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.
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!