geekery, drawing and then some

Using ink-samples to paint.

Using ink-samples to paint. I've used my ink-samples to paint for a while now and I thought I'd share my 'trick'. Not really a trick, but it makes it easy to use them.

Using ink-samples to paint. Before I open the vial, I shake it, so inkdrops stick to the cap.

Using ink-samples to paint. When I take the cap off, I simply add a few drops of water (or more, depending on the dilution I want). I use a temporary cap to keep the vial safe (I speak from experience cough).

Using ink-samples to paint. And then I paint. :D

When I don't need it anymore, I discard the contents of the cap, wipe it clean and screw it back. This way, the ink stays clean and I don't feel I waste much of it. Sometimes when a vial almost completely runs out -- because I have in fact put the ink in a pen shocker -- I'll add water to the vial itself and mark it for 'paint'. This doesn't always prevent me putting it in a pen anyway, but hey.

drop of ice

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I recently bought a new small camera so I can take photos 'outside'. I like the result.

Magnetic paintbox

I like to switch around my paints (a lot) and found it very annoying to do so when I blue-tacked the paint to the paintbox. I like to squeeze in more paints than the official number so I removed the pan-holder from my tiny paintbox to do so.

paintbox paintbox

I decided to try something else: magnets!

I had ordered a set of magnets a few years ago, and some of them I hadn't used yet. After digging them up from the drawer, and finding some empty pans, I started my project.



For this to work you need:


Step 1

Put magnet inside the empty pan.

I used a small tin to help me keep the pan in place. I put the pan on it and placed the magnet inside, roughly in the middle.

Step 2

fill with paint

Filled up the empty pan with paint, about 3/4 full.

Step 3

Stir wth toothpick

Stirred the paint with a toothpick to get the air-bubbles out and the paint in the corners. I then left it to dry.

Using a filled pan


I have plenty of pre-filled pans as well, and my bad habit of creating wells in the middle actually came in really handy. After popping the paint out of the pan – it came out easily with some wiggling of a sharp knife (don't hurt yourself) – I place the magnet in the well and added some water. Then I turned the pan over and pushed it down on the paint. With some colours I had to scrap the edges a bit, due to the shape of the pan (more narrow at the bottom).

Letting it all dry


After adding all the pans, I let them dry in the window overnight. Some dried up a bit wonky, I noticed airbubbles on the side and one of my red-browns looks a bit crumbly. These will all receive some extra treatment to smooth them out, but the basics work :)

It works!

And a little movie to show that it works:

Scanning watercolours

Ever since I started colouring with watercolours, I've had trouble scanning them properly. Most scanners I used would suffer from highlight blow-out. The sometimes very detailed changes in colours and intensity would vanish.

By chance, I got to try out the scanner on a Canon Pixma MP540. I set it to 'photo' for the scan (I always do if the scanner has the option) and to my surprise the scan looked very good. It still differs a little from the original but it has that same amount of nuance in colour, and only required a teensy tweak in contrast to make the colours pop. On the left the image from my other scanner, it suffers from highlight blow-out. The second one looks much better.