The View from Mont Blanc

8 Mar

After dishing out more money than I ever would have thought for a pen on Ebay, I struggled to get what the fuss was about. The pen was no ordinary one. I am referring to the Mont Blanc 149 piston fountain pen. It is regarded by many as the best fountain pen in the world and according to some artists, it is a fine machine capable of keeping up with the hand and mind of the artist. After receiving it, I tested it on several sketch book pages. It was unremarkable. It felt sluggish and the line wasn’t as varied or as interesting as I had hoped. A big fat waste of cash. Then, I had a brainstorm. Perhaps a pen like this needed a surface that was firm enough to let it glide. Like a skater on freshly surfaced ice. I also imagined that bright white paper may be the best option as black ink would look most crisp. So, I purchased bright white illustration board and unscrewed the fine torpedo cap of the big (some call it a man’s pen but that is grossly narrow in my view) torpedo shape. Wow! It handled like the Porsche it really is. With no idea of what I was going to make other than a vague exploration of Portsmouth characters, the drawings flowed with the ideas and the pen was tremendously exciting to use. My reason for buying the pen in the first place was to have a new tool. More than that, to have a tool that combined what I love about etching and drawing and was more expedient to use in upcoming explorations into graphic novels and personal projects. Much more to come.


4 Responses to “The View from Mont Blanc”

  1. Mike Booth March 8, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Good stuff, Lou. Looking forward to seeing more. I found your comments on the combination pen/paper very interesting. How do you get broader/narrower lines with this pen?

    • thecakeater March 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      It has a medium/fine nib but remarkably can make a variation of lines depending on how you place the nib. In fact, you can get very nice fine lines by applying it to the paper upside down. I like the fact that it is fairly heavy and reminds me of an etching needle too. Just beginning my exploration of it. Thanks.

  2. Bill Chance March 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    One of the things I like about fountain pens is the quest to find the proper combination of pen/ink/paper. It’s amazing how some pens work great in a Moleskine and others need the finest of no-feathering paper. Of course, the choice of ink is almost as important as the pen itself.

    • thecakeater March 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      I am currently using the mont blanc ink mostly because I am a bit afraid to try other ink at the moment. It is a lovely pen. Well worth it. I am going to try more and different papers. Finding the fancy, absorbent fine art papers are actually not that well suited. Good old white card seems perfect. All fun. Thanks for reading!

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