How To Hold A Fountain Pen

how to hold a fountain pen

So, you finally got that fountain pen. But your new pen doesn’t write on paper. The problem may be the way that you hold your pen. It’s time to look at how to hold a fountain pen correctly.

Your writing tool has a sweet spot that we need to aim for when writing with a fountain pen. This simple, step-by-step guide discusses valuable techniques for new writers. Our tips are great for left and right-handed writers to use when holding a fountain pen.

Let’s put our pen to paper and get the ink flow going.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Hold A Fountain Pen

hold a fountain pen

Writing with fountain pens is different from writing with ballpoint pens. The first thing to master is holding your pen.

1. Position The Pen Between your Fingers

The first thing you need to do is hold the pen between your thumb and index finger. It’s best to grip the pen between your fingers, as you would any ballpoint pen. Let it touch the side of your index finger, near the top, and the pad of your thumb.

2. Get The Right Angle

Use your remaining fingers and place them against the writing surface. You can either curl them under your hand, let them rest flat, or even angled against the paper.

Doing this creates that perfect angle for the nib. The sweet spot is between a 45 and a 55-degree angle.

3. Add Some Support

To write with a fountain pen you don’t need to use a lot of pressure. The best method is holding the pen as gently as possible.

Make a couple of test strokes across the paper with the pen between your index finger and your thumb. Do a couple of practice strokes to test your control and movement.

We suggest that you rest the pen against your other fingers. Be sure not to let them hold the pen steady. They are only there for support.

Using a Fountain Pen Left-Handed

left hand fountain pen

Contrary to popular belief, and some questionable marketing, there’s no such thing as a left-handed fountain pen. If you’re left-handed, you can also enjoy this favorite writing instrument.

Take special care when writing with your left hand that you don’t smudge the wet ink.

The left-to-right movement across the page makes smudging the ink easier. To help reduce the risk of smudging, consider using the Side writing or Hook writing holds.

Side Writing

With side writing, or underwriting, your hand is positioned right under the line of text that you are busy writing. Holding a pen in this manner keeps your hand free of ink and effectively reduces any smudging.

It’s also an excellent method if you start to feel some strain after writing a lot.

Hook Writing

Hook writing, also called overwriting, is another popular writing method. With this hold, your hand creates a hook. This lets you write above the line of text. Again, the goal is not to smudge the ink.

No matter which style you choose, you need to practice to neaten up your penmanship.

Things To Consider When Holding A Fountain Pen

Years ago, when schools still taught penmanship, teachers would point out a couple of other tips to help improve your writing. While the art form has left modern schools, they are still valuable and can drastically improve your handwriting.

  • Keep your back straight, and your feet planted flat on the ground.
  • Holding your pen should feel natural and comfortable.
  • Rest your forearm on the desk when writing.

There are no sure-fire guides to describe the exact way to hold a fountain pen. Most professional writers consider guides to be tips and treat them as such.

At the end of the day, practice leads to perfection.

So, it doesn’t matter if you use your left hand or your right hand. It doesn’t matter if you have a cartridge fountain pen or one that uses Italian nibs. If you manage to get a comfortable hold on the barrel of your pen and you practice often, you’ll do fine.

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