PDA

View Full Version : Questions for Dip Pen or Crow Quill Users


Parrish
01-13-2008, 04:20 PM
Although I have been using dip pens and crow quills for a very long time, I never stick with them for long before I put them away and turn to something else. Besides, now that we have Microns and others like them I have gotten lazy. So! I would love to hear from those of you who use these pens and how you deal with some of this stuff because I really love the black shiny look of India Ink!

How do you clean your nibs after you are done?
How do you clean dried up ink out of old nibs?
When you are drawing, what do you do with that awkward lid with the eye dropper?
Do you just let it dry out while you work? Is there something I am missing here? :confused:
Do you have any little tricks you use to make sure you don’t tip your ink over? (I am always worried about doing this) :eek:

What paper do you prefer and why?
This is something that has always puzzled me…I want to do pen and ink with watercolor washes (see Arthur Rackham (http://gerdesdesign.com/fairies.htm)) If you use watercolor paper the tips tend to catch on the rough paper and the ink bleeds. If you use pen and ink paper it doesn’t stand up well to the wetness of watercolors! This question obviously shows how clueless I am about paper!

Thank you so much for any answers you might have and any other tips you want to share about this troublesome yet lovely medium. =)

mkayi
01-13-2008, 05:16 PM
hi,

I'm a total noob, but here's what I do...:

I clean stuff while it is still wet. That removes a lot. About the rest I try not to worry...:D

I did not tip my ink over while drawing, but I didn't fasten the lid properly one day and it spilled all over my drawing tools in the pencil case...0.o Had to do a lot of cleaning...:D

About paper: as I am using watercolor pencils and watercolor together with pen and ink I went for watercolour paper. The grain or tooth of the paper I avoid by mainly doing downward strokes! When doing upward strokes the nib gets caught easily in the grain, but with downward strokes this is not a problem for me.

If you want to see what I did with that approach check my thread out here. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=469730)

hope it helped a bit?

objectivistartist
01-13-2008, 07:31 PM
used 150# watercolor paper, and stippled - didn't have the bleed others speak of, tho am light in touching, so that might make for the difference.. and where used line, as in The Loner, came out fine for my use...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jan-2008/44482-Lonerb.jpg

Parrish
01-13-2008, 07:45 PM
Mu- Oh, the spilled ink in the pencil case makes me shudder.=/
I have tried doing mostly downward strokes as you suggest but then I get all caught up in what I am doing and change the direction of the stroke and end up with little splatters arrggh. I guess I will have to pay more attention. Thank you for the ideas.

Robert- Stippling is a good idea. Although I have done stippling, I don't think I have ever tried combining it with watercolor... hmmm...I think I will have to try that.
I love your leaf on the shingles. Very nice. =)

mkayi
01-14-2008, 04:27 AM
hey there,

yes, to see the ink in my transparent plastic case was like a nightmare waiting to unfold... all I had to do was open the case and go headfirst into smearing everything with it, LOL...

Something I was thinking yesterday: occasionally I do the watercolor washes with watersoluble pencils! I do soft and very "dense" hatches and later even them out with a wet brush.
That way you can use smooth paper too as the running and bleeding is not that much of an issue with watersoluble pencils.

justsomedude86
01-14-2008, 12:11 PM
Here I'll try to give my best insite on dip pens :)

How do you clean your nibs after you are done?
Usually I'll take an old toothbrush and just a little bit of dishsoap and scrub away at the nib, also clean out the pen holder, and leave both of them to dry seperately so the nib doesnt rust.

How do you clean dried up ink out of old nibs? Pretty much the same as the first question, though I usually replace my nibs a lot. Usually if I consider them too old and they lose their stiffness, then I'll replace them.

When you are drawing, what do you do with that awkward lid with the eye dropper? I just usually place it on my table out of the way ;)

Do you just let it dry out while you work? Is there something I am missing here? No you aren't really missing anything lol, some ppl will keep their ink capped, and it is a good idea every once in a while, so that your ink doesnt dry out in the bottle.

Do you have any little tricks you use to make sure you don’t tip your ink over? (I am always worried about doing this) I think we all do ;). Pretty much be sure to keep your bottle of ink away from the immediate area of your drawing and whenever you get up be sure to screw the lid on tight to prevent accidents.

Any other questions let me know, I'll try my best to answer :)

ARTMUTT
01-14-2008, 02:34 PM
How do you clean your nibs after you are done?
How do you clean dried up ink out of old nibs? I use good old fashioned soap and water to clean out an old nib, an art teacher I had once told me to use a new nib for each new project--I try to do that for the most part since they aren't that expensive, but in case I keep them I just try to wipe them well before putting them away.

When you are drawing, what do you do with that awkward lid with the eye dropper? I just set it off to the side on a paper towel, well away from my drawing.

Do you just let it dry out while you work? Is there something I am missing here? :confused: Yep, I just let it sit there

Do you have any little tricks you use to make sure you don’t tip your ink over? (I am always worried about doing this) :eek: I try to keep a hand on the ink if that's not possible I make sure it is secured on my table, sometimes with tape sometimes not.

What paper do you prefer and why? I prefer to use a bristol smooth paper, something without any tooth to it so the surface is ideal for cross-hatching or stippling which is what I do most often, I like the smooth paper because the ink doesn't bleed.
I

brusher
01-14-2008, 02:43 PM
Hi:
Alcohol will always remove dried india ink from pen nib and any other non-porous surfact. Used with cotton ball or just Kleenex.

Cathy

Rob DeWolfe
01-14-2008, 04:06 PM
How do you clean your nibs after you are done?
How do you clean dried up ink out of old nibs?
When you are drawing, what do you do with that awkward lid with the eye dropper?

I put the ink I am going to use into my watercolour palette and dip my ink from there, that way I can keep the bottle closed.

Do you have any little tricks you use to make sure you don’t tip your ink over? (I am always worried about doing this) :eek:

Since I use my watercolour palette I don't worry about it at all.

What paper do you prefer and why?
This is something that has always puzzled me…I want to do pen and ink with watercolor washes (see Arthur Rackham (http://gerdesdesign.com/fairies.htm)) If you use watercolor paper the tips tend to catch on the rough paper and the ink bleeds. If you use pen and ink paper it doesn’t stand up well to the wetness of watercolors! This question obviously shows how clueless I am about paper!

I love Rackham's stuff too. I do a lot of pen and ink or brush and ink (if you have never tried a brush you have to give it a go, it is waaaay more versatile than any pen but it does take a little practice) and colour with washes although I tend to prefer coloured inks for that over watercolours. I'm not sure why. I like to use bristol board, it's smooth but not too smooth, has some rigidity, it's cheap and you can get it easily no matter how small and remote where you live might be. I just stretch it on mdf using plain old masking tape (the wider the tape the better).

Rob DeWolfe
01-14-2008, 04:11 PM
Ooops, I forgot these two:

How do you clean your nibs after you are done?

I just use plain old soap and hot water, usually dish soap. Be sure to dry them off real well and then store them so they aren't touching or you could get rusty nibs.

How do you clean dried up ink out of old nibs?

Soap, hot water and some elnow grease. If the dried ink won't come off and the nib won't work right anymore then it's straight into the garbage with it. When I buy nibs I usually buy at least half a dozen of the types I like, they are cheap and the points deteriorate over time so it's best to have lots on hand so you aren't caught out the next time you want to do a picture. Stuff like that always happens when you can't get to an art shop or the only art shop around is closed!

Steff
01-14-2008, 09:05 PM
How do you clean your nibs after you are done?
How do you clean dried up ink out of old nibs?

I always use India ink on my Pet Portrait commissions because I like the look of it and the fact that it is so permanent. However, I have found that India ink has an oily residue that can build up quickly on the pen, clogging the flow. I usually have a film case of alcohol sitting nearby, so I can dip my pen in and wipe away the residue on a paper towel, when I notice an increased resistance. I also use the alcohol to clean the nibs when done. With alcohol, you do not have to worry about the rust problems that occur when you use water. For the dried up ink on the old nibs, I will soak the nibs in alcohol for about a half hour, then wipe them clean with a paper towel. (A lot of the old ink will already have fallen to the bottom of the container, when you remove the quill from the alcohol.)

What paper do you prefer and why?

The paper issue is something that I am currently exploring myself. You may have noticed the thread on this forum called "Paper Choice" where I was also trying to find a suitable paper. I have just switched to Arches hot press watercolor paper. So far I am pleased with the results. I have never noticed a problem with bleeding of India ink when used straight from the bottle, then allowed to dry thoroughly before adding washes, but I have noticed that other types of ink tend to bleed when washes are added.

Parrish
01-15-2008, 01:21 AM
Wow, the responses to my questions are amazing! Thank you all… so many good ideas, advice and suggestions. =)


Mu- I have some watercolor pencils that I have never used… (goes under the heading of “never enough art supplies”) I am going to get them out and try that. It sounds like a good method when you need a lot of control of the colors.

Justsomedude – I have used an old toothbrush to clean many things, now I have one more use for them.
I think I may be holding on to some of my nibs too long as they can be a struggle to work with. Nice art at your gallery by the way. =)

ArtMutt – Again, it looks like I don’t change out my nibs often enough. That might make things somewhat easier.
I never thought of using a piece of tape to stick the bottle to my table, so easy!
Bristol board… I think that has come up twice now. I am going to look into that, I don’t know what it is but a little investigation should turn up answers. =)

Brusher – I am going to go soak one of my nibs in alcohol tonight and see what happens. =)

Rob DeWolfe – Ahh, another Rackham fan! I could look at his stuff all day.
So is the ink that you put into your watercolor palette very deep? I think my palettes are too shallow for that.
What kind of brushes (round, liner, etc) and bristle do you use? And size?

Steff – That is the second vote for alcohol. Do you reuse the alcohol or throw it away each time?
I will go over and check out your “Paper Choice” thread.

Thank you all for taking the time to answer my questions. It was so helpful!

justsomedude86
01-15-2008, 12:01 PM
Thank you so much for the kind words Colleen :). I had an issue with my nibs starting out that they would eventually leak and cause blobs if I used them for too too long, that and the new nibs always seemed to be much stiffer (which is a good thing for me ;) ). Also I completely forgot about the paper choice. I use Strathmore 500 Hot Press Illustration Board, as I don't have to worry bout folds in the paper, its very smooth yet absorbent (as to why i'm not crazy about bristol board anymore, doesn't absorb much), that and it'll take pretty much any kind of medium (working with acrylic on it right now).

DSPIT
01-16-2008, 12:33 PM
Welcome, and my 2 cents.

How do you clean your nibs after you are done? I wipe the end with a papertowel when I am done for the session. Other than that, I never actually clean it.

How do you clean dried up ink out of old nibs? I kinda chip it off with a push pin tip, but usually, if you wipe when your done, you wont have a collection of dried.

When you are drawing, what do you do with that awkward lid with the eye dropper? Put it on another table altogether, no where near my work.

Do you just let it dry out while you work? Is there something I am missing here? During even a 4 hourish session I dont think you would get much drying to worry about. At least I dont think I ever have.

Do you have any little tricks you use to make sure you don’t tip your ink over? (I am always worried about doing this) I dont. I dont think in 30 years I have ever spilt my bottle. But I do keep the bottle within arm reach but as far away as I can in case. this also has to do with another little trick I have always used that takes some practice. It also helps with to much ink in nib. I dip my pen all the way up to the point the ink is at the very top of the nib, the with a quick wrist flick, I get acces to drop off the nib back into the bottle. I know this sounds dangerous, but I have always done it and never had a drip come off the nib. IN addition. for the areas I am not working and dry. I keep another piece of of paper covering my work so that if I get some smudgy ink on my palm I dont transfer it

What paper do you prefer and why? I have the same problem as you. for the most part, it is why I digitally color, my inking work. I just never got the coloring thing, washes or any other thing withoug ruining my piece. I cant seem to choose the right paper vs whatever the proper way of preparing papers for washes or wet inks. I simple dont get and gave up. so I just Bristol smooth a lot and make sure I pull my lines or scratches. Rarely ever push to cause splatter.

Hope that helps some. ok, lets see some stuff.

Parrish
01-17-2008, 01:09 AM
justsomedude - I will investigate the paper you mentioned.

DSPIT - Covering your work with a clean piece of paper is a good idea. I have smudged before (because I tend to get the ink all over my hands) and it is frustrating!
I have noticed a few artists recently who digitally color their work and I think one of the advantages with that is that you can use the same piece of art and color it a variety of ways to appeal to many different tastes if you are trying to sell your work.

Yikes! You mean now I have to actually DO a piece and post it? Okay, but I am waiting for some paper that I ordered to come... so maybe when that gets here... =)

Thanks for more answers.