Author Topic: Question about fine nibs  (Read 2496 times)

Offline flummoxed

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Question about fine nibs
« on: April 24, 2016, 11:02:30 AM »
Hello,

I've been going through my fine nibs (and ruining them fast) at a very rapid pace,
- In the beginning, it was largely because I had a heavy hand and the angles at which I would use the nibs wasn't very good (wrt tines moving across the paper).
- Nowadays, I've been trying to copy lithography style images using a dip pen and nib on different kinds of paper.
- I'm unable to make the Zebra G and Nikko G to work for me, I've seen a few manga artists use them, but they seem to have the following problems for me, a) they catch the paper very quickly and start splattering ink, and b) they aren't that fine!

I'd like to know if any of you know cheap, easily available, (fairly) resilient fine nibs that have limited or no flex that can be used on different kinds of paper that tends to have some fiber coming of it. Some exemplars can be found on my Instagram (the pictures are mostly of those finished in fountain pens as the earlier versions/studies were with a dip pen).

I understand this isn't strictly a calligraphy question, so please do feel free to move/delete the thread.

Offline Salman Khattak

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 10:30:09 PM »
I think you will get much better performance from your nibs if you only used downstrokes when applying any kind of pressure on the nib. Both Zebra and Nikko G nibs are quite forgiving. Flex or no flex, any nib that is finer than those will be harder to use I think.

There are nibs with a slightly upturned tip that are very easy to use and don't catch on rough paper. I don't think they made any that would be finer than a Zebra G though.

I have quite successfully used very fine crow quill nibs on less than perfectly smooth paper with good results. With time, you will develop a light hand which helps a lot.

A lot of pen and ink artists uses Bristol Board for their work. It's hard smooth surface takes ink beautifully and there are no fibres to catch the tines. You can use only very light under-drawing though as it is pretty hard to erase any pencil work cleanly.

- Salman
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Offline flummoxed

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 04:32:35 PM »
Thanks Salman, while my copperplate has improved drastically, I am struggling with using light hand when trying to copy the lithograph style. The difference is that while writing, I never have to hold the line for a long time, but whole drawing, the lines and curves tend to be much longer. As the length of the line increases, I have noticed a tendency to increase pressure.

In case of writing, I am sure my downstrokes are the ones with pressure and the upstrokes are light, whereas when drawing, there are a lot of strokes that are horizontal and it is these strokes that I think where the paper gets caught.

What do you mean by slightly upturned nibs?

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 06:03:37 PM »

What do you mean by slightly upturned nibs?
He is referencing nibs that have a slight upturn at the tip, like the Esterbrook 501 pictured here. It catches less on upstrokes.


Offline flummoxed

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2016, 01:58:26 AM »
Oh! Thanks, will look to see if they are available and give them a shot.

Offline AndyT

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2016, 04:02:12 AM »
The Gillott 1290 ticks some of your boxes, being fine and having a turned up tip, but it's described as medium/high elastic.  On the other hand the 1068A is a stiff one but the point may well be inclined to catch.  It's probably time to order a selection of the less well known numbers from Gillott and Leonardt, certainly, and maybe Brause, and experiment with them.

Vintage nibs with turned up tips are pretty wonderful.  Writing with them is scarcely less convenient than using a fountain pen and they usually have a useful amount of firmish flex.  The McNiven and Cameron Waverley for instance is still abundant (testament no doubt to the huge quantities made) and can be had quite cheaply.  The trouble with that class of pens is that the majority write a fairly broad line because they were designed primarily for durability and ease of use rather than finesse.

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2016, 09:31:56 AM »
Oh! Thanks, will look to see if they are available and give them a shot.
They are readily available on eBay. In fact, there is a full box for $30 with free shipping right now
http://www.ebay.com/itm/231896700654?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
or you can find individual one there.
If you want to wait until next week, I'll send you one when I return home.


Offline flummoxed

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2016, 04:42:57 PM »
The Gillott 1290 ticks some of your boxes, being fine and having a turned up tip, but it's described as medium/high elastic.  On the other hand the 1068A is a stiff one but the point may well be inclined to catch.  It's probably time to order a selection of the less well known numbers from Gillott and Leonardt, certainly, and maybe Brause, and experiment with them.

Vintage nibs with turned up tips are pretty wonderful.  Writing with them is scarcely less convenient than using a fountain pen and they usually have a useful amount of firmish flex.  The McNiven and Cameron Waverley for instance is still abundant (testament no doubt to the huge quantities made) and can be had quite cheaply.  The trouble with that class of pens is that the majority write a fairly broad line because they were designed primarily for durability and ease of use rather than finesse.

McNiven and Cameron Waverley seem and the Gillot 1290 seem to be similarly priced, I did end up finding the 1950 and an older version of it apparently: http://ornasonova.com/NibSpecials.php#Litho0620. I was looking at a few of the nibs listed as drafting or map-making ones, as they tend to be firmer but more forgiving than the flexible ones. I bought this bunch of nibs called the Massag 332 a while back and you are right, they are fairly broad rather than fine.

Offline flummoxed

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2016, 04:57:27 PM »
They are readily available on eBay. In fact, there is a full box for $30 with free shipping right now
http://www.ebay.com/itm/231896700654?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
or you can find individual one there.
If you want to wait until next week, I'll send you one when I return home.

Would have loved to bid on them. The individual price on them at different places seem to be between $1 to $2 and this would have been a steal.Sadly, the seller doesn't seem to ship to India (a frequent problem with many things), I've written to them in a few cases and they don't want to ship it here. Are you the seller by any chance? And yes, I can definitely wait for a week.

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2016, 06:28:11 PM »

Would have loved to bid on them. The individual price on them at different places seem to be between $1 to $2 and this would have been a steal.Sadly, the seller doesn't seem to ship to India (a frequent problem with many things), I've written to them in a few cases and they don't want to ship it here. Are you the seller by any chance? And yes, I can definitely wait for a week.
No, I'm not the seller.
I'd probably wait until you try this nib, in any case, as it is not as fine as a Nikko Zebra, perhaps not fine enough for your purposes.
PM me your address and I'll send you one to try on Monday.

Mike

Offline flummoxed

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2016, 01:46:34 AM »
No, I'm not the seller.
I'd probably wait until you try this nib, in any case, as it is not as fine as a Nikko Zebra, perhaps not fine enough for your purposes.
PM me your address and I'll send you one to try on Monday.

Mike

Thanks Mike, I'll PM you.

Offline flummoxed

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2016, 11:17:35 AM »
And this was was the reason for this topic, thanks for the nibs @AnasaziWrites


Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2016, 11:51:09 AM »
Wow. Nice work.

Offline flummoxed

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Re: Question about fine nibs
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2016, 02:01:52 AM »
Thanks Mike!