Hi Schin, I love your penmanship so much that I have been following your blog everyday for a month or so now. You are such a talented lady! I followed your advise and got myself an oblique pen holder and a couple of nibs - Leonardt Principal EF and Brause F66 etc. etc from Paper & Ink. I am not getting the shadow as thick as yours though. Does it need to be broken into? Or was I not pressing 'hard' enough?

Asked by Anonymous

Thanks! I’m so glad you like my blog and am getting into the addiction runwhileyoustillcan hobby. As for thick shades, I use the Principal and/or Brause Rose and do add a little extra pressure usually, but remember a thick shade is not always important to create beautiful calligraphy. A nice flowing feel, consistency and good looking letters will always be better than super thick shades for the sake of it. Once you have your fundamentals down, the knowledge on how and when to apply the thick dramatic shades will follow. Hope this helps!

Painted Pen No. 3 & 4

Recently Brian Smith of Unique Obliques and I have been collaborating by making a series of Painted Pens. He makes the pens and sends them to me and I paint it, I send it back and he lacquers and glosses it. This is very fun for me as I love oblique pens and now I get to decorate them in any way I like. Here are pens number 3 and 4 (number 1 and 2 are simply experiments), and the debut of the painted pens. 


On left is a sakura design and on right is a white flowers design. I wanted to utilize lots of gold in these to complement the color of the flanges, and notice how Brian added little strips of yellow wood dividers to enhance the pen.


It was a little uncomfortable to paint on a cylindrical surface, it takes a little getting used to. The biggest challenge is to get a very fine brush stroke.

The best part is to design the pens in a way that it looks good on every angle. Of course, the most important angle is the natural hold in the hand, but I have to make sure the back and side of the pen looks good too, even if they will be obstructed by the fingers when in use. And of course, on the back is a little signature of our first names.

You can view a short video of these pens on my Instagram.

Both of these pens have been sold, but more will be coming up in the next few weeks. If you are interested in buying please contact Brian and ask him to put you on alert notice or mailing list or something when the next batch is out. They go pretty quickly!