Pressure and Release with Pointed Pens

We had such a good time with Mary – friendly but firm advice about still minding our Italic arches and forms as we now tried pointed pens with pressure and release. We were reminded to keep the nib-holder pointing at us, not off to the side, to draw the nib towards you. Otherwise, you might apply too much pressure to one side of the pointed nib and wear it away unevenly. That will make it scratch unforgivingly. And if you do hear it scratch then you must pay attention (!) and give that nib the heave-ho. Don’t ignore it because it will sputter on the fine upstroke and probably splay out on the downstoke, not releasing the ink properly. And some of us related later that we had indeed needed to change an old nib. One technique is to hang the minuscule forms from the top line and allow the nib to lift off as the pressure is released, resulting in a pleasing irregularity and impression of speed. We watched Mary write capitals with extra strokes top and bottom to thicken up the form ever so slightly for that elegant touch, with beautiful thin serifs. Quick double strokes give an open versal effect too. A little pastel helps lift the piece. Some shading in the negative space is not only effective as decoration but will quickly show how you are managing with spacing and help train your eye.


A snippet from Mary Noble’s piece interpreting an Edward Thomas poem.