Can you recommend a nib for a beginner? This is the most common question I get from aspiring calligraphers. Of course I can. But first, let's talk about why some nibs are more suitable for beginners than others. If you are not interested in the theory, you can find the recommended nib list at the end of the post.
Today we will focus on pointed nibs, i.e. nibs that are flexible and have a pointed tip. Both the properties will be crucial for us.
The more flexible the nib, the less pressure you have to put on it to get a strong line. On the one hand, you writing with flexible (and soft) nibs is not as exhausting, on the other hand, harder nibs are easier to control. That's why: the softer the nib, the steadier the hand . For beginners, I therefore recommend a nib of medium and higher hardness, it should definitely not be extreme.
This is an example of a very flexible and pointed quill (Gillott 303) when pressed. It is more likely to be appreciated by more advanced calligraphers.
The more pointed the tip of the pen, the finer the line written without pressure. That's what we usually want. However, very pointed nibs have a greater tendency to dig into the paper (which is why they require high-quality, strong paper) and are more likely to catch on upward strokes. Again, therefore, they require a more experienced hand. A wider nib does not always guarantee a smooth movement across the paper, for example a Gillott 404 nib will rub gently until you grind it down by writing (or otherwise). However, gentle scrubbing (without catching) is not harmful, on the contrary, it allows better control of the stroke.
What does this imply? For beginners, I recommend a medium-flexible and medium-pointed nib. A number of nibs meet these requirements, for example: Hunt 22 , Gillott 404 , Leonardt G , Brause 361 Steno ("Blue Pumpkin") , Nikko G and Tachikawa G . You can find them all clearly in this collection . Does that mean you can't try a nib that is not included in the collection? Certainly not, the more different pens you try, the better you will have an idea of what suits you.
Was the post helpful to you? Let us know in the comments! If you already have more experience with calligraphy, what kind of pen did you use in your early days?
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