Over the years I’ve been buying and trying different dip pens for inking. I received in the mail today a Deleter trial set which included a pen holder and 3 different nibs popular for Manga. Still not 100% comfortable with the scratchiness that these pens create and I wanted to do some tests before working on my final 4 pages for my comic art class. I couldn’t find a lot of information on the web about these specific dip pens, so I wanted to describe some of my initial thoughts here on my blog.
The 1st one is the Hunt 102 which I’ve been practicing with quite a bit and seems to be a pretty standard in American comics. The 3 Deleter pens I haven’t used before today, but have come across the names many times in blogs and books in the past.
I am not big into brushes and likely to thicken certain areas after all the pen work is done, but at some point I did go and spend $30 on a Rafael Kolinsky Sable no. 2 watercolor brush. I also have a few cheaper brushes shown here using a material called “sabelite” in size 0 and 1 which work wonderfully which only cost $5 each. Not shown is an economy brush I bought from Bluelinepro that I was going to use for my Higgins White Ink, but that brush won’t even come to a point - I wouldn’t recommend buying them.
This is the Ink I used for the inking tests, Higgins Black Magic waterproof ink that I originally bought at Bluelinepro, but is widely available. The paper I’m using today is Strathmore 300 series smooth Bristol board.
Here’s some thick and thin samples of the pens and brushes. You’ll notice some bleeding which happens when you draw very slowly on good quality Bristol board – on bad art boards the bleeding is completely not usable, try it on copy paper for example.
1. Deleter Maru-Pen
A thin mapping pen which is almost like a micron. Very stiff and in appearance looks like a Hunt 102. The maximum thickness was just shy of 1 mm and I wasn’t crazy about the overall feel of the pen.
2. Deleter G-Pen
This one is super popular among Manga artists and with good reason. It’s a medium firmness dip pen with good control and thick lines with less pressure than the Hunt 102. I could see myself getting comfortable with the G-Pen, but right now it’s not my favorite from the group.
3. Deleter Saji-Pen
This pen was firmer then the G-Pen and overall gave very smooth lines. The sample inking I did below looks pretty good and felt pretty good doing it.
4. Gillott 170
I read somewhere that this was a good pen for cartoonists and decided to buy a few from Jetpens a while back. From the group this one is the softest and most delicate. It was super responsive and gave amazing character to the line. The only drawback is with the softness of the nib, it’s easier to make mistakes and not render your pencils just right.
7. Hunt 102
I bought a small box from Bluelinepro and have been working one in for a few months. It’s a great dip pen with a firmness slightly higher than the G-Pen and maybe not quite as thick. It’s a good all-around pen and right now I am on the fence to use the Gillott 170 or this one for my 4 pages.
I pulled the panel out from page 4 and printed blue lines on a small piece of bristol board as seen above. The 1st ink test was using the Hunt 102 with backup lines using the synthetic size 0 brush.
These 2 as you can see is done with combinations of Maru-Pen and synthetic size 0 as well as G-Pen and Rafael Sable size 2.
These 2 were done with combinations of Saji-Pen and synthetic size 0 as well as Gillott 107 and synthetic size 1.
I wanted to see which combination of pens and brushes works best for me and my hand pressure. It’s great to try out some new tools and experiment a bit. I hope you find this post helpful if you’re trying new pens for inking like I am.