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The Dabbler
07-30-2007, 10:30 AM
I've been practicing the lessons in merry scribe's tutorial and have some difficulty getting consistent flow from my dip pen. Stated as accurately as possible. In the first two lines of letters, the ink flows way to heavy. In the next two lines, the flow is only so so and then I get one good line of script before I start running out of in ink and start the same absurd process again.
haaaalp meee pleeeeze

Penmoel
07-30-2007, 11:09 AM
Hi
There are a few questions that need to be asked before someone can give you the correct answer to your problems.

If you use ink you shouldn't be getting a lot of problems with flow unless the ink is a little but too thick so add a bit of water, dip your nib and give it a small nudge to get rid of any extra that the nib can cope with.

If your using a reservoir, this might be a little bit too tight on the nib, get the reservoir as loose as poss on the nib without it falling off, try a thin strip of masking tape to hold it in place if required, the reservoir shoud not have any tension at all on the nib.

If your using gouach mix enough water to get it to the concistancy of milk (ish) not to runny always add a small drop of gum arabic solution to the gouach, mix in. When you come to rub out your pencil lines this will help your lettering to stay on the page, it won't smudge.

If time passes and your in a hot place, remember that your ink/gouach will be drying up slightly so add a small drop of water and stir in.

Always try your nib on a piece of scrap paper before going for the real thing.

Check that your reservoir is approx 1 to 2mm from the end of the nib, don't have it to high on the nib.

Always (if you like) brush/fill the gouach on the nib.


Hope this helps
Emlyn
Wales:wave:

The Dabbler
07-30-2007, 12:56 PM
Dear Emlyn
Wales:wave:
Thankyou so much for your timely reply. I am leaving shortly and will be brown and carpet bagging in a motel the next few days. So this will give me a chance to try a few things. I've never tried to adjust the consistency. Only one nib has an adjustable res. the rest are fixed above the tip and do contact the nib. The quill tip (no res.) dont cause me much problems

Penmoel
07-30-2007, 02:16 PM
Thank You
Going by your reply it would seem that a little bit more attention to consistency would help out, many give up at this stage out of frustration but perserverance will reward you.
Others can do it so why not you, enjoy the journey you seem to be on two at the moment.
Best Emlyn

Autumnwillow
07-30-2007, 10:25 PM
I don't get by here much anymore, but I was about to post my most recent calligraphy job and read this thread. I'm not sure about this, but I read a post a while ago about having to get the shellac off of new dip pen nibs by running them through a candle's flame... I tried this with some of mine and they work beautifully now. I'm new to dip pens, usually just use the cartridge type too, so this was news to me. If anyone has more info, that would be great, because I'm not even sure if I did it right... you know, long enough etc.

I have another question that arose from the suggestions made. I wouldn't think waterproof ink would be treated the same way, as far as adding a drop of water to it to thin it? What should be used instead of water?

I've been doing calligraphy for a long time, but there's still so much I don't know!! Always learning... :D

Michele

callibeth
07-31-2007, 05:30 AM
Just to add to the good suggestions already given: Be sure you are working with your writing surface at a slant. Working flat with a broad-edge pen causes too much ink or gouache to come out of the pen at the beginning. (That old pesky world force, gravity, you know.)

Actually, there's an inverse relationship to writing fluid and board slant: the runnier the writing fluid, the steeper the board slant.

Regards,
Beth Lee
Tallahasee, Florida
www.callibeth.com (http://www.callibeth.com/)
callibeth.blogspot.com (http://callibeth.blogspot.com/)

Autumnwillow
08-01-2007, 12:06 AM
Wow, Beth, I didn't ever even think of that! And it just goes to show you, learn something new every day... That seems like such an obvious thing, too, makes me feel ashamed as a Calligrapher :o

Michele

The Dabbler
08-01-2007, 12:13 AM
I have been working with a non waterproof ink that came with my little starter kit. Today I stopped at an art supply store on my way home and got what I hope may be a better quality ink (FW acrylic artists Ink (Daler Rowney)) The idea of a slanted work surface makes sense. While visiting a wood carvers rendezvous today I saw a DIY work surface originally designed for doing scrim shaw that would work well for calligraphy so I'll be busy in the shop tomorrow. Thankyou for taking the time to help this newby out. I certainly appreciate your replies
ps. I WILL be committing that inverse formula to memory

callibeth
08-01-2007, 02:25 AM
No need to memorize the formula, really. If you think about it, runnier ink runs faster than thicker gouache, for instance. And it would be logical to counteract the ink running faster by the tilting the board to a steeper angle.

And just to make it a little more interesting ... A bigger pen means more ink flow than a smaller pen, so you'll want to tilt the board more if you're using a large nib. And whether you use a reservoir could affect the equation too -- it can inhibit ink flow and require a flatter writing survace. That's why you might be able to get away with writing flat if you're using a small pen (a #4 Mitchell, for instance) with fairly thick gouache and a reservoir. I think of it as a question of how much of the ink is actually touching the metal nib. I forget what it's called, that science term that describes the tendence of a liquid to cling to a surface. Surface tension? No, that's not it, but surface tension comes into it too. Anyway, with a smaller pen and a reservoir, much of the volume of ink is touching either the nib metal or the reservoir metal.

I hope the additional comments aren't just confusing. During countless hours of addressing wedding invitations and filling out certificates I've had plenty of time to mull over these esoteric issues :)

Regards,
Beth Lee
Tallahasee, Florida
www.callibeth.com (http://www.callibeth.com/)
callibeth.blogspot.com (http://callibeth.blogspot.com/)

callibeth
08-01-2007, 02:34 AM
Oh, and if you're looking at slant board designs, I like the third one here:

http://www.paperinkarts.com/en-us/dept_118.html

It's similar to what I use all the time, and I think it would be easy to build.

Regards,
Beth Lee
Tallahasee, Florida
www.callibeth.com (http://www.callibeth.com/)
callibeth.blogspot.com (http://callibeth.blogspot.com/)

The Dabbler
08-01-2007, 12:22 PM
Hey! That woiks!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Aug-2007/69601-tilttble.JPG

Penmoel
08-01-2007, 01:13 PM
Hello
waterproof inks should be avoided unless you want to hang your masterpiece out in the rain, avoiding this ink will help you clean your nibs as well !!
I would recommend gouach for all your calligaphy with a touch of the gum arabic, as mentioned by others you should always use a board at an angle, remember you need a protective guard (paper) between your hand and your writing paper because of the oils in your hand will cause a barrier which will stop your ink/gouach from getting on the paper properly,all this will be second nature once you up and running. Your gouash will dry up, bit of water and your on your way again.

All the best.
Emlyn

Penmoel
08-01-2007, 03:30 PM
Nearly forgot, well I did didn't I, the bit about the candle and the nib, yes you can use this, a normal match will do, don't hold it for too long though as it might affect the metal all your doing is getting rid of the protective coating of the nib, a bit of saliva will do the trick as well.

Take care
Emlyn:wave:

inkmonkey
08-01-2007, 05:33 PM
What a great thread to have started here. Especially for our beginners - or like in my case the every learning beginner with a number years of practice.

I wish i had all of this starting out..... any other handy tips out there?

I like to work on a padded surface - like about 10 sheets of paper. Easier on the muscles and the nibs.

I prefer Guoache, but also have used water colors.

Mitchell Nibs with NO resorvoir (They just muck up the nib)

I work on a slant... also easier on the muscles.

I GENTLY pull the nib over crocus cloth to knock any sharp edges off.

HOT PRESSED Watercolor Paper is my favorite - becasue I can draw on it too.

Gosh - Is there anything else out there.

I concurr with callibeth and Penmoel!!

InkMonkey

The Dabbler
08-01-2007, 10:23 PM
Well this is certainly very helpful to me. I've been play'n all day. I dont have gouache and it was conspicuous in it's absence from the pen an ink selections at the art stores I visited. Is this some kind of conspiracy or is that normal. what should I be look'n for? Do you all have a preference? I dabble in other mediums also and have the obligatory pile of unusable paints that didn't quite make the grade so it would be nice to zero in on a good product straight away

callibeth
08-02-2007, 08:55 AM
I dont have gouache and it was conspicuous in its absence from the pen an ink selections at the art stores I visited. Is this some kind of conspiracy or is that normal. what should I be look'n for? Do you all have a preference?

I like Schmincke Calligraphy Gouache, developed for calligraphy. You can order it from John Neal Bookseller or Paper and Ink Arts. Otherwise, Winsor & Newton is good; I use those too. You want to be sure not to get gouache that has acrylic in it; acrylic dries waterproof on the nib, and quickly.

If you don't have the patience for ordering (isn't it frustrating to wait for the mail?), try watercolor. You can mix in Chinese white to improve the opacity of watercolor. I'd get tubes because you can control the water content better. But gouache is best.

Inkmonkey's comments are helpful, too, especially the tip about covering up the paper so that the oil from your hand doesn't get on the paper. That's important.

Regards,
Beth Lee
Tallahasee, Florida
www.callibeth.com (http://www.callibeth.com/)
callibeth.blogspot.com (http://callibeth.blogspot.com/)

Penmoel
08-02-2007, 12:06 PM
Whatever you buy try and purchase the artist quality gouach for your best work, a tube will last a while anyway. A small dab will take you far, about 4 drops of water and mix in, you will get to know when you have the right consistancy, if your purchasing a black, try lamp black, if you can get hold of it try the Linel red from France it's very good they have black as well but I prefere the Winsor and Newton lamp black.
I agree abut the hot pressed paper, Saunders Waterford is a good one.

Enjoy the journey
All the very best
Emlyn

scribblet
08-12-2007, 04:30 PM
Are you using that slippery parchment type paper which is supposed to be for calligraphy? I tried it and found it very hard to write on, if you are, switch to a better paper.

One of my fave's to write on is Stonehenge and Diploma Parchment.

The Dabbler
08-20-2007, 04:59 AM
Are you using that slippery parchment type paper which is supposed to be for calligraphy? I tried it and found it very hard to write on, if you are, switch to a better paper.

One of my fave's to write on is Stonehenge and Diploma Parchment.
Sorry for the slow reply. I've had my hands full with grand kids the past two weeks
I am using white vellum and it seems to be suitable for most of what I'm doing however I've been trying to do a script that has long flourishes and that hasn't worked out very well

scribblet
08-24-2007, 08:45 PM
What do you mean by 'white vellum', is that just a good quality bond?

This guy is very helpful he posts on a yahoo calligraphy group, he recommends for practice Kodak's Brite White 24 pound inkjet paper.

http://www.iampeth.com/lessons/engrossers_script/Vitolo%20Lessons%20in%20Script%20Introduction.pdf

The Dabbler
08-25-2007, 06:08 PM
There is a picture of it in the 11th post of this thread. I'm on the road for the next few days and can't give you any more details. It sure is nice to be in the city (for awhile) and get a chance to see some of the products you all have been telling me about. I certainly appreciate your guidance and I will be bankrupt when I return home.:lol: