Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen

Hey there, Fountain pen peeps, Jenn here! This week, I’m excited to “leaf” with you my tree drawing I completed using Monteverde Onyx and a Conklin Duragraph Purple Nights with a Medium nib. Read on to hear my thoughts on this pen and ink and how I completed this piece.

I was not initially super inspired when I got this black ink to use this week but as I was completing this piece, the buzz around the office was a flurry of snow discussion from the storm we had about a week ago. I’m a transplanted Southern Californian who loves winter and loves snow! I searched snow-covered scenery online for inspiration, as well as gave some thought to drawing snowflakes, but eventually settled on a stylized version of a winter tree instead. I really enjoy “tree of life” art and was hoping to evoke a bit of that look while emphasizing the starkness and simplicity of deep winter.

I drew my tree in pencil first, so I could make adjustments as I went. Once I was satisfied with it, I placed a clean sheet of Tomoe River on top of my pencil drawing and traced it with the Conklin. This method made it harder to follow my original lines, but I didn’t have to deal with pencil marks – a good trade, in my opinion. Having had past issues with my Monday Matchup drawings getting smudged, I very carefully worked left to right on my tree. I tried to trace the branches relatively quickly, so as to get confident, sweeping lines. The ink dried fairly quickly, which was a nice surprise. It went down very smoothly and I was really happy with the results. Once I worked my way around the entire tree, I went back to the start and added a few small, off-shooting branches to fill in some of the blank space.

As a final touch, I went through and added solid black shading to a variety of branch tips. The ink behaved really nicely for this part of the drawing; I barely had to touch the nib to the paper and ink would flow. It made easy work of smoothing out shaky lines and layering the black shadows. If I were to do this piece again, I’d love to play around with the ink in other nib sizes of this pen and try more ink wash type artwork with it to see what shades can be achieved.

I really enjoyed this pen and ink! Despite my large collection of fountain pens, I don’t own any Conklins. After my work on this Monday Matchup, I’d like to change that! I am a huge fan of purple pens, so of course the Purple Nights appealed to me. It’s absolutely gorgeous, really just stunning. I loved the weight and feel of the Duragraph. It’s lightweight, but not small, and felt very comfortable in my hand. I tend to get fixated on my grip of a pen when writing. The transition from body to grip section on the Duragraph was so smooth and unnoticeable that it didn’t even register with me. The nib on this pen was also great. The Medium nib wrote more like a broad, so much so, that I double checked the box to be sure I didn’t have the wrong pen. It was not the best for fine lines but was great to write with. In my opinion, the one drawback of this pen is that it felt very unbalanced when posted. I prefer to post my pens. The Duragraph can be posted, but I much preferred the feel of it unposted.

The Monteverde Onyx ink was a huge surprise, in that I liked it a lot more that I expected. I’m a shimmer ink kind of person. The Onyx did not capture my attention right away, but I soon saw that it wasn’t just a basic black. It actually came out more as a gray-black on first stroke, darkening to true black only with an additional layer of ink. Plus, there is a lot of shading going on with this ink. I felt I was able to give my tree quite a bit of depth and detail thanks to the shading I achieved with the Onyx ink. And although it’s not apparent in most of my drawing, in certain areas with more ink you can see that there is a tiny bit of silver sheen visible. Onyx isn’t a shimmer ink, for sure, but it’s way more than a boring black and I really enjoyed drawing with it.

I feel like the Duragraph and Onyx combination would be great for either work or school. With its lightweight body and comfortable grip, the Duragraph would make for a great daily workhorse pen. Plus it’s beautiful, and it never hurts to have a bit of beauty in your life. Ink-wise, Onyx is definitely an acceptable color for a professional setting, but its shading properties offer a small flare of fun for the rebel within us.

Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen

Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen

Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen


Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen


Illustration of tree drawn with Monteverde Onyx ink and a Conklin Purple Nights fountain pen

You can find the Conklin Duragraph Purple Nights at for $52. Monteverde Onyx is available in a 2ml ink sample for $1.25 or a 90ml bottle for $15.

Enter to win this fountain pen and ink by following these directions!

How to enter Monday Matchup Giveaway:
  • Match a pen and ink together. They don’t have to match in color, any fountain pen, and ink works.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest is open Monday, January 15, 2018, at 12 pm EST until Tuesday, January 16, 2018, at 12 pm EST. One winner will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow once the contest closes. The winner must live in a country that Goulet Pens currently ships to. Click here to see the Official Contest Rules.

What do you love about winter?

Write On,