Here are my current tools of the trade and current colour naming conventions. The pens from left to right, top to bottom are;
Pentel Brush Pen. They are usually in black but this is a green and red one.
An A.G. Spalding BRFT220 Medium, which is smooth as silk but has fairly small cartridges and a medium nib that I find a bit thick.
The red one is the Platinum Desk Pen in fine. I’m doing most of my drawing with this at the moment.
The black and silver is a Sailor HighAce Neo. It’s a bit of a cheap pen, and the nib doesn’t flow particularly well, and it feels flimsy and light, but I really like it for some reason.
I fill all the linework pens with Platinum Carbon Ink. I flippin love that ink; Nice and black, waterproof and I’ve never had it clog a pen.
The Pentel Aquapens are a mix of medium and broad tips and are all filled with diluted Windsor & Newton ink, mixed by hand to my exacting specifications. I use some colours far more than others, and the more vivid ones use some Colourcraft Brusho powdered inks. I’m not so keen on them as they aren’t waterproof like the W&N inks, and tend to clog up the Aquapens, pretty much ruining them. I haven’t found a very good way to un-clog them yet. When I do, I’ll let you know!
I was asked how I refill the cartridges, so here’s what I do. I refill them myself after a couple of disastrous encounters with converters. I’m not keen on them at all now.
Before you start, you’ll need some kitchen towel. On occasions, refilling your pens can be much like Seaworld; The front rows WILL get splashed. Aside from that, You’ll need some Platinum Carbon Ink and a syringe. I got about 20 of these for about £2 from eBay. They aren’t sharp, which is frankly a blessing. This needle is about 2 inches long. That’ll be important if you want to keep your fingers relatively clean.
Remove the cartridge and syringe out and cheeky ink still lurking at the bottom. It could probably do with a wipe as well.
This bit is difficult to do and take photos at the same time, so here’s what I did; filled my syringe with about 10ml and very carefully and slowly re-fill the cartridge, drawing the needle out as the ink goes in. I think that the cartridges hold 10ml, but you’ll get an incorrect reading on the side of the syringe if you’ve got a long needle. It’s best to have too little than too much. This is the bit where you’ll know you’ve gone too far if you end up with inky fingers. If that happens, immediately sop it up with that kitchen roll I demanded you prepare beforehand. You will have inky fingernails for a good fortnight in such an event.
Keep the cartridge upright as you put it back into the pen. This is the point at which you’ll find out if you’ve over-filled it if you end up with inky fingers. Screw it all back up and squirt any leftover ink back into the bottle.
That’s about it, really.