How to Write With a Fountain Pen for Beginners & Helpful Tips

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

How to Write With a Fountain Pen for Beginners

Writing with a fountain pen offers a unique and fulfilling experience that many enthusiasts swear by. Whether you are a left-handed writer or simply looking to elevate your handwriting, using a fountain pen can bring elegance and personality to your penmanship.

In this guide, we will explore how to write with a fountain pen for beginners, providing step-by-step instructions and helpful tips for those new to the craft.

How to Write With a Fountain Pen for the First Time


Step 1: Choosing the Right Tools

To write with fountain pens and yield beautiful results, it’s important to pick a pen that feels balanced in your hand. This way, you can easily maneuver the pen and ensure your hand doesn’t get fatigued quickly.

It’d also help to experiment with different nib sizes to choose one that fits your writing style. As a rule of thumb, if your handwriting is typically small, you should choose a fine nib, and vice versa

Step 2: Prepare Your Fountain Pen


Ensure your fountain pen is filled with ink. You can either use ink cartridges specific to your pen model or a converter that allows you to draw ink from a bottle.

  • If using a cartridge, insert it into the pen according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If using a converter, submerge the nib in the ink bottle without letting the tip touch its button. Then, twist the converter clockwise to draw ink into the pen.

Read now: Steps to Fill a Fountain Pen

Step 3: Hold the Pen Correctly


Hold fountain pen with a relaxed grip for smooth writing.

You should hold the pen between your thumb and index finger, then position your middle finger on the underside of the pen. This is called the tripod grip, which allows you to write comfortably and keeps the pen in the correct position.

Make sure that the nib is facing up and the feed is facing down so that the ink can flow smoothly.

Step 4: Start Writing


  • Place the nib on the paper at a slight angle, around 40–55 degrees. Note that the more up you hold the pen, the drier its tip will get.
  • Apply light and even pressure on the pen, allowing the pen’s weight and gravity to guide the ink flow.
  • You can slightly rotate the pen around to find the sweet spot. Once you do, keep this nib’s position for a smooth and consistent ink flow.
  • Begin writing with deliberate and controlled movements, using your arm and shoulder for larger strokes and your fingers for more precise movements.
  • Take your time and write at a moderate pace to ensure consistent ink flow. Keep your strokes steady and maintain a uniform letter size to write quickly and neatly. Step 4: Experiment With Writing Styles

Step 5: Experiment With Writing Styles


Fountain pens are versatile and can be used for various writing styles, including cursive, print, calligraphy, or lettering. Experiment with different techniques to find your preferred style.

Practice forming letters with fluidity and consistency. Experiment with different pressures and angles to create varying line thicknesses and styles.

Step 6: Maintain Ink Flow


If you notice the ink flow is inconsistent or the pen skips, gently twist the converter or give the pen a light shake to encourage ink flow.

You should avoid pressing the pen too hard, which can damage its nib. Let the pen’s weight and the ink’s natural flow do the work.

When practicing fountain pen writing, be sure that the top of the nib always faces you.

Note: Each fountain cursive writing pen has its own feel and quirks, so take the time to get to know your pen. Enjoy the journey of discovering your own writing style and embracing the elegance of fountain pen lettering.

Fountain Pen Usage – Things to Keep in Mind


General Tips

  • Fountain pen ink is water-based, so it’ll take longer to dry. Therefore, be careful not to smudge the ink when writing.
  • Sit with good posture and maintain a relaxed hand position while writing. This helps reduce strain and allows for better control and fluidity in your writing.
  • Invest in good-quality, fountain pen-friendly paper to minimize feathering and bleed-through.
  • If you have trouble maintaining the pen’s sweet spot, practice writing with your arm rather than your hand. This technique also means you’re less likely to strain yourself, considering that your arms’ muscles are stronger than your hands.
  • Using a fountain pen is a skill that improves with practice. Set aside dedicated time every day to write and experiment with different techniques.
  • Be patient with yourself as you develop a comfortable writing style and become familiar with the fountain pen basics.

Care And Maintenance

  • Clean your fountain pen regularly, especially when switching ink colors or if the ink flow becomes sluggish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance.
  • When not in use, cap the pen to prevent the nib from drying out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to use a fountain pen with ink?

Using an ink pen for writing is not inherently difficult, but it does require some practice and patience to adjust to the new writing instrument. With time, you will find your rhythm and develop a comfortable writing technique.

Can fountain pens be used for fancy writing?

Absolutely! Fountain pens offer a wide range of possibilities for fancy writing, including calligraphy, lettering, and decorative scripts. Experiment with different nib sizes, inks, and writing styles to achieve the desired effect.

Is a fountain pen suitable for first-time users?

Yes, a fountain pen can be a great choice for first-time users. Start with a pen that suits your grip and comfort, and gradually adapt to the writing technique. Remember, practice is key!

What are some tips for writing with a fountain pen as a left-handed user?

To use a fountain pen as a left-handed person, choose a pen with a finer nib size and hold it in a relaxed grip. Tilt the paper to the right, use fast-drying ink, and allow it to dry before touching the paper.

One of the most important writing techniques to master as a left-handed writer is underwriting, meaning that your hand is supposed to be below the line of writing. This way, your hand will obstruct your vision when you’re practicing your penmanship.


Writing with a fountain pen is a delightful and rewarding experience that can elevate your everyday writing to new heights. By following the steps outlined in this guide and practicing regularly, you will unlock the potential of this timeless writing instrument.

Embrace the elegance, versatility, and personal touch that come with using a fountain pen, and watch as your handwriting with fountain pens flourishes with every stroke. Enjoy the journey, and happy writing!

Read next: How Does a Fountain Pen Work

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