May 15, 2022 § 1 Comment
So I don’t know, but if you’re just like me and you are using a lot of different pens at the same time, it will inevitably happen to you that some of them will dry out now and then.
Of course, we all know that we are supposed to take good care of them, to write often with each and to clean them of the ink if we plan to not use them anymore for a couple of weeks. Yet let’s be real, that kind of care is being reserved for the very rare and expensive fountain pens only. With my other pens I just expect them to write, but unfortunately most pens will simply dry up in about 4 to 8 weeks time, depending on the pen and the ink used in it.
However, there are some exceptions, like the pen above. It’s a Platinum carbon ink pen, which I bought probably four years ago. I have been keeping it in my urban sketching travel kit, which hasn’t been used often in the last 2 years. As a matter of fact I haven’t used it one single time, yet when I opened the cap it wrote just fine. First I thought that I was just very lucky with this one, until I stumbled upon another fountain pen of this type in my local art supply store. Apparently it had become so popular in our urban sketching circle here, that they decided to carry it. There it came with a small instruction leaflet and 4 cartridges of their waterproof black carbon ink. And in the leaflet they actually mention that this pen has a special cap construction which ensures a very tight fit, so it will not dry out in a long time.
And yes, I did buy a second version of this useful pen, so I can keep one in my sketch kit and the other one on my desk 😇
May 11, 2014 § 1 Comment
Sorry for not posting for a very long time, but well, life was busy :).
Anyway, as the first post after a long break I thought about something nice for all of you. How about turning your own handwriting into a font? Wouldn’t that be nice for personalized (printed) letters and things like that?
I used to do that regularly many years back. Back then I would use a special software that was quite pricey by that time, yet it still took a lot of time and tweaking to get an acceptable result. The good thing is nowadays you do not really need any kind of special software (at least not if you do not want to create something exquisitely and fancy), there are websites that will transform your writing into .ttf (true type font) and .otf (open type font) for free.
So how do we go about it?
- Go to one of these websites like http://www.myscriptfont.com or http://www.paintfont.com
- Create your font. If you’re language isn’t English make sure you use a template that will allow you to add every kind of special character your language has. There are also templates for mathematical symbols and so on.
- Print out your template and fill in the letters. There are guiding lines to help you get all characters in approximately the same height and length. It’s advisable to work with a bold black pen, to make sure that the characters will be read correctly by the software.
- Scan your template sheet(s) in 300 dpi and in greyscale. Save the file as either .jpg or .tif. Make sure that the file isn’t bigger than 2MB, because most websites won’t accept larger files.
- Upload it to the website, choose the type of font you want and don’t forget to give it a nice catching name aaaaaaand
- You’re done! 🙂
PS: Please don’t forget that you will have to install the new font into your computer’s font library, before you will be able to use it with your text editing or graphic programs.
August 28, 2010 § 3 Comments
Did I mention before that I actually like J. Herbin inks? Well, I certainly do. They have a fairly wide range of colors at an acceptable price. What I like less about them is that some of their colors are just too pale to be usable in fountain pens.
Pens used in this picture were a dip pen/shorthand nib and a Lamy/ M nib.
August 25, 2010 § 2 Comments
For some strange reasons folks tend to believe that someone who collects pens would also have a large collection of inks. So they sometimes would approach me and ask my opinion on different sorts of brands and their colors and most of the time I would have to tell them that I’m really sorry, but I haven’t ever tried one single bottle of that ink.
Since I use my pens mostly for writing, I prefer dark colors that are clearly and easy visible to the eye, mainly colors like blue and black and some dark reds and purples just for the fun of it. When sketching I work with lightfast and waterproof blacks only. So there’s no need for other colors, because they will end up dried and unused.
Well, here is my small ink collection, the ones I currently keep in my desk shelf.
Okay, I guess it’s obvious why I just had to get that bottle, right ;)?!! When I first heard of ink made of real wine I was very curious to try it. It’s a nice dark red color, once dried it reminds me a little bit of blood colorwise. And it really does have a nice faint smell of red wine.
And even more reds. “Opera Rose” and “Bouquet d’Antan” by Herbin. Lovely colors, lovely flow, but I don’t use them too often. I hope they will last me a couple of years.
Rohrer & Klingner iron/gall-nut inks “Scabiosa” and “Salix”. Iron/gall-nut inks are not supposed to be used a long time in a fountain pen, because those inks are known to clog up. As long as you clean your pen after using you should be fine though, at least I never had any problems even after leaving those inks for a few weeks in my pens. “Scabiosa” is an interesting color. It’s a pale purplish rose if you use it in a fountain pen, but it will look like a grayish violet if you use it with a dip pen. “Salix” is a pale blue.
Private Reserve “Black Magic Blue” is my favourite blue ink for writing. In my oppinion it’s the very essence of a dark blue. Deep in chroma and dark, without being grayish and with a shade of ultramarine/purple. Love it.
Pelikan “Royal Blue” and “Brilliant Black”, my old schoolmates. I don’t use them too often anymore. When writing black I nowadays prefer the waterproof inks and when writing blue I prefer darker blues. Also I’ve noticed that those ink erasable blue inks tend to fade with time, be careful when using them and don’t use them for important documents.
Mont Blanc “Blue Black” was one of my first dark blues, however it is far too grayish for my liking. I clearly prefer the Private Reserve dark blues over it. Also I’ve heard some rumours that this particular ink would be a iron/gall-nut ink as well. Anyway, the design of the bottle is neat as it’s helpfull to use up all the ink up to the last drop. Once the ink is finished (or more likely all dried up, because I scarcely use it 😉 ) I’m going to reuse this bottle for my other inks.
Finally my drawing inks, Pelikan “Fount India” and Noodler’s “Black”. Both of them can be used in pens, the Pelikan “Fount India” has a slightly better flow, yet the ink tends to bleed more into the paper than the Noodler’s “Black” does. So optically you always end up with a line that seems to be bolder when drawing with Fount India. Hence I prefer Noodler’s for the finer details. Both are waterproof, yet I’d advise you to make a first try on a scrap piece of paper.
EDIT: oh yeah, I forgot about color samples, but I’m sure you’d like some 😉
One more note, all these samples were written with a dip pen which causes some of the colors to look darker than if they were written with a regular fountain pen. For instance the first color “Bordeaux” looks almost like a dark brown in this sample, when written with a fountain pen it will look more like a dark red though.
August 23, 2010 § 1 Comment
It has been brought to my attention that there are a few people who do not dare to use the pen cap for changing the nibs, because they are afraid that this method could ruin their nibs. Please rest assured that as long as you don’t exert too much force while pushing the cap onto the nib nothing bad will happen.
Anyway, for those who prefer a method other than using the pen cap or their fingers for pulling off the nib, here is the tape method.
Yet, please let me state beforehand that I do not recommend this method. Some tapes don’t adhere well enough to the nib to get it off, especially if you haven’t cleaned off the ink properly, whereas other tapes are horribly sticky and tend to leave glue residue on your nib. Be careful, if this residue gets into the part of the ink flowing system of your nib it will be ruined.
The right way to use sticky tape would be to cut a piece to this length, like illustrated in the picture below. Most tapes will be wider than that, so you might have to cut the tape in half. Gently clean the nib and make sure there isn’t any ink (or water if you have just cleaned your pen) on the nib before applying the tape. Then pull gently on the tape until the nib slides off.
What not to do:
Don’t apply the tape over the ink flowing part of the nib. That would be the parts I’ve marked red in the following picture:
In the best case the ink therein will spread under the tape causing it not to stick to the nib, yet in the worst case glue residue from the sticky tape might clog up your ink flow. And believe me, it’s very difficult to get glue out of a nib, most likely you will have to get a new one.