The Paper Tearing Ruler

I posted to my Instagram a step by step on how to make a 4 bar envelope with a Paper Source envelope template...one of the steps was to use a Paper Tearing ruler to create a faux deckled edge at the pointed flap...I received so many comments, DMs, and emails regarding that ruler, I had no idea that it was not a well known and used tool.  I will answer all the questions and give you the biggest tip in using a Paper Tearing Ruler here...

Where did you get it/What kind is that?  I purchased mine quite some time ago, from amazon.com, the brand is Plaid, and unfortunately it is no longer available, but a quick search results in several other brands.  I suggest getting one with smaller "teeth" as it will result in a more "natural" edge.  Google "paper tearing ruler" or "deckled edge tool" as well.  They are out there!

Is it sharp?  Will you cut yourself?:  The teeth are sharp enough to tear paper but not sharp enough to cut your skin, I have never injured myself using it, but please take caution as you would while using any tool.

TIP:  to get the most "natural" looking tear, place the ruler on top of the side you want to tear off, and tear against the ruler.  There will be two edges, one will have a slightly raised ridge that is lifted because of the ruler.  You don't want that ridge on your finished paper side.  Hopefully the images below help communicate this.  Click to enlarge and read the captions.

I have used this paper tearing ruler on handmade paper, watercolor paper, text weight paper, and cover weight paper, all creating a faux deckled edge at the size of paper that I need.  Nothing beats a natural deckled edge on handmade paper, but sometimes you just need something at a certain size, and this ruler is a tool that I always reach for.

Hope this helps you in your future paper tearing adventures!

xoxo,

joi

Pigment and Dye Based Inks - What's the difference?

pigment ink picdye ink pic
What is the difference between pigment based and dye based inks?  Why do I need to know?  Why does it matter?  If you want to understand why some inks flow from your pointed nib differently than others, then this difference is one that you should understand.
Pigment based inks contain...pigments!  A pigment is a dry, powdery substance that when mixed with a liquid (like water) leaves behind color.  The pigment is not necessarily water soluble, it may remain suspended in the liquid.  Gouache mixed with water, Pearl Ex Pigments mixed with water and gum arabic, Fine Tec mica pigments, pan water colors, Dr. Ph. Martin Bleed Proof White, carbon based inks, those are all pigment based.  The pigments are a physical substance, depending on their size, they may or may not flow well from your nib.  Larger pigments will have a harder time flowing from your nib.  Smaller pigments will flow from the nib easily.  Because there are physical components to any ink that you create with pigments, you have some control over how thick or thin your ink can be.  Less water and more pigment = thicker ink.  More water, less pigment = thinner ink.
There are several other variables when using pigment based ink, like the quality of the pigments themselves, and the use of additives, like chalk, (talking gouache here).
Dye based inks do not contain any physical components at all.  Their color is derived from chemicals.  Think of Dr. Ph. Martin's Radiant Concentrated Watercolor and fountain pen inks.  Because the color is from chemical compounds, the color range can be huge. Optical compounds can also be used so the vibrancy can be insane.  Depending on the color, they can also be pretty sheer, (due to the lack of physical opaque pigments).  That sheerness is a very pretty quality of dye based inks.  Dr. Ph. Martin's Concentrated Watercolors are sooo pretty.  If you have ever tried them in your nib, you know that they are pure liquid, there is no physical component to slow down the flow.  They may just run out of your nib, depending on how flexible your nib is.  Many people ask if adding gum arabic will thicken dye based ink.  In my experiments and use, this can be moderately successful, depending on the brand, type, and color.  Within the Dr. Ph. Martin's Radiant range, I found that each color is different, as each contains different dyes.  Same goes for fountain pen inks.  I use Pilot Iroshizuku fountain pen ink and really like it, particularly the gray and dark blue (Kiri-Same and Shin-Kai).  I do not add any gum arabic to them.  Because they are dye based, I know that the flow is going to be pretty fast, so I use a moderately flexible to stiff nib.
Knowing your tools and how they work allows you to make informed decisions...like what inks will work well with which nibs.
Conduct your own testing to determine what works for you...the learning is in the doing!

Blackwing Pencil Comparison

I use a pencil just about a much as I use nib and ink...and I LOVE a good pencil.  Warming up my ovals, sketching, trying out new letterforms, note taking, and Moleskine jotting, a pencil is always on my desk. Have I tried every single pencil on the market? No.  Have I tried a fair share? Why yes of course.  I quickly settled upon the Palomino Blackwing Pencils, specifically the Palomino Pearl model. Buttery smooth and great for warming up and drills (but horrible for drawing guidelines on envelopes).  It's glossy white body and gold ferrule are gorgeous.

The Blackwing 602, with it's gunmetal pearl finish and firmer graphite core (all the Blackwing pencils feature a special graphite core) was a close second, and the Blackwing "Black" was a in 3rd place position, it's graphite core soft but not as soft as the Pearl.  The "Black" was my least favorite aesthetically, it's the only model with a gold band near the ferrule and a matte finish.

We all look for the same thing in a holy grail pencil: line darkness (your preference), point retention, and smoothness.  For the most part you cannot get all 3 qualities in one pencil.

darker line = softer graphite = frequent sharpening

I LOVE the Pearl, but it's soft graphite means I sharpen it a lot.  The 602 holds its point better, but it's not as smooth.  It's like trying find the perfect pair of jeans omg!

I will not go into the erasers on the Blackwings...because we all know they kinda suck.  That's all. (see how I tested erasing on the 602 in the pic below).

Enter the Palomino Blackwing 24.  Four times a year, Blackwing introduces limited edition models.  Thus far, the limited editions have used one of the three Palomino cores (Pearl/602/Black).  Blackwing introduced a new core for this edition.  It is formulated to be slightly firmer than the 602 without sacrificing darkness, and perfect for "extended writing", which I take it to mean less frequent sharpening.  Aesthetically, this pencil is a stunner! Black eraser, black ferrule, glossy black body, and black stamped letters...gorgeous!!!

It's really difficult to describe how a pencil "feels"...it's like degrees of smooth butter.  The 24 is definitely smoother than a 602, but not as smooth as a Black.  I love the 24!  I sharpened it, took it for a whirl, and then purchased 2 more boxes...hoarder!

Where does the 24 fall in my lineup?  I like to have 2 types of pencils in my arsenal, one super smooth for ovals, sketching, and doodles, and a second for drawing guidelines (which means they must be erasable) and for writing in my Moleskine planner and Midori Traveller's Notebook.  The Palomino Pearl and 24 will be my dynamic duo...and I love that they are black and white, yin and yang, peas and carrots.

Happy sharpening!

You can purchase the Blackwing 24 (and all the Blackwing pencils) here .  

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Blackwing and all opinions are from my own crazy head.

blackwing pencil comparison
blackwing pencil comparison

Pearl Ex Ink Mixing Video

Here is my video tutorial on how to mix Pearl Ex for use as ink.  Remember that it will take some testing to find the consistency that works with your nib and your style, adding water slowly for a thinner consistency.  Don't forget the Gum Arabic.  Happy mixing!

Mix 4 parts of pigment and 1 part gum arabic (liquid or solid), add distilled water slowly, and stir to an ink like consistency.

Exact Recipe (Imperial measurements):

- 1 teaspoon PearlEx pigment

- 1/4 teaspoon gum arabic (liquid or powder)

- 1 teaspoon distilled water.

Stir until combined.

Thinner consistency will lie flatter on the paper when dry, a thicker consistency will stand up a bit and have a raised texture on the paper when dry.  If I'm using Pearl Ex for envelope calligraphy, I will go with a thinner consistency and add a smidge more gum arabic so it holds up to postal processing.

Clumping Colors:

Some colors of PearlEx (the Chromatic Color collection) will be prone to clumping when mixed with gum arabic and water.  This is due to oils added during manufacturing.  These colors might not mix up well for use with pointed pen and I do not recommend them:

641 Pumpkin Orange, 683 Bright Yellow, 684 Flamingo Pink, 685 Spring Green, 686 Turquoise, 688 Misty Lavender, 632 Magenta, 636 Emerald, 650 Macropearl, 657 Sparkle Gold,

Frequently Asked...

Is Pearl Ex Pink Gold the same color as Rose Gold?

rg pg bottles

Nope, it's a totally different color!

Pink Gold is a duo tone color, meaning that it has both pink and gold pigments that will look different depending on the angle of your paper to light. It's a beautiful effect, and there are other duo tone colors in the Pearl Ex range.  Can you adjust Pink Gold?  Sure you can!  Adding more gold Pearl Ex or gold gouache will make it "golder", adding some pink will make it "pinker".  I think the duo tone quality of this color makes it very unique and gorgeous.

Rose gold is a single tone color, no changing color effect.  The pink pigments in this color are deeper (I like to say it's like a red rose color vs. bubble gum pink).  As you have already read here on a previous blog post, the color is totally adjustable with Pearl Ex, gouache, and other inks.

I love BOTH colors...in fact, Pink Gold was the first ever Pearl Ex color I tried, and it's still my number one favorite...you always have a soft spot for your first crush...

When it comes to color...everyone has their own recipes and tastes, and/or what they are trying to match.  I encourage everyone to play around with color...it's how you learn...explore and play!

Pink Gold and Rose Gold...shimmering beauties that make me happy!

pink vs rose gold

ps...4 parts Pearl Ex, 1 part gum arabic, add water and stir!

Calligraphy Tool Kit Essential - Gum Arabic

One essential in every calligrapher's tool kit is gum arabic.  What the heck is it and why do we need it?  Here we go...

FullSizeRender (7)

Gum arabic, also known as acacia gum, is a natural gum made from the hardened sap of the acacia tree.  It is used primarily in the food industry as a stabilizer (helps to preserve a foods structure), and it is edible.  It is also used in printing, paint production, glue, cosmetics, ceramics, and the list goes on.  Yeah for Mother Nature!

As calligraphers, we use gum arabic as a binder, to control viscosity, to add a bit of luminosity, reduce feathering and bleeding, and to prevent cracking of ink.  Let's touch on each of these...

Binder - We add gum arabic to a mixture of gouache and water to make sure that the resulting ink sticks to the paper.  As the water evaporates, the gum arabic binds the gouache to the paper. Gouache already has gum arabic in it, but I like to add more to ensure that the ink is not going to wipe away (especially if you need to erase any guidelines).  To make ink from Pearl Ex Metallic Pigments and water, you must add gum arabic, it is the only component that binds the pigments to the paper.  Without it, the pigments would wipe away after the water has evaporated (when the ink is dry).

Viscosity Control/Luminosity/Anti Feathering - We can add gum arabic to an ink to increase its viscosity, or "thicken" it.  I have added gum arabic to certain fountain pen inks to be able to use them with a nib.  The addition of gum arabic can also prevent that fountain pen ink from bleeding (not always, paper is another variable).  We all love the way wet gouache looks, it glistens, its luminous, and it stands on top of the paper...and then it dries, and depending on the color, can look a bit chalky or dull.  You can add a few drops of gum arabic to reduce a bit of the chalkiness and increase luminosity.

Cracking Ink - I'm talking specifically about Bleed Proof White here...it can crack when dry, and if you have ever received an envelope addressed with BPW and its all cracked and smeared, you know how horrifying this can look.  I add just a drop or two of gum arabic to BPW to help prevent cracking, chipping (again its a binder), and to make is just a tad less chalky looking.

Liquid vs. Powder Gum Arabic

Gum arabic can be purchased in two forms, liquid in a bottle, or solid...in the form of crystals or powder.  Gum arabic crystals are dissolved in water and added to paints, etc.  Powder gum arabic is just crystals ground very finely.  I will focus on how we use liquid vs. powder for our inks.

Liquid Gum Arabic - you can find liquid gum arabic at your local art store, craft store, and online retailers. There are several brands, including Daler-Rowney, Holbein, Schmincke, and Winsor & Newton.  I use Winsor & Newton because it is the brand I usually see in my local shops.  I use liquid gum arabic when mixing up gouache for ink, anywhere from a few drops to 1/8 teaspoon, depending upon the quantity of gouache I am mixing.  If I need to add water to my Pearl Ex ink, I will also add a few drops of liquid gum arabic, just to make sure there is enough binder in it.

Powder Gum Arabic - I do not purchase crystals, I use the powder in a jar from Jacquard, and is available at both John Neal Bookseller and Paper and Ink Arts.  I use powder gum arabic when first mixing Pearl Ex pigment.  I use four parts Pearl Ex, 1 part gum arabic, stir to combine, then add the water.  I approach ink mixing like baking, mix like with like...liquids with liquids and dry with dry. I do not want to add powder gum arabic on its own directly to water as it might cause clumps, and clumpy ink is no bueno.  If you only have liquid gum arabic, it works with Pearl Ex pigments just fine.  I would add liquid after combining the pigments and water - so cut back a bit on the amount of water, add liquid gum arabic, stir, and then add more water if you want the resulting ink thinner.

How much Gum Arabic is enough?

The only way to truly know is to test your ink.  You must wait until your ink is completely dry first. Then see if it will wipe away or smear with your finger.  Try an eraser on it, does it stand up to erasing?  If the ink smears in any way, you don't have enough gum arabic in your mix.  If I need to add more gum arabic to ink that is already mixed, I always add liquid gum arabic, and then will test again.  If your ink has "collapsed" in the center, it is not due to gum arabic (too much or not enough) it is because your ink is too thick, and when it is drying (from the outer edges to the center), the dry portion cannot support the wet center (it is heavier because water is still present), and so it collapses.  Thin your ink to prevent this.

gouache sans ga copy

Do I need to add Gum Arabic to Acrylic Ink?

No, any acrylic based ink does not require the addition of gum arabic.  Acrylic ink/paint is a whole different animal, composed of pigment particles dispersed in an acrylic polymer emulsion.  Once the water in the emulsion evaporates and/or is absorbed by the paper (or any support), a film is created, trapping the pigment particles.  If you need to thicken an acrylic ink, use an acrylic liquid thickener.

Do I need both liquid and powder Gum Arabic?

Nope, if I could only purchase one, it would be the liquid version, it would be more versatile.  But I have and use both.  I use the liquid with gouache, and the powder with Pearl Ex.  Liquid gum arabic will darken over time, so if you are doing any archival work, it is suggested that you use the powder version.  Liquid gum arabic can also go "bad", as the more you use it and expose it to air, contaminants get into the bottle.  To mitigate this, I transfer small amounts into a dropper bottle. Powder gum arabic will likely have a longer shelf life.

As you all know, liquid gum arabic is sticky and gooey, and eventually that twist off top will get very hard to twist off, so wipe off the top of the bottle each time you use it.

Hopefully this answers all of your questions and them some. I know gum arabic can be a "sticky" topic (thanks David for the pun), if you have anything else you would like to know, please feel free to shoot me an email and I will be happy to respond.

So that is the 411 on Gum Arabic...happy ink mixing!

Pearl Ex Q&A

answers pink gold

I posted on instagram a bit ago asking for your assistance in putting this together, apologies for the delay...January has been crazy busy, but super shimmery!

Being the Pearl Ex Ambassador, I get asked a lot of questions...so here is your go to resource for all things Pearl Ex.  If you don't find an answer here, please feel free to reach out and I can add it to this post.

What is the ratio to mix Pearl Ex into ink?

Your starting ratio should be: 4 parts pigment, 1 part gum arabic, 4 parts water (distilled preferred).  Depending on how you want to use the ink (practice, envelopes, or a commissioned piece) and your local climate, your nib, and your style, you may need to adjust this.  I usually end up adding more water (drop by drop) for envelope work, as it will lie flatter on the paper and be more resistant to postal processing (the more raised an ink is off the paper, the more prone it is to chipping, smearing, and general debauchery of your beautiful calligraphy).  For envelope work, I will also add a touch more gum arabic, for extra insurance that the dried ink will not go awry.

Why do you use distilled water?

I use distilled water because the water in my area is very hard, full of minerals.  I don't want that to affect the performance of any ink I mix, whether its Pearl Ex, FineTec, gouache, or BPW.

Why do you add gum arabic?

Gum arabic acts as a binder, binding ink to the paper.  It can also improve flow and sheen and prevent cracking when added to gouache and BPW.  Without adding gum arabic, the pigment would wipe off your paper like pixie dust.  You can use either powder or liquid gum arabic.  I prefer powder when mixing Pearl Ex.  Always test your ink before starting any commissioned work.  What until the ink is fully dry, then try to wipe it off with your finger.  If you get any transfer or smearing, add more gum arabic.

Why does the pigment settle to the bottom of the jar?  I have to mix it constantly!

Yup, this is what happens when you use a metallic mica based ink.  The pigment particles are heavier than water, and will settle out of solution quickly.  Some colors will settle faster because their pigment particles are bigger (and therefore heavier).  You can manually stir (with a spoon, a chopstick, the end of your holder, etc), use a magnetic stirrer, or even the Badger paint mixer.  Be careful with that one, *splatter like cake batter*.

I haven't used my Pearl Ex in a few days and it's all hard at the bottom of the jar, how do I stir it again?

After a few days it will heavily settle to the bottom.  You just need break it up with your stirring tool (I love the end of a plastic straight holder), and mix as normal.

My Pearl Ex mix is getting thick as I work, can I add more water?

YES!  As you work and your ink is exposed to air, water will slowly evaporate out (just like gouache) and it will thicken.  Add water by the drop until you get back to the consistency that works for your nib.

I added too much water, what do I do?

If you have tested your ink and it's too sheer, you have added to much water.  Don't fret or toss it!  The water will evaporate out, so leave the container opened for a bit.  I have also waited until the pigment settles a bit, when I get a good layer of water at the top, and then used a pipette to suck some of the water out.  Be sure to add a bit more gum arabic as you have probably sucked some binder out as well.

Why do some colors clump?  How can I fix this?

Pearl Ex is a product used by many types of crafters and industries.  Some of the colors are just not good for calligraphy because they do not mix well with water.  The pigments in those colors are coated with oils for a specific purpose.  Oil and water don't mix, hence why when you try to mix it for ink, the pigment just clumps.  You can try to stir it vigorously, or add a dispersant agent to get it to mix.  Sometimes it will work, and other times you will just be frustrated.  I avoid the colors below:

Pumpkin Orange, Bright Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Spring Green, Turquoise, Spring Green, Misty Lavender, Magenta, Emerald, MacroPearl, Sparkle Gold.

What nibs do you recommend to use with Pearl Ex?

Your choice of nib is so personal, and so many variables here.  I find that most nibs work, but you might to experiment with the consistency of the ink to get it to flow.  Generally (this is not a hard and fast rule), I find that the more flexible the nib, the thicker I like my ink, and the reverse, the stiffer the nib the thinner I like my ink.

Is Rose Gold different than Pink Gold?

Yes!  Rose Gold is heavy on the pink pigments, and was created to be adjustable.  It is also a monotone color.  Pink Gold is a duo tone color, meaning that it changes color depending on the angle you look at it.  At an angle it is gold, and straight on it is pink.  Pink Gold is soooo pretty!  I think of it more of a bubble gum gold pink.  Rose Gold is a deep shade of rose.

Can you add Pearl Ex to other inks?

YES!  I add Brilliant Gold Pearl Ex to Dr. Ph Martin's Copperplate Gold to boost the shimmer, and I combine metallic gouache with Pearl Ex to really bling it out!

How is Pearl Ex different than Lumiere?

Lumiere is another Jacquard product, it is an acrylic based flexible fabric paint.  Decant some Lumiere into a smaller jar, dilute with water, and you have a shimmery acrylic based ink.  Lumiere is made with Pearl Ex pigments, so the level of shimmer is just as sparkly.  A new shade of Lumiere is launching soon...I'm sure you can guess what it is!

Is Pearl Ex waterproof?

Nope, on it's on it is not waterproof, because it is water based.  If you have added enough gum arabic, it will perform as well as other water based inks (gouache, Fine Tec).  If you need absolute bullet proof  performance, try the Lumiere.

Custom Color: Rose Gold Pearl Ex

As I described in a previous post, when I was developing the Rose Gold Pearl Ex color, I wanted to create a color that was adjustable.  I found so many examples of rose gold in paper goods, leather, metal, and home goods that matching to one shade seemed too narrow a focus.  I usually custom match my gold ink for any job at hand, so the same would hold true for rose gold as well. One way to adapt Rose Gold Pearl Ex is to add existing shades of Pearl Ex.  The most common colors I use to create a custom match are Brilliant Gold, Super Copper, Super Bronze, and Salmon Pink.

Top to bottom and left to right: additions of Brilliant Gold, Super Copper, Super Bronze, and Salmon Pink.

Mix up Rose Gold Pearl Ex as you normally would, to the consistency you like for the nib you are using (4 parts pigment, 1 part gum arabic).  Then add your selected booster color in small amounts, stirring and testing as you go.  Depending on how much additional pigment you add, you might need to add more water.  Testing is key.  Add small amounts at a time and test as you go.  It's easier to add a lil at time because once it's in the mix, you can't take it out!

Don't forget to add your gum arabic!

Any one of the combinations would be a great rose gold!  From left to right:

1. Rose Gold , straight outta the jar.  heavy on the rose.

2. + Brilliant Gold = similiar to Pink Gold Pearl Ex, without the duo tone effect, really brightens it up a lot.

3. + Super Copper = adds rich depth.

4. + Super Bronze = oooh i really like this one, its gorgeous!

5. + Salmon Pink = well, what can i say? it makes it PINKER!  beautiful!

On white paper..

L to R = straight Rose Gold, + Salmon Pink, + Super Copper

My awesome friend and calligrapherMoya Carrollrecently needed to custom match rose gold ink.  "I had to colour match some letterpress and their rose gold was just a wee bit pinker, that's the magic of px - it can suit even the pickiest eyes."  Moya added a bit of Super Russett (a red color) to adjust the color...and voila!

Beautiful Moya!

One good justification to being a Pearl Ex hoarder, er I mean, well stocked on lots of colors, is the ability to custom mix to suit your needs.

Happy mixing!

Champagne Gold Ink

ooooh this is one of my favorite gold ink colors to mix up.  it's a cool toned, sophisticated gold, that i have used on white, ivory, and dark envelopes.  i luuuuuurve it! For this large size glass ice block ink well, i used an entire tube of Daler Rowney gouache in Silver, and 1.25 teaspoons of Pearl Ex Brilliant Gold, and Winsor and Newton Liquid Gum Arabic.

I unload the entire tube of gouache into my mixing cube, add a bit of water and stir gently.  i add a little bit of water first, just to get the mixture going.  Add more water until it's still thicker than you want it to end up.  Then i add Winsor and Newton liquid gum arabic, for this amount of ink I added 1/2 teaspoon (eyeballing it), and stir.  Once its all combined, i add the Pearl Ex Brilliant Gold, and again stir gently (LOTS of stirring when making ink!).  Finally, add a little bit more water and stir, keep adding until you get the consistency you like and for the nib you are using.  My general rule of thumb is that the less flexible the nib, the thinner the ink, and vice versa, the more flexible a nib, the thicker the ink can be (this is how I like my ink, every calligrapher has their own opinion).

I came up with this mix as an alternative (dupe) to Luna Gold from the Finetec Gold Palette.  i wanted to be able to dip rather than brush on this color for larger jobs.  I also find the opacity of this blend a tad bit better than the Luna Gold.

Cheers to ink bubbly!

Dr. Ph. Martin Copperplate Gold + Rose Gold Pearl Ex

When I developed Rose Gold Pearl Ex, I wanted it to be a versatile color.  I wanted the calligrapher to be able to adjust the color to match any foil or ink from a printer.  I created a color with a heavy rose base, so that you can add gold, copper, or bronze Pearl Ex pigments as needed.  As with the other Pearl Ex shades, it can be added to several types of mediums (ink and paint).  My next few blog posts will feature how to customize Rose Gold Pearl Ex with other mediums to achieve a custom color. First up:  Dr. Ph. Martin's Iridescent Copperplate Gold, a staple acrylic gold ink in many a calligrapher's tool kit, including my own.  Copperplate Gold is a great gold ink option.  It flows wonderfully from most nibs, and as with any acrylic based ink, it stands up very well to postal service processing machines and water.  It does require frequent stirring, because the metallic pigment particles are heavier than the medium (they will settle to the bottom of the jar), which can be tedious on larger envelope projects.  Adding Pearl Ex to Copperplate Gold will sacrifice some line quality (vs water based ink), in that there is some loss of crisp hairline transitions, especially underturns.  The addition of Pearl Ex makes the ink stand up from the paper just a wee bit more, so you get that nice tacile quality while running your fingers over the dried ink.  The shimmer boost from adding Pearl Ex is gorgeous!  I always add Brilliant Gold Pearl Ex to Copperplate Gold to add an extra dimension of shimmer...bling bling!

I find it takes quite a bit, like A LOT, of Rose Gold Pearl Ex mixed with Copperplate Gold to achieve a nice pink color, but once you get there, it's really beautiful.  I use a jumbo sized dinky dip, fill it about 2/3 full, then added in total about 1 tsp of Rose Gold Pearl Ex, adding and stirring slowly.  The mixture ends up a bit thicker, so I added 3 drops of rubbing alcohol to thin it out.

All in all, I find this combination to be a great rose gold ink!