I really want to be able to use the superfine and highly flexible #108 Hunt Litho Crow Quill nibs, but they're very sporadic for me - and Google informs me I'm not the only one having diuffculties. Some tips:
Make sure they're clean
Break them in
File them down
Shake it up
Make sure the lid is on snugly
Use smooth hard paper
Or just use the Crow Quill #102 (even though it's not as fexible)Just tested, and this pen works beautifully for me every time - at least on the Canson paper. Need to try it on the vellum Strathmore. It makes super-fine lines that are almost invisible if you draw with a very light touch - this would be the pen to start a drawing with, when you're blocking in and doing gesture etc - the stuff you want to almost disappear in the final result.
To help me remember...
Success at last!!! Wet and Reset
- Always dip the pen in water before starting, and once every few times you dip it in ink. This will fill the channel with water and help the ink flow better. I'm not sure why, but it helps prevent the ink from sticking. Remove excess water with a paper towel or tissue. After dipping, test the pen on scrap paper. (Brushes should also be dipped in water and blotted before use; it makes them easier to clean -- I think because the ink has to displace water to stain them, whereas if you don't then water has to displace dried-on ink to clean them.)
- A little known trick is to "reset" the nib. Damn scary the first time, almost had a heart attack when I saw Joe Rubenstein doing it in the Marvel Bullpen. He'd do it every 2-3 minutes whether he "needed" to or not. Hold the pen as parallel to the surface as possible with the nib "upside down" (concave surface up, convex surface on the page) Press the nib, as flat as possible, against the surface until the tines cross with an audible click. You're reset.
- Obviously, this only works with flexible nibs like crow quills and mapping points but, not with stiff nibs.
- Tines, once flexed out, never return to original positions. Each flex stretches them out even more until ink flow stops. "Resetting" the nib pushes it all the way closed AND MORE restoring ink flow.
- Brushes are mops, they'd rather absorb than release. Pens are upside down spoons. The trick is how to load them. Don't overfill, hold nib against the inside lip of the bottle to allow excess ink to flow out, take a few practice strokes on the side so any blorps happen away from the work.
Did both and scribbled all over the back of a sketch - as soon as it started working it went beautifully for as long as I wanted - not a single problem.