This past week I was commissioned to write a number of words on a photo matte. A variety of lettering styles were requested by the client, and basic black ink with gold highlights.
I sat down to practice and picked up my trusty Brause nibs—the nibs I learned with 26 years ago and generally my "go-to" choice. These worked great on my practice paper and for the initial paste-up layout I provided the client.
However, when it came to writing on the actual matte surface, the Brause were way too stiff, not making complete contact with the matte for clean strokes. I went from feeling very comfortable with the process to, "Yuck! This stinks!"
|practice on the off-cuts|
A-ha...that's why calligraphers should always have a variety of nibs in their tool kit...whether they be broad edge, pointed pen, or brush pens. Pen, ink, and surface/paper must be in harmony with one another to give a good result!
The solution was my more flexible Mitchell nibs, and using them without a reservoir. The flexibility allowed beautiful contact between nib and paper/matte surface, resulting in clean strokes that were a dream to create!
|gold highlights added with Fine-Tec watercolor|
The framer we worked with was wonderful in providing me with the off-cuts from the matte, allowing me to practice and find this harmony with my tools.
|the finished matte|
It's easy to become complacent with our favorite things. But expanding your knowledge and experience with a variety of nibs, inks/gouache, and papers will make the creative experience more enjoyable.