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Writing with a Fountain Pen  RSS feed

 
garden master
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Yesterday was more homework, but I did manage to do some fun stuff, too. For my drawing, I tried to draw the corner of a wall and shade it with cross-hatching.
2019_02_23_journal_with_wall_corner.jpg
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Dave Burton wrote:

Greg Mamishian wrote:Dave, how do you shade your images?



To shade my images, I am using pencil. I shade the areas with pencil, kind of crudely, and then, I blend the different shades together by rubbing them with my fingers. Kind of like in this video:



Yesterday was the usual, for a Thursday. I did a lot of homework, which was mostly reading and paper writing. For my drawing, I tried practicing more of the basics, three dimensional form with just pen. I think i will be practicing this a bit more, and perhaps a little more practice with hatching, too.



Got it. It's like a controlled smudge and a nice contrast to the stark ink lines.
 
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I recently acquired a bottle of Noodler's Heart of Darkness ink.  I'm happy with this ink as it dries quickly and looks lovely and dark on the page.  Once it 'sets', it is resistant to water and is archival so it doesn't fade with light or deteriorate the paper.  

The bottle is HUGE!  I'm used to buying ink in metric so I saw 45ml which is about average for an ink bottle.  But actually, the bottle size is 4.5 oz. which is 133ml.  The amount I write, if I was to only use this ink and nothing else, this would last almost five years.  I think for most people a bottle like this would last 10 or more years.  I got a pen, a HUGE bottle of ink, and all for less than I normally spend on a 20ml bottle of ink.  Excellent value.



Here's a video about the free pen that comes with this ink and why it's called Charlie.  I like the bit where he talks about ink being the blood of freedom or some such stuff.  



Reading reviews of this pen online I've discovered that not everyone gets on well with this pen.  It's an eyedropper pen which means it has certain quirks.  Eyedropper pens don't have a cartrage.  The body of the pen holds the ink.  This means we can get a large amount of ink inside the pen, but when it's less than one-third full, the heat of the hand can expand the air in the pen and encourage the ink to flow more quickly.  

Noodler's pens are designed to be adjusted to fit the style of the user.  We can push the nib and feed in and out to get the right flow.  We can even exchange nibs - and once I find an extra fine nib, I think I will do just that.  A lot of people are used to seeking out a pen that fits their style and are not comfortable customizing the pen to suit their needs.  I like that this is a free pen so people can feel encouraged to mess about with it.  
 
Dave Burton
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I had done a little research on the pen I was using, but now that you mention the term eyedropper pen, I think that might be better for me, because I want the pen to hold more ink. Right now, I use a converter cartridge, so the pen is still refillable, which is part of my whole objective of using a fountain pen- to just have one pen that I can use over and over again, instead of disposable pens.

I found some cool videos to help me understand more about fountain pens.

A Beginner's Guide, and an article by JetPens on getting started with fountain pens.



And PageFlutter had a good article on the anatomy of Fountain Pens.



This is a good  Overview of Different Filling systems, and a good article on different filling systems.



And a nice video about nib types, and a good infographic about nibs!


 
Dave Burton
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Yesterday was a good day. It was a little bit of homework and a lot of fun! For my drawing, I tried to draw one of those weird little electric circuit junction points, and I did some crosshatching practice, too.
2019_02_24_journal_circuit_hatching.jpg
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Dave Burton
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Yesterday was, more or less, a normal Monday for me. The exception was that it was super duper cold yesterday! We have been hit by a blizzard in Missoula! I tried to draw a water bottle and shade it with crosshatching.
2019_02_25_journal_water_bottle_cross_hatching.jpg
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Dave Burton
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Yesterday was more preparing for exams and writing papers. For my drawing, I wanted to see just how much detail i could capture with just a pen and crosshatching. So, I tried to draw a Burt's Bees hand cream bottle that I have.
2019_02_26_journal_hand_cream_crosshatching.jpg
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r ranson
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That's my favourite so far.
 
Dave Burton
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Thank you! I remembered I had tried a similar thing with the salt shaker, so I thought some other container of something would make good practice on fountain pen only drawings and hatchings. And I think the way the lighting is in the study room in the dorm halls makes for good practice on using hatching for shadows.
 
r ranson
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more about eyedropper pens and how to convert pens to this style

 
Dave Burton
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Yesterday was also, more of less, the usual for a Wednesday for me. I had the same three classes that I had on Monday. It was mostly preparing for exams and paper writing. I tried to draw the little glass almond milk hand cream container I have, and I learned that drawing text at angles is hard to do. I think this is where I really have trouble with drawing reality as it is, because my mind wants to autocorrect all of the text to being bigger, easier to read, and flatter.
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Dave Burton
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today was a productive day, if a bit boring. It was paper writing and exam taking. Though, it was nice that the blizzard stopped, and the walking paths were cleared on campus. For my drawing, I drew another bottle of hand cream, but with a more complex design. This was to if I could capture even more detail than I had last time. This drawing was made with just a fountain pen. It was also very good practice for hatching as a means of producing shadows.
2019_02_28_journal_baobab_hand_cream_hatching.jpg
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Greg Mamishian
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Dave, that's hilarious!

Food and culture... and you study cannibalism!
 
Dave Burton
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Today was several things, and my head was kind of hurting from all the exams, papers, worrying about after college, and what not. So, I wasn't really feeling like drawing, so I just made some strokes with my fountain pen to soothe my nerves. But there was one awesome thing that made to day worthwhile: corned beef!
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r ranson
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from here https://getpocket.com/explore/item/how-the-ballpoint-pen-killed-cursive

A lifetime writing with the ballpoint and minor variations on the concept (gel pens, rollerballs) left me unprepared for how completely different a fountain pen would feel. Its thin ink immediately leaves a mark on paper with even the slightest, pressure-free touch to the surface. My writing suddenly grew extra lines, appearing between what used to be separate pen strokes. My hand, trained by the ballpoint, expected that lessening the pressure from the pen was enough to stop writing, but I found I had to lift it clear off the paper entirely. Once I started to adjust to this change, however, it felt like a godsend; a less-firm press on the page also meant less strain on my hand.

My fountain pen is a modern one, and probably not a great representation of the typical pens of the 1940s—but it still has some of the troubles that plagued the fountain pens and quills of old. I have to be careful where I rest my hand on the paper, or risk smudging my last still-wet line into an illegible blur. And since the thin ink flows more quickly, I have to refill the pen frequently. The ballpoint solved these problems, giving writers a long-lasting pen and a smudge-free paper for the low cost of some extra hand pressure.



My experience with fountain pens suggests a new answer. Perhaps it’s not digital technology that hindered my handwriting, but the technology that I was holding as I put pen to paper. Fountain pens want to connect letters. Ballpoint pens need to be convinced to write, need to be pushed into the paper rather than merely touch it. The No.2 pencils I used for math notes weren’t much of a break either, requiring pressure similar to that of a ballpoint pen.

 
Dave Burton
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With regards to the quotes you have pulled, Raven, I have noticed that I hardly use any pressure when I write with a fountain pen, and i use lots of pressure with ballpoint pens and graphite pencils.

It was nice to have an enjoyable day with friends and learn to use a friend of mine's cast iron skillet! Likewise, I decided to just do something whimsical and sketch an imaginary bird from my memory.
2019_03_03_journal_with_imaginary_bird.jpg
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Dave Burton
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It's been a little overwhelming the past few days, and the amount of stuff to do and the relative significance of everything. Yeah, I kind of have enough of reality right now, so, I was sketching an imaginary scene.
2019_03_06_journal_with_eggs_and_bird.jpg
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Dave Burton
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Yesterday was good, because I went on a walk with a friend and shared everything on my mind. I don't why, but I felt like trying to draw frying an egg.
2019_03_08.jpg
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Dave Burton
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I'm a little bird-brained with all the things going on that I am juggling. Drawing another bird felt appropriate.
2019_03_11_journal_with_early_bird.jpg
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Dave Burton
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I am so happy that we have sunshine!
2019_03_14_journal.jpg
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Greg Mamishian
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Dave Burton wrote:I am so happy that we have sunshine!



Same here, Dave. I'm still practicing, and use quotations as a purpose because they have meaning. I love quotes because they are a complete stand alone insight within a small concise package.

 
r ranson
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I have the two fountain pens I love (plus some others to play with), but I'm on the quest to find the perfect ink for me.  I thought I found one this winter, but it turns out it has zero water resistance.  I sent a letter to a friend, using permanent ink on the envelope, but fountain ink on the letter.  The paper arrived BLANK because it had gotten wet in transit.

So I started to keep an ink journal.  

The numbers on the left are dry time.  I wait that many seconds and then run my finger over the ink.

The cross-hatching on the right is water resistance.  I let the ink dry for about 5 min and then add water: three drops on top and then a drop that I rub in to make a line on the bottom.  This is not a good test of long term water resistance as many inks 'cure' over time.  Some inks take 24 hours to fully bond with the paper to be fully waterproof.  But I figure if I am going to spill coffee on the paper, it will probably have fresh writing on it.
noodlers-black-swan-in-english.JPG
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Greg Mamishian
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Thanks for the ink tests, ranson.



I love the Blue and ordered a bottle.
They even sold ink to an American!
 
r ranson
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It's time to write my next book.  I've done a lot of research and experimenting.  It's basically planned out, just a matter of sitting at my typewriter and... oh yah.  ouch.  my finger got mangled a few weeks ago and typing four fingered on a computer keyboard is hard enough, I can't do it on a typewriter.  Too much pain.  But the book needs writing.  If only there was something gentle on my hand but responsive enough to write with... if only there was some sort of stick I could fill with ink and use to write words on paper via some cleverly controlled ink distribution system.  If only!

I had some waiting to do today, so I brewed a thermos full of tea, grabbed some paper, filled up my pen with ink.  I managed to go through a whole cartridge converter (the little screw thing that loads the pen with ink) in about an hour.  I have a crazy amount to say about kale.  I'm glad I got and brought the Charlie pen.  The eyedropper filling system holds one heck of a lot more ink than a regular fountain pen.  But that pen is sensitive to different inks, more so than a normal fountain pen.  

Thankfully the person arrived when they did as I was debating if I should write on my last sheet of paper or write a note saying I left to get some more paper, be back soon.  When I got home my amazon order for Hilroy Recycled paper arrived.  I don't know how this paper will perform but it was cheap!  There's a lot more to say about Kale (I've only just got to the good part), so I'll be testing this paper out tonight.


 
r ranson
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Greg Mamishian wrote:
They even sold ink to an American!



I had wondered about that!

But then I remembered that last week they announced they can ship to the USA.  

It's an interesting ink.  Sometimes I feel I love it more than any other ink in my entire life.  Other times, I feel it looks flat and I should just flush the rest of the ink out of the pen right now.  But I keep coming back to it.  It is definitely the most waterproof ink I've tried so far.

If you like, I can post more samples as I make them.
 
Greg Mamishian
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r ranson wrote:

Greg Mamishian wrote:
They even sold ink to an American!



I had wondered about that!

But then I remembered that last week they announced they can ship to the USA.



The government taxes and shipping are nearly the cost of the ink. (lol)  

It's an interesting ink.  Sometimes I feel I love it more than any other ink in my entire life.  Other times, I feel it looks flat and I should just flush the rest of the ink out of the pen right now.  But I keep coming back to it.  It is definitely the most waterproof ink I've tried so far.

If you like, I can post more samples as I make them.



Yes. That's also what caught my attention... the high resistance to water makes it very practical.

And thanks so much. :)  It's fascinating to see the different properties of inks.

 
r ranson
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A nifty feature about waterproof ink is that the longer they are on the paper, the more waterproof they become.  These tests were done with fresh-ish ink because I'm more likely to spill coffee on my writing while the ink is still fresh.  
 
Dave Burton
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Yesterday was great! I reconnected with an old friend and cleaned the shit stains off of my worldview and outlook lenses. I also cleaned the shit off the mirror I was using to view myself. That helped a bunch! I also realized from that conversation, I have been taking myself way too seriously for the past year, especially during the Winter, and that I need to devote time to just relaxing, goofing off, and having some fun. So, I'm going to try and do some just silly and just fun stuff, with no extra motives to it!

And speaking of fun, I got a bottle of Noodler's Heart of Darkness Ink and their Ahab pen that comes with it! The pen flows very nicely, and I really like how dark the ink is, how readily the ink flows from the pen, and how wide the marks are.
Noodler-s-Ink.jpg
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r ranson
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Noodler's Year of the Golden Pig - highlighter ink



Also started a thread about the preppy pen
 
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That's some pretty swell ink you're using, Raven! I like how bright it is!
 
r ranson
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It's a bit bright to be sure.  But it looks like it's going to be great as a highlighter.  I love it - refillable highlighters and markers that work with fountain pen ink!  
 
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r ranson wrote:Noodler's Year of the Golden Pig - highlighter ink



Also started a thread about the preppy pen



Yikes! That makes my eyes crawl! (lol)
 
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It looks much better when I use it for its intended purpose

 
r ranson
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Earlier, I showed how to replace a nib on a fountain pen.  Well, it turns out the replacement nib was a medium and what I really want these pens for is editing.  I need a fine or extra fine nib for that.  So I got one of Goulet's extra-fine nibs and put it in this pen.  It fits like a charm!  Much better than the old-new nib.  

After a test with some old Quink (an old bottle of ink I found with my university supplies), I filled the pen with Noodler's Blue Upon The plains of Abraham.  This nib and ink pairing is perfect.  The ink comes out quick enough that it feels smooth to write with, but the line is actually a 'fine' line instead of an 'extra fine'.  
 
r ranson
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An unexpected side effect of spending a year creating a book (writing and self-publishing) is the magic that happens when we turn consumption time into production time.  I spent so much time and energy creating that I had no energy left to spend money on things I normally would.  Which means I had a little happy pile of coins to spend on a reward once the project was finally finished... a reward that will be used to write the next book, but whatever.  'Tis the cycle of consumption in my life.

Pens, paper, and inks.

I already have three pens I love.  One I bought in high school and this is currently awaiting repair (the Waterman upthread with all the gold crumbling off the nib), one is a Cross I bought in London when I was waiting around in a pen shop for the first pen to be repaired, and the last is the Brush Pen from the Ferris Wheel Press Kickstarter also mentioned upthread.  I have two main writing pens that currently function which is enough for me.  But I also wanted some pens to play with: swap nibs, learn how to break, learn how to fix, that kind of thing.  So I have a few cheaper pens for playing and using for editing (by using a different tool to edit with, I trick my brain into changing perspective).

Pens are pretty well settled.  What about paper?  The quality of the paper has a drastic influence on how the pen performs.  If there is one thing that makes the most difference in the world, it's paper.  If I were to buy the best quality paper I could, it could easily cost more than the pens.  Handwriting does go through a lot of paper - much more than a typewriter.  So, I'm feeling that I want to conserve as much money in this area as possible.  I went with Hilroy Recycled three-hole punch paper partly because it was the least expensive, partly because it has recycled content, but mostly because of sentiment.  It's what I used in school and university so I feel familiar with it.  I know it's moderately easy to write with a fountain pen on this paper and things dry rather quickly.

That leaves us last of all with ink.  I divided my budget into two piles.  One for samples and a bigger pile for buying two years worth of ink when I find the perfect one.

So I began my quest for my 'grail ink': the ink that works well in my pen and with my paper.  

I want a gentle colour that is somewhat subdued.  But also fun.  I want ink that is waterproof and archival (won't degrade or fade before the copyright time expires in case I have to prove that the work is mine).  I also want something that set the right mood and tone for what I'm writing so I can create a ritual that will train my brain into thinking "okay, I get it, you got that pen, the ink, the cuppa tea in a special mug.  It must be time to focus on writing about..."  

I ordered a lot of samples.  These come in two ml vials and I used these in real life conditions.  I also used them to measure how much ink I go through.  It looks like my converter (pen) holds about .5ml which can last as little as one hour of steady writing (so long as I have a nice big thermos of tea) with a medium nib.  This means when I start writing full time, I can expect to go through 1 to 2 ml of ink a day, at least five days a week.  That's nearly a liter of ink in a year - so I need an ink that is economical.  

There were three inks that I love best.  All of them Noodler's inks.  

One is Heart of Darkness (which I show a sample of upthread).  It's a great black ink, very black.  It runs smoothly in all my pens.  But the problem with this ink is that black doesn't suit the mood I'm going for.  I'm keeping this for regular writing.

The next is Black Swan in English Rose.  This is a brown-red ink that looks like blood when I get it on my hands.  I love the depth and shading this ink has.  It flows from the pen a little bit slowly (dry) but I find that writing with this colour is easy on my mind and my eyes.  The words just gush out.  I bought two of these bottles to ensure I had enough to last the entire project - and possibly the next.

And the last is one I haven't shown you yet: Noodler's Manjiro Nakahama Whaleman's Sepia.  This ink dries a grey-brown-black-ish colour but it has wonderful waterproof qualities and the most amazing story behind it (no squid were harmed in the making of this ink).  It also comes with a free Charlie Pen


So that's my pen and ink budget spent.  I have decided I cannot spend any more money on this until either a) my writing earns me more money or b) I run out of ink in ten years.  


 
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I haven't tried a fountain pen, but I remember in a calligraphy class, with a dip pen -- the amount of blotting they wanted me to do, it looked like there was more ink on the blotter than on my paper. I gave it up because it seemed too wasteful (of ink).
 
r ranson
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Blotting is neat.  I usually keep a half sheet of blotting paper in my journal so I can blot the last word before turning the page.  Most regular fountain pen inks dry very quickly.  We don't really need to blot and it's often better if we don't because blotting removes some of the ink to make lighter letters and can smudge the words if we aren't careful.

Most modern fountain pen enthusiasts don't blot because many inks are now created to have special effects (shading and shimmers mostly) that are destroyed by blotting.  These inks sometimes take a while to dry, depending on the paper.  Some ink and paper combinations take several minutes to dry and a day or two to cure - but this is more for calligraphy and manga than everyday writing.

I've been practising with a dip pen for a few months now.  It's a lot of fun.  At first, I experimented with different inks.  With fountain pen ink, it ran a lot and I needed to blot.  It also put down too much ink on the paper.  But once I switched to dip pen ink (which is like a runny paint), there was no need to blot.  The trick is to learn control so we put down only as much ink as we need.  
 
r ranson
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Today I found a  writing pad at the local thrift shop.  
writing-pad.JPG
[Thumbnail for writing-pad.JPG]
 
r ranson
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Posts: 13675
Location: Left Coast Canada
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books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep writing
 
r ranson
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Here's the ink I got from the Kickstarter a while back.  Ferris Wheel Press, Tanzanite Sky.
ferris-wheel.jpg
[Thumbnail for ferris-wheel.jpg]
 
Does this tiny ad smell okay to you?
The Better World Book Kickstarter (April 2019)
https://permies.com/w/bwb
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