My favorite tool for drawing is the dip pen: sensitive but rough in the same time, delicate but violent, small but powerful! But you do have to know how to handle it!

Dip Pen

There are three important elements that you have to consider for drawing with the dip pen: the dip pen, the paper and the ink.

THE DIP PEN: This tool offers you so many options in how to draw a line. If you choose a slim dip pen with a soft and flexible tip you’ll be able to draw very thin and delicate line, more like hatching. If you choose a thick and solid dip pen, with a compact tip you’ll be able to draw powerful lines, with lots of personality. Personally I choose the second type, because it helps me control the line better on big surfaces.

THE PAPER: The proper paper for dip pen it has to be thicker, over 200gr, to help you in using the dip pen. The paper can be glossy or matte. I prefer the matte paper, with cotton in it (I use Fabriano 50%Cotton, 300gr) because the dip pen has a certain adherence to it but it still slides on the paper, giving me a better control over the line. I also put a very big pressure on the dip pen while drawing, thing that offers me stability when drawing on big surfaces.(you can feel every line on the paper like it has been embossed)

THE INK: I use the acrylic inks, which I think they are great: resistant to water, UV resistant, quick drying, mixable between them. I also like the thing that you can create layers of colors, without having them mixed on the paper. My brother thought me a very good trick for using the dip pen with ink: attach and tape the dip pen to a brush; the brush hair will act as a reservoir to the dip pen so you will avoid the unwanted ink drops to get to the paper by accident in the case that you overload the dip pen with ink. My recommendation is to clean you dip pen of ink every time you use it, so you will avoid the ink to get dried on your dip pen, something that in time it may ruin it.

One trick that I learned during the years, is how to draw parallels lines with the dip pen on big surfaces (eg: 70cm x 100cm): using my hand as a compass. I fix my elbow on the paper so my hand turns into the compass arm giving me lots of stability and equilibrium, so I can control the distances between the lines, keeping them parallel.

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