Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Lamy Fountain Pens!

I finally got around to testing out my new Lamy fountain pens that I received for Christmas. I have had one of these (the yellow one) for about a year now. It quickly become one of my most prized possessions and with it I have done nearly all of my illustration work this past year, including the illustrations for two of my books.

I know there are other pens and markers far less antiquated that would probably do just as good a job, or better, for illustration, but I get a secret smug satisfaction from the idea that I am using an actual fountain pen. I am just weird that way.

The yellow pen has an extra fine nib, which has been excellent. It did not take long, however, for me to start asking myself what the other nibs could do. Like magic, on Christmas I received three new Lamy fountain pens with fine, medium, and broad nibs respectively.

Last night I finally sat down and opened up my new pens and loaded them with ink. They look and feel brilliant, but I confess to being let down when I started making some pen strokes. The nibs feel so stiff and scratchy. Furthermore, the ink was not flowing consistently from the nib, especially when I was making downward cross-hatch motions. It was hard not to be depressed, but I remembered that I had similar issues with my yellow pen last year.

While I do not know the specifics, I think that the new nibs must be broken in over time. Over the past year I have trained my yellow pen to respond perfectly to the movements I usually make with my strokes. I know this sounds crazy, but I think the metal pen nib must slowly wear into the ideal position for how you use it; kind of like how a pair of good leather shoes are uncomfortable until the leather begins to mold itself to your feet.

At least, this is what I keep telling myself. The only way to find out for sure is to practice.

In addition to my pens, I am equally excited by a new shade of ink I purchased. I have been using Noodler's black ink for the past year, but I just picked up a bottle of their "black-red."

I tried this ink in one of my new pens and instantly fell in love with the rich dark red. This might quickly become my new favourite ink to use in my sketchbook.

One last thing to share. Last night I tried out all of my pens on one sheet of paper. I was trying to loosen them up and get a sense of how they handled. While this is not a completed drawing by any means, I can not help being fascinated by how it looks. I thought you might be interested in taking a look as well.

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