Experiments: Dip Pen Nib Testing


I've been playing with inks a good bit, so I went off to explore the options for dip pen nibs, beyond those for calligraphy. The extent of my knowledge is that there are calligraphy nibs and lettering nibs. The most useful resource I found was at Roz Wound Up, where Roz (by the way, one of the teachers in the first session of Sketchbook Skool) discussed some of her favorite nibs. I started by making a list of those nibs and did further research. Ultimately purchased 4 different Zig nibs: the G-Pen, Maru-Pen, Saji- Pen and School-Pen. There are several in each pack - I'm not sure why - and I got a dual nib holder that has different sized spaces to hold different sized nibs. I also got some Speedball nibs {A3 and B3} to replace the ones that were rusty or royally gunked up. 

The mandala experiment is in Dr. Ph. Martin's India Ink in Bombay Black. Here's a review of the inks, which come in a rainbow of colors.

By the way, I like the Bombay White but I wish there was a way to know if the ink was fresh! Only one of the 4-5 bottles I've purchased has been opaque. I assume they sit on the shelf gathering dust at the big-box-craft-stores. 


So, I did a bunch of things to better understand these nibs. I drew a mandala {of course} but thought it would be useful to draw it with multiple nibs to both "feel" and "see" the difference in lines. Each nib has a different feel when drawing, and each line is different. Some of the nibs are flexible, so that the line changes with the amount of pressure. I suggest you get a bunch of different nibs and try them out and see which ones you like best. 

More ink experiments. experiment #1 + experiment #2 + experiment #3 + experiment #4 + experiment #5 +experiment #6.

Check out the dreamy Vintage Speedball Textbook.

Blog post originally published June 2014.