Review: Speedball Sketching Project Set (with 6 dip pen nibs)

This is the Sketching Project Set by Speedball. This project set is ideal for drawing, sketching, lithography lettering as well as cross-hatching.

This set comes with 6 dip nibs and 2 pen holders. You will have to purchase your own ink as this set does not come with ink.

The bigger pen holder above is the Speedball Straight Pen Holder, whereas the other is the No.102 Crow Quill Pen Nib Holder. This set is sold with 2 different pen holders as each pen holder is customized to fit the differently shaped nibs.

As for the 6 different, flexible point nibs, they are (from top):

  • Nib No.99
  • Nib No.56
  • Nib No.102
  • Nib No.107
  • Nib No.108
  • Nib No.512


From left: Nibs No. 99, 56 and 512


From left: The back view of Nibs No. 512, 56 and 99

Nib No. 99 is the shortest amongst the 6 nibs, whereas Nib No. 512 is the largest. Nibs No. 99, 56 and 512 all fit into the Speedball Straight Pen Holder.


Nib No. 99 fitted into the Speedball Straight Pen Holder


Nib No. 99 fitted into the Speedball Straight Pen Holder

Nib No. 99 is so short that when fitted into the relatively large straight pen holder, the combination kind of looks disproportionate to me. In fact I feel that the No.104 Pen Nib Holder is a more proportionate fit for Nib No. 99 than the straight pen holder. I own this No.104 Pen Nib Holder as I had purchased the Speedball General Purpose 6-Nib Set No. 20 earlier, which is sold with this pen holder.


The No.104 Pen Nib Holder


Top of the No.104 Pen Nib Holder, customized to fit Nib No. 99

However, I am guessing that the Speedball Sketching Project Set has to come with the large straight pen holder instead of the No.104 pen nib holder, in order to fit the relatively large Nib No. 512 (Nib No. 512 is a tad too large for the slim No.104 Pen Nib Holder).


From left: Nibs No. 102, 107 and 108


From left: The back view of Nibs No. 102, 107 and 108


From left: The bottom view of Nibs No. 102, 107 and 108


Top of the No.102 Crow Quill Pen Nib Holder, customized to fit Nibs No. 102, 107 and 108

The bottom half of nibs No. 102, 107 and 108 is cylindrical in shape, and they all fit the No.102 Crow Quill Pen Nib Holder.


Back of the Speedball Sketching Project Set


Front page of instruction manual


Back page of instruction manual

You can find an illustration on how to insert the nibs into the pen holder, at the back of the packaging. This set also comes with an instruction manual that provides tips on how to use the pen, as well as some ideas on drawing and writing techniques.

Below are some samples of the hand-lettering and sketch I drew with these nibs:


Hand-lettering using the respective nibs


Side profile sketch

The hand-lettering and sketch above were drawn using the black ink from Speedball's Pigmented Acrylic Ink Palette Set on Canson's Bristol Paper. (The smooth surface of Bristol paper is ideal for drawing/writing with these nibs.)

Nibs No. 56, 102 and 107 are capable of producing very fine lines/strokes, whereas nibs No. 99 and 108 produce relatively thicker and bolder lines/strokes (nib No. 512 is somewhere in the middle). Notably, out of the 6 nibs, nib No. 108 has the most flexible nib whereas nib No. 512 has the least flexible (most rigid) nib - in fact, the tines of nib No. 108 can separate quite significantly when pressure is applied.

However, I like nib No. 108 the least out of the 6 nibs as it can get quite scratchy writing or drawing with it. In contrast, the ink flow out of the other nibs are much smoother and more consistent.

Cleaning

As I was running out of the 'pen cleaner' solution from Speedball's Pigmented Acrylic Ink Palette Set, I made the unfortunate mistake of mixing whatever little remaining Speedball 'pen cleaner' solution with Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay Pen Cleaner. These two pen cleaner solutions work well on its own, but not when mixed together - I don't think they should be mixed. Because after soaking the nibs in the mixture of the two pen cleaner solutions, I noticed some spots of discoloration on the nibs.


Spots of discoloration on the nibs

So I hope you don't make the same mistake as I did.

If you will like to find out more about the other types of nibs sold by Speedball, please do check out my past reviews of the Speedball General Purpose 6-Nib Set No. 20 and Speedball 6-Nib Calligraphy Lettering Set.

Availability

Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp

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