Friday, May 21, 2010

Ornamental Fraktur - Flourish Friday

While waiting for some client work to dry, I decided to give Ornamental Fraktur another go.  Two and a half hours later the client's piece was ready for the next stage, but I was still playing! 

iFriend Deborah asked me if Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White works in a parallel pen.  I hadn't tried it before, but I didn't see why it wouldn't work.  So today's Flourish Friday shows ProWhite (which is similar to Dr. Martin's) loaded into the barrel of a 1.5mm Pilot Parallel Pen (PPP).  I bought a jar of ProWhite after hearing several calligraphers say they like it better than Dr. Martin's. I tried it, but just couldn't get the consistency right. I much prefer Dr. Martin's.  I hate to waste anything, so I'm happy that the ProWhite works well in the PPP.  I did keep a little jar of water nearby to dip the tip of the PPP in every once in awhile to keep the ProWhite flowing.
To read my post about loading the barrel of a PPP, click here.
To see more Ornamental Fraktur play click here and here.


  1. This is absolutely beautiful!!!!! I saved the Flickr tutorial so I can try it with my PP when I get to the studio. I think I have some Pro White but I usually just use Dr. Martins. Have a great weekend!!!

  2. Wow, Jane, that is some "playing"! Suitable for framing!

  3. WOW! That's all I can say ... WOW! :-)

  4. Incredible, Jane! I can't believe you achieved that with a parallel pen. This sample needs to be added to the "wizardry" book if they ever do a reprint! Beautiful. Now I'm going to have to go find out what in the world "ornamental fraktur" is. Anne has never mentioned that one! :o)

  5. What a game :)
    Flourishes done with which tool/pen?

  6. Thanks so much for your comments! I appreciate them all!! :)
    Nikheel, the only tool I used was a 1.5mm Pilot Parallel Pen. To achieve the thin line, you turn the pen on its corner edge. I am not sure if these pens are available in India, but they are wonderful pens and come in 5 sizes.

  7. Love your Fraktur alphabet...gorgeous! I have all the parallel pens and don't use them. I'm primarily a dip person. Gotta take them out again.
    Hugs to you...

  8. Very Beautiful work Jane!!! Nice to take some time to play!

  9. Absolutely breathtaking! Truly ~ it is gorgeous.

  10. Holy smokes Jane, this is gorgeous!!!

  11. Jane - i have used other mediums in my PPP pen with great success, the question I have is, do you leave the Pro White in the barrel or clean it out after every use?

    I have a dedicated color of ink for every size of PPP I have, and now I want to keep a separate one for white inks. I hate cleaning them, even though its fairly easy to do. What do you recommend?

  12. Hi Theresa!
    I left the Pro White in the barrel. It's been in there over a month now. I tried to use it this morning, but had to rinse the nib in clear rinse water first. It then flowed without a problem, but it wasn't as opaque as before. The barrel is almost empty, so I intend to just refill- without cleaning it and see what I get. I hope that helps. Thanks for your comment!

  13. Hello,

    Do you need to thin Dr. Martin's bleed-proof ink before using it? We've been trying another brand of 'bleed-proof' white and can't get it to flow out of the pen. We've thinned it to a seemingly ridiculous point as well as trying it straight out of the bottle. Any suggestions?

  14. This is how I prep Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White for use, regardless if it is for a PPP or for a dip pen:

    Remove the lid.
    Add a bit of distilled water to the top. (Sometimes I just use tap water....shhh...don't tell anyone!) :)
    I stir the Doc Martin's and water using a small, inexpensive, bristle, mixing brush.
    I do not mix the water throughout the entire jar of white; I only mix the water into the top 1/2 inch or less.
    I mix until the consistency is like cream. This is how I test for readiness: After I have mixed, if I hold the brush over the jar and the white drips off the brush, then it is too thin. If I hold the brush over the jar and give it a slight flick of the wrist and nothing falls from the brush, it's too thick. When I hold the brush over the jar, give a slight flick movement, and a single drop of the white grudgingly falls, then it's at the consistency I like. I use this same approach when using and mixing tube watercolor or gouache.

    For a dip pen, I load the pen with a brush; I do not dip the pen directly into the jar. I mix the fluid occasionally, and rinse and dry my nib every once and awhile. I keep a small dish with a sponge saturated with water next to my work area. I touch the pen point to the sponge whenever I have trouble getting the ink to flow. I hope this helps. For a PPP, I load the barrel of the pen directly with a eyedropper, pipette, or Monoject.

    I have also recently tried Dr. Martin's Pen White. I can use it straight from the bottle - no mixing with water, although I do stir it before loading the pen. However, it is expensive. A jar of the Bleedproof White lasts me for over a year (and I do a lot of work in white), but I am going through the Pen White pretty quickly. If you don't care about getting thicks and thins in your lettering, this pen is great for white monoline work:

    If my PPP has been loaded with Dr. Martin's Bleedproof White or other gouache and has been sitting unused for a time, then I will need to add a few drops of water and shake. I will also dip the pen plates into clean water to rinse. I use the piece of film to clear away anything that may be lodged between the plates.

    I hope this helps!
    Best wishes,


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