Learn the secret of writing smoothly with a fountain pen. It’s a skill anyone can learn with a little practice.
There are many benefits to writing with a fountain pen. It could be the certain uniqueness and touch it gives to one’s handwriting or how it reduces hand cramps, thereby allowing you to write for longer. It may even simply be the satisfying artistic and aesthetic impact it brings to your everyday writing.
If you’re having difficulties or struggling to use a fountain pen to write, it could be caused by numerous reasons. It could be the type of pen you’re using, the paper, or even how tight or loose your grip is on the pen.
The good news is that this article will help you understand how easy it is to learn how to write with a fountain pen.
How to Choose the Right Fountain Pen for Writing
As we hinted earlier, the right fountain pen goes a long way in affecting how your writing looks.
When choosing the right pen, it’s much better to focus on comfort over the design or price. Other factors to consider include:
1. Weight and Size
This is one important element to take into consideration. It’s advisable to buy your pen in person to get a feel for how comfortable it is to hold.
You don’t want to write with a pen that is too small for your hand or too big to grip properly.
Also, some fountain pens are naturally heavy, while some are lighter. Again, it’s important to choose one that’s convenient to use.
2. Nib Shape and Size
This is what determines how beautiful one’s handwriting turns out when writing. There are different sizes and shapes of nibs to choose from.
Naturally, harder and rigid nibs are not as easy to work with as soft nibs. The wider the nib, the better. Wider nibs allow your writing to look more captivating. It’s a bonus if your handwriting is large because it’s best suited for large writing.
However, if you’re going for a more sophisticated or artistic outlook or have small handwriting, a smaller nib would be perfect. A medium-sized nib would be better suited if you write with your left hand.
3. Type of Writing Surface
Generally, there is no specific type of paper you’re advised to stay away from, except for low-quality paper. A good-quality paper does not feather or run.
Keep in mind that some papers are made specifically for fountain pens. But as a beginner, it’s much more preferable for you to use lined paper, which will help your writing look neater and straighter.
Also, some papers cannot absorb ink very well, such as chemically treated paper. Try to steer clear of these papers when writing with a fountain pen.
4. Refill Ink
When using a fountain pen, refilling the ink is an essential element. The ink is a small disposable plastic that is found in a small cartridge inside the fountain pen. They are easy to find and can come in different colors.
How to Write With Fountain Pen
Writing with a fountain pen is very different from a ballpoint pen, and beginners may need time to get used to it. As a first time user, you should:
1. Write With the Cap On
Writing with the cap on promotes balance and makes the overall experience better. This is not a rigid rule, and some people who already use a heavy fountain pen may find this unnecessary.
Some people prefer the balance of writing with the cap on, while others prefer the lighter feel without the cap. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.
2. Hold the Pen at the Right Angle
Unlike ballpoint pens, the direction a fountain pen is held affects the writing outcome. You want to hold your pen at a 40°-55° angle. This is the correct angle that helps promote proper ink flow.
The purpose of holding your pen at this angle is to find the sweet spot. Holding the pen too high or too vertically prevents the ball at the nib’s tip from touching the paper.
3. Know Where to Place the Pen
Your pen should be placed between your thumb and index finger. Hold the pen lightly with your thumb and rest the pen on the knuckle of your middle finger for support.
Ballpoint pen users may not understand the need for this. But an important step in knowing how to write with a fountain pen is knowing where to place the pen.
This may feel a little forced to new fountain pen users, but this is necessary to control the flow of your handwriting.
4. Adjust Your Grip
You want to have a firm grip on the pen to control your writing and avoid gripping it too hard, as this could break the nib. You should also not be too loose with your hold. The aim is to find a balance.
5. Write With Your Arm
Avoid rolling the pen and write with your arm rather than your hand. This is to avoid losing the sweet spot and help control your writing better.
When you keep your hand still while writing, it reduces fatigue and lets your arm do all the work, as it’s a stronger muscle than your fingers.
How to Take Proper Care of Your Fountain Pen
1. Always Keep Your Cap On
This is to prevent the nib from damage and prevent the ink from drying out. It also promotes the longevity of the pen.
2. Clean Your Pen Regularly
How often you clean your pen depends on how frequently you use the pen.
A very inexpensive but effective technique is to clean all parts of the pen with water before drying them thoroughly with a cloth. You can also soak the pen until there’s no ink remaining.
3. Use Your Pen With Care
Generally, you should be very careful when using your fountain pen. It’s easy to get attached to the pen you use, and while not all of them are expensive, many of them can be – so you don’t want to have to get used to a whole other pen because of unintended damage.
As a beginner, you’ll likely find writing with a fountain pen to be a smoother and more comfortable experience than what you’re used to. You will become perfect at it with more practice and usage. These steps will help you learn how to write with a fountain pen and how to master the art.
If you need more tips to help you use your fountain pens, look through our collection of articles and guides.