Calligraphy Tip no. 2….and 3

It is summer 2003, it is hot, the birds are tweeting outside my window and I am sitting at my desk sucking on the end of my Osmiroid fountain pen. I am perplexed. I am trying to add thin flourishes to personalise my Gothic lettering and I don’t know how. I have read somewhere that I should skate the ink with the corner of my nib. So far I have failed miserably. I then have a brain wave; the end result is this….


Made in 2003…

And this is how I formed each word…


hello without a flourish

I wrote each word without attempting the flourish and then….


Adding the flourishes with a uni pin pen….

I added the flourishes with a marker pen… it may have just been a stray felt tip pen I had handy 🙂

Anyhow, back in 2003 I was quietly pleased with my cheat… and I also felt a little bit naughty. Had I read one of the many books I owned at the time I would have discovered that my ‘cheat’ was not a cheat at all, and the Gothic style script I had been attempting was produced by using two different nibs.
In The Calligraphy Source Book, Miriam Stribley writes:-

’18th Century Gothic-style script is of a light-weight, even texture on which flourishes are grafted with the ornamental line of copperplate writing.’

‘Grafted’ being the operative word!

So today I have two calligraphy tips, the first is that it’s okay to use more than one nib to produce individual letters, but best to do it in moderation! A couple of years ago I also did it here….


We are all in the gutter…

‘We are all’, ‘But’, and ‘at the stars’ were all constructed with a Mitchell split nib and a Brause 361 Steno nib, simply because it gave me more of the look I wanted.

My second tip today is that it’s worth reading the writing bits in calligraphy books as well as looking at the pictures.

It is now spring 2014, it is warmish, the birds are tweeting outside my window and I am happy to report that I can now skate ink with the corner of a broad edged nib… but if it all goes tits up I can always rely on my trusty Uni pin pen.

17 thoughts on “Calligraphy Tip no. 2….and 3

  1. Exile on Pain Street

    Is “sucking on the end of my Osmiroid fountain pen” a witty British euphemism for something else?

    Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders used that Wilde quote in a song, as well. So now I have an earworm.

    Nice work, as always. As ALWAYS.


    1. Scarlet Post author

      Oh! Which song??? I will Google.
      I loved my Osmiroid fountain pen… they stopped making them and I started using dip pens.
      Sadly, not a witty British euphemism!


  2. Keith

    That’s not cheating, I do it all time. Well I did, but when I discovered Parallel Pens it came so easy. When you approach the end of a letter you turn the nib on it’s side and it produces a fine serif without lifting the pen from the paper.

    You should look at the demos on YouTube, you would be amazed at what you can do with them; even suck the end! I bet they taste so much better than Osmiroid pens!

    I have about 10 Osmiroid pens with all the different nib units, some never used. There is also some converters and a Cannabis baccy-tin full of black cartridges. I don’t use them any more (I’ve moved on to better things!). In fact I was going to throw them into the wheelie bin. If you want them, get your address to me somehow ( and I’ll gladly post them onto you. You might as well chew them up as me. No, I’m not a pen-sucker!


    1. Scarlet Post author

      Ha Ha! Keith, I still have my old Osmiroid… and about 3 billion cartridges. I keep it for nostalgic reasons… and I do have an Osmiroid dip pen… rare, but I think all the nibs are knackered!

      P.S Did you read my post or did you just look at the pictures?! 🙂


      1. Keith

        Oh, sorry, didn’t I tell you? I can’t read, my eyesight is going, but I can still do a mean Braille Copperplate; with flourishes to boot!

        What pictures? 🙂


  3. dinahmow

    So…i’s like when the teacher gives yer all them lines an’ y’ stickty-tape a few Biros togevver,innit?
    I wrote a shopping list this morning…best asemic ever! 🙂


      1. Keith

        Biros? BIROS! Sacre Bleu. . . . . . May the gods have mercy on your soul for using words like that. Those things are banned in my house.


      2. Scarlet Post author

        I like the Biro, Keith! It’s great for sketching and shading! And doing lines…
        Meanwhile, I have purchased some Pilot Parallel pens…. just haven’t have the chance to try them yet!


      3. Keith

        I think you’ll like them. If not, I’ll give you my address and you can donate them to Charity, my lady friend. . . . .


Say hello and stuff.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.