Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lettering Practice

I don't think that every exercise I do for class is worth posting, but I wanted to share because it has to do with materials.  I'm taking a handlettering course this semester (for those of you who've seen my handwriting/crappy digital lettering, YOU KNOW WHY), and have already come to the conclusion that for the most part, the pens you use for inking should not be the same pens you use for lettering, especially if you're using tech pens.  Normal inking destroys tech pens (this is no surprise, it's why Copic Multiliner SP's have disposable nibs), and makes the felt tips unfit for lettering.  So I am now working on a seperate collection of pens for lettering, all in a nice Dr Ion case that I've had for about two years.  I feel quite professinal now.

In preparation for the alphabet next class, Duncan has us practicing strokes.  For an artist, I've got awful fine motor skills, so I can only hope that this sort of practice will help me hone those muskels.

For this exercise I used:

A Rotring Art Pen, size "F"
Image via http://www.jerrysartarama.com
with a Piston Ink Converter
Image via Amazon.com
filled with Koh-i-nor Black Drawing Ink
Image via dickblick.com
Sakura Microns in sizes 08 and 05
Image via dickblick.com (Note:  There is no way I have this set.)
and a Pitt Pen size M
Image via dickblick.com
I've got some Rapidograph tech pens coming in the mail, which is exciting, because as a highschool kid, I'd always drool over them at the local Michael's Arts and Crafts.  They just look so complicated and professional, finicky art tools that must have a relationship with their owners.  I find out in class, however, that they're the workhorses of the techpen world, and can outlive their owners if properly cared for.

I've used most of these supplies in some capacity before, but never for lettering.  I used Microns through most of highschool and undergrad, and switched to Copics in grad school.  I had a very short romance with Pitt pens, but I found their blowout rate to be too high to make them reliable inking tools.  The Rotring Art Pen is a little different, it was intimidating to me as a  young artist, although I like it now.

So which of these tools is fated to become my lettering standby?  I want to say the Rotring, because I genuinely like it, but that's biased.  I'm not hot on the Pitt Pen (honestly, I don't know how people ink with them at all), and the Micron 08 is too thick.  Right now, its up in the air between the Micron 05 and the Rotring, but this may change when the Rapidographs come on the scene.

By the way, the paper I'm using is Borden & Riley Paris Paper for Pens.  I've used it in the past for digital stuff (not all that impressed with the print quality) and for markers (loooved it then), and I'm liking it now.  It's a bit thinner than plate Bristol, but I get 40 sheets instead of 24 for the same price, and it is super smooth.  My printer likes it too.

When my Rapidographs come in, I think I might do a tech pen review with lots of pictures.  I still need to do posts on different comic papers and inks too.