwork or other books, please check out the new project for Space-Rover and the Prickly Planet! Book 2 in the series. A $15 pledge gets you a signed copy of the book when the project is successful, and there are other rewards that are new to this project. Thanks!

Ink Review: Red Beans and Rice by Papier Plume

This is my first ink review, so bear with me. I thought I would wait until I could take better photos, write more with the ink, etc. But my ...