fountain pens on parade (with hand lettering samples)

Just got back to the studio from the kitchen with a handful of fountain pens that all ran dry within the last half hour.  Since posts about pens and hand lettering are always popular and since I had to scribble with each of them for a few lines anyway to make sure that the ink settles properly into the nib, I decided to pull out a bit of scrap Bristol and make this freehand lettering sample.  Normally I doodle to work the ink through and get it to flow freely, but lettering practice works just as well.fountain pens on paradeAs always, click on the image to see it full size.  This was a pretty random selection and doesn’t include any of my specialized lettering pens.  All of these have steel nibs, ranging from very stiff to fairly flexible, and all are standard writing nibs except the big stub.  There’s quite a contrast in size between a Pelikan BB (other companies’ BB nibs might even be a fraction larger) and a Japanese home market EF, smaller than an American EF.  The little tiny Pilot pen is literally needle sharp and has to be handled carefully to keep from tearing the surface of the paper.  This can cause the ink to feather.

Note the size differences between a well worn Lamy M nib (the Old Friend (blue)) and the almost-new one in the clear body.  The Old Friend (blue) is probably my single favorite fountain pen.  I use it for a lot of my lettering, and I ink almost all my speech balloons with it.  It and the Old Friend (RED) were bought at the same time, were my first fountain pens bought for drawing that weren’t Rotrings, and are at least 20 years old.  Both are still working superbly and are incredibly smooth.  Lamys are great pens and the older they get the better they are.

The nibs of the two Lamy Ms are the same size, with the line width difference being caused by wear. But I am convinced the nibs of the Rotring Art Pen EF sketch models are getting smaller.  The White Dot pen is around ten years older than the newish “plain cap” and is noticeably larger.   I have a third EF Rotring which wears an M cap out of my parts box– this pen is even older, very well worn, and its line is almost as broad as that made by the F nib Lamy.  I always refill these pens separately to keep from mixing up the caps and having to sort them out again.

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