Sunday, October 22, 2006

Handwriting & Lettering

I decided to resume my abandoned handwriting improvement lessons yesterday afternoon, and my first practise session went well. I resumed with italic capitals since I had been going quite well with them previously. My handwriting has never been bad, but in high school I acquired a rather torturous four-fingered grip. Last year when the amount of writing I was doing increased, muscle fatigue and pain started to set in, so I corrected my erroneous grip and at the same time started to learn basic italic to improve legibility at speed.

In other writing news, I recently found a slender paperback called "Pens and Calligraphy: The William Mitchell Guide", which was published in 1987. I found my copy of this book on the dusty shelves of my local art supplies store. The book isn’t an instruction manual, but it has some very useful hints and solid information. All through the book are handwritten exemplars and very useful illustrations of pen angles and the type of William Mitchell nib used to form each type of lettering.

As a result of this handy book, I have ordered some new dip pen nibs and holders. Some of the nibs I have ordered are:

  • Hunt Imperial 101
  • Gillott 303
  • Gillott 404
  • Gillott 290
  • William Mitchell Copperplate Elbow
  • Brandauer Oriental 342

Regarding the WM Copperplate Elbow, Copperplate has been on my mind for some time, so I looked through the handful of lettering books I have, and found to my disappointment that Copperplate will be a very difficult hand to learn. Not that any calligraphic hand is at all easy, but rather Copperplate will be even more difficult as it is an extremely awkward hand for right handed folk, due to the very unnatural angle of the writing slant. Hopefully the elbow nib which corrects the angle for my right hand will make life a tad easier.


  1. Hello,

    I'm trying to find out if you can purchase a fountain pen for a Gillot 290 nib?

    Any recommendation greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,

  2. Hi,

    The only thing that immediately comes to mind is the Ackerman Pump Pen. I suggest you check out this discussion, posted on The Fountain Pen Network: Writing with an Ackerman Pump Pen, and this review: Pump Pen with a Hunt 101.

    Hope this helps! :)

  3. Hello and thank you,

    The video to me is a bit stunning, I just bought two and will let you know.

    For what seems to be a recurring nightmare yesterday, I was struggling with a brand new Windsor Newton kolinsky brush trying to get nice strokes for an illustration. I have never really used nibs because of the dipping / splashing messes. I use Mars matic pen and (bad ? ) brushes.

    This seems like a terrific solution for me. Thank you very much.