Additional information on the Lamy nibs

April 26, 2010 § 3 Comments

Boring title, I know.

Yet I’ve promised a little update to the Lamy nibs and to answer some questions I have been asked repeatedly.

Lamy nibs old - new

Lamy nibs - from old to new

What you can see in this picture are three different kind of nibs. The oldest one is on the left, the newest one on the right.

The one on the left is about ten years old it was a default nib that came with one of my pens. As you can see there is no indication of size on it. It also lacks the Lamy logo. The nibs that came as default some years ago would not have any size indicated on them. (Nowadays they all have.) So if you bought a new Lamy pen back then, you needed to pay attention to the little sticky on the pen which would tell you what size the nib was or ask the seller to give you a pen with your prefered nib size. If you lost that sticker, don’t remember that information anymore or have bought the pen second-hand, there is no way to find out which size it is. You could try to compare it to other nibs if you happen to have some ready, of course, but other than that there’s no way to find the answer to this question I’m afraid .

In the middle you can see a nib that is approximately 5 years old, it still is completely black whereas the newest type of nib (as seen on the right) comes with a silvery shining tip. I’ve placed the tip of the latter on a darker background so that you can spot the difference easier.  (Sorry for the glare, I will get me a decent photo equipment soon.)

Sometimes people wonder whether the newer dark nibs are made of a different material, because they have that lighter tip, but I don’t think so. My guess is that the difference is just caused by a new/different way of producing those nibs. However, purely from the esthetic point of view I admit that I also prefer the old nibs that were all black ;).


An older painting continued

March 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

I was already about to throw this painting away, because it was started with the wrong colors, but then I thought why not give it at least a try. If the colors (W&N Artisan) are going to crack, I can still throw it away, if not, maybe it turns out nicely.

If my memory doesn’t fail me I remember having read somewhere in the Artisan spreadsheets that those colors weren’t suitable for glazing techniques. I cannot remember the exact reason why, but my best guess would be because their whites could be made with safflower oil? Well anyway, since I’m a curious person and would like to see myself what will happen I decided to give it a try nevertheless.

This is my underpainting, it has been touch dry for a couple of days and tonight I’m going to start with the first few glazes.

copy after Bouguereau, WIP, oil on canvas

Waiting for the boat

September 29, 2008 § 4 Comments

… to be painted.

Wheres the boat?, acrylics on canvas, 60 cm x 30 cm

"Where's the boat?", acrylics on canvas, 60 cm x 30 cm

I did this little painting for the monthly acrylic challenge. Actually there should have been a nice tugboat in the middle of this river, but somehow I do have some trouble painting it. My first attempt failed terribly and I had a hard time restoring the image back to how it looked before I tried changing it.

Well, this painting clearly needs something – no matter what – in the foreground. It cannot be left that way. However, since I don’t want to ruin it in the end, I’ll try to go for something rather small first. Perhaps a little boat or something like that?

( – End of art content here. Beginning of weird dolly content beneath the more tag. Beware! – )

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hobby vs. hobby

June 20, 2008 § 7 Comments

dolly stockings – pen & ink in sketchbook

This year in April I became infected by the ABJD-Virus. No, it’s nothing serious, don’t worry, it’s just expensive. Horribly expensive. ABJD is an abbreviation for Asian ball-jointed dolls. They are really beautiful, such cuties ^^! If you haven’t heard of them before and want to check out some examples, just follow the following links to marvel at their beauty. And their prices.

Now since the dolls themselves are that outrageous expensive (or do you consider up to $ 700 for one doll as reasonably priced?!?), I just had to economize somewhere and so I started sewing at least the outfits for them myself. Phew, sewing turned out to be quite time consuming, so I didn’t find much time for painting the last weeks. However, now that I’m broke (yes, I ordered a doll), I have more time for drawing and painting again.

Lamy pen tutorial – 101

January 24, 2008 § 28 Comments

[This article + much more can be found as a separate page now: ]

When it comes to sketching with fountain pens, I do prefer my Lamy pens, since their abillity to write in almost each position is legendary.

Recently I noticed that more and more people seem to be interested in them, but only few know the facts, so I decided to write this little tutorial. I really hope that it will be of help to some of you and if you still have any questions left, don’t hesitate to ask me, chances that I might know the answer aren’t that bad :).

A little bit of background information on Lamy. Lamy is a German company (located in Heidelberg btw) that produces high quality writing instruments and accessories, mainly fountain pens. In Germany kids at school write only with fountain pens (and non waterproof, erasable ink) and Lamy has probably been the most popular brand among them for many years now.

To meet the demands of all of their customers, the company regularly produces pens in new colors, styles, materials, etc. The insides of these pens and the nibs stay very much the same, it’s only colors and materials that vary. Oh, and yes, the prices, of course ;).

Here’s just a little part of my private Lamy collection:


What I consider more important than the outward style of the pen, is the nib:


Nibs can be bought separately (every nib will suit every pen – they are all built in the same way!) and they come in different sizes. There is also a special nib for the left-handed, its size being medium (nice for writing, but perhaps a little bit large for sketching?), although AFAIK most left-handed people won’t face any trouble using the regular nibs.

You can get your pen with these nibs:

  • EF (extra fine)
  • F (fine)
  • M (medium)
  • MK (medium kursive/ballpoint tip)
  • B (bold)
  • LH (left-handed, medium)
  • Calligraphy-nibs (1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm)


For sketching you should try the EF nib or F, depending on what you like better. Nibs are made either of steel (black or silver) or of gold (F,M,B only). I’ve never observed any differences between the black steel nibs and the silvery steel nibs, but there is a big difference between the steel nibs and the gold nibs, the latter being much more elastic and thus more pleasant to write with. Unfortunately the gold nibs do not come in EF, they would be gorgeous for sketching :).

How to change nibs.


Get your pen and a nib. Since changing nibs is a little bit messy, you might also want to wear some disposable gloves and get a piece of scratch paper to work upon.

Turn your pen upside down:


The pale pink circle indicates the spot where you should place the cap…


…push the cap gently down with one of your hands while pulling the pen with your other hand…


…this should remove the nib from the pen. Clean the removed nib with warm water (never use soap or anything else for cleaning, just warm water) and carefully dry it with the help of a tissue.

Now get your pen and gently slide-in the new nib…


… until it has reached its final position.


Congrats, you’re done :)!

How to fill your pen with ink.

Now, if you are going to sketch with your pen, you surely will like to have a waterproof ink and since the ink that is supplied with your Lamy isn’t waterproof at all, it’s time to replace it with a water-resistant ink like Noodler’s.

There are two possibilities for doing this.


The safe method would be, to get a converter, to fill it with ink and use it in your pen. It isn’t difficult to handle, the only thing I do object about the converter is that it tends to suck up too much air and too little ink and it’s an annoying procedure to fill and refill this thingie until it’s acceptable filled.

The second method is to use a disposable syringe to refill your ink cartridge. Well, I assume that you are all old enough to know that you should be very careful while working with a syringe. Always reclose it immediately after using. And don’t let your children/pets/whatever play with them. The advantages of this technique is that it is much cheaper and that you will have more ink in your pen. (Check the photo for size comparison between ink cartridge and converter.)

Now you should be ready to start working with your new pen. Enjoy!

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