Bob Hurford: Fun With The Split Nib

Fun With The Split Nib
Bob Hurford
Thursday, July 16, 2015
All day

A split nib is handled exactly as one would handle a broad pen.  The split nib creates outline alphabets.  That is, a letter becomes a contour drawing with only lines on the outside while the center has nothing in it.  Not yet, anyway.  The fun part of the outline letter is what you can do around the letter and inside the letter.  The only limitation is your imagination.  Fun, interesting envelopes are possible with the split nib as are a myriad of other ideas.  There are many types of split nibs.  The easiest to make and least expensive is to bind two sharpened pencils together with a rubber band.  Shading can be added with a 4B and HB pencils blended with a stump. Possibilities in the blank space within the letters are endless.  (Zentangles, anyone?!?)  One has to be very precise when working with a split nib.  If the angle is not consistent, that will really show.  If you are familiar with the broad pen, the split nib will greatly enhance your skill.  If you are new to the broad pen, the split nib will prevent bad habits and make using the non-split nib a breeze 


  WRITING INSTRUMENTS:  1.) Two regular #2 wooden pencils and two rubber bands (in case one breaks!).  Don’t forget a pencil sharpener.  You may also want to bring an X-Acto knife.  If the bound pencils prove too wide or unwieldy in you hand, they may be trimmed with a sharp knife.  I will show you how to do that. 2.) A Mitchell #50 Scroll Writer nib.  Scroll nibs also come in sets of six with the tines at different widths to create very interesting effects.  Both John Neal and Paper & Ink Arts sell them.  3.)  Optional:  A #8 Automatic scroll nib pen (3/16” wide).   These are not inexpensive.  I will demonstrate Automatic Pens, but buying one is completely optional.  They also come in sets of five and are sold by Paper & Ink Arts and John Neal.  INK AND PAINT:  Most any ink or gouache will do.  Higgins Eternal or Iron Gall for non-waterproof fans.  You may also consider a waterproof ink such as India or acrylic.  Any color you like.  If you are interested in adding color to your letters, bring along any watercolor or colored pencils used in other classes.  You’ll want to use waterproof ink in that case, as anything else will smear.  PAPER:  Marker Layout or other paper through which you can see guidelines.  As the class progresses, you’ll probably want to write on heavier stock so you can embellish the letters with watercolor paint and/or colored pencils.  140# hot press watercolor paper will do.  Guidelines will be provided, but I will also provide guides to drawing your own guidelines.  Don’t forget a straight edge!


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