Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials
David, I really like Rhodia paper for fountain pens but the only kind I have found to work well with dip pens is the Rhodia R pads. Even then, I'm not sure it is a good paper for Calligraphy practice as the response to different inks was different.
Surprisingly, I have found the printer paper at the Dollar Store (Dollarama in Canada) to be great for practice. It is not the smoothest, which I find to be better for control, and takes inks exceptionally well. It is branded 'Studio' and says it is made in Malaysia - the Chinese made ones don't take ink well. Notebooks from Studio (those that are made in Malaysia) have a smoother paper which is also great, especially for pointed pens. Another, slightly more expensive, option is to get some Tomoe River paper - it is a bit too thin to go through the printer reliably but you can use a printed guideline sheet underneath and it shows up fine.
The slight obliqueness of the Brause nibs throws me off too when I switch from Mitchell nibs. I started out not liking the Mitchell nibs either but prefer them to the Brause now. Have you properly de-greased your nibs?
Higgins Eternal is a good fuss-free ink - particulary for broad edged pens. I think you'll benefit from changing the paper in this case.
Please feel free to use fountain pens for your practice. There are some things FPs don't do very well e.g. drawing ink with the edge of the nib, but the results are acceptable for practice.
It is worth the time to get the pen/ink/paper combination work right for you. Your tools should not get in the way of your work.
Those who say it can't be done should get out of the way of those doing it.