Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Ronald Searle Draws With Back Of Nib


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 MolesworthTwo

MolesworthTwo

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 15 December 2015 - 07:29

Hello All,

 

This is my first post and I hope to find an answer in regards to a video I have posted on Youtube. It shows the brilliant Ronald Searle at work with his fountain pen. Curiously he uses the back of the nib to create thick outlines with a very 'wet' inkflow. Searle was famous for using Montblanc pens but I have not come across a model that allows you to do what Searle does in the video.

Does anyone here know of any pens that allow this? I've been searching for a long time now and never found an answer. Hopefully someone here can help?

 



Sponsored Content

#2 lynxcat

lynxcat

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 362 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 15 December 2015 - 12:42

given the time period, he may very well have had his nibs custom-tuned to do this. that's still an option today, of course.



#3 MolesworthTwo

MolesworthTwo

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 15 December 2015 - 19:56

given the time period, he may very well have had his nibs custom-tuned to do this. that's still an option today, of course.

Thank you for your reply. I had a Montblanc pen customized to increase the flex and the inkflow. But it won't work with the back of the nib. I knew Ronald personally in the last few years of his life and he always mentioned that he would use the back of the nib as if it was the normal thing to do. He never mentioned customizing. I wish I had asked him at the time.



#4 empliau

empliau

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 184 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 15 December 2015 - 20:48

YOU KNEW RONALD SEARLE!  Forgive the shriek of amazement.  I adore, adore, adore Nigel Molesworth, the curse of St. Custards!  More anecdotes?  

 

I have given so many Willans and Searle as gifts.  I can recite The Hogwarts from memory.  Of course it is elegantly terse -- Oh happy day, that FPN has a new member (welcome) who knew the great illustrator!

 

I don't think I've ever typed in all caps or used so many screamers ....



#5 sirgilbert357

sirgilbert357

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,835 posts
  • Location:Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 15 December 2015 - 23:31

I have a Parker 45 in medium nib that writes like a fine upside down. It was really rough at first, but I smoothed it and worked it to the point that I now basically have two pens in one.

#6 missuslovett

missuslovett

    Writer, Artist, Weirdo

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 401 posts
  • Location:Seaside
  • Flag:

Posted 16 December 2015 - 00:29

That almost looks like a dip pen, though it's quite difficult to see. It doesn't look like a MB. As an illustrator myself, I can imagine it might be easier to use the back of a pen for thicker, more fluid lines, to keep things lively, than changing to a brush and chopping and changing. My second cousin was Robert Stewart Sherriffs (Punch, Radio Times, Daily Express etc) and he often used a mixture of brush and mapping pen. Perhaps this was just a life long habit that effectively 'customized' his pens to his hand? What a treat to see him working, though! Great man.

 

There's a couple of Montys here: http://ronaldsearle....01_archive.html


Edited by missuslovett, 16 December 2015 - 00:34.


#7 Goudy

Goudy

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 571 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 16 December 2015 - 00:50

I don't know if this is what Ronald Searle is using, but there are dip pens that can be used to draw a thick line upside down - particularly ones that have a pronounced downward curve at the tip, like this Aikin nib:

 

eho94gk.jpg


utQ9Ep9.jpg


#8 BobGast

BobGast

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Location:Round Lake Beach, IL
  • Flag:

Posted 16 December 2015 - 18:26

My very first fountain pen since becoming actually hooked on them this year was a Zebra that I bought at Walgreens. The only way that I could get it to write even halfway consistently was upside down.



#9 MolesworthTwo

MolesworthTwo

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 17 December 2015 - 04:53

YOU KNEW RONALD SEARLE!  Forgive the shriek of amazement.  I adore, adore, adore Nigel Molesworth, the curse of St. Custards!  More anecdotes?  

 

I have given so many Willans and Searle as gifts.  I can recite The Hogwarts from memory.  Of course it is elegantly terse -- Oh happy day, that FPN has a new member (welcome) who knew the great illustrator!

 

I don't think I've ever typed in all caps or used so many screamers ....

If you are on Facebook, here's the link to my Molesworth Film page. I am currently developing a half hour special based on Willans' and Searle's wonderful characters. With the blessing of Ronald when he was still alive and the Willans family. https://www.facebook...esworth/?ref=hl



#10 MolesworthTwo

MolesworthTwo

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 17 December 2015 - 04:57

I don't know if this is what Ronald Searle is using, but there are dip pens that can be used to draw a thick line upside down - particularly ones that have a pronounced downward curve at the tip, like this Aikin nib:

 

eho94gk.jpg

Ronald used fountain pens for all his reportage work, where he would draw on the spot. In his studio he often used dip pens and I have a whole box full of pens he gave to me in 2010. This Aikin nib looks interesting. I'll try and find one. Many thanks for the tip!



#11 MolesworthTwo

MolesworthTwo

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 17 December 2015 - 05:02

That almost looks like a dip pen, though it's quite difficult to see. It doesn't look like a MB. As an illustrator myself, I can imagine it might be easier to use the back of a pen for thicker, more fluid lines, to keep things lively, than changing to a brush and chopping and changing. My second cousin was Robert Stewart Sherriffs (Punch, Radio Times, Daily Express etc) and he often used a mixture of brush and mapping pen. Perhaps this was just a life long habit that effectively 'customized' his pens to his hand? What a treat to see him working, though! Great man.

 

There's a couple of Montys here: http://ronaldsearle....01_archive.html

My friend Matt Jones runs the Ronald Searle Tribute blog, the one your link leads to. The second image of the pens is one I photographed of some of the pens Ronald gave to me. I do own a few drawings of your second cousin Robert Stewart Sherriffs. Wonderful work, very precise lines. Ronald's work was a little more scratchy :)



#12 Dickkooty2

Dickkooty2

    That Dick in Hood River

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,449 posts
  • Location:Hood River, Oregon, USA
  • Flag:

Posted 17 December 2015 - 05:29

What a wonderful series of first-hand recollections!

 

1466-2_zpss1urqiab.jpg

 

Flash Harry (George Cole) and Headmistress Milicent Fritton (Alastair Sim) in The Belles of St Trinian's (1954  London Films in association with British Lion Film Corporation Limited)]  Ronald Searle appeared in a scene as a visiting parent.

 



#13 Ernst Bitterman

Ernst Bitterman

    Nil Magnum Nisi Bonum

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,000 posts
  • Location:The Flat Bit, Canada
  • Flag:

Posted 17 December 2015 - 15:16

If it's a (relatively) flexible German pen of a certain age, he may be taking advantage of the resiliency of the point to do stuff that isn't quite in the owner's manual, not unlike making the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs or doing an outside loop in a Sopwith Camel; most people can't, few would think to try, but for a talented and lucky handful it is possible.  That's definitely a fountain pen in the video.

 

I've made vast swipes with the back of a pen by rolling the paper over the edge of a table and moving the pen sideways, but I've never tried what's shown (wanting in both luck and talent, as well as forgiving old German pens).  Richard Binder, before he left that line, did something called a Condor nib amendment, rolling the supra-feed part of the tines downward to create a useable broad back on a firm point, and the "fude" points for Japanese and Chinese calligraphy will produce a similar effect at a more conventional writing angle.

 

I'll also point out for those with vintage MBs that it stikes me as a GREAT way to remove any two-tone masking which may be on the point; try it under warning!


Ravensmarch Pens & Books
It's mainly pens, just now....

Oh, good heavens. He's got a blog now, too.

 

fpn_1465330536__hwabutton.jpg

 


#14 kronos77

kronos77

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 342 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia, PA USA
  • Flag:

Posted 18 December 2015 - 14:43

Doesn't Sailor make some speciality nibs that do this?  Also, the Pilot Falcon can be used on the reverse side for broad, brush like lines.








Sponsored Content




|