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Beginner Here, Have Some Questions! :)


Alex_L

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Hey guys, my name is Alex and I’m brand spankin’ new to calligraphy. As in just-started-yesterday new to calligraphy. Anyway, I’m hoping to be able to give you guys some details as to my situation and current supplies and maybe get some recommendations as to how to improve my experience.

I asked for a beginner’s calligraphy set for Christmas, and this is what I received:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Sheaffer-Calligraphy-Maxi-SH-73404/dp/B000MFHVM8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419800919&sr=8-1&keywords=beginner+calligraphy+set

 

It came with 3 nibs (1.1mm, 1.5mm, and 2.0mm) and a bunch of different colored “Skrip” ink cartridges. It seems like a good start, but I’m having a bit of trouble with it. I read that as a rule of thumb, a calligraphy pen should be held so that the nib is at a 45 degree angle, so that’s what I’ve been doing, however, a lot of the time my pen will stop writing halfway through a stroke. It’s like the ink flow just cuts off for some reason. In addition to this, regardless of whether I move the pen to make a thin line or a thick line, it seems to bleed into roughly the same width. My thin and thick lines are hardly distinguishable, even when I move the pen straight down vs. straight across.

I’m really enjoying starting out on this and I was hoping for some advice! I’m thinking about buying a new pen or two. I was hoping to start off with a fountain because I’ve read that they’re better for beginners (don’t hesitate to let me know if this is false). Anyway, I’m looking for a decent quality fountain pen that I can either refill or buy more cartridges for. I’d like something that either comes with multiple nibs or allows me to buy different nibs so that I can experiment. I’m looking to spend about 15-20 dollars for something decent, but if this is unrealistic, feel free to tell me :)

I also feel like it’s worth noting that I’ve tried practicing on both standard printer paper and a type of cardstock and experienced the same lack of distinction between my line widths with all 3 nibs. If you all have any recommendations on some affordable paper to practice with, that would also be great!

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:W2FPN:

I have these 3 pens and use mostly the Fine one, since the two others are way too wet for the paper used at my work (basic copy paper). You may want to invent in a more "dry " ink and better paper. This should help with the bleeding and should be within the $20 limit. Check various threads for ink types that might work for you. I use simple Hero ink (only 3-4 color options, but dry enough and very cheap on eBay). Based on what I read in FPN, It is not recommended to use calligraphy ink that is sold at the arts and craft stores in fountain pens, as it is designed for calligraphy dip pens and might clog your fountain pen.

Edited by lisadan

Dan

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PAPER. A blotting absorbent paper will draw the ink line wider.

Where do you live, and we can help with directing you to paper sources.

Office Depot, Staples, etc.

 

When you write, keep the pen at 45 degrees, or pointed to about 10:30 on the clock.

If you write an X, the top left to bottom right line should be wide, and the top right to bottom left line should be thin.

 

You MUST keep the nib level on the paper.

Hold the pen, then move your head to look down the length of the pen. Is the nib FLAT on the paper?

As you write, if you rotate the pen, one side of the nib will lift. And if rotated enough, the ink will stop flowing.

The back of your hand MUST maintain the same angle to the paper, to keep from rotating the pen. If you rotate your hand, you will rotate the pen.

If you do not write with your arm, that is something that you should learn to do.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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When you write, keep the pen at 45 degrees, or pointed to about 10:30 on the clock.

If you write an X, the top left to bottom right line should be wide, and the top right to bottom left line should be thin.

 

I think you meant 2:30 on the clock? :) Not to worry, sometimes I think I'm half dyslexic myself. haha I only mention it because I didn't want the OP to get confused on handling the broadpoint since he is just getting started.

 

Speaking of dyslexia...have you heard about the dyslexic atheist who went around declaring, "There is no Dog!" :lticaptd:

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Visit me at http://uniqueobliques.etsy.com

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I think you meant 2:30 on the clock? :) Not to worry, sometimes I think I'm half dyslexic myself. haha I only mention it because I didn't want the OP to get confused on handling the broadpoint since he is just getting started.

 

Speaking of dyslexia...have you heard about the dyslexic atheist who went around declaring, "There is no Dog!" :lticaptd:

 

No, nib pointing toward 1030, or NW on the compass, 45 degrees left of straight up.

At least that is how I was taught and read how to hold an edge pen for italic writing.

With the paper straight up and level.

 

Ahhhh, I think I got where you are coming from.

OK, pen and nib pointed to 1030.

The EDGE of the nib is at right angle to the axis of the pen and that would be at 230.

 

doG :D

Edited by ac12

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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I've read that the Sheaffer calligraphy pens aren't what they used to be, but the main problem which you're describing is related to poor quality paper. Try to buy paper such as Rhodia or Clairefontaine if you can. As to the previous posters' confusing remarks about the nib angle: draw a small square, the nib should be finest when you join the bottom left and top right corners together, maintain this angle at all times but keep the nib firmly on the paper (don't press though). I find this difficult to do, but I suppose it just take practise.

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