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Thread: Traveling with ink
April 1st, 2009 #1
Traveling with ink
I'm a huge fan of my dip nibs - I use them almost exclusively for my line art (plug: I drew about 98% of my graphic novel with my #102 crow). Problem is - I'm about to hit the road for the better part of a year and I'm trying to figure out a decent alternative to dragging around and using a leaky bottle of ink, sponges, etc while riding trains in China and Central Asia. And for those more sedentary times, I'm the kind of person who "deploys" - I array all my stuff in a way that's really irritating to move. Usually that means leaving a sketchbook and pencils, etc around, but with ink, it means the nibs, paper towels, sponges, ink well, scratch paper, water, etc. Not very mobile.
I like the ability to produce both strong, fine lines and broad strokes and the rigidity of the metal. I started fiddling with a brush pen which, although beautiful, produces really thick, broad strokes or finicky thin lines because the brush tip is wussy compared to a nib (duh). My Copics have no line variance, obviously.
The only other compact and travel friendly thing I can think of trying next is a fountain pen, but something tells me that won't work out as I'd like either - any suggestions?
Last edited by karmiclychee; April 1st, 2009 at 09:42 PM. Reason: ...freaking no HTML...
Hide this ad by registering as a memberApril 1st, 2009 #2
I bought myself an antique inkwell travel kit from the 20s i think on Ebay for about 30 bucks. Best investment i've ever made, that thing has been with me all over south and central America with nary a drop spilled during travel.
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April 1st, 2009 #3
April 1st, 2009 #4
April 1st, 2009 #5
Yep... would like to avoid that - I had a similar experience with a bottle of ink that traveled at a 90 degree angle in my art bin. Similiarily, a used water-rinse dish that I accidentally punched across the room and all over the opposite wall.
That was a bad night. Did you know the only thing that gets India Ink off of wall paint is toilet bowl cleaner?
April 1st, 2009 #6
Koh-i-Noor Rapidographs, maybe? They're refillable, so you wouldn't be dragging ink bottles around, and I'm pretty sure they have metal nibs.
I haven't used them much myself, but I have heard very good things about them: http://www.dickblick.com/products/ko...idograph-pens/
April 2nd, 2009 #7
rapid-o-graphs are good but they need A LOT of maintenance, I don't know if they would be good for on the go travel and don't offer any line variety.
you can ruin an expensive pen with carelessness. I inherited a lot of them from my father who used to be an engineer.
April 2nd, 2009 #8
Rapidographs will not travel well... and they have zero line variation. If you can deal with no line variation as the lesser of 2 evils, take a supply of art-pens like Micron or Pitt.
I've traveled a lot with ink bottles and never had one open up on me... maybe I'm just dumb lucky though.
The only thing I can think of that has both good line variation and no-spill is a brush-pen... hmmm... my old figure drawing professor used to collect antique fountain pens to draw with. Many antique pens use a dip-pen-style nib that's more flexible than the modern, knobby, writing nib. He got BEAUTIFUL ink line variation with some of those pens. The down-side is using fount ink.
You can also make a kind of traveling holder for ink bottles. Take a thick piece if styrofoam or floral foam and cut it to fit in the bottom of a bag or art bin. Then cut circles into the foam which will snugly fit your ink bottles. This'll at least keep them from tipping.
April 2nd, 2009 #9
Going the antique route looks like it'd be pretty hit or miss. eBay being my only source, it's hard to tell what's still in working order. Can't seem to find a travel box that won't run me over 300 bucks... antiques being what they are and all.
About the Rapidographs - the line variance is the real important issue. Not to mention that each pen is like 30 bucks. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
I might just try to make my own travel box, actually, with built in sponge and crap. I suspect the best alternative to dip nibs is the brush pen...
...maybe i can make my own pen...
April 2nd, 2009 #10
Keep the ink in sealed ziplock bags and those within a Tupperware/Rubbermaid container -- should prevent leaks while within things like backbacks. It'll slow down the set up phase by a few minutes, but I don't see that being too great a problem and they don't add much weight.
April 2nd, 2009 #11
April 2nd, 2009 #12
April 3rd, 2009 #13
I've heard good things about Esterbrook fountain pens.
They're old school though, so they can get pricey and are a little hard to find.
Never tried one, but as a nib fanatic myself, they seem pretty close to the real thing.