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Fountain Pen/ink Matching For Italic Calligraphy


dms525
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I recently received a new pen with a custom-ground italic nib. As is often true, I had to try a few inks before I found one with an acceptable combination of color, dryness (related to thick/thin line differentiation) and lubrication (related to flow and how smooth the nib feels in writing). I thought the resulting writing samples might be of interest to some others.

 

The pen is a Montegrappa Extra.

 

Montegrappa Extra web.jpg
Montegrappa Extra nib web.jpg
Ink compare - intro.jpg
I first inked the pen with Leonardo Blue. This is a lovely ink that I have been using a lot recently. It is moderately dry and works very well with Leonardo stub nibs.
Flow was hesitant and the line differentiation was disappointing. So, I thought, this is a Montegrappa pen. Montegrappa ink is probably optimized for Montegrappa nibs. I only had one bottle of Montegrappa ink which I had never opened. I had thought it was black, but it turned out to be brown.
The nib seemed much smoother with this ink, and the color was okay. However, it was a wettish ink in a wettish nib, and line differentiation was not at all acceptable. So, I went with one of my "go to" inks. It was a good color match and, in my experience, works well in a very wide variety of nibs - a very forgiving ink, so to speak. Sheaffer Blue-Black ink:
Bingo!
There are other inks I might try at some point, for example, some of the Diamine blues and Pelikan Blue-Black, but I am quite content with how Sheaffer Blue-Black works with this pen.

 

Happy writing!

 

David

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A very interesting approach, David, and the closeup pics are very helpful to understand the reason of your search.

 

There is no doubt that the Sheaffer Blue-Black performs much better than the other two inks in terms of crispiness and shading. And I like the color very much!

 

P.S Would you mind, when you will have a chance, to post a pic of the entire pen shot in natural light, like the second pic of your post?

Edited by fpupulin
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A very interesting approach, David, and the closeup pics are very helpful to understand the reason of your search.

 

There is no doubt that the Sheaffer Blue-Black performs much better than the other two inks in terms of crispiness and shading. And I like the color very much!

 

P.S Would you mind, when you will have a chance, to post a pic of the entire pen shot in natural light, like the second pic of your post?

 

Thanks for your comments, Franco.

 

I'll try to remember to photograph the Montegrappa out of doors tomorrow. I would probably post it over in the Montegrappa photo topic.

 

David

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So, I went with one of my "go to" inks. It was a good color match and, in my experience, works well in a very wide variety of nibs - a very forgiving ink, so to speak. Sheaffer Blue-Black ink:

 

 

Thankyou for this recommendation! I've only recently begun to practice an italic hand and still finding my way with pen and ink pairings that work well. I picked up a bottle today. It is a relief to have an ink known to be reliable with edge pens because it will help with troubleshooting as well as having one less variable to be concerned about while learning. It is really appreciated.

It's all about the greys...

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Thankyou for this recommendation! I've only recently begun to practice an italic hand and still finding my way with pen and ink pairings that work well. I picked up a bottle today. It is a relief to have an ink known to be reliable with edge pens because it will help with troubleshooting as well as having one less variable to be concerned about while learning. It is really appreciated.

 

Hi, Amanda.

 

Sheaffer inks are quite good with most of my pens, but I do have some italic nibs that need wetter inks than this and some which need drier inks. It is usually a matter of trial and error and more trials. If you are serious about calligraphy with fountain pens, the effort is worth it, IMO.

 

Happy writing!

 

David

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I'll admit that I don't tend to match ink and pen colors (the major exception being my M400 Brown Tortoise, which so far has managed to resist any plans I have to put a color besides brown in it; I keep threatening the pen with Noodler's Navajo Turquoise, and the pen just laughs at me... :blush:).

I *do* however, sometimes try to (after accounting for behaviors such as wetness and flow, or if an ink is higher maintenance -- so no Kung Te Cheng in a pen with a sac) put inks into pens that I think will look good coming out of a specific pen (no green inks in blue pens, for instance).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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  • 1 month later...

I've found this to be really important to me as well now that I've started using a lot of stub/italic nibs. A lot of inks that previously worked fine in needlepoint flex pens don't have nearly the control of line and flow in them to allow me to use the stub nibs appropriately, and I don't see the full potential of the pen when using those inks.

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