Review – Sheaffer Maxi Kit Calligraphy Nibs

Now, for the second part of the Sheaffer Maxi Calligraphy Kit review. This one might be a bit short as I’m going to be looking at the three included nib sizes: Fine (1mm), Medium (1.5 mm), and Broad (2 mm).

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The nibs themselves are Italic, meaning that they are flattened and straight at the tip, thus producing a wide up-and-down stroke and a thin left-to-right stroke. They are true Italics, with no tipping material, and sharp edges that may cut into the paper if one isn’t careful, but they are a bit more rounded off than a dip pen Italic would be. Because there is no tipping material, the stainless steel of the nib is easier to wear away and damage from rough use. Although this doesn’t happen often as steel is still a very robust material, it is worth noting.

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Each nib has almost the same left-to-right width, but the up-and-down stroke width is equal to the size of the nib stated above (1mm,1.5 mm,2 mm). The fine nib can be used for regular cursive writing, but the medium and broad nibs should not be used for cursive writing as the size necessary would render writing impractical or illegible. Although the corners of the sharp nibs can cut into the paper, they aren’t quite sharp enough to make the sharpest of line turns. To most eyes, the angles appear spot on, especially when compared to the round corners of regular fountain pens, but when compared to a dip nib they are a bit lacking. Overall, the nibs a very functional and useful in a variety of situations (at least calligraphy situations). They provide enough variation to not be bored with inking up three pens, and even without a tipping material will last through quite some use.

Review – Sharpie Pen Colors

I have reviewed the Sharpie pen before. And the ink in that pen was a bit of a muted black. Now it’s time to look at some more of the Sharpie pen color palette: the blue, red, green, purple, and orange pens.

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Colors not exact representations.

Starting off with the blue, which is a typical blue, if a bit washed-out looking. It is a subdued blue that would be appropriate in most work environments. They say that all of the colors are water-proof and smear resistant. I will say that is mostly true unless under extreme circumstances, but don’t expect them to be as all-around useful as their marker cousins. They also dry fairly fast and are supposed to be non-toxic, but I’m not checking that.

Now to the red, which is the most disappointing of the bunch. It is faded and looks almost pinkish. It’s hard to tell it’s really a red and it certainly lacks the intensity most look for in a red ink. That being said, it is subdued and will work better in a work or school environment where one would want a less aggressive color.

The green is, say it with me, subdued. It is undeniably green, and being as laid back as it is almost intensifies it. It’s the hardest to read out of the bunch and is almost eye hurting after a while. Strangely it is almost identical to Micron green.

The purple is flat, but deep. It is easily the darkest and most readable of the bunch. It is also fairly close to a Micron purple and provides a nice, neutral color, that is still quite different.

Now finally the orange. The orange is the only intense color out of the bunch, and even then for orange it is fairly flat. It does jump off the page and provide the kick one would expect from a nice orange. I’d say it’s probably the best color of the bunch.

So there are a few colors. Aside from looking almost identical to Micron colors I’d say they’re good. I haven’t the foggiest as to why that is but it is a bonus in my book. Anyway, if you like Sharpie pens, and want some nice, pleasant colors for work or some such, I’d take a closer look at these. And due to their subtlety they also look much more natural in drawings than standard, intense colors.

Review – Bic Disposable Fountain Pen Black

If you’re an artist or would like to become one you’ve probably heard that ballpoints are not a good art instrument. While this is not the case, there certainly are better ones. Fountain pens are generally accepted to give a better writing performance than ballpoints. And the Bic disposable fountain pen seeks to combine the smoothness of one with the convenience of the other.

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The body of the pen is a smooth torpedo in the classic fountain pen shape, though a little smaller. The cap has an easy-to-use clip attached solidly to the top that is both sturdy and tight. There is a partial ink window and logos along the otherwise silver-colored barrel, nothing else. Taking off the cap and looking at the (grip) section, the feed(er) is viewable though a clear tube. The section is much thicker than a ballpoint and easy to grip, though it may become slippery and has no lip at the end. The nib (tip) is steel and ground to a medium point. It is unspectacular looking.

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As for writing, it is very good. Most of the money you pay likely went into the nib and it shows. The pen writes smooth and effortlessly for the most part, but can be prone to feedback. The flow of the ink is good and it keeps up well. Speaking of the ink, it is surprisingly black, and unsurprisingly not waterproof. This ink will feather easily and take a moment to dry. I also don’t recommend using cheap paper, as the ink will bleed thorough, though not as bad as many bottled inks. There is a massive supply of the ink, though, so you won’t have to worry about this pen breaking your wallet particularly.

For a cheap pen ($2-4 a pen), this is a very nice one with a lot of okay ink. It writes well and draws the same. If you’re looking to experiment with fountain pens in your art or writing, and would prefer a slightly larger pen, this is certainly one to look up.

Review – Uni Paint Pen

So you want to paint, but you’re better at drawing. Or you want to mark on some surface unsuitable for Sharpie or other permanent markers. Well, the Uni Paint PX-21 by Sanford may be for you.

This pen is oil-based and needs to be shaken up like a spray can before use. It has a “fine” point, which means a medium or even broad point if you compare it to anything that is a not a paint pen. The line it writes is solid and about as thick as a large Crayola marker. This particular version is the black version which is especially solid, though it is fairly shiny, somewhere between a Sharpie and a matte black spray in terms of marking on plastic. It does mark on literally anything, though some shiner plastics and polished metals have it wear off easily.

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The body of the pen is metal and feels solid in the hand. A shiny label has all the necessary information printed on it, including warnings and such. This label makes the pen slightly slippery in the hand so tight gripping is necessary.

The cap matches the color of the paint. It has ridges that are sharp and cut into the skin. It also fits very snugly onto the end, meaning it is quite difficult to remove, which is both a hindrance and a benefit.

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Also be warned that since it is an oil-based pen it stinks mightily and will give you a headache after a few minutes of constant exposure. The label even tells you to put the cap on immediately after use, though this is most likely also to not let the paint dry out.

Overall this is a great little painting device. It is especially handy for touchups on plastic and metal painting. Or, if you’re like my relatives and have a shop were regular markers and price tags have a hard time sticking to the stock. It’s not really a home item, or one that will be useful to canvas painters, but it certainly will have its place with sculptors and model builders.

Review – Black Sharpie Pen

 

 

 

 

I like Sharpies. They’re good makers and some of the most permanent I’ve ever used. They’re useful in tons of situations, from signing to just getting something bold out there. The only problem is sometimes they just aren’t small enough. If somethings need to be both permanent and small you seem to be out of luck. Until you find Sharpie pens, that is.

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The body of the pen is similar to most other pens, it is slim and long. It has a label containing all necessary information about the pen and helping decrease the slickness of the body. The cap has the interesting aesthetic of not being larger than the body, making the pen look slightly odd, but this makes no performance difference. Attached to the cap is a flexible clip that does its job nicely and is not prone to breaking. At the bottom of the pen is also a place to slip the cap on so that it does not get lost while one is using the pen.

 

The line produced by the pen is thin, but still thicker than common cheap ballpoints. It comes out exactly where you put it and in that deep black color one expects from a Sharpie. Pressure makes very little variation, the ink is always black, and only slightly lighter if one tries to achieve that effect. It flows smoothly over most surfaces and sticks everywhere you expect Sharpie to stick. Although it does in the end feel more like a pen than a Sharpie.

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I stated in the beginning the main reason one would get this pen. It’s a nice small, permanent, bold pen. It’s serviceable at most pen and Sharpie duties. It would even replace fine-point Sharpies for me. But of course it has the problem of not having a specific use. So it would really be up to you whether or not you have a use for this pen.

Review – Fine Point EXPO Markers

So, are markers art supplies? By markers, I of course mean dry-erase. Is the whiteboard the canvas of the classroom? I don’t know, but I would count dry-erase markers as art supplies so I’ll talk about them briefly.

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I’m going to focus on the pen-type variety of the EXPO marker. They are small, pen-size. They fit in the hand nicely and don’t slip despite the glossy finish.The cap holds well, but it has no clip so it won’t stay in one’s pocket.

 

The ink of this particular one is black, it goes on smooth, dries fast and is nice and bold. It stays well and looks nice and sharp. It obviously doesn’t have much line variation but the point is fine enough that one can achieve most of what they would want to. When one is done the ink comes of easily with an eraser. The smell has also been reduced (though not eliminated) and the ink is thankfully non-toxic.

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There’s a reason EXPO has become synonymous with dry-erase markers, they are simply one of the best, and for dry-erase needs one usually can’t go wrong with EXPO. As long as its large. (they also work just like a regular marker on paper.)

Review – Black Sharpie Fine Point

Do you ever want to stop drafting and just draw? Did you ever want to be bold with your marks? Did you ever want to be part of a marketing campaign doing those things? Yep, I’m talking about sharpies, black, fine point ones to be exact. Everyone knows what a sharpie or other brand of permanent marker is, so I’ll be brief.

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Sharpies are slick and fat, and unlike some other slick utensils do at times slip out of ones’ hand. They do bulge up the pockets they are stuck in, but most markers do. The body and cap are made out a surprisingly durable plastic, with a nearly useless clip attached. They are all clearly marked and it takes some time to wear off said markings.

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But on to the marker itself. “Fine point” is a bit of an exaggeration, while it is fine for a marker the tip of a sharpie is by no means “fine”. It makes a mark, I mean it really makes a mark. These things make a mark that will bleed through any type of paper and some types of cardboard (with the exception of thick water color paper). The writing is smooth and satisfying, but the point is felt and wears easily. They mark on almost anything and once a mark is made it is nearly impossible to remove, it is one of the best permanent markers in existence.

So if you want to be bold and never have that boldness forgotten or destroyed (with the exception of catastrophic flooding) The sharpie is for you.