Inking the drawing.
I trained as a Draughtswoman, part of that training involved knowing and being proficient with all types of surfaces and forms of ink work, including the
dip pen nib. I often do ink work at the art shows we attend, most of the questions I get asked are 'how do you get fine ink lines on parchment and what is the best nib to use'?
Most people seem to use needle pointed
Mapping nibs on their parchment, but Mapping nibs are very delicate and were designed to easily form fine and wide lines, that indicated land features, when held in a normal hand writing style.
At shows I offer people the chance to try out
Joseph Gillott Drawing nibs, these are needle point nibs that give the very best fine lines. 170 for a light hand; 303 for a normal hand and 404 for a heavy hand, all with the pen held normally. After a little instruction about hand pressure, almost everyone found them easy to use, they achieved fine lines and felt happier about inking their parchment.
I personally prefer to see expressive ink lines, so in inking the examples on the right I have used thick and thin lines. I've used
Royal Gold Metal Ink by Robersons, which is a slightly thicker ink than normal and a Gillott 303 drawing nib. This thicker ink allows the finish to have a slightly raised 3D effect, which gives it a different look.
The dip pen nib is held in a normal handwriting hold,
thick and thin lines are obtained by the amount of pressure exerted by the hand on the nib tip. Fine lines are
achieved by resting the nib on the surface, without undue pressure, the needle point of the nib is designed to leave a thin line of ink behind.
Expert, knowledgeable and experienced victorian
steel nib makers like Joseph Gillott; William Mitchell; Hinks Wells; Leonardt; I D Belcher; E S Perry and G W Hughes made nibs for every conceivable application. Copying; sketching; china; drawing; writing; lithograph; mapping; shorthand; artists; school and ledger were the main nibs, each tailored for a specific trade, surface or style of writing. All were made for use with a normal hand hold, not held like a technical pen perpendicular to the surface. The needle point nibs produce lines best in two ways, either pull towards you or at a slight angle moving sideways.
For anyone having problems using a dip pen nib for inking their parchment, I hope the information above is helpful.
© Jacqui Blackman 2005
For help with cleaning your nibs try Dip Pen Nib Cleaner
Inking the drawing
with Gold ink
using both thick and thin lines.
background with Gold ink outline.
Fine lines obtained using a Gillott 303