So at the behest of a panel at New York Comic Con and looking at other people's work at Stumptown, I decided it was time to step my game up equipment-wise. I love my nib pens and got some Japanese nibs. I was looking for Holbein Maxon nibs, but there's only one place where you can order them. Since nibs have no uniform size, I have no idea which is which. I might investigate further.
BUT, a friend of a friend put up a little blog about cartooning tools and I tracked down "those Japanese nibs." They are super-smooth and really delicate. I LOVE THEM! Here's what I did:I'll put up this eye tomorrow to show you just how detailed and delicate they get. I'm blown away. The face was done with a Tachikawa N357C-3 and the hair with a T3-3. They're not much different from the Speedball nibs I was using before except that they have the sizes I need, whereas Utrecht has been out of them for months!
I guess they use nib pens to make Manga, so they have so many varieties. If only an importer would corner that burgeoning market! If anybody wants to go into business, let me know. Manga is HUGE right now and in three years everybody's gonna' be looking for these pens (if they know what's good for them!)
I also got a Brush pen. It's a Faber-Castell PITT pen. It's fine, I guess. I like using the real thing and having really black, thick lines. But it is easy to carry around (duh!) and I feel like it makes my drawings look more professional for some reason:
All in all, I'm really happy with both of these and would recommend them to anybody wanting to get some new tools to make good pictures.