Fountain pens and Science Art

Last year I resumed corresponding with my grandparents by hand-written letters, something I had done in college but stopped as electronic communications became my predominant means of communication. My cursive had atrophied long ago, so I printed the first couple of letters I sent before I resolved to relearn cursive. Never being satisfied with the script I had learned in elementary school (New American Cursive), I began exploring for a handwriting style that appealed to my taste and discovered Spencerian script. I ordered a book and began practicing.

At the same time, I ordered my first fountain pen, the Pilot Metropolitan (the classic Spencerian script seemed appropriately paired with a fountain pen). I have since enjoyed expanding my fountain pen collection and exploring new inks. Pictured below is my fountain pen collection as of March 2017 (left to right: Pilot Metropolitan, TWSBI Diamond 580 AL, Lamy Safari, Noodler’s Ahab Cherokee Pearl, and Noodler’s Ahab Iroquois).

ab fountain pens.jpg

Through my exploration of the online fountain pen community, I found many artists using fountain pens to create compelling illustrations, so I was soon interested in exploring the artistic applications of this new-found hobby. Below are some of my first attempts at coupling fountain pens with a water brush to achieve some watercolor effects. Pleased with the initial results, I hope to continue to apply this technique to visualizing science.

ab watercolor 1.JPGab nemotodes.JPG

The nematode C. elegans: hermaphrodite (bottom) and male (top)ab cancer initiation.JPG

A sketch of cancer initiation in a layer of epithelial cells.

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