How to Draw and Write in Fountain Pen

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

As a lifetime fan of fountain pens and sketchbook journaling, this book was right up my alley and I couldn’t wait to review it!

Overall, I felt this was more of a ‘how to doodle anything’ and an idea book for projects than it was a book about drawing with a fountain pen. 99% of the doodles could be done with any sort of pen, it just so happened that these were done with a fountain pen.

The discussion of different types of ink and paper felt lacking. One could write a book alone about the different types of ink, show how to do a waterproof test (if you are going to be adding watercolors or color to any sort of fountain pen drawing, this is a HUGE consideration).  The same can be said for paper selection.

From a design perspective, wonder why the author didn’t choose to create headlines hand-lettered fountain pen writing.  The choice to use a standard font seemed a shortcut to me.

Interesting that the author doesn’t mention Lamy Safari as a great beginner pen (which it is) but uses it in many of the demo photos. It is a fabulous pen by the way!

If you really want to learn about the ins and outs of drawing/writing with a fountain pen, this isn't the book for you.  If you are more interested in a fun quick read of some doodle inspiration, on the other hand, it would be the book for you.
Was this review helpful?
Fountain pens seem like an anachronism but a little study proves that they are often used in art, especially comics and graphic design. So if you have any interest in those fields, knowledge of fountain pen use is useful. This book serves as a solid, basic introduction. Usamura provides a quick introduction to basic pen strokes followed by a generous number of simple examples of their use, both in drawing and lettering. These are quick little practice drawings to build up your skills for your own artistic endeavors in ink.
Was this review helpful?
I read this book as an ebook, but I highly recommend getting the physical book, which comes with drawing paper and a tracing booklet. This book expresses the author's love of drawing with fountain pens, but I found that these adorable designs are cute no matter what writing utensil you use. Each drawing includes a step-by-step description, making it look ridiculously easy. She also includes project ideas and tips on how to fill in lines, add speech bubbles, and other ways to up the wow-factor. Prepare to close this book feeling inspired!
None of my drawings came out "just right", but as Usamura says, don't worry about mistakes, "just remember that each line in fantastically unique."
Was this review helpful?
This is quite the gem of a little book! While the use of fountain pens at one time seemed to be a thing of the past, the idea of using this fabulous writing utensil is coming back to life! Most of us have no idea how to go about starting to use a fountain pen, so a guide like this is just what we need. 

There is something uniquely satisfying about dipping a pen into ink and putting pen to paper. I have recently worked to correct my pen grip. My parents tried and tried when I was younger to help me, but time and time again I went back to my incorrect grip. I finally have mastered the correction only going back every once in a while accidentally. I rewarded myself with a glass dip-pen and a package of gorgeous drawing inks from Winsor & Newton. 

I love how this book is organized with both drawing and writing fonts. It is understood that most people will not be using a dipped pen or fountain pen on a regular basis as more convenient and less messy options are available, but for creating art and lettering this particular medium is both unique and beautiful. 



I loved the line drawing pages! They are clearly hand sketched rather than computer generated which is important to me in a book with drawing instructions. The explanation for how to hold the pen at what angle, how to produce thicker vs. thinner lines, and how to create shadows were clearly expressed. 



Having never drawn with an ink-dipped pen I found the etched feeling of writing on parchment paper quite lovely. I have recently begun to sketch more and more and I am definitely adding in the use of my glass pen due to this book! 



I'm not very proficient at lettering yet, but I had fun trying some different fonts. Again, the letters in this book were each clearly hand-drawn giving me greater inspiration over the typical computerized styles I'm used to. 

Overall I was quite thrilled with this title and am looking forward to purchasing a hard-copy soon!
Was this review helpful?
I received a complimentary ARC copy of How to Draw and Write in FountainPen
A Modern Guide by Ayano Usamura from NetGalley and The Experiment Publishing Company in order to read and give an honest review.

“...a fun, informative well written with great step-by-step illustrations, this book is a must-have for all those who are crafty or  love to add a little creativity to their journals…”

Whether you’re familiar with using a fountain pen or a complete novice this book offers how-to’s, tips and tricks to help you get the most out of writing with a fountain pen.  I have been using a fountain pen since I inherited my grandfather’s old Sheaffer Imperial when I was eight years old (many moons ago). I still have that pen but over the years have added about 15 more to my collection.  Although I have always written with them, I have never used fountain pens favouring technical pens for any inked artistic drawings. 

I have been journaling for years and over the past few have decided to add art and organization to my journaling practice.  My bullet journal has evolved from simple to-do lists into an artistic, fun, motivating and inspiring record of plans, goals and trackers. This book is fantastic in the fact it offers so much that both novice and experienced users will find useful. I for one loved the detailed how-tos for creating quick fun doodles for my bujo spreads which I am now using my fountain pens to create.

I highly recommend this book, it’s a fun, informative well written with great step-by-step illustrations, this book is a must-have for all those who are crafty or love to add a little creativity to their journals.
Was this review helpful?
How to Draw and Write in Fountain Pen was such a fun and informative guide on using a fountain pen. The instructions were very user-friendly that were accompanied by plenty of lovely visuals. This book does a wonderful job explaining the basics and housekeeping rules of using a fountain pen (drawing angles, ink cartridges, writing strokes, care of pen, pen nibs, etc) and also has a FAQ at the back that goes further into depth about using fountain pens as well as featuring instructions on doodling simple/everyday objects and providing project ideas. This book is easy to follow and understand- a great place for beginners to start.

*Thank you to NetGalley and The Experiment publishers for providing a free ARC
Was this review helpful?
Really had a lot of fun with this book. I wasn’t using this as any sort of resource for anything other than looking into what seemed like something fun to try and this was an easy and helpful guide.
Was this review helpful?
This is a great guide for anyone who wants to learn how to choose and use a fountain pen, and ways to do fun stuff with it. The author goes into great detail about how to use them, clean them, etc. and then has information on ways to write in various basic fonts and how to draw simple designs with them. There are lots of examples of everday objects drawn with fountain pens, such as scissors, hats, coffee cups and even fountain pens.

Both the sketches and the fonts are very basic. I found myself wishing the author told how to do the font that she herself used for the headings, as it was fancier and prettier than the fonts she gave. That said, it's a great primer on using fountain pens with all kinds of simple sketches for inspiration.

My rating system:
1 = hated it
2 = it was okay
3 = liked it
4 = really liked it
5 = love it, plan to purchase, and/or would buy it again if it was lost

I read a temporary digital ARC of the book for the purpose of review.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the author's enthusiasm about and love for fountain pens - I could sense her excitement in each page! I also liked seeing the many ways she expresses herself with them. 

Usamura covers the various types of nibs, maintenance of a fountain pen, inks and papers. She provides lots of sketches and different alphabetic fonts, with instructions on how to replicate them.

All in all, this is a very fun book to play with!!

Many thanks to NetGalley, The Experiment and the author for allowing me to review a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
This book is a very basic art instruction book on using fountain pens to sketch. The author started by talking about fountain pens: the different types of nibs, what paper to use, how to fill and maintain a fountain pen, and things like how to use a fountain pen to draw lines, basic shapes, and fill in areas.

She then moved on to sketching cartoon-style line drawings. She provided 3-step picture directions for how to draw a variety of foods, everyday objects, clothing and accessories, outdoor gear, and plants. Next, she provided examples of lettering styles, decorative borders, frames, and such which you're supposed to trace using tracing paper. She also gave some tips on the layout of your design. She gave 4-step instructions for 7 projects: lettering a welcome board, making cupcake flags, gift tags, earring cards, birthday cards, sticker labels, and decorating planners and scrapbooks.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book as an introduction to fountain pens! I recently purchased a Lamy Safari pen and this book has lots of good advice on how to use and take care of your pens.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is a breakdown of how to use calligraphy pens. The filling, cleaning, designing, sketching, and creating.
This book gives great ideas to the reader on how to design and embellish their works of art.
Everything is shown in amateur skill so nothing is intimidating. 
Design ideas are given to help you jazz up decorations or table designs.
Was this review helpful?
This book is a gem! if you like drawing and want to start simple and not buy a ton of art supplies, this is the book for you. 

It's broken into three parts: basic drawing guidelines, a bunch of examples of things to draw, and several projects.

In the first section, the author breaks down fountain pens, how to hold one, how to make lines, what type of ink to get, etc. It's simple, clear and organized.

The second part if chock full of simple drawings: food, clothes, plants, trees and so much more. Each drawing is broken down to three steps and feels very achievable. The book also has several alphabets.

The last section has several project ideas, things like cupcake toppers and gift tags, etc. All of them relatively simple and elegant and very useful.

If you have wanted to venture into fountain pens, drawing, or fun little projects, this book is a great place to start.
Was this review helpful?
How to Draw and Write in Fountain Pen: A Modern Guide by Ayano Usamura is a tutorial guide and graphic essay in praise of the humble (and not so humble) fountain pen. Originally published in Japan as Simple Sketching (シンプルスケッチ) by Graphic-Sha in 2017, the English language release is due out 17th Sep. 2019 from The Experiment. It's 128 pages and will be available in ebook and paperbound formats.

This is an appealingly illustrated, logically arranged guide with special emphasis on journaling and decorative papercrafts featuring letting and inking primarily with fountain pens.

The introductory chapter gives a quick overview over materials and supplies, papers, inks, and tools, as well as a short but very useful troubleshooting guide ("Fountain Pen Don'ts).

There are four main sections. They cover simple line drawn sketches of familiar daily objects (kitchenware, clothing, outdoors things, etc), lettering, embellishments, and more advanced techniques. The last segment includes some tutorials for toothpick flags, personalized table cards, planners, stick on labels, and more.

I've been a fountain pen fan for ages. This book would make a lovely gift with a good quality starter fountain pen or as a standalone book with lots of fun ideas for the journalers and papercrafters.

High quality, accessible, appealing. Four stars.
Was this review helpful?
This is more of a fun project type book than a drawing book.   The drawings are more like doodles and most are very basic shapes.  It is good fun and there is lots of information on selecting fountain pens, and how to maintain, clean and fill them.  It does look at text and fonts too, and many of the projects are basic calligraphy.  Overall it is a good starter book but is quite limited.  Perfect for those wanting to spice up their journals.
Was this review helpful?
A very good book for the craft-inclined.  You get a handy guide to fountain pen use – the angle, the pressure, the paper stock and so much more, before learning to create a host of simple doodle objects – always with a look at which way the pen moves, for you can generally only stroke the nib in one or two ways across the page.  Different fonts and visual ideas are presented, and then you're off and running making personalised cards, event invites, logos, maps and so on.  The real deal will have some tracing paper to get your hand in, too – funnily enough my e-copy didn't.  The blurb mentions something about a fountain pen craze – well, perhaps in Japan where this book originated.  But if you feel the need to create obviously hand-crafted letters, sketchy little doodle-quality images and whatnot, for whatever reason, this seemed like a really warm and supportive start.
Was this review helpful?
This was a super cute, fun book. It is like reading one long love letter to fountain pens.. I enjoyed hearing how the author discovered this kind of pen, types of pens and care of the pens. Then working through projects is amazing,
Was this review helpful?
Usamura gives the reader a set of quick lessons in drawing with a fountain pen. She provides lots of examples with a few tips.  I know very little about drawing and I found the instructions easy to follow, whether using a fountain pen, ballpoint or gel pen, or pencil. However, I know more about fountain pens.  Usamura has worked for Lamy and it’s that brand’s Safari model that she recommends, although she shows two other options briefly towards the start of the book. The information she offers about fountain pens is very basic.  For example, she describes two types of fillers, cartridges and converters, while many several other types are readily available. And I think she misses an opportunity to talk about the advantages of using bottled ink, both in terms of mixing colors and cost. How to Draw and Write in Fountain Pen will find its readership more among people who want to learn some basics of drawing labels, logos, small signs and the like than among people wanting to learn about drawing specifically with fountain pens.  The book comes with a tracing booklet and 8 sheets of paper that cannot be evaluated in this advanced reader’s copy.
Was this review helpful?