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Care For A Dip?

I’m excited–not because I’ve turned another pair of strangers o’ the week into bad caricatures–but because I did it entirely using a crowquill nib dipped in ink. I went a bit overboard on the hatching, but I blame that partly on the fun I was having just continuing to see what kind of marks I could make.

As you may know, I’ve attempted the whole dip pen thing before, with varying levels of frustration, but a few weeks ago I caught an interview with Mort Drucker (of Mad Magazine fame) in which he stated he uses Gillott 1950 nibs. So I impulsively ordered a bunch, while knowing full well that the nib doesn’t make the artist. (And I had already struck out with the Gillott 290.)

But darned if it’s not the first time I’ve actually enjoyed working this way. With this batch of nibs, the ink seems to flow just right. It’s really easy to control the line width, but there’s also a bit of unpredictability that keeps even carefully constructed lines looking loose and sketchy. And maybe I just got lucky, but there was no ink splattered in over an hour of drawing.

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