Posts Tagged ‘Platinum #3776 music nib’


Which Ink Makes You Happy?


It doesn’t have to be just one ink, but which ink makes you happy? It could be any characteristic that does it for you or a combination like color and shading. Turquoise and orange do it for me along with the sort of flow that makes the nib glide.

I have touted Diamine Mediterranean Blue for years. It’s a bright turquoise ink that leans more blue than green. It has good flow and makes a lovely companion for my Platinum #3776 music nib. I am not usually so loyal, but Med Blue has charmed me for years. The pen and ink haven’t been mates for quite some time as the music nib is one of my best pens for ink tests. Might have to find another pen for that purpose and let the two friends take a holiday together.

Elaine from Jet Pens sent a bottle of Iroshizuku kon-peki yesterday, so I have a new turquoisy ink to consider though ku-jaku is number two on my list for turquoise/teal. Will it be replaced? Probably not, but kon-peki is coming on strong. More on that in a few days.

Noodler’s Turquoise Eel might be just the thing for narrow nibs, but I’ve never used it. The urge to order ink is growing stronger and this ink is one of the reasons.

Orange is a bit more complex. Diamine Sepia is an earthy orange-brown that is a fun ink especially with its shading and outlining. It loves the #3776, but it has enjoyed a wide variety of mates over the years. For a more true orange, Noodler’s Apache Sunset is hard to beat and its one of the best shading inks for flexible nibs. When I am in a mood for ink closer to red or pink, Diamine Vermilion will do though it isn’t a lubricating ink.

That’s my short list. Now it’s your turn. Which ink or inks make you happy?


My Core Four Plus One


My desk is always a disheveled mess except for my fountain pens. Those I keep tidy and at the ready for whenever the muse strikes. However, with product testing, the number of inked pens can grow well beyond anything manageable, so I’m separating the lot into two groups with my Core Four Plus One the most accessible. Others employed mostly for testing purposes have a tray in which to snooze until needed.

Core Four Plus One is a name for four of my most used fountain pens plus one mechanical pencil. The four pens are the mostly likely to get used either for the ink or the fun factor of using that particular pen. The Platinum #3776 music nib is the anchor. For now the other three pens are the Noodler’s Standard Flex, the Pilot Prera Italic and the Sheaffer Taranis Medium. Those four provide a good variety of nibs and pen sizes and changing between them is good for my hand. The inks are Diamine Sepia, Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses, Noodler’s Black and Diamine Steel Blue. Again this is a good variety for maximum appeal though all of it is subject to change on a whim.

The Autopoint mechanical pencil is the Plus One. It gets more use than any fountain pen since it doesn’t need to be uncapped, can write on any paper, and is erasable, an important benefit for a fickle writer.

When I head out with pens in tow, I have a two-pen case for an intrepid duo or a four-pen case for the whole lot. An Autopoint MP is always in my handbag along with a black Sharpie Pen so I am never caught out without writing tools. A small Rhodia pad completes the ensemble. An inkophile should be prepared, yes?

Do you have something like my Core Four Plus One? If so, what’s in your primary rotation?


The Good Stuff On My Desk


What I’m working on and with today.

On my desk

Paperblanks Journal
Jackson’s Watercolors
Isabey Petit Gris 6234 #0 Brush
Daniel Smith 44-08 #3 Kolinsky Brush
Autopoint Mechanical Pencil
Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook
Tomoe River paper from
Noodler’s Standard Flex Pen with Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses
Pilot Prera with Plumix medium (italic) nib and Noodler’s Black
Sheaffer Taranis with Diamine Steel Blue
Platinum #3776 music nib with Diamine Sepia
All overseen by a cloisonne bird that belonged to my mom


Fountain Pen Experts And Their Favorite Pens


Well, five experts and an inkophile of much more limited experience get quoted at Best Fountain Pen. It just so happens that my list of Really Good Fountain Pens will post on New Year’s Day. No vintage pens in the lot, but a number of models that are currently available.

Oh, and thank you Jennifer for including me in your post and Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands for the pen gift last year. My Platinum #3776 Music Nib is blushing at the notoriety.

Platinum #3776 Music Nib


Too Many Inked Fountain Pens


December is far and away the busiest month and this year has been the worst ever. A thirteen pen rotation is quite excessive under the circumstances. So here it is before half of them get a bath and go into storage for several weeks at least.

Fountain Pens and Written Samples

At least two are certain to remain on my desk: the red Lamy Safari with Diamine Emerald because it amuses me this time of year and the Platinum #3773MU because it makes writing a pleasure. The Pelikan pens will remain in use for now along with at least one Namiki Falcon and a Levenger True Writer. Well, at least that’s the plan. Six pens seems like a lot, but inadequate in terms of inks. Being an inkophile is hard work!

Ink Comparison


A Journal, A Mop, And Lots Of Color


Who can resist brilliant color?

The samples were made with an Isabey 6234 Petit Gris #0 Quill Mop. (Thank you, Leigh!) It is a natural hair brush that holds a significant amount of liquid, putting any synthetic brush to shame. How does this relate to using watercolor in your journal?

A fountain pen or a brush pen with fountain pen ink writes and draws without pause. Just let those thoughts or doodles flow. Any fountain pen will do, but the Platinum #3776 Music Nib is my current favorite along with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Both are outstanding for swirls and loops and creating other enjoyable doodles. But I like to switch colors frequently and a brush with paint is better at this.

Winsor & Newton Scarlet Lake Watercolor

Watercolor is lovely, but brushes only hold so much liquid, especially small brushes that are made of synthetic hair. Natural hair holds a greater amount of paint so you can draw much longer without interruption. That’s a big advantage for doodles that have long lines like those calligraphic ones pictured. The disadvantage is that natural hair brushes can deposit too much paint. A light touch produces the thinnest line though a sharp point is essential, too.

So here is how it works with most brushes. Good quality synthetic will be stiffer and offer better control, but will hold less liquid. Good quality natural hair brushes like sable, kolinsky, and squirrel, will hold more paint, but are soft and require a more delicate touch.

Watercolor Brushes And My Journal

For a synthetic, the da Vinci Cosmotop Spin offers lots of control and is well made. Miller’s Golden Fleece is good even in larger sizes. Both have relatively sharp points, a must for a round brush. Simply Simmons is another line of brushes if budget is a consideration. It’s a step below the other two for quality, but not bad for the getting acquainted stage. When you move to better brushes, protect them by using the lesser quality ones to transfer and mix paint on your palette. That will save a lot of wear and tear on the pricey ones and play to the strength of the lesser ones.

The natural hair brushes used in my journal are from Daniel Smith, da Vinci, and Isabey. With a light touch, I can get a lot of line work from a sharp, round #5.

The Isabey Quill Mop is a different story. The amount of paint it will hold is amazing, but the line can be rather wide. Use less liquid and gently shape the nib to a point with your fingers for a finer line. It’s a beautiful brush that is best appreciated after getting handy with a more easily controlled watercolor brush.

If you like to paint with ink, a synthetic brush might be best since it will soak up less liquid and achieve better control. Do decant the ink and toss when finished. Pouring it back into the bottle risks contamination, but when your fountain pen will no longer fill from that bottle, a brush is a good way to use the last dregs.

Whether your choice is pen or brush, purchase a journal suited to mixed media or line drawing like the Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook in the photo. Even if you use brush pens, heavier paper will support your work better than paper designed for pens alone. If you happen to create something worth preserving, it will be on good quality paper that will last. Your heirs will thank you, posthumously of course.


Ink On Onion Skin Paper


Childhood memories of cigar smoke, stout black fountain pens and a massive wooden desk stalked me last night as I tested ink on a sheet of old-fashioned, crinkly, onion skin paper. It isn’t the best paper for fountain pens, but it is one of the most unique. My fat nibs are quite taken with it. Even the Sharpie thinks it’s good stuff.

Ink on Onion Skin Paper

At a mere 9#, this is the most lightweight paper on the market and fun for those who like to play with their pens or compose very long letters.  You can write pages and pages without going into debt for postage, perfect for correspondence to far lands. Bleed-through and show-through are significant with all writing instruments, so expect one-sided use.

What it lacks in economy, onion skin makes up for with another characteristic, a soft, swooshing sound as the nib dances over the paper. A pause in that sound reminds me that I am either thinking too much or not writing enough. So get back to work, eh?

The discontinued Fidelity onion skin I used has a watermark and is made of 25% cotton fiber. The sample shows how well it handles good flow, but it can make stingy pens skip, something easily solved with a more free-flowing ink. That new trio of pen, ink, and paper might even find its way into your regular rotation.

Fastening the paper onto a clipboard with lined paper beneath as a guide, keeps me on the straight and narrow. Without it, my writing takes an upward slant. Supposedly, that’s the sign of an optimist, but I prefer things level.

Whatever your pen preference, this type of paper is a kick to use. Current brands of onion skin are available at The Paper Mill Store and Staples.


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