The good, the bad and the ugly

Handwriting course week 1

Hello, my name is Mishka and I am an fountain pen addict. That's how it all started, with fountain pens. I have many and I love using them. Perhaps some of you know/feel a blissful sensation when a smooth nib lays down a wet line of ink on the paper... All this leads to handwriting. Many of my pen-pals have beautiful 'hand.' I have decided to do something about mine and started a handwriting boot-camp... 5 weeks of loops and hoops, drills and writing. Here is what happened so far...

First lesson was of all about posture, grip, paper, hand and finger movement. I got tested, my writing analysed... This stage is absolutely crucial and perhaps the main reason why I wanted a tutor: to get the second opinion (because there is so much you can learn from Youtube).

The good news: my posture is good and my pen grip perfect. Thanks Lamy ;) Ridges in the Lamy Safari fountain pen section might not be for everyone, but it sure does help to write with fingers rather than your wrist. Using a fountain pen helps with speed and pressure too. My initial goal of slowing down has been crushed because I can only do 28 words per minute. I tend to get shaky when I write too slow, not sure why that is...

Next up: choosing the right instrument; well this is where I shine because I have plenty to choose from :) Lamy Safari is my first choice...I was told not to use broad nibs (my writing looks awful with fine) and to avoid italic nibs (because I don't know how to use them): well, that's not going to happen because the custom grind Lamy 2000 fountain pen is my best writer and I refuse to give up on it.

What happens now? Write, write, write and practice drills. I already have the ones I like and dislike. Loops turning into number 8 are hard! But I think I can feel the rhythm in letters m,n and u, so that's improvement!

drills A4 One of my first drills

Neat trick I picked up: One I'd like to share is about tilting paper. Some people have it straight, some is how to decide what is right for you: Start with your paper straight in front of you and draw a horizontal line. Is it straight? Keep your paper that way. Does your line slant upwards? Tilt your paper slightly. This trick works like magic :)

Best advice: Use different colour ink for drills. Ink and pens are the main reason why I am doing this, so my tutor nailed it ;) These squiggles look actually pretty cool and I get to use multiple pens :D

Shopping list:
Lamy Al-star Ocean Blue fountain pen with 1.1mm nib
Lamy Safari Neonlime fountain pen with fine nib
Lamy T10 turquoise ink cartridges
Clairefontaine handwriting book seyes stage 5 exercise book
Rhodia A4 lined notebook
Papelote green strap A4

Mishka (^_~)

Favourite drill Favourite drill. Ink plays a big role :)

9 thoughts on “The good, the bad and the ugly”

  • Kathy

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this article❤️❤️❤️ Have just ordered two books to improve my handwriting - they have exercise sheets in them too. Mishka's writing looks wonderful - all the letters, curly queus, loops and swirls very artistic - reminded me of shocking stitches! So keep up the good work - we hand writing/pen addicts must hold the line in this age of technology! When all the PC's breakdown WE will be in our element

    • Mishka

      Thank you Kathy, you are so kind! Have you tried seyes books? I don't want to spoil the next article,'s bye bye dot pads!!! WE know what makes us happy, right?

  • Lee

    Hi Mishka, If you like orange ink I think you will really like J.Herbin Orange Indien. It's a lovely burnt orange colour, not too bright. It also made me laugh that you couldn't seem to resist doing one of your signature little birds when doing "esses". :-)

    • Mishka

      Thank you Lee, you have a very good eye for detail! :) I can't help myself, this little bird has to go everywhere :D Orange Indien is one of my favourite oranges. Glad you like it too. Did you get a chance to try Lamy's Copper Orange?

      • Lee

        Hi Mishka. Yes, I'm afraid I'm a bit of a FP addict :-) Part of my collection (obsession?) include 13 differently coloured Safari's and 8 different Al Stars, including, of course, a copper orange one. Just bought one for my daughter for her birthday as well. She seems also to have the bug, this will be her third limited edition lamy :-)

  • Lexi

    Beautiful handwriting! I was just wondering where you found a tutor/ class? I'd love to learn to write better, but wasn't even really aware that it was possible to actually do classes (I must be living under a rock or something!)

    • Mishka

      Hi Lexi!
      Thank you for your kind words. There are many ways to get better...there is always youtube, books...what really works for me is to find something I like and copy it ;) For classes, just put "improve handwriting classes +your location." Good luck ;)

  • Costanza

    Hi Mishka!
    which ink did you use in the last pic??
    I'm a Fountain Pen addicted too :D

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