I like calligraphy but I don’t always like getting out all the tools and paraphernalia, so I often doodle letter forms with pencil.  It’s the kind of exercise that really gets you thinking about the shapes and proportions contained in a letter.  Water-soluble graphite pencils such as the Viarco ArtGraf, Caran d’Ache Technalo or Faber-Castell Graphite Aquarelle can be fun in this regard; finish off with a square water brush (the kind that stores water in its barrel and is therefore mess-free and portable) and voilà!


4 thoughts on “Doodling

    1. Oh, it’s actually a handmade (!) notebook that was on offer at the Penhood pen show in Seoul several years ago. Penhooders have a variety of hobbies that they apply to the realm of stationery, such as quilting, leatherworking, and woodworking, and they will also sew and bind their own notebooks if they can’t find good paper in a format that they want. Crazy, eh? It says that this notebook was made with “The Naturals (Cotton) 110g/m2)” paper; I personally found it a bit rough for fountain pens because of the laid pattern, but it works wonderfully as a small doodling book.

      Oh, and you should be able to make much better use of the graphite technique than me – Viarco also sells graphite cubes and cakes of water-soluble graphite in tins, that you can dissolve with a wet brush to achieve a similar effect. It’s a bit like sumi ink but still different, as I understand (I haven’t actually had the chance to use the latter).


      1. The Penhood show sounds pretty amazing! The deeper I get into the stationery world, the more I learn about all kinds of tools that I never knew existed, like the graphites so you mentioned. It’s amazing how creative people can get with their hobbies! What a world! :)


      2. Yes, and I personally think the calligraphy scene is a good antidote to the pen world. In stationery you find yourself chasing an ever-increasing number of grail pens, not to mention inks and notebooks and other paraphernalia, all for a small increase in personal satisfaction; on the other hand most calligraphers I know dislike spending a lot of money on tools. Many prefer to make their own and experiment with inexpensive materials, but with them create things of astounding beauty. Some food for thought there :)


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