Completely geeked out and bought a bunch of new nibs last week. They arrived in the mail with a pair of birthday shortalls, gifted to me by my bestie, and a birthday card from my grandmother, so yeah, it was pretty much the best day of mail ever.
It can be pretty overwhelming to buy these new tools and I always appreciate any recommendations I can find, especially these kind of product testing posts, so I figured I would do my part and contribute one.
As you can see from the top photo the nibs are:
- Brause “Rose” *
- Zebra G*
- Hunt 101
- Brause Steno
- Hiro #40 “Blue Pumpkin” *
- Nikko G
- Nikko Saji
- Leon Principal
*= used before/am fairly comfortable with
I also ordered a new holder, because I thought I’d need a different one than my trusty plastic Speedball Deluxe Oblique to work with a few of these new nibs, but none of the new nibs seemed to take any more easily to the new holder, so I just used the Speedball for all of these.
Typically I prefer to work with gouache, but I was feeling a little lazy today so did all of the above with black Bombay Ink.
The biggest surprise was the Hunt 101. Never having working with a shorter nib like this, I didn’t know what to expect, but got really beautiful thick downstrokes and lovely delicate hairlines. Really impressed and excited to use that one on new projects.
Being comfortable with the Brause Rose I was a little irritated to see how little control it appears I had with it - first strokes of the morning, maybe, or a little ink heavy? Either way, it was surprising to see it next to all of the other nibs and how thick and uniform its lines look.
Really loved the ease of the clean, simple line from the gorgeous Nikko Saji (the close-up on the left hand side) and look forward to doing tiny work with it.
The Brause Steno (other extreme close-up, in silhouette) is striking in person - it has a slightly darker blue sheen to it than the Hiro #40, but is quite similar in appearance. Wrote like a dream until I had an ink blob halfway through my “d” and “l” - I think I just need a little practice with it, though.
Definitely understand why the Nikko nibs are most popular among us newer calligraphers - you can get a really lovely line out of them fairly effortlessly. They’re stiffer, which can translate to more forgiving, even if you don’t get the dramatic thicks and thins.
Looking forward to getting more practice with the other shorter nib, the Leon Principal. I think this one was supposed work in my new penholder but didn’t want to squeeze in there - let me know if you have any advice on adjusting those things!