Yes! I've now officially broken in the Totoro inkwell and it worked brilliantly! The mouth now has an expected ring of black ink on the inside and I stupidly decided to pour just a wee bit of glaze in the mouth and not properly allow it to dry before inking so there's now a small paintless patch on the inside, but it's otherwise perfect! Held the ink just splendidly, the mouth was exactly the right width for me to swirl the brush around in, and despite moving Totoro around like crazy, he never once spilled! As an added bonus, the teeth proved to be an excellent place to quickly wipe off any excess ink from the brush since they're a ledge hanging inwards!
Here's what I decided to make tonight during the testing-just a very quick doodle that all said and done, probably took about an hour total, which is absurdly quick for me. Plus, I stopped halfway through the sketch and played "who's a big dumb head that just got their nose bopped?!?!!!!" with my cat for a bit.
This was so much fun to just knock out! I'm definitely going to experiment more with my inking, and the first step I've definitely got to take is getting some real brushes! I have no idea why, but basically every single brush I was able to find tonight was either a falling apart white nylon brush, or a falling apart 'comes in a pack of five but are totally the worst brushes you'll ever use' discount brushes. I KNOW I used to have some decent ones, but they're either buried in the chaos of my hallway closet, or they were lost in a move. Either way, it's probably about time I upgraded to well-informed growed-up art brushes and that's exactly what I intend to do! Well... Sort of.
I spent a large chunk of the night looking for advice on what brushes to use, and the internet seems to have come to the conclusion that all hope is lost as all brush manufacturers are either crap, expensive, expensive crap, or expensive crap that just isn't like how it used to be. So I've settled on ordering some brushes from Rosemary and Co. because heck, they're cheap and so am I! Besides, if I'm going to take a chance on good-quality brushes being horrible I may as well go for a brand that not only gives a money back guarantee, but will instantly replace any product that you report to them is unsatisfactory, no questions asked. Now try getting THAT kind of deal from Windsor & Newton.
Once I get around to figuring out just which Rosemary brushes I want, I think I'll do a review of them, since I really appreciated the recommendations I found online for different brushes and like to think that someone else will be as grateful for the advice of someone who actually experienced the product as I was.