calligraphytips

Getting Started with Pointed Pen - Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of Getting Started with Pointed Pen! Check out part 1 when you get a chance...

Choosing an Ink
Some inks work better than others based on the type of paper that you are using. Different kinds of ink: Waterproof, Non-Waterproof, India, etc. will have different absorption levels into your surface. Some blacks may even appear lighter/darker. 

One of the BEST ink comparison, explorations I've found done online (although limited to Higgins and Windsor Newton brands)  was done  by the Calligraphy Pen Blog... The owner does mostly illumination, and he is phenomenal, please check him out. He's one of those tireless calligraphy instructors that was doing this before it everyone knew calligraphy was cool! 

Taken from the  Calligraphy Pen Blog . Notice how different in appearance your inks can appear. This image has not been retouched in any way.

Taken from the Calligraphy Pen Blog. Notice how different in appearance your inks can appear. This image has not been retouched in any way.

I like Sumi Ink personally. It is a permanent, black ink made from vegetable oil made specifically for painting and calligraphy. Others are decent too... Speedball, Higgins, J. Herbin, etc., I just like Sumi because it's one ink that really never lets me down, no matter what kind of surface I encounter.

Creating strokes
Time to start making strokes! I did a prior blog on drills that you can start doing with pencil. Check it out when you can. I also provided a free worksheet. After you get used to making those marks, making the same kinds of strokes with a pointed pen will feel a little more natural. Actually, if you can go from executing these drills with:

pencil
-to-
fine line brush pen
-to-
finally, the steel pointed pen, that's the BEST preparation I can recommend!

You can find fine line brush pens at JetPens.com. This is one of my favorite places and if you are any kind of pen aficionado you will LOVE what they have to offer. They not only offer a HUGE variety of pens, they also have invaluable guides that help you shop for just the right tools. Can't say enough good things about Jet Pens. Anywho, similar to the pointed pen nibs, a brush pen SAMPLER kit is available and I highly recommend it. They actually have about 4 or 5 differnt sets available!

Pencil first, then fine line brush pen and THEN the pointed pen tip! This will help retain these basic, necessary strokes in your muscle memory. Light, feathery pressure on your upstrokes, firm, heavy pressure on your downstrokes.

Pencil first, then fine line brush pen and THEN the pointed pen tip! This will help retain these basic, necessary strokes in your muscle memory. Light, feathery pressure on your upstrokes, firm, heavy pressure on your downstrokes.

Hope this was helpful, I'll be back with some more goodies later!

--ct 

Pointed Pen Calligraphy Tips

Hi guys... I'll be teaching a pointed pen class soon and I thought I'd start sharing some tips and tricks for those of you who are either thinking about finally picking up some pointed pen nibs, or you already HAVE some pens but have been reluctant (or kind of lost) as it pertains to starting.

I want to recommend that you first start with a pencil. Yes, I said a pencil. SO MUCH of what you will be doing with the pointed pen is based on the amount of PRESSURE you apply to the pen nib, starting with a more inocuous writing tool like a pencil will definitely help.

Using a #2 pencil, make slanted strokes... Light pressure on the way up, and firm pressure on the way down. The "upstroke" where you are using light pressure is called the "lead in" stroke. The "downstroke", where you are using firm pressure is often referred to as the "full pressure" stroke.

Baby steps, yes I know, but this is one of the most important things you can do to start prepping your hand and wrist to tackle pointed pen strokes!

Baby steps, yes I know, but this is one of the most important things you can do to start prepping your hand and wrist to tackle pointed pen strokes!

As you get comfortable creating these basic strokes, you can move on to other shapes and movements. These drills will help your understanding of how to achieve "thicks and thins" through the use of he pointed pen, as well as helping develop your muscle memory.

Please download a free drills worksheet so you can make copies and practice, practice and practice some more.

Let me know if you have questions and I'll catch up with you later with more tips!

--ct