Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.This week I’m addressing some website issues and talking about my new iPhone. We have a ton of great Visconti products that I’m briefly touching on. I’m answering questions on brush pen techniques, inks to match your new Omas Ogiva Cocktail, and my top book suggestions. Enjoy your Friday fountain pen fix!

Pens/Writing – (10:38)

1) Mike W. – Facebook – (10:51)
What tools and techniques do you use to shade your ink drawings so they look like watercolor paintings?

  • simple, just a brush pen filled with water!
  • you can use a regular paint brush, but it’s not as ideal
2) Another Pen Nut- Blog – (14:31)
A quick question for you about Omas nibs: I understand that 18k represents a higher percentage of gold (75%) than does 14k (~58%). Yet the Omas 14k nibs are ‘flessibile,’ while the 18k nibs are not. Now, gold is usually alloyed with harder metals. So, at the risk of being thought a ‘doubting omas,’ I must say that I find it puzzling: Why should the nibs with less gold be softer?

  • great question, and the logic holds true if all else is equal, 18k is softer
  • the reason the extra-flexible nibs are flexy is because they’ve been thinned/weakened to flex more
  • 18k nibs are too soft to be modified for added flex, you need a stiffer 14k nib to take the modification
‏3) @Principia- Twitter – (17:25)
Planning to swap out some Lamy nibs for Shimmertastics. Is medium “fat” enough, or is broad or even italic necessary?

  • medium will do okay, broad would be better
  • italic could be hit or miss…they’re usually not any wetter than broads, they just spread the ink out more, which doesn’t really help shimmer
  • It’s really more about wetness than it is about the tip size, it just so happens larger nib sizes usually write wetter
4) @SvenEricsson2- Twitter – (20:28)
Can you compare writing with a Palladium nib vs a Gold or Steel nib?

  • I’ll have to speak generally, because there are variations in nib design that fit outside the norm for each of these
  • Steel: generally cheaper, stiffer, no line variation, may not be as smooth depending on the model (often cheaper nibs aren’t tuned as well)
  • Gold: softer, smooth (usually because more hand-work is done to them), more expensive, can be wet depending on the manufacturer
  • Palladium: Visconti uses it on their higher-end pens, it performs very similarly to gold, soft, slight line variation and very wet
Ink – (30:37)
5) Julia O –YouTube – (30:40)
I recently purchased a pink Lamy Safari with a converter from you. I would like to use it with a semi-matching ink that is still relatively business-like so I can use it at work. I do work in a creative environment, so I don’t have to stick to blue or black, but it needs to be easily readable. I was thinking of a pinkish burgundy. Any suggestions in that color family (or other color ideas)?

6) GirlGeekLovesStampin – YouTube – (33:43)
Quick question : I am getting the Omas Bloody Mary Cocktail pen, any ideas on shading inks that would match that color or come close?

Personal – (36:36)
7) Jake A. – Facebook – (36:45)
Not at all ashamed to say that you, Brian, and Brett Mckay over at artofmanliness are a couple of my role models in life. You’ve touched on this several times in passing, but what are some books you recommend?

  • I’ve talked before about some of my top business books, which is most of what I read
  • I have several other books that I’d recommend that aren’t quite as businessy (though will still be very self-improvement oriented)
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud– touches on relationships, child-rearing, overcommitting and taking care of yourself
  • The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman– very popular book on “speaking” the right language of love/appreciation to your spouse in a way they best receive it: Acts of Service, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, and Physical Touch
  • QBQ! by John G. Miller– a quick read all about personal accountability and asking yourself the right type of questions to avoid victim thinking
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie– I can summarize the book in one word, listen! It’s great for improving interpersonal skills and helping in relationship building in personal or work situations
  • Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey– extremely down-to-earth and concise explanations of personal finances, debt, insurance, investments, and budgeting. Dave’s entertaining and a straight-shooter.
8) Michael T. – Facebook – (48:48)
In a previous video, you said that you started writing with fountain pens at about the age of 25. How did you re-learn cursive for fountain pens? I still write in print but every now and then catch myself trying to write in cursive again and it looks atrocious.

  • I personally learned cursive in 3rd grade, used it rarely after that unless I had to
  • It really wasn’t until I picked up fountain pens that I wanted to write in cursive again, about 17 years later!
  • I dusted off the cobwebs in my brain and used Google to find “cursive writing worksheets” with the cursive letters that have arrows to show the way you write each letter!
  • I practiced for a couple of hours and it all came back quickly
  • now I really only write cursive with fountain pens and switch back to print for ballpoints and gel rollerballs!
  • there are other resources for learning more in-depth, like CursiveLogic and various SkillShare classes, YouTube videos, and blogs
Troubleshooting – (55:17)
9) Sergey M. – Facebook – (55:17)
Hi ! Could you talk about pen maintenance when using inks with glitter (like J. Herbin 1670)? Does the glitter come off with rinsing, or would it require disassembling and physically cleaning of the feed?

  • I haven’t used (and cleaned) out all the Shimmertastic inks yet, so I’m making some assumptions that they’re all going to clean relatively similarly
  • general maintenance-level cleaning water will work just fine, but you still might have a sparkly feed
  • more thorough cleaning with dish detergent or Pen Flush really helps
  • to really, really get it clean, using an old toothbrush to scrub the nib/feed, and a q-tip to clean inside the barrel will make a big difference
  • the places it’ll hang up the most is really on the feed and around the piston seal, it doesn’t cling to the walls of the pen body much
  • these are definitely higher-maintenance than your normal inks, so take that into account when inking them up, and you’re best off dedicating shimmering inks to specific pens (as opposed to trying them out in ALL your different pens)
  • specific pens/nibs will perform better with these inks anyway, so you’ll probably find quickly which couple of pens you want to use for these specialized inks

QOTW: There’s a lot of buzz about shimmering inks right now. What do you think, are they a fad that will fizzle out or is it opening a new door to the world of fountain pens?  – (1:01:36)


Be sure to leave me any comments or questions below, and check out any of the previous 97 episodes of Goulet Q&A here.


Write On,

Brian Goulet