Illustration of a Nutcracker ballerina drawn with Monteverde Mercury Noir ink and a Conklin All American Brownstone fountain pen

Hello, everyone, it’s Whitney, back again with another Monday Matchup pairing for you. This week, I got to test out the Conklin All American Brownstone fountain pen with a 1.1mm Stub nib and Monteverde Mercury Noir ink. I usually stick to Fine or Extra Fine nibs so I wanted to get some experience with nibs outside that range. Read on to hear what I thought of this pen and ink and what inspired this piece.

On December 18, 1892, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker was performed for the first time. I decided to pay homage to this moment in history with my matchup this week. I looked up a photograph of a ballerina dancing in The Nutcracker ballet as my inspiration. I found a picture of Stella Abrera, the first Filipina- American principal ballerina with the American Ballet Theater, and really appreciated her story so I drew her likeness.  Then I chose a Tchaichovsky quote that felt fitting.

I started out trying to draw this picture with the pen alone but quickly found that was not a wise idea. After a few impatient attempts with this method, I decided to draw out the figure in pencil first so I could determine the proportion little better. This paid off better for me. I outlined the pencil with the pen and tried my hardest to erase the pencil lines when the ink was dry. I feel that I’ve expressed my distaste for using pencils in my artwork in previous Monday Matchup posts. I drew the face last. I made it pretty non-descript because I did not want to get too detailed with a stub nib in that small of a space. I wrote the quote around the ballerina after the entire drawing had dried. I thought about doing an ink wash with a water brush, but I decided I wanted to keep it uncomplicated with just the line drawing.

I really enjoyed both the pen and ink. I had shot photos of the Brownstone a while ago for the Fountain Pens Through Decades blog so I was already a fan of the look of the pen. I’m glad I got to write with a different kind of nib because the stub ended up being a pretty fun experience. It probably would not have been my first choice for drawing a picture, but it wasn’t bad at all. The color wanders into the pink category that I am not a fan of, but I enjoyed it. It was appropriate for the ballet theme and wasn’t so pink that my inner 11-year-old, hot-rod-flame-hoodie-wearing self wasn’t squeamish using it. I think this pen would be a good daily writer, but maybe not for folks like myself with smaller writing. It would make for larger or more formal writing.

Illustration of a Nutcracker ballerina drawn with Monteverde Mercury Noir ink and a Conklin All American Brownstone fountain pen

Illustration of a Nutcracker ballerina drawn with Monteverde Mercury Noir ink and a Conklin All American Brownstone fountain pen

Illustration of a Nutcracker ballerina drawn with Monteverde Mercury Noir ink and a Conklin All American Brownstone fountain pen    Illustration of a Nutcracker ballerina drawn with Monteverde Mercury Noir ink and a Conklin All American Brownstone fountain pen

The Conklin All American Brownstone is available at GouletPens.com for $76. You can find Monteverde Mercury Noir in a 2ml sample for $1.25 or a 30ml bottle for $8.

Enter to win this fountain pen and ink by following these directions!

How to enter Monday Matchup Giveaway:
  • Match a pen and ink together. They don’t have to match in color, any fountain pen, and ink works.
  • Take a picture of your pen and ink matchup.
  • Find the entry details and instructions below on how to share your picture with us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or as a blog comment*.
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  • Confirm your entry via the Rafflecopter widget below which will record your entries. This is how we’ll draw a random winner. Since it’s totally random, you’re eligible to win each week!
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  • *Due to recent changes with the Disqus platform, you must register for a Disqus account in order to post a photo entry in the blog comments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest is open Monday, December 18, 2017, at 12 pm EST until Tuesday, December 19, 2017, at 12 pm EST. One winner will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow once the contest closes. The winner must live in a country that Goulet Pens currently ships to. Click here to see the Official Contest Rules.

We are taking off a few weeks from Monday Matchup Giveaway and will be back on January 8, 2018 with more fountain pen fun.

What is your favorite holiday entertainment tradition?

Write on,
Whitney