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How hard should you press with a fountain pen?

January 13, 2023 10 min read

How hard should you press with a fountain pen?

You are not alone if you have been struggling to write with a fountain pen. The use of a high-end fountain pen calls for a more delicate touch. Study and practice are the keys to improvement in this, as in any other creative endeavor.

You've already accomplished so much just by starting.

This article will teach you the proper way to use a fountain pen by breaking it down into three simple steps:

Use of the right fountain pen
Right way to hold a fountain pen
Strive for fluidity in your writing.
You'll come away from this having picked up some valuable knowledge on fountain pens.
Okay, so let's begin.

The first thing you need to do is find the right fountain pen.

Let's make sure you have the correct fountain pen in your hand before we teach you how to use one.

In this article, we'll go over the five most important things to think about while shopping for a fountain pen.

the way you write

Use a fine nib fountain pen if your writing is little and your strokes are close together.

In black ink, written using an extra-fine nib, on white paper.
This is a Pinterest photo taken by Michelle Sandlin.
It will be easier to read your little, compacted characters. You can write without worrying about ink smearing on your paper because to the fine nib's relatively low ink flow.

Use a fountain pen with a broad nib if your handwriting is large and bold.

A pen with a wide, silver nib sitting on a sheet of white paper bearing numerous italicized sentences.
Picture discovered by Esther Kim on Pinterest.

Bigger nibs mean more ink can flow freely. They work well with the broad strokes and massive characters of calligraphy.

You can find a fountain pen that suits your handwriting style, whether you have the imperious finesse of a Victorian gentleman or are new to writing with a fountain pen.

How Big Is Your Hand?

Pick fountain pens that are comfortable in your hand. This will make the pens easier to hold and write with.

A larger fountain pen is preferable if you have large hands.

Long-handled fountain pen on a page of a notebook, where the word "notes" has been written in black ink.
Unsplash photo by David Travis.

Do fountain pens bleed through paper?

ink pen for lettering and blank pages

Choose slim, lightweight fountain pens if you have small hands.

A thin-barreled fountain pen rests on a pad of pure white paper inscribed with the words "I never scribbled, man ever loved."

The Stiffness of the Pen

Consider the pen's weight carefully; it has a major impact on the final product of your handwriting. Everyone prefers a different fountain pen weight.

You can tell how well a pen balances and fits in your hand by its weight. When selecting a fountain pen's weight, it's important to find one that doesn't put too much strain on your hand.

A heavier and thicker pen is preferable if you have large hands. Check out this Edward Woodmark Fountain Pen. It has a 15mm thick barrel diameter.

A smaller person's hand size necessitates a fountain pen that is both lighter and more compact. This Waterman Hemisphere Fountain Pen is worth taking a look at. It has a 9mm thin barrel diameter.

The Quickness of Your Penmanship

A lightweight fountain pen that allows the writer to easily follow the lines of the paper is ideal for those who write quickly.

To avoid smudging your writing as you go, you might also want to try using a quick-drying fountain pen ink.

One common cause of a tight pen grip is writing slowly and deliberately. Muscle exhaustion is guaranteed, and there's always the risk of ripping the paper if you keep going like this. Use a heavier fountain pen to fix this problem.

Types of People You'll Be Creating in Your Stories

The letters of Western alphabets, including the English one, are typically quite straightforward. The letters I and "a," for example. These basic forms help the writer's hands glide effortlessly across the paper.

Using a fountain pen requires less pen-lifting, which is especially helpful for the cursive writing style.

Using a fountain pen with a wide nib is ideal for this type of cursive writing. It improves readability by making it easier to follow the progression of words and letters inside phrases.

A lot of time and effort is spent raising the pen off the page and drawing fine lines into the characters used in Chinese and Japanese writing. The fine ink lines produced by fine nibs are ideal for highlighting such finer points.

Fountain pen with clipping path
Second, the proper way to hold a fountain pen
Next, keep these three things in mind when you hold your pen:

Make Sure Your Pen Is Evenly Weighted
Having a fountain pen that feels comfortable in your hand can be helped along by choosing a weight that is proportional to your hand.

The alternative is to utilize the fountain pen's cap.

There are now two schools of thought on the fountain pen cap.

Group 1: Those who use the cap of their fountain pen for stability. They prefer to keep the cap "posted" atop the pen.

On a white background, a black fountain pen with gold trim rests with its cap propped up at one end.

The second group consists of people who use fountain pens but find that they are more stable when used without the cap. Unposted pen caps are a favorite of theirs.

A piece of paper, its cap off, and a black fountain pen with gold trim around the barrel.

Writing with both a posted and unposted cap will help you identify your political affiliation. Finding the one that suits your hand and writing style best won't take long.

Get Comfortable With That Tripod Grip

The correct way to hold a pen is between your thumb and the tip of your index finger. Rest the pen on your middle finger's knuckle. That's the tripod hold.

It's best to rest the rest of your fingers on the desk or table. They serve as a rest for your fingers when you write with a fountain pen.

With the paper propped up like this, the ink flows more easily. Keeping a steady hold on the pen will allow you to write with ease.

Tripod-grip hand with a yellow pencil

TheSchoolRun video clips on YouTube are the source of the images used in this article.

The 'Sweet Spot' for Pen Grip

Your fountain pen's nib has a "sweet spot" where ink flows most easily onto paper.

When using a ballpoint pen, you can write in a variety of positions. To write smoothly with a fountain pen, though, you must keep the nib at just the right angle to the paper.

When your pen isn't in its optimal writing position, it will feel scratchy while you write. Not only will the ink not flow smoothly, but your work will also appear sloppy.

Hold your pen at a 45° to 50° angle to the paper to keep it in its optimal writing position.

At this slant, your fountain pen's ink will be able to make a smooth journey from the cartridge to the nib.

Third, practice your writing motions until you have them right.
You now have the correct grip for your fountain pen. We'll examine the best ways to manipulate your pen on paper now.

When writing with a fountain pen, use the muscles in your lower arm instead of your fingers and wrist flexion. Because of the small size of the muscles in your hands, this can easily induce cramping.

The solution is to use the muscles in your lower arms when writing.

The muscles of your lower arm are bigger, so they won’t get fatigued as rapidly as your fingers' smaller muscles.

Using your arm while you write helps your fountain pen keep its upright position. You don't rotate the fountain pen as much between your fingers. This guarantees your fountain pen nib remains securely in the sweet spot.

Don't Put Too Much Pressure On It

If you've been using ballpoint pens until now, it's probably that you apply quite a deal of pressure when you write. This is because the ink in your ballpoint pen is thicker in compared to utilizing fountain pen ink. To displace the ink onto the paper, you'll need to apply more pressure.

When using a fountain pen, the ink must be water-based so that it can easily go from the pen's reservoir to its nib without drying out. (The ink in a ballpoint pen is made of oil.)

That's why it's important to avoid using too much pressure when writing.

All you have to do to get ink flowing is apply a tiny bit of pressure to the nib of your fountain pen.

Just let your arm act as a guide for your pen as it moves across the paper.

If you write with too much pressure, you can bend the nib of your fountain pen, making it unusable. There's also the risk that you'll bleed through the paper or make other unsightly ink smudges on your project.

Close up of fountain pen

Stains of dark ink on a white background

Your current fountain pen-related knowledge includes picking one out, holding it, and writing with it. Now let's have a look at where you may get your hands on the best fountain pen around.

Added help for those who prefer to write with a fountain pen
You'll find that there are a few perks to using a fountain pen that will enhance your travels.

Making sure you're using the proper paper
Writing with a fountain pen requires special paper because of the liquid ink.

Bleeding and feathering are more likely to occur on thinner paper (when the ink spreads across the paper instead of sinking in).

Determine your ideal paper by trying out a variety of thicknesses and sizes.

The process of experimenting with various inks
You may find fountain pen ink in any color, rapid or slow drying, some even change colors as you write or have specific shimmers and sheens to them.

Switching out your nib
There is a wide variety of fountain pen nibs available for various writing and drawing applications.

Exercise your brain with a worksheet.
If you do some searching online, you should be able to get some awesome, entertaining worksheets on which to hone your fountain pen skills.

Regular, but not constant, cleanings
When left uncapped for too long, water-based ink in fountain pens might dry out or spill.

You need just 1) always replace the cap after using the pen and 2) clean the pen before using it again after changing the ink cartridge or refilling the converter.

If you're using a cartridge, you can simply rinse it under running water, while converter users can either soak the nib in a cup of water and draw water through the converter.

See my article, "How to Load and Use a Fountain Pen," for additional information.

Normal Questions and Answers

Does anyone have any tips for neatly using a fountain pen?
Writing with a fountain pen isn't much different from writing with any other type of pen, as we've seen, other than remembering to keep the nib side up. The ink from a fountain pen doesn't dry as quickly as that from a ballpoint, so if you have a shaky hand or like to write quickly, you can smear your work.

Though it may take some time to perfect your handwriting with a fountain pen, the only real obstacle is yourself.

Check out our piece on fast, legible handwriting if you're interested in bettering your own.

Do you find a fountain pen more comfortable to use?
While using a fountain pen does not make writing any simpler, it does not make it any more difficult either. The nib and ink are the sole distinguishing features.

Writing with these pens is more convenient and fun than with other types of writing implements.

To what extent do fountain pens excel as writing instruments? Note-taking Article Link
The physical act of writing with a fountain pen, which helps with memory recall, is one of my favorite ways to take notes.

Check out our recommended writing instruments.

Old ink pen and ink bottle isolated

To what extent do fountain pens have drawbacks?

Here are some of the drawbacks:

With less ink, of course.
A lot of people have reported that water-based ink smudges more than other types.
There is a slight premium above comparable pens in price.
Some individuals find it annoying to have to pay attention to where they are placing the nib.
Dayspring Pens Has the Right Pen for You.
Dayspring Pens has a team of professionals that are committed to meeting your needs for personalized, engraved pens for any event.

Here at our store, we have the capabilities to engrave your name, signature, or company logo onto a pen.

Do you need a present for an upcoming birthday or something to show appreciation for the hard work of your top executives? We guarantee you'll receive high-quality writing instruments and attentive support to help you meet any challenge.

As soon as we receive your order, we'll carefully examine your specifications and engrave your new pen.

Next, we'll get to work on fulfilling your special order, and you won't have to worry about shipping costs.

We want to make sure you have a good experience shopping with us. From the time you place an order until you or the intended recipient receives it.

We're different from other fountain pen manufacturers because:

Giving you a variety of specialized pens to use for various tasks
Increasing your selection by collaborating with many manufacturers
Custom engraving is included at no cost with every purchase.
Guaranteeing prompt, hassle-free delivery at no cost
Providing one-on-one help with orders at every stage
Need some help picking what to acquire as a present? Do not make a purchase until you and I have had a chance to discuss it and determine what is best for you.

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