Feather Fountain Pen Set

One of the presents that I was very grateful to receive was a Feather Fountain Pen set. I had looked at these before and thought I might like one but wasn’t sure. They look unique though you cannot really try them in the shop so it seemed a bit of a gamble to buy one. I have two Fountain pens already, and not being a collector, I am very happy with the two pens, a Lamy Safari and a Waterman Hemisphere.

I used it for the first time last night and was very happy with how if felt in my hand, writing, in fact, I wrote a poem with last night. I also like the nib that was fitted to the pen, a Finer point. I love writing with Fine or Extra Fine nibs. As you can see, it comes with a selection of nibs and I am looking forward to trying them out.

There are more expensive Feather Fountain Pen sets available, however, I feel that this will be a great introduction to these type of writing tools. Looking forward to using it again.

Happy Writing All!

Written by David Johnson

26 December 2022

The Organic Artist

Last weekend on our anniversary celebration, I picked a book at a store in Berrima, N.S.W. called, ‘Six Impossible Things. Last year, I purchased a double-glass inkwell at the store and was delighted to see that they had moved to bigger premises.

Erica owns the store and is very helpful. I picked up a Postal dip pen nib and the book below.

The book seemed way too interesting to leave on the shelf. A few weeks back I was talking to a gallery director in Camden and he gave me a reed and showed me how to cut it so it could be used as a dip pen. Looking at my attempt I think I have more practice ahead of me. Oh well, something is worth doing badly until one becomes better at it.

In my limited look at the book since it appears to go a lot deeper into the technical details of creating such tools. I’m looking forward to exploring it more and having some more Arty fun!

Written by David Johnson

29 November 2022

Sketchbooks – 2 favourites so far

It’s not so hard to imagine that there is no such thing as ‘the perfect Sketchbook’.

In my Watercolour/Line & Wash journey thus far I’ve tried a few different types and I would like to discuss two of my favourites.

Before I start though, I should mention what I use to do the line sketch as that alone can determine which type of sketchbook I use. I love using Dip Pens and also Pigment liners and as I’ve found, sometimes I have to use one or the other depending on which sketchbook I choose to use.

Moleskine: I’ve enjoyed using both A4 and the A5 versions. Currently, I’m using the A4 version as it will allow me to do 240 ‘Watercolour Sketch a Day’s’ in it. My daily sketches are mostly half A5 in size and the A4 sketchbook has 60 pages. The book is 25% Cotton and 200gsm which allows me to use both the Dip Pens and the Pigment Liners and it will take water, not a huge amount but some.

Winsor and Newton Visual Diary: I’ve only a couple of pages left in this one so I will soon be purchasing another. It is 100% Cotton and 200gsm in weight and so it takes substantially more water than the Moleskine, but interestingly, I cannot seem to use the Dip Pens in it so I use the Pigment Liners.

I’ve also tried the Strathmore Visual Journal in both A4 and A5 in both 90lb/200gsm and 140lb/300gsm and the latter copes with a lot more water but I found the paper doesn’t show the colours off as well as the two sketchbooks mentioned above, to me anyway.

Interestingly, when I use Art Spectrum waterproof ink in the Strathmore sketchbook, it takes longer to dry (up to half an hour) than if I use it in the Moleskine sketchbook.

I would be happy to hear people’s thoughts about any other sketchbooks that they would recommend that I try.

Written by David Johnson

16 December 2021

Inspiration Plus! – Books

I’m always on the lookout for books that will inspire me and/or stretch my thinking/skills.

My post today is about two books I have recently acquired, one being a gift and both relating to Sketching/Drawing.

The first is “Everyday Sketching & Drawing” – 5 Steps To A Unique and Personal Sketchbook Habit by Steven B. Reddy.

As someone who is trying to ‘loosen up’ in terms sketching/drawing lines, this book has been a revelation! Not only that, there are suggestions for overcoming blocks, time issues, tips and techniques and much, much more.

The second book is, “Rendering In Pen and Ink” by Arthur L.Guptill – 60th Anniversary edition – The Classic Book On Pen and Ink Techniques For Artists, Illustrators, Architects, and Designers.

The amount of helpful content in this book just blows me away! This book is aimed more at Dip pens, Quills and the like, however, the techniques could as easily be applied to the modern day pens.

I see many hours of enjoyment coming my way as I absorb their knowledge and do the exercises in each book.

If you are interested in improving your skills in these areas, I would highly recommend both books.

Written by David Johnson

16 May 2021

Dip Pen Fun!

A while ago, during my Watercolour Sketch a Day/Daily Art Practice venture I discovered the joys of ‘Line and Wash’ and started off with thin Artline pens then progressed to Staedtler Pigment Liners and still enjoy using them immensely.

Parallel to this I have been enjoying using a couple of Fountain Pens to write my poems with. I do so enjoy the ‘flow of the ink’ and just then general feeling one gets when writing with them. For me, there is no better writing experience.

In my Art ’travels’ I came across Dip Pens which hark back to olden days of a pen without ink, that one had to ‘dip’ to obtain the fluid to write with.

A few months ago, I purchased a set of Manuscript Nibs that came with two holders (pictured below and a bottle of Art Spectrum Pigment Ink). Since then I’ve added a ‘Postal’ Nib and had been seeking an appropriate reservoir to hold the ink (the Art Spectrum bottle comes with an eye-dropper so as a reservoir the bottle is impractical for that purpose).

After trying an inadequate plastic option I found a small screw-type glass bottle in a discount store for the princely sum of $2.50 and have been using that with some success.

Last weekend whilst on our Berrima NSW trip I found a Parker, ‘Quink’ ink bottle in the Sticky Beaks Antique store for $25.00 with its original box. Once I clean the dried ink out of it I will use it as the main reservoir.

I actually went into the store looking to see if they had an old-fashioned ink well. The had one made of Bakelite for $220.00, however, the ink reservoirs were so small that I couldn’t see the value.

For now, I am happy to use the two bottles as reservoirs and shall continue my search for an ink well that is of reasonable price and condition.

As far as sketching/drawing with the Dip Pens, I must say that I am enjoying the experience but still have much to learn.

Bye for now.

David Johnson

27 November 2020

Sydney Pen Show – The First Ever!

Last week, I attended the very First, Sydney Pen Show and indeed it was my First ever Pen Show as well.

I have owned a Calligraphy Pen set since the 1980s which I use from time-to-time and I had purchased a Lamy Safari Fountain Pen in July 2017.

I use the Fountain Pen to write Poetry and do my daily journaling, mainly, though I can see that list growing as, in my opinion, there is no better feeling than writing with a Fountain Pen (as far as writing is concerned).

Having put up with the humorous comments from friends in the lead up to the Show, i.e. ‘ You’re going to a what, Show’, ‘Are you serious?’ ’They have them’, I was indeed hoping that it would live up to my expectations.

It was held at the Australian Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour on a sparkling, beautiful Winter’s day in Sydney.

In terms of Show’s that I have attended before, it wasn’t a huge Show. They were just over 30 tables, consisting of Pens, Journals, Ink, Watercolour and other assorted accessories.

In speaking with those presenting their tables, I admired the passion with which they spoke about their trade. Some were second generation owners.

There were also Calligraphy, Writing and Drawing workshops, some inside, some outside.

I didn’t attend any of the workshops this year, but will certainly think about doing them next time. No new pen purchases but I did buy a set of Sennelier 12 Half-Pan Watercolour paints (which are being delivered).

Am I a pen collector? No, I don’t see myself as one, however, I would like in time, to pick up a couple of more pens. In particular, I would like to buy a more stylish-looking Fountain Pen.

I have already marked the date, 17 August 2019 in my calendar for next year and am looking forward to a bigger and better Show!

Written by David Johnson
26 August 2018