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Welcome !

 

Thanks for your generosity. I enjoyed the drawings.

What makes the Waterman Phileas particularly suited for your drawing ?

Sasha Royale,

 

Hmm. What an interesting question—one I can answer only for my own experience creating www.TwelveDrawings.com

 

Fountain pens are much more closely associated with writing than with drawing. In fact, I don't personally know any artists who use a fountain pen. I am pleased to find artists here on the Fountain Pen Network, but I think fountain pen usage is probably rare in the general population of artists.

 

WHY NOT USE PENCIL?

First, I should explain why I prefer using pen and ink vs a pencil. I can and do use pencil for sketching but have always preferred the demands and rewards of pen and ink. I would compare pencil use with skydiving, where there is real excitement involved but also ample room for correcting minor errors. Pen and ink is more like B.A.S.E. jumping which is very unforgiving of even the smallest mistake. (Not that I am brave enough to actually try either dangerous sport for real). Every mark or motion made by a pen will remain visible in the final drawing, so there is a bit of risktaking in each new stroke of a pen.

 

WHY NOT USE A CALIGRAPHY PEN?

This one you already know. The chisel-shaped nib required to make those wonderful letter forms is not well-suited for my style of illustration.

 

WHY NOT USE A TECHNICAL PEN?

Most pen and ink artists I know are fond of Rapidograph technical pens https://d2npbuaakacvlz.cloudfront.net/images/uploaded/large-present/2012/7/13/rapidograph-pens-1342201371.jpg These unique pens were used worldwide for creating architectural blueprints and engineering drawing. They come in an astonishing array of nib widths, but are must be held almost perpendicular to the page, rather than in an oblique handwriting position. Although I love Rapidographs, I prefer a pen that lets me use a relaxed handwriting grip.....thus, I use a Phileas.

 

WHY NOT A MORE EXPENSIVE FOUNTAIN PEN THAN PHILEAS?

Here I must declare a tiny bit of Divine intervention. I had only a brief interest in fountain pen as a child. Then, in middle age, I came across a display of Phileas pens in the Staples office supply store. I was mostly an idle doodler at that time, so I'm not sure why I suddenly wanted to own the Phileas. Its $50 price tag seemed absurdly high since my favorite drawing pen at the time was a $1.49 Pilot RazorPoint felt-tip pen. I took the plunge and bought what for me was an exorbidant luxury item. (Only much, much later did I learn that the Phileas is viewed by connoisseurs as a low-end "economy model" pen.) I was mesmerized by the very things that Waterman had purposely included...nostalgic Art Deco styling, glossy black enamel, and gleaming gold details. I don't usually collect "bling", but I liked owning this one particular bit of dazzle.

 

WHY NOT A LESS EXPENSIVE PEN?

I have formed a loyal bond with the Phileas. My devotion is not entirely rational, but it harms no one that I don't seek out less-expensive alternatives.

 

WHAT'S TO LIKE ABOUT THE PHILEAS?

• FEEL: Looks aside, I found the Phileas to have an excellent "feel" when writing or drawing. Other than my one childhood pen (a Sheaffer?), I have no basis for comparison. Today, I realize I was not alone in admiring the smooth performance of Phileas. The high-end Waterman designers seem to done a remarkable job when they created this low-end pen. It writes cleanly, delivers ink reliably, is physically rugged (when the cap is firmly on), and very easy to maintain.

• CONSISTENCY: Like most ink illustrators, I primarily use dots (stippling) and lines (hatching) in my illustrations. A typical fountain pen is meant to create handwriting, but there are plenty of dots and lines in that. However, when I am drawing, I work very very fast. My Phileas must deliver up to 200+ dots per minute—that's averages 12,000 strokes per hour. Multiply that by 2 to 8 hours per drawing, times 70+ drawings and you'll see I am putting my Phileas through torture-test conditions. I have never "worn out" a Phileas pen. I have lost one and ruined two (accidentally dropping them nose-down onto concrete), but they work as well when old as they did new.

• DIVERSITY: The afore-mentioned Rapidograph technical pens deliver a consistent, near-perfect round ink dot with each tap. That's why so many artists love them. When I draw, I am improvising constantly and do not want to see a perfect uniformity in my pen marks. The Phileas is capable of drawing very neatly, but it can also deliver scratchy, sloppy, and even wild lines given the right drawing technique. When I examine my stippling under a mangnifier, I am amazed that no two dots look alike. That would drive perfectionists crazy, perhaps, but I like it in a jazzy improvisational sort of way.

 

Thank you for asking a very interesting question, Sasha Royale. I had never given any of the above much thought before. I know there are many much-finer pens in the world. But by Divine intervention or just plain luck, I found the right one for me (and my budget) on the first try. Since I am a pen user, not a collector, I am contented to stop with what I've got.

 

I am curious how other fountain pen artists would answer your question.

 

TweveDrawings

Edited by TwelveDrawings

 

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It was illustrating/art that got me 'into' fountain pens. I used to use dip pens. Yes, you could achieve hairlines and even a crow quill was flexible to some extent. Then I went to those technical pens. Not Rapidograph, but Grumbacher had their version. This pen was always exploding on me and Grumbacher was always apologetically sending new ones.

 

But I dunno... I saw a drawing of a Pelikan 120 in one of Frank Lohan's books, and he described it as an 'artist's pen, flexible.'

 

Naturally, I couldn't find one. But this sent me on The Great FP Quest! Which continues to this day.

 

I've sketched with Hero 616s, Wing Sungs, various fude, Sheaffers, Nemosine Singularities, Sailors, Lamy Safaris. Whatever is in reach.

 

And eventually, someone GAVE me a Pel 120. That was a true Pen Pal.

My other pen is a Montblanc and...

 

My other blog is a tumblr.

 

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As backwards as it sounds i got into fountain pens because of the inks. i love sketching in pen and markers but there are very few options out there that are lightfast ph neutral and waterproof. fountain pens allow me to sketch on the go and then do watercolors over the finished sketch. as soon as i used my first cheepo fountain pen i was hooked. when i started getting into vintage pens i became obsessed. each vintage pen is unique.

 

some pens just have something to say and the drawings flow out of them. i don't know how or why but when you pick up certain pens the drawings just flow out. the expense of the pen has nothing to do with it either. for example i have a sheaffer school pen that i always seem to get good drawings out of. my other sheaffer school pens write about the same but the drawings don't flow out of them the same way.

 

my favorite type of pen is one with a very broad flexible stub nib. its similar in many ways to drawing with a brush but i feel it has more control and more immediacy because you don't have to think about dipping or be aware of how much ink is in the brush. even if you are not putting full thought and intent into each line the nature of how a pen writes produces such beautiful lines that it will often still look good.

 

i think fountain pens really shine for sketching. they are amazingly portable because of their compact nature. despite how daintily i often treat them they are incredibly durable when compared carrying around brushes or dip pens. i am hesitant to use the term because my hands are perpetually stained with ink but fountain pens are relatively clean. there is nothing to spill unless you are refilling the pen and knock the bottle of ink over. fountain pens offer a lot of versatility with ink choices. if you're confident in your abilities you can use a permanent black ink, or if you are more tentative you can use a light blue ink for an under drawing and digitally edit it out like a non photo blue pencil.

 

here are two artists worth checking out who use fountain pens

 

Don Low

http://www.donlowillustration.com/blog/?cat=72

don low inadvertently got me into fountain pens. he took the time to answer any questions i had about his materials and techniques

 

Mattias Adolfsson

http://www.mattiasadolfsson.com/

i never knew he was a fountain pen user until a saw a photo of his desk where he had a cup with a bunch of fountain pens in it.

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It was illustrating/art that got me 'into' fountain pens. I used to use dip pens. Yes, you could achieve hairlines and even a crow quill was flexible to some extent. Then I went to those technical pens. Not Rapidograph, but Grumbacher had their version. This pen was always exploding on me and Grumbacher was always apologetically sending new ones.

 

But I dunno... I saw a drawing of a Pelikan 120 in one of Frank Lohan's books, and he described it as an 'artist's pen, flexible.'

 

Naturally, I couldn't find one. But this sent me on The Great FP Quest! Which continues to this day.

 

I've sketched with Hero 616s, Wing Sungs, various fude, Sheaffers, Nemosine Singularities, Sailors, Lamy Safaris. Whatever is in reach.

 

And eventually, someone GAVE me a Pel 120. That was a true Pen Pal.

I enjoy hearing your experiences....and your tales of exploding technical pens brought back memories. Those pens were high maintenance, especially in the smaller sizes. Sounds like you have branched out and explored different pens, which gives you more options than I currently have.

 

Where can we see some of your work, if you wish to share?

 

-- TwelveDrawings.com

 

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As backwards as it sounds i got into fountain pens because of the inks. i love sketching in pen and markers but there are very few options out there that are lightfast ph neutral and waterproof. fountain pens allow me to sketch on the go and then do watercolors over the finished sketch. as soon as i used my first cheepo fountain pen i was hooked. when i started getting into vintage pens i became obsessed. each vintage pen is unique.

 

some pens just have something to say and the drawings flow out of them. i don't know how or why but when you pick up certain pens the drawings just flow out. the expense of the pen has nothing to do with it either. for example i have a sheaffer school pen that i always seem to get good drawings out of. my other sheaffer school pens write about the same but the drawings don't flow out of them the same way.

 

my favorite type of pen is one with a very broad flexible stub nib. its similar in many ways to drawing with a brush but i feel it has more control and more immediacy because you don't have to think about dipping or be aware of how much ink is in the brush. even if you are not putting full thought and intent into each line the nature of how a pen writes produces such beautiful lines that it will often still look good.

 

i think fountain pens really shine for sketching. they are amazingly portable because of their compact nature. despite how daintily i often treat them they are incredibly durable when compared carrying around brushes or dip pens. i am hesitant to use the term because my hands are perpetually stained with ink but fountain pens are relatively clean. there is nothing to spill unless you are refilling the pen and knock the bottle of ink over. fountain pens offer a lot of versatility with ink choices. if you're confident in your abilities you can use a permanent black ink, or if you are more tentative you can use a light blue ink for an under drawing and digitally edit it out like a non photo blue pencil.

 

here are two artists worth checking out who use fountain pens

 

Don Low

http://www.donlowillustration.com/blog/?cat=72

don low inadvertently got me into fountain pens. he took the time to answer any questions i had about his materials and techniques

 

Mattias Adolfsson

http://www.mattiasadolfsson.com/

i never knew he was a fountain pen user until a saw a photo of his desk where he had a cup with a bunch of fountain pens in it.

Your vivid descriptions will probably tempt many first-timers to try the fountain pen for sketching. I appreciate you placing the FP in context among other ink-based instruments. The artists you shared are as talented as they are diverse. I could sit and study them for hours.

 

Where can we see your work? Please share.

 

Mine is at www.twelvedrawings.com

 

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I enjoy hearing your experiences....and your tales of exploding technical pens brought back memories. Those pens were high maintenance, especially in the smaller sizes. Sounds like you have branched out and explored different pens, which gives you more options than I currently have.

 

Where can we see some of your work, if you wish to share?

 

-- TwelveDrawings.com

Thanks! I think some of it is lurking on the 'Learning To Draw/Sketch With Fountain Pen' thread in The Write Stuff.

 

I still own numerous dip pens, but I'm not sure about tech pens. Oh, and I neglected to mention the Pilot 78G!

My other pen is a Montblanc and...

 

My other blog is a tumblr.

 

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