Sketching With Fountain Pens For Beginners | Imran Mughal | Skillshare

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Sketching With Fountain Pens For Beginners

teacher avatar Imran Mughal, Graphic Designer & Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

19 Lessons (2h 5m)
    • 1. Introduction

      3:04
    • 2. Fountain Pen Anatomy

      9:16
    • 3. Inking Methods

      6:49
    • 4. Converters

      6:32
    • 5. Eye Dropper Method

      3:42
    • 6. Types of Nibs

      5:31
    • 7. Types of Ink

      4:47
    • 8. Surfaces

      7:05
    • 9. Budget Fountain Pens

      5:54
    • 10. Mid-Range Fountain Pens

      4:48
    • 11. Special Nib Fountain Pens

      6:07
    • 12. Maintenance

      9:49
    • 13. Warm Up Exercise

      7:47
    • 14. Swatching Bottled Ink

      9:16
    • 15. Mini Sketches

      9:51
    • 16. Adding Details

      9:34
    • 17. Planning Main Sketch

      5:49
    • 18. Class Project

      8:04
    • 19. Final Thoughts

      1:14
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About This Class

Always wanted to learn about fountain pens and sketching with fountain pens? Already have a fountain pen but not used it for a while? Don’t know if fountain pens can be used to create art? If the answer to any of these is yes, then this class: Sketching With Fountain Pens For Beginners is perfect for you!

In this class, we will:

  • Discuss the anatomy of a fountain pen
  • Explore the different inking methods including cartridges, converters and the eye dropper method
  • Look into the different types of nibs for fountain pens
  • Check out the different inks for fountain pens and which ones you should avoid
  • Demonstrate the different surfaces to use fountain pens on
  • Look at my recommended fountain pens for beginners from standard and flexible to fude nib fountain pens
  • Learn how to clean and flush out our fountain pens using a range of methods
  • Complete a series of simple exercises to get familiar with our lovely fountain pens via the downloadable worksheet templates

As you work through the worksheet lessons in this class, you will accumulate a full set of reference sheets that you will create via the exercises that are done. These will become a super useful resource for you when it comes to your class project and any further projects you take part in.

On completion of this class, you will be able to apply and practice all the knowledge and techniques demonstrated in the exercises in your very own fountain pen sketch/sketches!

This class will give you the direction, basic knowledge and confidence for you to be able to quickly start working with fountain pens without having to buy every type of fountain pen on earth!

This class is aimed at absolute beginners with no prior knowledge required at all.

All materials used and demonstrated will be explained and links will be provided in the resource sheet to enable easy access if required. Please note that currently the resource sheet (and worksheets) can only be downloaded via a desktop or laptop computer and not on the Skillshare mobile app (correct as of December 2020)

My name is Imran Mughal, and I’m a graphic designer, illustrator and artist and am totally obsessed with art and art materials! You can get in touch with me on my social media channels and can ask me any question you like on this class.

So sit back, relax, and lets get started!

SketchingFineArt Instagram

SketchingFineArt YouTube channel

 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Imran Mughal

Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Teacher

I'm Imran - graphic designer & illustrator based in the UK. I have over 10 years experience in the field of graphic design and illustration in both traditional and digital output and absolutely love all things to do with art!

In addition to my full-time graphic designer role, I am also the art wellbeing lead for my organisation where I deliver wellbeing classes and advocate mindful colouring to relax and de-stress - check out my published colouring books for adults: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B084RXHLFN

In addition to my design & illustration life, I am an active father of 3, oh and I'm naturally addicted to coffee! My illustration classes are all about getting back to basics mainly with traditional mediums and escaping away to relax with art!

I love to ... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello, and welcome to my class, Sketching with Fountain Pens. My name is Imran, I'm a graphic designer and illustrator. This class is for anybody who wants to learn how to use fountain pens, especially sketching with fountain pens. We will start off this class by looking at the anatomy of a fountain pen. We will discuss all the different components that make up a fountain pen so that we can really get familiar with this lovely writing and drawing instrument. Then we will move on to the different inking methods of fountain pens, because it's not just only one way to ink a fountain pen, they can be many. These include looking at ink cartridges, looking at bottled ink, converters, and even another method called the eyedropper method. We will look into the details of the different types of nibs that are available for fountain pens, and look into how they differ and what their effects are. We will then look at one of the most important elements of fountain pen, and that is fountain pen ink. We will explore dye-based inks, pigment inks, and also some special effect inks like shimmering inks. We will then move on to looking at the different surfaces that you can use your fountain pens on. I will then be giving a recommendation of which fountain pens you should start off as beginners in fountain pen sketching, from standard fountain pens, flexible nib fountain pens, and also [inaudible] fountain pen. We will then finally look at how to keep our fountain pens safe and clean, and look at the maintenance of our fountain pens to increase and improve their longevity. Then we're going to be coming to the exciting part of the class where we're going to be looking at a series of exercises where we're going to get familiar with how to create textures with standard fountain pens, with special knit fountain pens, to really get yourself warmed up for the final main event which will be your class project. These exercises will include producing a basic color swatch, looking at how to produce textures through the way of crosshatching, stippling, and also producing small circular scribbles. You will also be introduced to some special instruments that you can use to swatch up your colors and to maintain a record just for yourself as you build your beautiful ink collection and fountain pen collection in this magical journey, the world of fountain pen inks. On completing the exercises in this class and gaining the knowledge from the fountain pen anatomy, ink, surfaces, and all the other things that we discuss, you will be ready to start this magical journey and produce a wonderful illustration for your class project. So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a nice drink, get yourself some treats, sit back, relax, and let's get started with this class. 2. Fountain Pen Anatomy: Welcome back. Let's start off this class by discussing a little bit about fountain pens and the anatomy of a fountain pen. So don't worry, I'm not going to go through every little detail that makes up a particular fountain pen. This is just a small overview, a bit of a warm-up so you're familiar with the words that I'm using in the class, that you may not be familiar with before. Now if you've already got a fountain pen or maybe you've got a couple of fountain pens, then you can still watch this and maybe you might not know what certain components are labeled as or what they mean, it's just a good, nice insight into the different components and makeup of fountain pens. So fountain pens come in various sizes, colors, different ranges, they can be made from high-quality metals, premium materials like gold, platinum, and they can be also made of very cheap plastic materials, but are very durable in the long run. What I'm going to do is I'm going to break down a particular fountain pen that I've got here. This is the Kaweco Sport. This is a nice pocket fountain pen and it's just very easy to open up into its components. That's one thing to notice, that not all fountain pens can be opened up and taken apart, literally taken apart into all the little elements that make up that particular pen. Do be aware that if you do have a fountain pen, don't take it apart straight away, make sure that the manufacturer that you've bought it from, the brand actually allows you to open up a fountain pen. If it can open up and you can take it apart like I'm doing on the screen here, then brilliant. Give it a go. It's just a fun little exercise and it's very useful for when it comes to cleaning. Going from the left, we've got the main part, which is the nib, and then we move on to the feed. Then we've got the section in which the feed and nib go into one end. Then going from the top right, we've got the cap that screws on and closes your pen to make it airtight. We've got a clip. Not all fountain pens have a removable clip, but this particular one does. Then we've got the barrel, and then finally we've got the converter. Now let's look at these little elements in a bit more detail. Let's now look at the cap and the barrel. The cap and barrel are the main exterior components of the fountain pen that hold it together and give it that pen shape and structure that it can hold. Going into the elements in a bit more detail. For the cap, going from the left to right, we can start off with the lip section and then moving on to that center band, and then in most cases fountain pens usually have a logo on it. Then moving onto the insert and the inset is the part of the fountain pen which holds and keeps your nib secure to avoid it from hitting the actual inner parts of the cap. Then we have the clip and then we have what we call the final which is basically the end part of your fountain pen and this can sometimes have a nice design or a finish on it, which differs from fountain pen to fountain pen. Then moving on to the barrel. Again, going from left to right, we start off with the threads. Now, this is the part that threads onto the other end of the fountain pen, which we will come to next. Then we have the step, so we have a step up or a step down depending on the actual design of the fountain pen, then that makes the main body of the fountain pen which you hold in your hand. Then finally we have the trim ring and on some cases, the trim ring is a different color or a different material. Then we have the last part which is called the final. Again, just like we did with that cap. Moving on to the most important part of the fountain pen, the nib. Let's have a look at what this nib is made up of. Now you don't need to know all of these labels and details for your fountain pen. It's just something to know when we're talking about fountain pens. You may have heard people talk about the times or the slit or the tipping material, and then this will just give you that nice little bit of knowledge, especially when I come to discussing the different elements and different technical parts when we're using our fountain pen for this class, Let's start off with the top where we have the tipping material. This is a standard nib and we're going to be moving onto different nibs and going into a bit more detail about the types of nibs that you can get. The tipping material is basically a round ball of either metal or a softer metal that's put on at the end of the actual nib itself that allows you to nicely glide your fountain pen nib on the surface that you've used. Then we have the slit and that's what splits open the nib into the two tines and that's what we've got for the third label, the two tines. These open up and close depending on how flexible the nib is to give you line variation in the marks that you make. Then we have the shoulder which is just basically the widest part of the nib, and then we move on to the breather hole, which allows that movement and flexibility of those tines. Then we have the logo imprint. A lot of the nibs that you get in fountain pens or even in calligraphy pens or thick pens, they have some type of an imprint on them, a logo imprint on the size of the nib or just a nice fancy pattern, so that's what you'll find on this. Then the rest of the actual nib is the body part. The next item is the second most important item where it comes to the flow of ink in your fountain pen, and that is what we call the feed. Now the feed is what attaches underneath your actual nib and that allows the ink to travel all the way down from the ink reservoir, all the way to the tip of your nib. It's very important and vital that your feed and your nib are aligned up properly and we will come to that on the next part. Just looking at the labels, from the left we've got the wings and that's what the actual nib sits on. Usually, it has a very nice snug fit and it won't move once you've actually applied it properly. Then we move on to the fins and the fins is where the actual movement and the dripping of the ink happens and then it goes through the ink channel. Then the post is what actually posts into the next part which is the section and holds the actual feed into position allowing it to connect to the actual ink reservoir. Let's move on to the next one. This is now the section and this is what basically connects the nib and feed to the actual pen cartridge or the converter itself. Just looking at the two main parts of the section. The first part on the left is the grip, and that's actually the part that you grip yourself with your fingers. It's how you actually hold the pen. On the right-hand side, we have the thread and that's what's used to attach the barrel to the end of that actual section. Moving on to the ink converter. Now, as I mentioned before, the ink converter goes into the actual section. This is basically where you will have your ink reservoir. Now you may not have a converter, you may actually have a cartridge which looks similar to this, but we will move on to that in the next lesson when we come to looking at how to ink your pen properly. Let's just have a look at the labels of the converter. We have the mouth on the left-hand side which goes inside the section, then we have the ink reservoir where the ink resides in. Then we have a seal, that's the end of this piston shape rod. Then right at the end, we have a plunger knob. Now there are a few different types of converters that you can get and we will go through all the main types in the next lesson. Now let's put this fountain pen back together. What we do is we get the nib rest it onto the feed, making sure that it's not moving around, holding it together in between thumb and your index finger. Then now we have the section and we've got the grip side and we've got the thread side. So the grip side is what we pushed that nib and feed into and we make sure that it's nicely fitting and snog and that they're aligned properly. Then what we can do is move the section across and fit in our converter. That's basically just going to pop in into the little groove area that's on the end of that section where the thread is and we have our converter attached. Next part is to add the barrel to the actual section itself and that's going to spin and thread on beautifully to attach, to make the actual form of the pen itself. Finally, the last part is to cap the pen. So we just add the cap on and spin it onto that thread and we have a complete ready-to-use fountain pen. Let's now move on to the next lesson where we are going to be looking at how we ink our fountain pen and all the various ways that you can do this. Let's move on to that, next. 3. Inking Methods: Welcome back. Let's now talk about the different inking methods for our fountain pens. Starting off with the first one, and that is by using the ink cartridges that you normally get free with your fountain pen. Standard international cartridges generally fit all fountain pens that can take those cartridges. Now this is one of the key main aspects of ink cartridges, and that is that you must use the correct ink cartridge for that particular fountain pen. The first one is standard international, which is again just a standard cartridge that will fit most fountain pens that accept standard cartridges. The second is a brand-specific ink cartridge. Now the ones that I've got on-screen over here, I've got two different brands. These can vary from brand to brand, and what I mean by brand is the actual brand of the fountain pen. The first one here we have brand-specific Platinum. These will fit the Platinum fountain pens. Now Platinum is a Japanese brand of fountain pen, and these ink cartridges are specifically designed only to fit them. If you want to try these Platinum fountain pen cartridges in another fountain pen such as maybe a Helix Oxford, then it's not going to work. Please don't go ahead and try fitting it in because you're going to either damage your cartridge or you're going to damage your fountain pen. Stick to the actual brand-specific fountain pen cartridges for that particular brand of fountain pen that you have. The second one that I've got on the screen is the Parker, and you can see that the size is very different. It's actually quite a long cartridge. Cartridges generally come in short or long cartridges, and that all again, depends on the brand that you're specifically using. Parker pen is USA based, so only use these in Parker pens and don't try mixing your fountain pen cartridges with different fountain pens. Generally, fountain pen cartridges are the quickest and easiest method to ink your fountain pen. It's a simple case of just popping them in and then popping them out once the ink is all depleted and finished off. Then again, just going in with a fresh cartridge, popping it back in and you're ready to go. It's as simple and easy as that. The advantages, again, are that it's very easy and quick and there's minimum mess. You hardly get any ink leakages. Cartridges usually have a mechanism at the open end of the cartridge where the ink flows out from, that it won't drip out when you take it out or when you pop it in. It's mess free and it's the easiest way to ink your fountain pen. One of the disadvantages of using ink cartridges is that you've got to constantly keep buying cartridges. If you're using a brand-specific ink cartridge, like for this Platinum Preppy, then these ink cartridges can be quite expensive to keep buying again and again. The standard cartridges, however, can be a lot cheaper when you're buying them in batches. When you start using a brand new fountain pen like we have over here with this Platinum Preppy, the first time you put the ink cartridge in you may have to give it a little while before the ink actually starts flowing through the feed. Just be patient with it. Don't press down too hard. Just write as if you were normally going to write and it will eventually start flowing as you can see on the screen. With cartridges, the advantages are they're quick and easy to install, they're easy to carry with you. If your ink runs out, you can quickly and easily add a new cartridge. The only disadvantage is, is that they can be expensive in the long run. Also they're not very environmentally friendly because you're using a plastic container that you've got to consistently keep throwing away. It's not really good for the environment because of the plastics, but generally, I would recommend cartridges for all beginners because it's the quickest and easiest method. Cartridges can also be refilled. Now, this may or may not work for every brand of cartridge. It all depends on the actual material the cartridge is made of. I wouldn't do this if I was an absolute beginner, but I thought I'll just show you this on the screen. To refill a cartridge, you would need to clean your cartridge out and you would need some bottled ink and an empty syringe with a blunt needle extension. You can get these empty syringes with a flat blunt needle extension from most pharmacy stores. You can get them from drug stores. You can get them from online stores and they're readily available. All the links to all these materials and pieces of equipment that I'm showing are going to be in the resource sheets, so do check it out. To refill your cartridge, all you need to do is take up some ink into the empty syringe through the flat needle. Just make sure that you're using a blunt flat needle and it's not a sharp one because if you use sharp one, it's going to be dangerous as it is, because it's sharp it will poke you. When you're putting it into the empty cartridge like this on the screen, it will pierce the cartridge. It's very important that you get a blunt flat needle. All you do is place a needle all the way down to the end of the cartridge and slowly release that ink in a slow motion. What you don't want to do is press too hard on that syringe because what that will do is give you splash-back and you're going to get ink everywhere. That's it. That's how easy it is. You've just filled up your cartridge, then all you do is pop it right back into the pen and make sure it's got a nice tight fit on it and you're pretty much ready to go. Now this method can't be done on every single cartridge, and I would not recommend you to repeatedly do this because your cartridge can wear away and it can get loose from the actual fitting. Then you're going to have all sorts of problems with leakage of ink. Some cartridges are actually specifically made to be refilled, so do have a look at the manufacturer's descriptions on those particular cartridges. As a roundup of this first method, this is the most easiest, quickest method that you can do by using ink cartridges. You can also refill them with ink by using an empty syringe and flat needle, but again, you're going to have to buy those extra pieces of equipment on their own. The cartridges will work fine, but however, you do have quite a lot of waste and they're not very environmentally friendly because the plastics that you're you going to continually throw away. That's going to move us to the second method that is a little bit more environmentally friendly and will be a bit cheaper in the long run. Let's move on to that one next. 4. Converters: Welcome back. The second method of inking your fountain pen is by using a converter. There are various types of converters that you can get with fountain pens. But again, as with the cartridges, the converters must be compatible with those particular fountain pens that you use. With the budget fountain pens and the starter fountain pens like the ones that we're going demonstrate in this class, you have to actually go ahead and buy the converter separately. We've already had a look at the first type of converter, which is the push-pull knob converter, and this was what we went through in the anatomy part of the class. The other type of converter is the twist knob converter. It's very similar to the first one. The only difference is in the actual mechanism itself. The piston mechanism, where with the first one we do push and pull, and with this second one we do a twist action to twist the actual piston and rode all the way up to create that suction to suck out the ink from the bottled ink. That's the third item on the screen, and the bottled ink that you need to use with converters. In order to actually activate your converter, all we need to do is fit it in to the actual pen section, where the thread is of the pen and the actual input part of the converter is, as we can see on the screen. Then, the next step is to open up your bottled ink and just make sure it's on a stable table so it doesn't move around. Then, what we do is we just literally dip in our fountain pen from the nib side down, and we've got to ensure that that nib is completely immersed in the ink all the way to the tip of the plastic section. That will ensure you get maximum uptake of ink and will minimize the air bubbles. Because what you're going to get is when you pull this plunger back and fourth, you're going to get some air pockets being created. All we've got to do is pull it back and then drop the ink back in by pushing it down, and then do this a couple of times until you get the maximum ink being pulled into the reservoir of the converter, just like we have on the screen. Once this is done, shake off the excess of the ink from the nib, give it a wipe with some tissue just to make sure that you're not getting ink everywhere, and you're ready to go. You have now inked your fountain pen using the push-pull converter, all you've got to do now is cover up the converter with the barrel, screw it on to the thread and cup your pen and you're ready to go. You may find initially when you start using your pen, you may get blobs of ink coming on, just let it run before you actually start doing your real sketching or writing. The second type, the twister knob, is exactly the same technique we use. Insert it into the actual pen itself. This particular one is for the Lamy Safari and it's a little bit different because this one has got some grooves in it, which you can click the actual converter into to give it a solid phase so it won't move around, and all you do for this particular pen. Then again, the method is the same. Dip the pen from the nib all the way into the ink and then twist back that converter knob until the ink is brought up into the reservoir. Twist it back down. Do this a couple of times to remove all the air bubbles and you're ready to go. It's the same method as it was with the push and pull, just using a different mechanism to bring that ink into the reservoir. Put the barrel back on to the actual pen, give it a clean with a clean tissue to remove the excess, and you can start writing or drawing with the fountain pen straight away. This third converter, this one is for the Platinum pens. We're going to be using this for the Platinum Preppy, which we will move on to a bit more detail in the next lesson, but however, as we did previously where we put the converter into the pen and we drew the ink by dipping the nib of the pen into the actual bottle, you cannot do this for this particular pen because of the mechanism of the feed. It's been designed slightly differently from most conventional fountain pens. So the third option is to actually use the converter directly into the bottled ink, to draw out the ink and then attach that to the actual pen. You can actually do this with all converters. You can just use them to actually fill up your ink if you don't want to use your pen or if your pen is a bit too big and clunky. If you just want to do it like this, go ahead and do this. I actually prefer inking my converters this way. I just think that there's less mess. You get less ink on your fingers and because of the mechanism that's built into the converters, just like it is with the cartridges, you won't get any ink coming out of it once it's inside. Again, just pull the ink inside as much as you can and then attach it to the actual pen, and you can see the ink just splashes straight into the feed and you're ready to go. You just need to add your barrel along and your pen should start working immediately. It may take a couple of seconds for the ink to trip into the feed, but you're ready to go. Now, there are other types of converters. You can get squeezed converters where you actually squeeze the ink using the air pocket instead of having a piston, and there's also converters that are built into the pens, but these usually come in with the higher-end pens that are a bit more expensive. But for beginners, I would recommend just getting these simple converters that we have, these twist converters or the push and pull ones. It actually depends on the brand of the pen that you're using, which convert you can use. That's a very important thing to note. Only buy the converters for their pens that they are compatible with. How will you know which ones are compatible with? Well, the manufacturer usually are the same. I would avoid using converters that are cheap imitations or copies, what they call standard converters, because they just won't hold up the test of time and you're just more likely to damage your pen and it'll be a waste of money buying them anyway. What I've done is I've got all the converters for the particular pens listed in the resource sheet for you to check out then. Let's now move on to the third inking method. 5. Eye Dropper Method: The third and final inking method is the Eye dropper method or you may hear some people say eye dropper converting your fountain pen. This is basically a method where you fill up the barrel of your fountain pen with ink and in order to do that, you need an eye dropper or an empty syringe like we used previously. All you've got to do is just fill up your syringe with your ink and literally just get the barrel of your fountain pen and release that ink very slowly into that barrel. As you can see, I'm doing on the screen hair I've got the needle all the way down and I'm slowly releasing that ink. But what you've got to make sure is that you do not overfill the barrel because that will create the over spill of ink and you can get some reaction with air bubbles that can cause some problems in the long run. Do not overfill the barrel and as an additional item you can use to secure the barrel onto the thread of the actual section. You can use some silicone grease and you can also use some O rings. But in this method here, I'm not using either because the actual pen that we're using, the Platinum Preppy, it has very solid threads. This is the third and final method of inking your pen. However, I would not recommend that you go ahead and do this, especially if you're an absolute beginner to fountain pens. The reason for that is that if you end up throwing your pen on the floor and it's a budget pen like this, the plastic can crack and if it cracks, you're going to get ink everywhere. So I would avoid this method. If you do decide to eye dropper your fountain pen, make sure that you're using a plastic bodied fountain pen. Eye dropper method will not work very well with metal body fountain pens because of the way the formulation of ink can react with the coating in the metal, it can cause all sorts of problems. So I would absolutely not eye drop the metal bodied fountain pens if that's what you've got. Use silicone grease and O rings for maximum seal, if you do decide to go ahead and do this. Again, I'm going to have all these items in the resource sheet for you to have a look at. One thing to note is that the eye dropper method, it can't be used on all fountain pens, even if they are plastic fountain pens. Some fountain pen mechanism won't allow for this actual method to actually work. So do make sure that your particular pen actually can be eye dropper converted. As I said before, avoid this method if you're a complete beginner because it can get very messy especially if you get cracks in your pen or you may end up getting leakages if you've not done it properly. So just avoid this if you're a complete beginner, but if you really want to try it out, then maybe try it out on the Platinum Preppy because the Platinum Preppy works very well as an eyedropper converted fountain pen. The greatest advantage of using an eye dropper method or converting your fountain pen into an eye dropper conversion is that you're going to get a huge amount of ink in your ink reservoir, which is basically your fountain pen barrels. So the bigger the fountain pen barrel, the more ink you're going to have. You're going to have that continuous ink. Personally, I don't really use the eye dropper method myself. I stick to the converter method and sometimes I use cartridges, so I'll leave that decision up to you. It's just a nice way to have an overview of three of the most popular methods of actually inking your fountain pens. So that's the inking stage of the fountain pen. Now let's move on to the exciting parts of your fountain pen nibs. 6. Types of Nibs: Welcome back. Let's now talk about the different types of nibs that you can get in your fountain pens. Nibs vary in shape, size, and color. Let's start off by talking about the material that they're made from. Generally, nibs are made of either stainless steel or from a gold alloy. The gold alloy is either 14 karat gold or 18 karat gold. Expectedly, gold is going to be a lot more expensive than steel. Looking at the tip shape, we covered the tipping material, when we went through the anatomy of a fountain pen, looking just at the fountain pen tip. We can divide this into two. The first one being a conventional round tip and the second one being a stub or an italic squared-off tip. The conventional round tips are going to be the most common that you find in your fountain pens, especially in the budget fountain pens that you buy, and most of the fountain pens that I'm going to go through in this class are going to have this conventional round tip. Focusing now on the round tips. The tips come in different tip sizes. Tip sizes basically refer to the actual width or the line width of the marks that you make with those nibs and tips. The width variation in these tips are from extra-fine all the way to extra-broad. You can see a gradual change in the width of the lines that you make. It starts off with extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, and then extra-broad. Generally speaking, when you're looking at the difference between line width for an extra-fine nib compared to a fine nib, you may not see much of a difference. However, you will see more of a difference when you're looking at the next level up. For example, extra fine all the way to medium, you can see that there is a significant change in the line width and the effects that you can do with that particular nib. The brand makes a difference. Japanese-based pens, such as a Platinum Preppy, the extra-fine point will be a little bit more finer than the European counterpart. For example, here on the screen, we have the Lamy Safari, which is a German-based pen. You can see that the extra fine is slightly thicker than the Platinum Preppy. That difference depends on where that particular nib is made. Let's now look at the second type of tip, that is the square tip. This can be divided into two; mainly a straight stub or an oblique. An oblique just means italic. You can either have an oblique left or an oblique right, it's just the angle of the actual square tip that's being made. It's either going down to the left-hand side or it's going down to the right-hand side. These tips are usually used for calligraphy pens to produce special effects, and they're not usually used in everyday fountain pen writing. However, you can produce some beautiful effects and artwork with these lovely tips. Let's now move on to the second type of nib. That is the flexible nib. Flexible nibs can be made of either stainless steel or they can be made of gold. Gold has a huge advantage that it's more softer in its property and it can bend or flex a lot more than stainless steel can. It's a lot less rigid. However, gold, as I mentioned before, is very expensive. A flex nib fountain pen will start off at around about 200 pounds and it will keep going up. It's a very expensive entry point into the world of flexible nib fountain pens. The alternative to that is getting yourself a flexible nib that's made from stainless steel. There are examples of this that you can get. If you have a look at the screen, this is a US brand fountain pen with a special flexible nib in it. The slit in this nib is quite different from a normal fountain pen. It's actually running from all the way to the top, right down to the end of the nib itself. But you can see it makes some beautiful lines and line variations. It's not going to be as soft or flexible as a gold nib would be, but you can produce some great variant lines and some interesting sketches with this particular nib. Finally, the last nib that I want to talk about is part of the special nib selection. This particular one is called a bent nib or a fude nib. This is just an extension of the flat point nibs that we went through before. It's not a round point, it's a squared-off flat nib, but it's been bent at an angle. As you can see on the screen, it can produce some gorgeous results. All you've got to do is change the angle of how you're holding the pen, and you can go from thin to thick, or thick to thin, and you can produce some great designs and calligraphy and sketches with this pen. That was just a quick summary of the different types of nibs that you can get. These are the main types of nibs that you can get in fountain pens. However, there are other nibs that you can get such as music nibs, architect nibs, but those type of nibs are most specialty nibs for special functions. I'm not going to go through them, let's just stick to the standard, conventional nibs, flexible nib, and the bent fude nib. Now let's move on to the next one. 7. Types of Ink: Welcome back. Let's now talk about the different types of ink that you can get for your fountain pens. The most important thing about using ink in your fountain pen, is that you ensure that you use fountain pen ink only, and that you don't use drawing ink, calligraphy ink, or India ink or any other ink that's not specifically made for fountain pens. Now, when you go out and have a look at different ink brands or different inks when you go shopping for inks of fountain pens, that particular ink that you're buying, should specify on it that it is suitable for fountain pens or that it is made for fountain pens. The reason for this, is that inks are made up with different formulas and different consistencies. With fountain pens, the ink needs to be a specific consistency. The reason for that, is that it needs to be able to flow through the feed and come to the nib. If the ink is too thick or it's not movable, then what will happen is, it will clog up in the feed of the fountain pen and it just won't drip out of the nib appropriately. It will damage your fountain pen because you'll have to do a rigorous clean of it and of the feed. If you're not able to take the fountain pen apart, that will cause all sorts of problems. So only use fountain pen ink that is suitable for fountain pens. Fountain pen inks can be divided into dye based inks or pigment based inks. Dye based inks are the most common ones that you're going to be using in your fountain pens. Pigment inks are less common, but they are available specifically for fountain pens. Dye based inks are usually water-based, so they are not generally lightfast, which means that they will fade over time when exposed to light, and they won't be waterproof. So once your ink dry, if you apply water over it, then it will literally smear that ink all over the place and wash it away pretty much. Pigment inks counter this effect, and what they do, is they have the actual pigment core inside the ink. That will make it lightfast, so it won't fade away by being exposed to light. It will also make that particular ink waterproof and more archival. There are many different brands of dye based inks and hundreds of colors that can be available with certain brands. Whereas with pigment inks, there were only a few companies that make pigment inks, and they tend not to have such a wide range of colors available in them. Now, when buying your fountain pen ink, you can buy them in small tester bottles that contain 5-10 milliliters of ink in it. The purpose for them, are usually for you to really test your ink out before you actually go ahead and buy a bigger bottle. It's always good idea to buy a tester bottle if it's available from your supplier or for that particular brand. The second size is usually a 30 mil to 50 mil bottle, which is considered to be a small bottle. That again, is a good size bottle to have, especially if you want to test and try different colors or different brands of ink. Then finally, you usually gets an 80 mil or 100 mil bottle, that's usually the largest size bottle you get in general fountain pen ink. You can even get larger bottles. You can get 200 mil bottles of fountain pen ink as well, but generally speaking, I would recommend that you start off, especially if you're new to fountain pens, start off with maybe just getting a couple of testers or a couple of small bottles of fountain pen ink, in a range of colors just to get yourself familiar with things. Then that way you can sample them and test them out, trial them out, and see which ones you like. Then later on, maybe get the larger size bottle, the 80 mil to 100 mil bottles. Now, another type of ink that you can get, is more of a special effect ink for your fountain pens. This may be labeled as a ink that contains shin in it, a shimmering ink or a special effect ink. All that is, is that it contains speckles and small particles of glitter type substances, that produce a shimmering or a shining effect once the ink is dry. Now, these are great to use, you can have a lot of fun with these type of inks, but do be aware, just fight with the pigment ink containing small little speckles of pigments in it. The shimmering inks tend to also have these speckles that can get stuck into your feed, so regular washing and flushing out your fountain pen is necessary when you're using these type of inks. I'm going to reiterate the most important thing. Make sure your fountain pen ink is suitable for fountain pens. Now, let's move on to the next one. 8. Surfaces: Okay, welcome back. Let's now talk about the different surfaces that we can use with our fountain pens. Now, the two main aspects that we need to consider are, number one, bleeding. Bleeding basically means that the ink that you're adding onto your surface bleeds through or seeps through to the other side. This can be a major problem, especially if you're using a book or a journal where you've got pages below another page. That can cause all sorts of problems. Bleeding is one of the main issues that we need to consider. The second issue is feathering. Feathering is basically when the ink, touches the surface, it starts to absorb and expand at that point of impact. This happens quite a lot, especially if you're using a paper or a surface that is not very good quality, or that has not been coated to prevent this type of effect. However, you could possibly use this feathering effect to your advantage if you're producing abstract arts, or if you purposefully want to do this. But to make sure that you don't get feathering, you need to use the appropriate surface. Let's have a look at four different types of paper. The first one is a cheap printer paper with only 75 GSM weight. The GSM weights basically means the thickness of the paper. The higher the number, the more thicker the paper will be. The second one is an expensive printer paper with 120 GSM weight. This paper is ultra smooth and has an ultra-fine finish on it, to make it really high-quality. The third one is a cartridge paper, and it's classed as a heavyweight cartridge paper with a 200 GSM weight. Finally we have the Rhodia Vellum Paper. This is a high-grade paper. Even though it's only 80 GSM in weight, it can take fountain pens very well. On the screen I'm doing the same marks on every single one of these papers, just to show you the variation, and the actual results that we can achieve, and then we'll look at whether they bleed or not or whether they feather or not. Just to know, when using fountain pens when you go over the same line again and again, that paper will most likely start to bleed because of the actual moisture of the ink being layered on top of another. When you're looking at the cross hatching section right at the bottom of these pieces of paper, that will really determine whether that paper can withstand that particular ink, and nip size of that pen. It doesn't always mean that the thickest papers are always going to be the best papers. As you can see with the Rhodia Vellum, it's only 80 GSM. It's thinner than the expensive printer and the cartridge paper, but it still manages to withstand the bleeding or the feathering and gives some tremendous results with fountain pen, and fountain pen ink. The quality and the price of paper will vary from brand to brand, but that doesn't mean that you've got to buy super expensive paper to be able to use your fountain pens. You can buy paper that is very reasonably priced. I will leave links to all the papers that I recommend, and the ones that I have shown in the class so that you can have a look at in the resource sheet. So let's have a look at the results. With the cheap printer paper, you can see it's bled right through, especially when we were using the heavy ink, the double broad nib and even with the crosshatching, it's showing through. That will most likely hit your next page, if you're using a book. Looking at the expensive printer paper, you can see there's literally no bleed through. This paper is a very good paper. Again, I'll leave a link and a description to this particular paper in the resource sheet. Moving on to the cartridge paper, now this was the thickest paper that we had at 200 GSM. You can see it's handled the fountain pen ink very well indeed. This is one that I use quite often. Now, moving on finally to the Rhodia Vellum Paper, that was only 80 GSM. However, you've got no bleed through. You can see a little bit of shadowing on the back, but for the weight, it produces some absolutely great results. So generally with fountain pens, you can also use sketchbooks or a notebook. You remember that if your notebook, like the one on the screen here, this one, this round doodle sketchbook has thin paper in it, then it's always a good idea to put another sheet of paper in-between the paper, so you don't get bleed through going on to the next page. For example, this one here. This is an all multimedia sketchbook that contains very good quality, 140 GSM multimedia cartridge paper. I use this sketch books all the time. You can produce some beautiful sketches in there. You can do note taking and they will handle fountain pen ink very well. The next one is a very popular journal style art notebook. This is by Moleskin. This has probably some of the best paper that you can find inside a note book journal. It is 165 GSM in weight and it's coated in a beautiful smooth finish, and you can produce some absolutely gorgeous results in this. This is one of my go-to notebooks that I use especially for my sketching. Finally, looking at the Rhodia range. This is just a basic Rhodia staple pad. They're not very expensive. You can buy them in this small size. They're fairly cheap in comparison to the notebooks that we were having a look at. With this you can produce some beautiful work. Like you can see, I've used some heavy line work with my fountain pens using a medium nib, and even a double broad nib. The paper just handles it very, very well indeed. Now, you do get some bleed through, especially if you're using a very wet pen or, a very broad nib. However, overall, in the grand scheme of things, I highly recommend this paper, especially to do quick sketches in. It's absolutely brilliant. That's about it for the surfaces. There are so many different brands of paper that you can get. It would take absolutely all day or even all week for me to go through every single one of them. The ones that I've shown you on screen are just some of the ones that I use. I also use more high-end premium brands, but I don't want to recommend them at this stage, because this stage is really for beginners who want to get into fountain pen sketching. I maybe show them later on in another class where we actually look at sketch booking or journaling with art. These ones are the ones that I specifically recommend for this class. Again, a list of everything that I've shown in this lesson and also in the previous lessons in this class, will all be available to have a look at in the resource sheet. So now let's move on to the next one. 9. Budget Fountain Pens: Welcome back. Let's now have a look at some of the pens that I would recommend for beginners to start off in the wonderful world of fountain pen and fountain pen sketch. If you already have fountain pens, then I wouldn't say you need to buy anymore, just use the ones that you have, and if you want to purchase anymore, then maybe go for the ones that I've recommended if you already haven't got these. As you can see over here, we've got a beautiful range of various pens and you don't need to buy all of these, absolutely not. I'm just showing you this to give you an idea of the types of basic entry point fountain pens that you can get. On the left-hand side over here, we've got the Platinum Preppy that we've had a look at previously in the previous lessons. Now, these come in seven different colors, you can see I've got them all here and they're very cheap to buy. However, if you want set by the converters for them, then you would have to pay more than you actually pay for the pen itself. That's a decision I'm going to leave to you, but I highly recommend this pen. Another reason for recommending not just because it's a budget pen and it's less than five pounds, it's because it comes in different nip sizes. As you can remember, we went through some of the different nip sizes in the types of nibs section and it can produce various line widths with these from extra fine, fine, all the weights in medium. Now remember with fountain pens, you can also use the other side of the nib to produce a thin, more fine line, however, they're not really meant to be used like that, but you can't get away with it, especially if you're doing sketching. Recommend it writes with a fountain pen if you're just doing writing by tilting, it's open like this as you can see on the screen. But for sketching purposes and illustration, you can easily vary the line width when you use a fountain pen by just twisting it's over and just using it very lightly on the other side of the nib. However, I don't recommend that you go ahead and do this because you may actually damage your nib if you press down too hard. With the Platinum Preppy, it's really cheap to buy all three nib sizes. Over here, I've got the extra fine, in the blue color here. You can see absolutely beautiful pen. These are solid entry point in the world of fountain pens. They're Japanese brand, as I mentioned earlier on, and they will work very well. You'll hardly get any issues with them. You may have some issues when it comes to actually replenishing your ink if the actual barrel here gets jammed because it is made from plastic, it does tend to sometimes get a little bit tight and you've got to open it up with a bit of force, if you haven't opened it up in a while, and that can lead to some cracks happening. Some of my pens have cracked in the past if I pressed down a little bit too hard on opening or on screwing the barrel. You do need to be aware of that. But because of the price point that you pay for this pen, even if you break it, I don't think it's a huge issue. However, if you don't want to buy platinum preppies and you don't like the look of them, you might think that they look like kids pens, then maybe go for something like this, which is a Helix Oxford pen. Now, this is around about the same price points as a Platinum Preppy. These are made in the UK over here so over here we can get them probably a little bit cheaper than you can from other countries. I actually got this particular pen for only five pounds from our local as the Walmart. Now, if you have a Walmart where you live, then maybe you'll be able to get it for the same price. This was literally only five pounds, and this is an all metal body fountain pen. You wouldn't really think it's going to be that cheap. I think the general price with this, is about seven pounds or eight pounds, and you can get them in a couple of different colors. Now, the only issue with this pen, is that sometimes the actual threads that are on the barrel and on the actual grip section, they can get a little bit loose, so you may find that when you are writing with the pen, it starts to swivel away and gets a little bit undone. I have noticed that I've got a couple of these pens just as my daily usage fountain pens. I don't really do too much sketching with them, but they are all round, pretty solid pens. I think they only come in a size medium nib, so this is the nib that they come with, and the nib is actually fixed. The fix system on the nib is fixed, so you cannot take them out. Whereas with the Platinum Preppy, you can actually pull the whole nip system out and you can actually swap the nibs as well, even though that the fix system is fixed. That's an advantage that the Platinum Preppy has over this Helix Oxford. But again, these entry level pens and this one, this Helix Oxford, looks very nice indeed. You may find that if you do get this, that the cap sometimes can be a little bit tough to take off because it is the standard push and clip on cap. But overall, the pen itself, it's actually a solid writer. I would recommend getting one of these, if you want to use a fountain pen just for your basic writing or just doing some large sketches with. Either or the Helix Oxford or the Platinum Preppy, I don't think you can go wrong with them. Both of these pens don't come with the converters, they just come with their cartridges, so one thing to mention is, that the Helix Oxford, you can use international cartridges that you can get from most stationery shops, whereas with the Platinum Preppy, if want to go down the cartridge root, then you've got to buy the Platinum Preppy cartridges. But again, with either cartridge here, you can refill them by using a syringe, but just do be careful, like I mentioned in the previous lesson, not to continually doing that because you may loosen of the grip of that particular cartridge, especially for the international cartridges. The Platinum Preppy cartridges usually are a bit more firmer. So these are our budget standard pens that we have over here on this area here. 10. Mid-Range Fountain Pens: If you want to go the next step higher, if you want something a little bit more premium quality and all round a stronger pen, then I would probably say go for a Lamy Safari, which is a German based brand pen, and I think this is an absolutely solid beginner's pen in the world of fountain pens. However, this is fairly more expensive than these entry-level, cheap ones that we have here, the Preppy and the Helix Oxford. This one comes at around about £18, £19 and you don't get the converter with it, so got so bad that convinces separately. But the pen itself, I think is absolutely brilliant. The converter is actually cheaper than the converter of the platinum preppy and it has this great fixed function in it; where it clicks into place, so it's not going to move around. It's an overall solid performer. Another thing it has is this little window level here, where you can see how much ink you've got in your actual converter or in your cartridge. Another thing that I like about these pens are that you can remove the nibs, you can buy different nibs for them. These come in the extra fine, fine, and medium. I think they might even come in a broad nib but I'm not too sure about that. So do check that out if you're interested in getting a broad nib. But they can easily be removed and replaced. The feed system doesn't come out, it's just the actual nib. So do bear that in mind. One issue with this pen, I would say is that you can only really hold it in one position because of the way it's being designed. You've got these three grip here, where your thumb goes here, your index finger goes here, and the bottom side of it just rests on your middle finger. That's the position that you're going to be holding it in now, you may find this uncomfortable. You might prefer a pen that's rounded, you can swivel the pen as you draw and write. Now, that's going to be your own personal preference. I personally don't mind either or I like the actual grips that you get here but I do know people who don't really like this and get frustrated with the position that we use this in. I'm going to leave that one up to you, whether you want to check this one out or not. It does have unusually big clip to it. It might not be to everybody's taste. But overall, as a performer, I would say this is an absolute solid pen. Now, another pen I don't have on the screen here, that I have got hiding away on the corner here is the Kaweco sports. Now, you've seen me take this pen apart in the previous lessons. This is a great little pen to have, but it is a little bit on the pricey side. The only issue with this pen, I would say is that the reservoir, whether you using cartridges or you're using the converter, is very small compared to the other standard pens that we've got. You will run out of ink very quickly in this, especially if you're sketching. What I like about this pen is that you can take it apart, you can buy the nibs for it, you can actually buy the entire section. You can get this entire replacement section here with the nib and just use different nibs on the actual body of the pen, which is a great advantage. I think the size of it is great. It's really nice in the hand to hold. I don't got huge hands or anything like that. But for me it's really comfortable to use and it is one of my go-to pens. I would say that sometimes with this pen, you may find it skips now and again, especially if you have a broad nib. That's my experience of it. That doesn't mean that every broad nib pen in this size is going to skip. By skipping what I mean is the flow sometimes stops and you may need to encourage it by actually squeezing the converter to just encourage that flow system, just making the ink flow, if you can see over here and you're good to go. But again, that might just be a problem that I've had with this particular pen. Generally, this is quite a popular pen and you can get it in all sorts of price ranges. This one is the standard plastic pen. You can get them in all brass metal. You can get them in really fancy metal, but then they're going to get really expensive. You're looking at around about £20 to £25 in total for this pen. If he even buy these clip which you have to purchase separately. This clip doesn't actually come with it. You can purchase that separately if you want. Then you're looking at probably between £25 and £30 in total to this pen. Really all of these pens up to now, less than £30. We've got the small budget ones less than £10 here. Then we've got the two that are going between £20 and £30. But these are the ones that I would recommend. Both of these German brands, they're absolutely solid. 11. Special Nib Fountain Pens: I would also recommend that you try out maybe a flexible nib. Usually flexible nibs are most flexible when they're made out of real gold. But I'm not going to recommend you getting a real gold pen. Instead, I'd go for an alternative like this. This is noodler's ink, Ahab pen. Now, this pen is absolutely brilliant, you've seen me using this before in the previous lessons. It's got this unique inhibitor that has the slit that runs all the way from the tip, all the way right to the end of the actual nib itself, and the feed system is really good. However, if you do decide to get this pen, then do be aware that you have to heat set the pen. The instructions usually come in with this pen on how to do that. It's nothing complicated. All you've got to do is get the nib and feed, place them in a little bit of hot water, for a few minutes, and then just squeeze them together so that they mold into shape because the feed is made of ebonite, it can actually maneuver a little bit in heat, so it's not an issue, it's really easy to do. But overall, I absolutely loved it. I use this pen all the time to do art work, and illustrations, and sketching, and I highly recommend it. The actual pen itself comes with a converter, so you don't need to worry about cartridges. It actually can't take cartridges, this pen. It can only be used with this particular converter that they make. So you don't need to worry about cartridges, all you need is ink to use with this converter. It actually has a breather tube within the converter. It's quite different from your conventional style fountain pens. But it's a great flexible pen where you can get some nice experience of using a flexible nib. The price of this is quite reasonable. You're looking at about £20 to £25 for this depending on where you get it from. Then I'll leave links in the resource sheet for all the pens that I've shown, so you can have a look at them. But if you haven't already got this, I would highly recommend this, especially if you want to have a bit of fun with your fountain pen sketching. This pen is actually made of a vegetable resin. This plastic part is actually made from a vegetable resin. I think it's vegan, but don't go and eat it because it's not something to be eaten. Basically it has a very strong smell to eat. When you do get this, if you decide to go and get this, you might think, what's that horrible smell? It's actually this material that they use to make this boy it does eventually wear down or you just end up getting used to it and it won't bother you. Do be aware of that, if you think you've got a bit of a stinky pen, you haven't. It's just the actual pen itself. Finally, I would highly recommend trying out a bent fude nib. These pens are absolutely brilliant. I have so much fun with these. I literally sometimes just do an entire illustration just using this fude nib. These bed-nib. I love this pen, I would highly recommend it. The price point is great as well. I think you can probably get these for around about £20 or £25. You just have such a great experience in this, especially if you want to do expressive work where you'd create expressive lines. I think it works great. The brand hair is Duke, and it's a German brand. When you get this, you do actually get the converter with it, so you don't need to worry about cartridges. Overall, it's a solid pen. It's a metal body, works really well, has great flow of ink. You do tend to use a lot of ink in this when you use it, but the experience is just amazing. The pen itself, it looks really nice and fancy. I think you can get this in a couple of different colors. I've got, this main silver and black version, but I will leave links in the resource sheet where you can get this from. Highly recommend this pen if you want to try out the fede dye. That's about say for the pen recommendations for this class or if you're a beginner in fountain pens and you just wondering which ones you should start with. These are my recommendations from my experience. There are so many other types of fountain pens as well. You've got really fancy ones over here. You've got pocket pens and you even got some really cheap kidy's type fountain pens. But generally speaking, you can use any fountain pen for this class or if you want to get into the fountain pens, any fountain pen will do. It really depends on what you prefer, whether you like the look of a sets and pen or how comfortable a pen is to hold when you're writing or drawing. You don't have to go for any of the pens I have recommended. I've just done this so that you have an idea of where to start doing a bit of research, if you're a complete beginner. Then generally less than £10 is usually a great start off point. You don't need to buy all three of the ones that I have said in the platinum preppy, just get yourself maybe a fine nib, which works great. Then just try it out. Then later on, if you want to start building, then you can. However, I have to warn you that fountain pens can be a little bit addictive. You might find that you've gone and got yourself a platinum preppy in a fine, and then you want to try a medium, and then you get extra fine and you just end up building a collection. Then you want to start trying other brands or other nibs, it can get a bit addictive. I will warn you right now, so don't blame me if you start buying loads of pens after you watched this class and you think, oh, that's, [inaudible] , it's all his fault. But seriously, it does get really fun but addictive. Do start off with just one pen and just try it out. Here's a little summary of my recommendations divided into the different price points of what you want to try. I'll put the summary in the resource sheets as well so that you can have a proper look at it, and then you can decide for yourself which ones you want to go for if you're going to buy any. Let's now move on to the maintenance of our fountain pens, which is really important to make your fountain pen last. Let's move on. So that's next. 12. Maintenance: Okay, welcome back. Let's now talk about how to look after your fountain pen to maximize its own longevity. Let's talk about the maintenance. Firstly, looking at fountain pens with removable nibs and feeds. You've already seen this in the Kaweco Sports that we had a look at previously in the previous lesson. This is a great fountain pen that can open up, therefore, it makes it easy to clean and maintain. The reason for that is all the parts can be removed and basically just placed in some clean water. Now when cleaning you fountain pen, it's a very good idea to use distilled water. However, I understand that not everybody has distilled water, but in terms of actually giving a guideline to use, it's best to use distilled water. However, if you don't have distilled water, an alternative would be just to use lukewarm or room temperature, normal tap water. Just clean out each component, rinse them out into the water, and then make sure that there's no elements of ink left in it and then once you've done that, just replace it into another container of clean water to really ensure that there is no speckles or particles of ink left in the feed, nib or the section. Leave the components in the clean water for a few minutes, give it a few minutes and then just shake off the excess and then if there's anymore speckles of ink in it, just drop them back into the clean water and just repeat the process until you get no bits of ink coming onto your dry tissue. Do be aware that tissue can clog up the feed when you're cleaning it, so make sure you use a good quality tissue or preferably a microfiber cloth. The converter, all you need to do is just empty out the ink into the inky water that you have, and then all you're doing is taking up clean water from the clean water container and removing it into the ink water container. Keep repeating this process until all the ink is removed from the converter and just like before, just give it a nice little dab with tissue and let it dry. Now you've got to make sure that once you've cleaned out all the components of your fountain pen and the converter as well, just let it rest on a piece of tissue or on a cloth and let it air naturally, give it a bit of a shake off to get rid of the little speckles of water, but once it's completely dry, then you can go ahead, re-ink and you're ready to go. Looking at fountain pens with a fixed nib and feed system or just a fixed feed system. These are typically the Platinum Preppies, the fountain pens that we had to look at. With these, now the issue is, you can't really submerge the entire unit in water because the ink is still going to remain in the feed. We have a couple of options that we can do to actually flush out that ink from the feed system and the nib and the nib holder. First place it into your clean water and give it a good rinse to make sure that there's no excess and then just pour in some water from one end of the feed and shake it out to the other. This is going to be a difficult way to actually clean it, so the second alternative is to use a syringe. Now with a syringe, you can actually try fitting it on one end and pushing the water through the other end. This is much better than just using a cup and just lightly flowing the water through. However, even with this method, there's still going to be some residue of ink in the feed. This is a good method to use, however, it's not completely successful. Another option and this is going to be the best option is to use an ear bulb. Yes, you heard me right, an ear bulb. Now if you've never seen one of these or used one of these, these are just basically a rubber finger-magic that you can use to clean your ears, but they work brilliantly to clean out fountain pens. I'm going to show you how to do this. All you need to do is open up your fountain pen and get it ready to start cleaning. Before you do that, just give it a rinse in clean water to just remove all the excess. You don't need to remove the nib section if you can't actually remove it. The aim is to keep the nib and section and feed all together so that you can use the ear bulb to suck in the water from the clean water and then basically push out that water from the section all the way through to the feed. It's just so easy to use these ear bulbs. You just take the water in and then you just squeeze the water completely out and it can hold a lot of water in it. So it works really well, really efficient, quick and clean. Fill up the ear bulb all the way as maximum as it will fill and then what you want to do is, you want to fit in the tip of the ear bulb opening into the groove area of the section where the threads are. Now this might be a little bit problematic depending on the pen that you're trying to clean. The first thing to really do is just clean out the sections so that there is no residue of ink, so it doesn't pour ink all over the ear bulb, and then what you want to do is try to seal it in the actual feed entry section. So you've got this little entry section here. It's a case of just twisting it into that rubber, grip, and then making sure it goes in. Now you'll know whether you've got a decent fit, it's when the section doesn't fall off the end of that ear bulb. Now here I've got a nice solid seal and all I need to do now is just hold it in position and squeeze it out and you can see all that ink is getting squeezed out of that feed with the flowing water. It's absolutely brilliant. This is the way that I clean all my pens. You can see how quickly, how we managed to get rid of all that ink from the feed and from the nib and there should be nothing left inside apart from clean water, and we still have some spare in the ear bulb. Have a look at this. It's beautifully clean, all nicely flushed out. There's nothing left of ink in there and this is what we want. If you don't have an ear bulb, then you can also use your converter that you have with your pen. Here we've got an example where we've just taken off the converter from our Platinum Preppy. Firstly, what you want to do is take out the ink from the converter, just squeeze it out or twist it out depending on your converter, take up some clean water and then remove that into the inky water and keep repeating this process until the water that is taken up into the actual converter is perfectly clean. Once it perfectly clean, then you're ready to start using it to flush out your pen. Just attach it to the end of your pen with the water inside and remove that water with the converter and you can see effectively act as if it's ink being pushed out, but instead we've got water being pushed out. Just take more water, clean water, and keep pushing it out in as many times as you need to. Try to use clean water every time you take in the water so that you don't keep contaminating the water that goes in and out and that way it will maybe take you 10 or 15 attempts to get it completely cleaned. However, it's still not as good as using the ear bulb. Just a quick little summary of how else to maintain your pen apart from cleaning it and flushing it, keep your fountain pens upright. You want to keep them capped and you want to keep them upright. Never have them facing downwards where the nib is pointing down, otherwise you're going to end up getting leakages. Keep your fountain pens away from heat sources, so keep them away from the radiator or anywhere where there is a lot of heat to avoid any expansion happening in the metal, nib or in the actual ink. Sometimes the ink, the water content can evaporate and leave you with a horrible gel-like substance which will completely clog up your fountain pen. Flush your fountain pen with water, with distilled water if you can, when you're changing the ink colors because it's really important not to change your ink color and leave some residue of the previous ink in your feed because depending on the ink, you may end up getting a chemical reaction that might end up damaging your pen or even damaging the ink itself. Now, as I mentioned before, it's important to read the guidelines from the manufacturer of the pen that you are specifically using. So do check to see what the maintenance and the cleaning rotor is of the actual pen that you're using. But as a general principle, I would say flush your pens with distilled water or normal water if you don't have distilled at least every month, if you're using standard dye-based inks, just to make sure that the flow and the feed system stays nice and wet and you don't get any blockages. If you're using pigment inks or shimmering inks or any special effect inks that contain particles or little grains of carbon in them, then flush your pens with water every 2-3 days at least to avoid those pigments and speckles getting jammed up into the feed of your pen. Again, these are just general principles, you don't have to follow them. If you do follow them, you will maximize the longevity of your fountain pens. But again, do check the actual guidelines of the manufacturers of the fountain pens that you're specifically using. The next one is an obvious one, avoid dropping your fountain pen. If your fountain pen falls and it's not capped and it lands on their nib tip, then this is bound to damage the nib and also the feed and it can also end up cracking your pen if it's made of plastic. So try your best to keep them in a safe place and make sure that they're capped all the time when you're not using them. Let's now move on to the more exciting stuff and start getting using our fountain pen, so I'll see you on the next one. 13. Warm Up Exercise: Welcome back. Let's now start having a little bit of fun, with our fountain pens. For these next set of lessons, what I need you to do is print off the PDF that is labeled worksheet template. Currently there's no function on mobile devices or mobile browsers for you to actually download the attached resource sheet or the PDF worksheet, so do make sure that you're working on a desktop computer or on a laptop to be able to do this. Once you've got these sheets printed, then we are ready to go. In total, the worksheets we have three. This is the first worksheet that we've got down here where we've got these small boxes on the right, and we've got this elongated rectangle shape on the left. The second worksheet is with three boxes coming on the right-hand side with some smaller boxes going on the left. The third worksheet and the final worksheet is just basically two big boxes. I've printed these sheets off on ultra smooth 120 GSM super fine printing paper. Now I'm going to leave a link in the resource sheet where you can get this particular paper from that I'm using. This is very good paper, especially fountain pens, and this paper has minimum bleeding with minimum feathering of your fountain pen ink. Let's start off with worksheet number one. Worksheet number one is basically a swatch sheet that I've produced that will make it easy for you to put your ink swatches on as you build your collection of different inks and different fountain pens. Firstly, what we need to do is we need to get hold of our fountain pen that we want to swatch out. I'm going to start off with my platinum preppy. This is the No.3 fine nib and the color inside this is the platinum purple. Let's get a zoom-in on the camera. A good way to use this sheet is to start off by writing the name of the fountain pen that you're using. So I've got platinum preppy, and I'm going to put the nib size, which is fine, we're just going to use F. Underneath I'm going to put the name of the actual color that's inside this fountain pen. We've got the platinum purple. Now you can use these next four boxes in any order as you like, and you can swatch them in any way as you like, but I would recommend that you try a couple of variations like I'm going to show you in this lesson. Firstly, what I'm going to do is with the pen, I'm going to go in and I'm going to basically just color in this box the best that I can. I'm not going to color it in perfectly, I'm just going to use these white lines to go across just literally fill in the box. What this will do is this will give me an idea of what this color will look like when I'm covering larger areas of my paper, so I'm just going to get a bit more of a zoom in on that so you can see it a bit better. We'll do it on the four squares. On the first one is pretty much a full swatch of color as much as you like. Do it in a couple of layer, so I've just got one layer there, I'm just going to add in another light layer just to fill in those white gaps. The paper should be able to handle it, especially if you're using the same paper as I am. If you're using a thin paper, then just do maybe one swatch with one layer because you don't want your paper to start rippling or tearing away. I would really advise that you use a good quality paper for this. If you don't have a printer then don't worry about it, just copy this design that I've got. Basically all this design is is a rectangle split in two with four boxes that are going on each side and it's just a repetition all the way down the page. For the first box, all I did was I just colored it in with my fountain pen, not too bothered about the gaps as long as I have a nice bit of color in that first box. Now in the second box, what I'm going to do is I'm going to do a little bit of a cross hatch. Now again, you don't need to do this if you want to just do any type of pattern or design in the box, you can go ahead and do that. I like to do crosshatching because I use a lot of crosshatching in my artwork. What this does is this serves a purpose as a reference point for this particular color and this particular pen, and that's what this exercise is all about. It's giving yourself a resource sheet that you can refer back to when you start building your illustrations or your drawings. There's the first crosshatch, it's just a simple diagonal line in one direction followed by a diagonal in the opposite direction. Now for the third box, what I'm going to do is I'm going to do a little scribble effect, so I'm going just to do these small circles and fill in the box. This is a great way to fill larger areas really quickly in your drawings, in your sketches or your illustrations, and it works really nice because it creates this beautiful texture. Again, with fountain pens, you can create some gorgeous textures. For this final box, what I'm going to do is I'm just going to do a bit of a stipple, just a bit of a stipple, and you'll notice that I'm just using the fountain pen on the side of the actual nib itself. I'm not turning the nib around yet, what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn the nib around in the second row of boxes. Just like that, just adding in them stipples just to see what textures we can create with this pen. That's about it, you've got your four boxes with this platinum preppy and we've got that platinum purple color cartridge in there. What I'm going do now is I'm going to shift down to the next row of boxes and you can go ahead and write in the color again. But what I'm going to do is I'm basically going to turn my pen around and I'm going to use the back end of the tip so that I get a thinner line just to give myself an idea of what the variation of line width I can achieve with this particular pen. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to write him the name again. Now, let's just get a zoom in on the boxes. I'm going to repeat the same patterns going across, but I'm going to turn my pen upside down effectively and use the back part of the nib to get a thinner line. You can see it's creating a more crisp, thinner line. You can really say it's like creating an extra fine line, but we're using the fine nib. Just like that I'm just going to scribble in a bit of color into this box and I'll leave it at that, and then on this one I'm going to go in with a cross hatch and you can see we're producing much thinner lines. Now again, as I said in the previous lessons that don't press down too hard when you're using the back of the nib like this because you don't want to go ahead and damage the nib. I'm using a very light touch with this just to produce a slight variation. Going in with the circular scribbles, you can see. You can see there is a difference, it's very subtle. There definitely is a difference and that you can use at your advantage when you want to create darker lines or thicker lines compared to lighter ones. Again, with the back of the nib very gently and lightly creating a stipple, and you can see with the stipples you can see that difference is pretty big. You've got these really nice light dots with the back of the nib compared to the thicker dots by using the nib properly. You can see we've quickly created some nice variances and textures just using the one nib, one pen and one color. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to put this pen away and let's move on to the next pen. 14. Swatching Bottled Ink: Now, for my second pen, I'm going to be using my Lamy Safari, which you've seen in the previous lessons, one of my favorite pens. The color that I have got inside this is actually one of my favorite colors, and it's called aurora borealis. I think that's how you pronounce it. Let's type this in over here, or should I say write this in over here. We are not using a computer. We've got Lamy Safari, and this is the medium nib. We've got the color, aurora borealis, and this is by a company called Diamine. What I'm going to do now is I am going to do something a little bit different. I'm not going to swatch on the first box using the pen, I'm actually going to put the pen away and I am going to use a different method to swatch the ink. Because I am using bottled ink and not a cartridge like I was using with the first pen, what we can actually do is we can use a Q-tip or an earbud to actually go in and use that to create a nice, thick swatch of color directly in our ink. This is a great way to swatch your ink just for reference to see what your ink looks like when you're just adding it on. Just like that, dipping it in, and just lightly putting that ink down onto that paper, very lightly indeed. You don't have to be super neat, you can be as rough as you want. Just try keeping gets in the boxes if you can, just to make it look a bit nice. That's my full swatch of color. You can see that, what you can achieve by just adding a bit of color onto the paper with another object. Now, the texture that you can achieve by using an earbud and adding the ink directly onto the paper is completely different from what you can achieve by just using your fountain pen. Let's just move that to the side. Make sure you close your bottle every time you do this because you don't want spilly inky all over the place. What I'm going to do is I'm going to go back in with my pen, and I'm actually not going to do across swatch, I'm going to go in and color this in as a proper swatch just so you can see the comparison with the previous one using the earbud. It's nice to change it around a little bit just to give yourself a bit of variation. You can see that the effect is quite different. We're actually producing a bit of a crosshatch here, it's more of a scribble crosshatch. Now, if it helps to turn the paper, go ahead and turn the paper if you want to, just to keep things nice and neat. I am just going across the other way, just to cover as much of that box as I can. You can see we've got some very different results with the same color. I'm going to move here onto this side, and let's go in with the scribble. With the scribble, let's just go in and create a nice scribble. As this is a medium nib, you've got a nice, thick line. What we can do is we can do the thick variation of the scribble on this side of the box, and then we can turn the pen around onto the other end of the nib and do a thinner scribble. You can see, using the same box just to creates a bit of variation and interest using your fountain pen. Again, let's go into the last box here and do a stipple with the right side of the nib. We can create some lovely little dotty doties over it. Then, just like we did in the previous box, let's turn our pen around using the backside of the nib and just create more thin, fine dots with the same nib using the same ink. There you have it. You've got a nice, little range of different textures using the same color and fountain pen. Let's now move on to the next row. For this next row, I'm going to introduce a new instrument in this class, and that is the lovely glass pen. If you've used one of these before, then you're going to know that these are absolutely brilliant. Let's just get to zoom back so you can see this instrument in its full glory. Just look at that, look how gorgeous that thing is. It's just beautiful, isn't it? It's this weird looking contraption. All this is is a glass pen, but it's actually a dip pen. You can use this to dip and swatch your inks. Now, the reason I'm showing you this is that, if you decide to maybe get six, seven different ink colors, then instead of having to actually go in and have to put these different inks into your fountain pens every time you want to swatch them out, then this saves you a lot of time. I would recommend that, if you decide to go for a lot of different colors in your ink collection, then maybe get yourself a glass dip pen. Now, this particular one I'll leave a link in the resource sheet where you can get this one from. I have had this one for a while now and it works really well. Let's test out some of these actual colors. I've got a red here. Let's go for this one. This is passion red, a little bit of passion red. Let's open this one. All we're going to do is we're literally going to just dip in our glass pen into that ink, lift it out, and look at that. You can see that that glass pen, the grooves in that glass, has taken up so much of the ink. Now do be careful, it will go all over the place if you are moving up and down like I am. Just have maybe some tissue or a cloth that you use for your ink on the side. What I'm going to do is I'm going to go in and I'm going to write in the details of this particular ink. Let's just get a zoom in on that, a quick little zoom. This one was the glass pen. You can see, very good and smooth at writing. Although this is not a fountain pen, it's a glass pen, it's just a great idea to use this for swatching your colors just to save on time. Again, it's just a bit of fun, isn't it? The color is passion red. Again, we've got a Diamine, which is probably one of my favorite brands. As I mentioned in the previous classes, sometimes you can get addicted to all these beautiful colors, but don't blame me if that happens to you. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to skip this one here and I'm going to do a swatch with the cotton bud. I'm going to go straight into the crosshatching because I don't want to lose the ink on my pen. Now, let's see how far this goes. You can see you're creating beautiful lines. You are not going to get much variation with lines using a glass dip pen, but for the purpose of swatching your color, it's going to work fine. Now it will all depend how you're using this pen in terms of how much ink you're going to get out of one dip. But generally, you do tend to get quite a lot of ink and you should be able to fill in most of these boxes with that single dip from the single color. All we're going to do now is just do our little stippled to fill in this box, and it's looking really good. That's it. With your glass pen, all you need to do is just get yourself a bit of water in a jar and just rinse it out. Just be careful not to hit it on the jar because it is glass and it will break, but just give it a little light rinse and you're ready to go. It's clean and ready for your next color. Just make sure that you use your cloth to get rid of any excess water because what you don't want is water mixing in with your inks because that will ruin the consistency of your ink. Just make sure it's nice and dry before you use this again. But I'm not going to use this again. I just wanted to show you this, that this is a great option for you if you want to go ahead and use it. Let's just put the glass pen to the side, and now let's just do a swatch with the ear bud like we did before with the green color above. Just like that, nice and lightly. We are done. I'm just going to close that ink bottle. Let's do a zoom back to see our results. There we have it. We've created some nice, little variations and textures using a couple of different methods of swatching your colors. Have a go at this. It doesn't matter if you've only got one or two colors. What you can do is you can keep this as a reference sheet, and then as you buy more colors or as you get more colors later on down the line, you can keep swatching. You can swatch the entire sheet with the same color by creating different textures and experimenting. That's what this exercise is all about, is just for you to experiment and have a reference sheet. That's about it for this first worksheet. Let's now move on to the next one. 15. Mini Sketches: Let's now look at worksheet number 2 with the big boxes on the right and the smaller on the left. I'm just going to get a zoom in on this so we can focus on the first set. That's looking good. Now, the purpose of this is to actually do a little bit of test-sketching in the smaller boxes of the elements that we're going to sketch in our main illustration here. What I want you to do is just follow what I'm doing in these little boxes to produce a small sketch just using one color and using the same fountain pen. Let's just start off with this. This is a great exercise just to get warmed up in your fountain pen journey so that you can be ready and well-prepared for your class project which will be coming next. In these six boxes, you don't have to use all six of them when you do this yourself, but what I'm going to do is I'm going to use all six to produce a little bit of variation and then decide on which ones I'm going to use in this main sketch that I do. I'm going to do a small sketch of maybe a house and a little bit of foreground and then just see how it builds. On this top left, I'm going to come up with some areas for the foreground that I'm going to have here. Let's come up with maybe some elements that are going up like this. This is just effectively just like a preview window for you to just practice the strokes with your fountain pen. Just got these white strokes going up. I might change it around in the second box like so, and then maybe leave a bit of a gap. This will just give me that understanding of what design I want to stamp out into my main illustration on the right-hand side. Effectively this is just a planning exercise sheet, so it will help you with the planning process when you're working with your fountain pen to produce your sketch. I've got two little variations that I'm going to use maybe in the foreground here, just gives me a bit of an idea. The next set I'm going to probably look at the main elements of the house. Maybe let's look at roof tiles, So I'll just draw some roof lines here like this. Again, I'm going to just repeat the same on this side and let's have a look at the shapes of some roof tiles. I might have some rounded tiles like this. That's how it will look using this pen. Just like that, very rough, nothing precise. We're not working on no specific lines or creating a perfect sketch, it's just to practice and preview what we can achieve. Then maybe some square-shaped tiles coming down like this, alternating them, however you like. You don't have to do it like I'm doing here, you can do whatever illustration you want. That's one of the reasons I produced three sets of these on this page for you to practice on and maybe use the pen to produce a thicker line for the front parts of the roof. Then on these last two boxes, maybe have some more elements such as windows possibly. Just design a couple of windows, simple shapes just to create a bit of variation and come up with some ideas and styles. Maybe have a simple window like that. Maybe have some windows that have darker elements in the glass area like so. Then maybe just have a couple of lines, decide on whichever one you want to use. Then on this last box, maybe come up with some texture work, with some scribbling to maybe add to the foreground or even the mid-ground. Just like that, some bumps that are going up and down, can act as maybe rocks or something like that, with a bit of things coming out of them, a couple of dots just to give yourself a bit of an idea. Just follow what I'm doing here just to get you nice and warmed up for the main events. Now I've come up with a couple of ideas here, and I'm going to use these now to start building this illustration. I'll keep all of these on the screen so you can see how I actually develop this short little illustration. What I might start off with is these elements in the foreground, so I'm just going to randomly do a couple of lines that are going upwards, maybe leave a gap between some of them, make some tall, makes some really short, just like that, just using the nib of the pen in its normal way. Again, I'm using my Lamy Safari, which is a great pen in my opinion. I love using this pen. The flow of ink is great, the feel is great, and I actually like the try hold grip section. Just like that, I've just drawn some squiggly wiggly lines just to create a light foreground. All I'm going to do now is I'm just going to add these little dots that are created here just to give some interests to these elements. Again, this is no specific sketch that I'm doing. I'm not using a reference, just coming up with ideas from my mind. That's sometimes the best way to actually get used to using a new instrument or a new material that you are getting familiar with. Just come up with some ideas, do some light sketches. They don't have to be accurate. You don't need to worry about perspective or working on perfect angles or lights and shadows. Just put something down in these boxes just to get yourself used to your new fountain pen or used to the fountain pen that you've not used for such a while, so you go. Just like that. I'm just adding these round dots just to create some visual interest in this little mini-scene. I don't even really know how it's going to turn out, so that's actually the fun of it; isn't it? With a fountain pen, you can sketch so quickly and produce something completely random. What I'm going to do now is add a bit more of a darker element like I had in this box here. Maybe do some squiggly lines that go up a little bit just to give it a bit more depth so that it doesn't look too flat. Just like that, just randomly add these lines in and it's looking good. That's why I love using fountain pens because you've just got this beautiful flow of ink. You can do this with other pens as well. You can use a ballpoint pen for this, but there's just something about using fountain pens. It's that experience of filling in your ink on your fountain pen, using that ink, applying it to paper to produce something unique to yourself. Let's now work on some house elements. Maybe let's just have a couple of lines going up like this. One line there, another line there. I'm not using a ruler, it's just very rough. Couple of diagonals here. Then maybe another diagonal down here. Just to finish it off, I'm going to turn my paper to the side because it's easier for me to draw lines at an angle. Just like that, roughly joining in the dots. It's looking good. We've got a basic structure of a house. Let's just add in some details now. Let's add in maybe some of these rounded roof tiles. Just like, I'm just adding in some rounded roof tiles in rows. Looking good. You can see this is a very rough thumbnail sketch and that's really all we're doing. Just a couple of rows of this. Next what I'm going do is I'm going to add in this dark area for the edge border of the roof. Just like that, I'm going to scribble in a little bit of dark there. You can see how nice it's already looking just using that one color. Till we can get it to the side. Just going in like this, just on the side there just to darken it. Tilting it back. Lovely. What we can do now is we can just add in some of these window elements that we had over here. Maybe just add in one window here and maybe another here. All we're doing is these circular lines. Close it off at the bottom. I think I'll just go for a basic window and then maybe down here we can have a nice and big window. Going down here, close it's off at the bottom. Then maybe for this one, we could just fill in the window section really rough. Have them roughly about the same size. Super duper, and how quick was that? That was so easy to do. It literally took a few minutes just to create this small little thing. You can go in with as much detail as you want. We can tilt it around, start adding a bit more details here. That's entirely up to you, but I'm going to do is I'm just going to maybe refine it a little bit more so you can see what I'm doing just to give you a bit of an idea of what you can quickly achieve with fountain pens. Just like that, just going to outline it slightly from the back over there. Then maybe just pour a little bit of shadow areas here where the windows are. Very rough, nothing too special, nothing too difficult. Then maybe add in some brick lines going across just onto this side. Then finishing it off with the final touches of those brick lines that are vertical just to create a bit of interest. That's pretty much it. Again, like I said, you can add in as much detail as you want. That's the first little sketch that we've done using our fountain pen, using these little boxes to come up with ideas. What I want you to do now is I want you to do this for all of these boxes. Let's just get a zoom back on your sheet. You should have 1, 2, and 3 sets of these. If it makes it easier for you to actually cut your sheets up, then go ahead and do that or just work on it as it is. 16. Adding Details: What I'm going to do is I'm going to actually go in and maybe add a couple more details to this. Then I'm going to move on to the second and third. Then I'll see you after that. I've just added in a couple more elements just to complete this sketch. You don't have to do this, but I just have a habit of just continually keep drawing. That's me. Done on this, I'm going to stop and move on to the next one. Let's just get a bit of a zoom back on that. For this one, we used one color and one pen. What I'm going to do for this next one is I'm actually going to go ahead and use two colors and maybe two different pen nib sizes just to create a bit of variance. Now, if you have two different nib sizes, then go ahead and do that. If you don't, not to worry, just draw something a little bit different in this one and then the same for the third. I might vary it, I might not, depends on what my mood is while I'm doing this. Let's continue with this, and I'll see you once I'm done. Welcome back. Now I've completed all three of my little mini sketches. Now, you can see in this second one, I used two different colors, created a couple more textures using some different pens. I used my fude nib pen to create a lot of the thick lines, just to give a different example of what you can achieve with fountain pens. Then right at the end, we've got this nice, little pink and green color sketch. Again, all of this is just made up. You don't have to follow this exact sketch that I've done, you can do whatever you like. But just try practicing by using these little preview window to come up with some elements and then use them in your main sketch just to get yourself used to and familiar with your new fountain pens. That will work absolutely great. Just try this out with different pens that you have. If you don't have too many pens, don't worry about it, use the same pen, just create different textures, line variations. If you have a couple of inks, mix and match your inks, similar sketches in different pens and different colors, just to come up with a variation and just to make things a little bit more interesting. You can see over here on this first sketch, I've got very similar drawings, couple of houses and some different elements in the background. Again, with the second sketch, I have just added more color into this one using a different pen. Then with the final sketch, we'll just move this up, you can see we've got different color variations with similar elements going on there. That's why it's really about printing off as many of these as you can just to practice on this. You don't have to do all three in one go. Just do one maybe every day just to get used to it and really enjoy the process rather than think of this as a worksheet that you have to complete in order to complete the class. It's just a bit of fun, a bit of direction, and a bit of practice. Let's now move on to the final sheet. 17. Planning Main Sketch: The final sheet is just basically these two rectangles that we have. You can use this in this orientation in landscape here. Turn your page to landscape and have two portrait rectangles, or turn it to portrait and have two landscape rectangles. Now, the purpose of this sheet, this final worksheet, is to plan out your class projects. You don't really need to use your fountain pen for this stage if you don't want to, you can just use a pencil to outline some ideas that you have for your class project, maybe have the ideas on this first part and then have your actual class project on the second part. That's what I'm going to do for my class project. If you want to follow what I'm doing, absolutely go for it. If you want to come up with something yourself, absolutely go for that. This is going to be a quick time-lapse video of me just coming up with some ideas in these top parts and then just coming up with my final sketch at the bottom, and then I'll see you after I've done that one. Welcome back, I've now completed my Worksheet 3. I started off with the top square or rectangle in the landscape positions. Let's just get a zoom in on this. Basically, all I did was write a couple of labels for the foreground, the background, and start fleshing out in a very light format where I think the composition of my sketch is going to look like. This is what this entire worksheet is for. It's just to sketch out some ideas. You may have a couple of attempts at this, so maybe print off a couple of these sheets, this Worksheet 3 just to give yourself some ideas and then go with the ideas that you really like. All I did here was I just created a foreground, added in some scribble render lines, just placed a little boaty, boaty in the middle and some more elements on the corners here, little mushroom house. Then what I did was the main elements, which are these areas here which is going to probably form the building parts of this little illustration. I just did a very rough light outline with no details, and then I moved on to adding details and adding more ideas to those elements on the square underneath. If you have a look at this, we've got three different types of houses, different types of forms. I may or may not even use these, but it's just that warm-up of getting ideas onto paper and really using your fountain pens to just come up with some different renderings, add some textures, work really fast. Then what that does, is it gives you that initial direction where you can get ready for your class project. Now, as I said before, maybe paint a couple of these off, add whatever colors to it as you want. I've just done this in one color. For me, this was just to get an idea about the composition of my main sketch for my class projects. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to move on to the class project. With that, I'll probably use most of the elements over here and the composition, and then I'll go in with a lot more detail and use different colors and maybe sample out some more color swatches before I go ahead and do the final piece. Before you do your class projects, just give this a little go and then maybe have a look at the other worksheets that you did; so maybe the swatches worksheet that we did and also the many sketches worksheet that you did. Just have a look at all of this to just get some ideas and color variations that you may want to use in your class project and complete as many of these exercises as you can do. What that will do, is it will prepare you and get you really ready to really create that beautiful illustration for your class projects. Now let's move on to the class project. 18. Class Project: Welcome back. Let's now start our class project. Now hopefully you would have completed all of the three worksheets that we did previously, and now you're ready to delve into your class projects. You can do your class projects on any size paper. What I've done is I've used the worksheet 3 and just printed off another copy of it and just cut it down so that I just have one of the rectangle shapes, which is approximately about A5 in size, and I would recommend maybe going for an A5 size sheets of paper or just use the worksheet that I've used to just cut one side of it off, so you have a nice compact little design. But by all means, if you want to do a bigger illustration, then go ahead and do that. I'm just starting off by doing a outline using my Lamy Safari pen using the medium nib and the color that I'm using here is my favorite color, aurora borealis, and this way what I'm doing is I'm just literally fleshing out all the lines and contours to start getting myself ready for the crosshatching and filling in those areas. I'm doing a mixture of crosshatching, stippling, heavy textured work really to bring out the depth of these little elements that I have in this sketch. All I'm doing is I'm just filling in the areas on these mushroom house heads with just normal color, using a little bit of lines to create that visual variants and interests. Moving onto my food aid pens, so what I'm doing with this now is adding in more texture by using heavy dots, and that's the great advantage of using a food aid pen nib, you can go from thick to thin very easily. Whereas with a standard nib, it's quite difficult to achieve this type of texture, so I do highly recommend getting a food aided pen. Now I'm moving on to doing the lighter work in the background area using my extra fine nib in my parts and preppy, again, using the same color in all three pens up to now, and then going in with the medium nib Lamy Safari just to add in a bit more depth again by adding some scribble lines to the front parts of those elements. Then all I decided to do was do an outline of where the foreground and the background meets up. Then I'm working on the houses and just adding in some shadowy areas. Again, this is very rough and sketchy, that's the look down after. You don't need to create something that's beautifully perfect. But if you do, by all means, go ahead and do that. This is just to amalgamate and bring together all these little techniques that we've gone through in the class and your experience of fountain pens, just to get you a nice all rounded flavor into the world of fountain pens sketching. Again, all I'm doing is just adding in details onto [inaudible] would say with thick and thin lines going over again and again. Another thing to mention is that the paper is the same paper that I had been using up to now, the 120gsm ultra-smooth paper. You do have to note that with this paper if you go over lines again and again too many times, it can bleed through to the other end, so just be aware of that. The type of paper that you use will determine the type of effects that you can do with your fountain pen and ink. Now, in the resource sheets are put down all the materials that I've used in this class and all my recommended materials in terms of fountain pens, inks, surfaces, but I've also got to another section that you may have noticed if you've already seen the resource sheet on more premium materials, that I didn't want to show in this class because this class is really for beginners and people who want to start off in fountain pens, but do have a look at that premium list just to give yourself a bit of an idea or maybe have a look at that after you've had a bit of experience using the basic tools that we've gone through. Now have just introduced the secondary color, it's the orange, which is actually called pumpkin. All I'm doing is adding in those elements so just create that visual variants and interests, adding different colors is always a nice touch. Then on these little elements I'm adding in thicker lines with a third color. Now I'm using a purple, this particular purple is called majestic purple. All things I've used in this illustration are from the company Diamond, which is one of my favorite companies I but inks. It's a company based in the UK, in Liverpool actually, and it's absolutely brilliant. All I'm doing is I'm just overlaying with the green over the orange and you can see it creates a nice dark look for the borders and frames of the windows. Now I'm adding in some texture work from the chimney, it's like fuzzy smoky type of look. Then what I'm doing is I'm just filling in the background with scribbles. Now, this is a great way to fill large areas by just doing circular motions and scribbles in rows or in columns just to fill that area in. Alternatively, what you can do is you can actually use a brush or a water brush and dip into your ink and just literally paint that area. But because this is a fountain pen class, I didn't really want to delve into other instruments too much. I wanted to really keep it just the fountain pens, and you can again achieve this really nice, old school sketchy look with a fountain pen. I'm doing these different techniques like crosshatching, stippling, and this little scribble technique that I'm doing here. You can see I'm just filling in this area, and then what I'm going to do is I'm going to add in more color and more texture just to bring it out a little bit more. I've gone in with my food aid pen now over that scribbled texture for that background, just to give some darker tones and darker areas to give that beautiful contrast look and textured look, and you can see so many different textures can be created with fountain pens. You may have thought before, all you can do with fountain pens is write or do a bit of scribbling, but no, absolutely not. That was the whole point of this class to just give you the idea that you can create so much with fountain pens, and now what I'm doing is I'm going in with my broad nib with my quick sport with that majestic purple color overlaying it onto the green. Do be aware, if you're doing this yourself with another color, just don't press too hard on the paper. Even with this 120gsm paper that I've got with the ultra-smooth finish. It can take it, but if you press down too hard, it will eventually tear into the paper because that's just the physics of ink and paper going on a dry surface with wet, it will eventually go through it. Again, just adding in that purple element just to bring out that nice tone and nice structure for this illustration, and then finally just adding in some touches with the extra fine preppy pen into the watery area of the illustration, and then that's pretty much it. Final touches, I just on the boat with my standard Helix Oxford pen, and I'm just doing a bit crosshatching with the orange. That's about it for my class project, I want you to do it quickly or sketch. It probably only took me about 45 minutes to do this. Spend as long or as little as you want on your class project, but do give it a go and do post it on the Class Project section in the class so we can all have a look at your beautiful creations. Don't worry if you do something and it starts off and you think, well, I don't like that. Just start again or just keep going. It's not about creating perfect illustration. It's really about getting your hands nice and wet with ink literally and using your fountain pen just to give yourself that beautiful experience in this wonderful world of fountain pens. Now let's move on to some final thoughts and wrap up this class. 19. Final Thoughts: Okay. Welcome back. Just a couple of final thoughts now on the class overall. Hopefully you would have completed your exercises, gone through the earlier parts of the lessons, about fountain pen anatomy, the inks, and the information on surfaces that would have equipped you with some knowledge and insights into this magical world of fountain pens. This would have hopefully motivated you to do a complete class project, just like I did over here. Then this will really be a stepping stone inside the wonderful world of fountain pen sketching, where you can start creating as many sketches as you want, start this journey. I really hope you enjoyed it. Do post the class projects into the class project gallery and do stay in touch through social media, and communicate in this wonderful our forum of skill share. Also, don't forget to follow me on skill-share so that you're up-to-date with all of my upcoming classes, there are many classes to come. If you haven't watched any of my previous classes, there is so many within my profile library. So do check them out and stay in touch, stay safe, stay well, and hopefully, I'll see you on the next one. Take care of yourself, keep sketching, and peace.