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Article: How You Should Use Fountain Pen for Calligraphy

How You Should Use Fountain Pen for Calligraphy

Created by nikolietta_calligraphy

As people start to look at calligraphy and make it one of the biggest fads, you can expect many related items will start popping up. Nevertheless, you can expect a great number of pens to be highly demanded during this time. In this case, even a simple writing tool can turn into one of the best calligraphy items. But, one of the most relatable things is the fountain pen. 

But surprisingly, many people have little to no idea about fountain pens for calligraphy. Indeed, the item is pretty cool and usable for the lettering art form. But, it does need some attention and practice before one can master it. So, what should you do with the pen? Before going straight to it, you better know about the calligraphy pen in general. 


About Calligraphy And Dip Pen 

Let's start with the basic information and ideas about the art form. So, why calligraphy? This art form of beautiful lettering has been rising in popularity over the past year. The ranges of options, design, models, and the way people use ranges of tools make it like an affordable piece of art. And indeed, it is. 

You can start learning calligraphy using any writing utensil, from the standard pen, dip, marker, to the fountain one. So, what are the best options to work with? Depending on your ability and mastery, the fountain pen might not be the best for starters. You can say that this particular item is pretty unique since it embraces the traditional dip and modern cartridge. 

So, is it possible to use the other kind of utensil or writing tool? Yes, you can. If you are just learning how to create calligraphy, you can start with a pencil and pen. Learn the basics of how to make the lettering—starting from the way to use and grip the tool, adding a loop and iconic details. After that, you can explore your option of the pen. 

Considering how vast and many possibilities you can do for calligraphy, it is safe to say that it does not have a particular pen to use. Every item you choose will demand different usage as well as how to handle it. Some pens are pretty easy to use, while the others will ask you tons of practice. So, which part is the fountain pen for calligraphy? The answer is the latter one. 

Created by suzcunningham


The fountain is also part of dip pens, which were later modernized and made simpler by adding an ink cartridge. It makes the tool more practical and also more durable. In this case, you will find that it is part of the dip pen category. It is because the major design is the same as the manual or the traditional one. 

The dip pencil makes it different with two parts, the handle and the nib made out of metal points. If you are not familiar with the idea, you might have seen writing made out of metal tip and feather as part of the handle. The principal is the same, which is dipping the metal nib onto the ink before writing. 

One thing that makes the fountain pen worth mentioning is the characteristic. When the traditional item needs a constant dipping action, the calligraphy fountain type does not. The basic principle and how it holds the ink comes from the small slit on the metal nib. It allows ink to vent from the hole and transfer into the paper. 

The use of the dip method in the writing tool also signifies the characteristic of calligraphy. It is about writing in 45ᵒ angle. The angled grip is meant to combine the help of gravity and the use of capillary on the nib. Thus, creating a constant flow of ink for the lettering art form. This kind of dip pen also evolves through time. 

A long time ago, the metal nib used to be made of metal things such as bronze or copper. However, the newer edition and design will use steel to bump up the durability. However, with the idea to make it easier to use and practical, it later came with varying models. You can find the handle made out of glass, metal, plastic, bone, and many more.  

Created by suzcunningham


About Fountain Pen 

So, why use a fountain pen for calligraphy if you can choose the dip one? One thing that is for sure is the practicality aspect. Many people in this modern-day prefer fast and quick, but at the same time do not lose the quality. In this case, the way the fountain design works will suffice people's need for a comfortable, traditional, but also effective writing tool. 

It was also possible to call the fountain the innovation of dip pens. The tool comes with a lot of nib sizes, but they are not interchangeable. It is because the writing tool contains ink in it, not like the dip one. While it does make it a little bit impractical to change, the idea helps minimize constant ink dip. 

It also means that you have to buy or own more than one item to make different kinds of line or calligraphy designs. You have to use the small fine lines nib to make a feathery stroke or use the broader nib for large writing. While it might sound a bit full of hassle, using an interchangeable nib also comes with a lot of benefits. 

Created by theosone

The best one is to ensure durability. Since you don't need to change the fountain pen nibs all the time, it won't make it chip or break in a short time. Another reason goes to the fact that the metal nib in it is where the pen stores all the ink. The ink storage itself can be different based on the production, such as the converter, cartridge, or any other internal reservoir. 

The use of cartridges in the fountain pen is a blessing for calligraphy artists. Even though it limits the nib access, an artist or writer does not need to put ink from time to time. It is refillable and also lasts longer. Again, this revolutionary tool is something that changed the fate of the feather pen in the late 19th century. 

In the term fountain pen for calligraphy, the usage is pretty vast. It is because the nib model and size variance help create huge ranges of lettering. But no matter what, the fountain design mostly appears with the fine tib. It later turned into one of the most versatile items since you can use it for normal writing, cursive, script, or calligraphy. 

So, the nib access and model will determine your product. Calligraphy with fine lines or flourishing design is mostly made with the finer tib. Meanwhile, the faux design is also doable with this particular writing tool. Due to the versatility and huge possibilities, the tool also gained more popularity during the first half of the 20th century. 

How can it be? People consider its ability to work as a simple writing instrument as well as art. People can use it for essential lettering design, calligraphy, arts, business documents, and many more. Not only that, fountain pens have been getting more fancy as time goes. You can find products with intricate metal carving to the unique handle.    

Created by mattiabonora


How To Use The Tool 

As mentioned in the previous points, the fountain tool is not an easy pen to work with. It does have its perk and quirk, which makes the user need to learn the grounding skill. The use of ink cartridges and metal nib also means extra attention. You will find that it is not a simple item to make calligraphy. But rather a piece of the tool meant for art and regular work. 

In the case of working with a fountain pen for calligraphy, you might have to consider the modern style. It is not the best tool for traditional lettering but rather the best one for the faux style. The faux design is characterized by the unique use of lines and manually filling color on the thick strokes. It is a thing that you can nail with any kind of writing tool. 

1. Drafting With Pencil  

Mastering the art of calligraphy takes time, and you get to mind a lot of things. It is not only swirling lines and erratic lettering that make it good, but also how you handle the pen. It also applies to your fountain. If you are new to this writing tool and still figuring out how to make the best use of it, it is better to work with guidelines. 

It is one of the basic things to do upon using new equipment. The idea is pretty simple. You can use any kind of paper and prepare the guideline using a pencil. Since you are going to use a fountain pen for calligraphy, the pencil drawing will help you know which line to work on. At the same time, it allows you to alter the design and make it fix on the later state. 

So, how many calligraphy guidelines do you need to make? It is up to you. You can make a simple guideline to align the writing, the loop, the angle, etc. Or you can make a complete calligraphy drawing using a pencil. So, you can draw over it using a fountain pen or any kind of utensil you are trying. 

Created by nikolietta_calligraphy

Remember that the basic guidelines are the best way to practice calligraphy. The guideline is made of three equally-spaced horizontal guidelines and one vertical. So, it makes a centered calligraphy guideline. You can use this guideline as a way to determine the center of your lettering, the angle, the length of the upward or downward stroke, and its hang loop. 

With this guideline, you can also practice slowly with the fountain tool. You can try rhythm, shaping, and movement. Remember that it demands more care since you are dealing with ink cartridges. The angle is the key to your pretty calligraphy. At the same time, you also need to remember that you are going to use a fountain pen for calligraphy. 

The calligraphy is meant to do in the modern style. In this case, you can work with faux styles that need a manual stroke lining. At the same time, modern design also has free rules. So, you can write whatever and however you want. But, remember that you are going to use a fountain pen later on. So, you ensure your pencil calligraphy draft is traceable. 

Created by nikolietta_calligraphy


2. Choosing The Nib 

After you get the pencil guideline and drawing done, you can get straight to the fountain pen. This pen is pretty unique to the point that you have to consider the ink and also the way to use it. The first thing that you need to pay attention to is the fountain nib. You will need to choose the best nib that suits the calligraphy lettering design. 

In this case, you will need to consider some options before deciding to use a fountain pen for calligraphy. Why so? Because you have to consider the nib weight and thick tip beforehand. At the same time, it is a metal part of the fountain type that is not interchangeable. So, you got to buy the right one, or you will end up with tons of pens. 

To narrow down your options, you may need to think about the nib width. The broader the nib is, the thicker the downstroke will be. However, choosing the fountain nib also depends on your calligraphy style. If you are going for a faux style, it is better to use the fine line. As you want to color it, you can use the broader one to make the process easier. 

Created by tolgagirgin99


3. Loading The Ink 

With the nib ready, you will need to load the ink. The fountain pen is one of the innovations that help you skip all of the hassles of dipping it over and over again. However, you still need to fill your pen with ink. Remember to read the manual on what kind of ink and how to refill the tank. If you don't follow the manual and use the wrong ink, it might jam the calligraphy fountain nib. 

This kind of issue might not be too much of a problem. However, it can disrupt the ink flow as you create the calligraphy. This situation will later make your lettering look bad. So, make sure you get enough ink and use the proper one. Some pens might also have a built-in window that shows the ink level. So, remember to fill it out and make sure you don't run out. 

Created by bad_calligraphy


4. Practices 

Remember that fountain pens need unique care and use. And so does calligraphy lettering in general. In this case, practicing before working for the real deal is the key. You can learn how to maintain a 45-degree angle grip or how to make smooth calligraphy swoosh. At the same time, you can also learn how to adjust the stroke weight and line length. 

Again, practice makes your work perfect and better. In this case, using a fountain pen for calligraphy might be one of the new challenges that you have to do. It appears that the art form also has a lot of elements, such as decorative tails, serifs, and connections between lines. Practice will help you be confident. As you feel ready, start to finalize the draft with the pen. 

Created by tolgagirgin99


5. Go Over The Draft

No matter how complicated your pencil draft or drawing is, your confidence in using the fountain nib pen ink will be the main point. Whether you are already familiar or new with the pen, you need to underline some of the basic learning curves. It consists of pretty basic information and details that help your hand move. 

When you are going to use the fountain, ensure you can see five the steady pressure for both sides. It applies to the broader nib. At the same time, keep the same 45-angled pen for the whole calligraphy draft. Even though the angle is not completely necessary for faux style, using it with the pen will help you become accustomed to the calligraphy curve.  

Created by avinash_calligraphy


6. Erase The Guideline 

Once you trace all of the pencil draft or drawing, let the ink dry. Most of the modern fountain ink can take about 2-5 minutes. But, this duration can differ from one ink to another. It also depends on how thick you apply the ink in the drawing. At most, the part that takes a longer time to dry will be the thick downstroke. 

After the ink is completely dry, your work with a fountain pen for calligraphy is done. However, you need to erase the guideline. In this case, you need to be careful when using an eraser. Hold down the paper and ensure you tear it down. Pay more attention to the edges of the calligraphy and the area that is close to the pen ink.  

Created by sarahscript


Final Words

Using a particular calligraphy pen does mean that one needs mastery or basic practice. It is especially true since this particular art form demands a unique point about the method. It gets even more serious when you are using the fountain pen. You have to understand the basics and work along with the pen to make the best art possible.

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