I keep with some exercises from the book Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill with the same nib pen, the Gillott 404. In this case it has to be controlled the hand pressure and the length of the lines. The idea is to leave some lines unfinished. According to the book the drawing will be more realistically suggestive.
Recently I bought some tubes of watercolor. Really I do not need more watercolors, I am happy with my Winsor&Newton Cotman box, but a store had a 3-for-2 promotion in Rembrandt watercolors and I got a good deal. Also I wanted to check out an artists grade watercolors. They are really good pigments that offer beautiful basic colors and combinations. Although I have not used them extensively, the colors are much brighter than the Cotman equivalents. Nevertheless, Cotman is the student grade of Winsor&Newton, I should compare them to the artists grade.
Concerning the colors, I am happy with my current palette although I do not use some colors very often, like the viridian and the sap green, and I never use others, like the white. I was pretty sure on some colors like the Prussian blue and the Payne’s grey. They were not in my palette and I was very interested on them. For the rest of colors I used the Bruce MacEvoy website. If you are interested on watercolor it is a must read. Great detailed descriptions of colors, pigments and palettes.
Finally I was on these colors: raw sienna (234), azo yellow medium (269), rose quinacridone (366), Prussian blue (508) phthalo green (675) and Payne’s grey (708). Some days later I added some new colors to the palette: burnt sienna (411), burnt umber (409), ultramarine deep (506), blue phthalo rouge (583), permanent red deep (371) and permanent yellow lemon (254). The idea is to keep a warm and a cool tone of each basic color and several earth tones. Usually the greens are a combination of a blue and a yellow, sometimes the greens from pigments seem unnatural in the paintings.
This last Gillot 404 testing sketch is inspired by an original drawing by the French artist Maxime Lalanne (1827-1886). The drawing is included in the book La Hollande à vol d’oiseau (A bird’s-eye view of The Netherlands) with text by Henry Havard and edited by A. Quantin in Paris, 1882. The sketch shows the old city gate of Haarlem.
Charles D. Maginnis defines the original Lalanne drawing in his book Pen drawing, an illustrated treatise as «an excellent example of the Economy of Means carried to its extreme. Not a stroke could be spared, so direct and simple is it, and yet it is so complete and homogeneous that nothing could be added to make it more so.»
We are applying Linear Discriminant Analysis in our latest research. While I was studying the original Fisher‘s works, I learned that there is a stained glass window in the dinning hall of Caius College, in Cambridge, displaying a 7 x 7 Latin square in his honor.
In combinatorics and in experimental design, a Latin square is an n × n array filled with n different symbols, each occurring exactly once in each row and exactly once in each column. Latin squares have many interesting properties but I have only used the pattern to define the color in each cell of a array drawn with the Perry 1141. I wanted to check if the Indian ink was really waterproof. And, obviously, it is.
On the other hand, I have also experimented with the Gillott 404. I have used an exercise from the book Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill. Really I have used this exercise because I do not own this book. Surely I will purchase it, I do only read excellent comments about it. Does anyone have any experience with this book?
Although the pen should always be drawn toward the draftsman when possible  I wanted to check the nib behavior in several orientations. The image below shows the results. It works with regular and uniform orientations but when the curves begin to come… The Moleskine sketchbook paper does not seem very adequate to be used with this nib either.
A new sketch with dip pen. I used the Perry 1141 (top) and the Gillott 404 (bottom). As I am used to the flexible nibs, I am more comfortable with the Perry. It allows to keep the line width uniform, which it is good for this kind of sketches. The Gillott 404 is more sensible to the stroke orientation. However, it is able to make thinner lines. I will keep experimenting (and posting) with these dips.
I was experimenting with my new dip pens. It was just a quick test for checking the result that can be achieved with each one. I have compared them to my usual tools for pen and ink: the Uni Pin fine liners and the Lamy Safari fountain pen. I have used conventional fountain pen ink, Parker Quink blue ink, and Winsor & Newton black Indian ink.
The three nibs are a copy of a Perry 1141, a Gillott 404 and a Gillott 1290 (from left to right in the picture below). The Perry 1141 is a fine point nib mainly for copperplate writing. It is low elastic. The Gillott 404 is a sharply pointed drawing nib for drawing and copperplate writing. It produces from wide to fine hair-like lines and it is low elastic. The Gillott 1290 is a needle-point drawing nib for drawing and copperplate writing, with a curved-up tip that produces from wide to fine hair-like lines. It is medium/high elastic.
The nibs work great with the fountain pen ink. It is not as thick as the Indian ink so it is slightly easier to draw lines. Although the Indian ink is thicker, it allows very smooth moves over the paper. The Perry 1141 and the Gillott 404 produce similar strokes to the Uni Pin 0.2 and the Lamy Safari F nib. It is difficult to me to make fine parallel lines with the Gillott 1290, I guess I will need more practice. Also, as it is very elastic, a slightly different hand pressure produces a wider line. That is the advantage of the flexible nibs.
I hope this brief review can be useful for someone. For more information about nibs visit the Jacqui Blackman’s Art Studio. I will be posting some drawings made with them in the next few days.