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-   -   What kind of pen do you use? (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1415631)

eef 07-15-2007 05:22 AM

What kind of pen do you use?
This is a read-only file, the original can be found here.

Dear Moderators & Guides,

I have noticed there are many questions relating to what pens are used by artists who choose the Pen & Ink medium. I have been asked on several occasions what pens I use. I know there are many different pens out there and you can use each one for different applications. So.....do you think it would be a good idea to add a Sticky Thread illustrating the pens available.

Now this is something that I would be very happy to do. However, I am one of those artists who is stuck in a rut and only use one brand of pen/s. It could be a thread to take each persons thoughts and experiences and then close and add as a Sticky.

I thought it would be a great reference, not just for those just begining with Pen & Ink but for the likes of myself who could do with broadening their horizons. I dunno.....what do you guys think?


Studio-1-F 07-15-2007 09:08 AM

Re: Idea for a Sticky Thread
There are pen (and ink!) reviews here ---->http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/fo...p?showforum=76
but they are not necessarily written from the point of view of doing art. (But they are sure interesting!)

The Fountain Pen Network folks have devised a format for their reviews, which I think is an excellent idea, to give some structure to the endeavor of collecting reviews. That format is spelled out here. So if we do it here, I think a format similar to that might be helpful.


MonicaB 07-15-2007 10:37 AM

Re: Idea for a Sticky Thread
Great idea, Ethan. Why don't we all answer to this thread, then we can edit it and make it a sticky?

donna9 07-15-2007 11:32 AM

Re: Idea for a Sticky Thread
I would love to see this, since I think I am the most recent newbie to ask eef which pens he uses. Thanks again for the information, BTW.

I am very interested in the types of pens each of you amazing artists uses, but I would also love to see an example of artwork done with that pen or pens. Do you think that might be useful in this thread also? A link could be added to each post to each members gallery if that would make it easier.

Just my 2 cents, :wink2:

Ranger Dan 07-15-2007 11:37 AM

Re: Idea for a Sticky Thread
2 Attachment(s)
OK, I might have acquired a few more markers since this was taken and lost a few (my nice orangy-yellows) too. Basically Microns which vary from 005 (smallest) to 05 (largest) and a few markers of varied manufacture. I kind of grab these when I see them and when I need a particular color ~ tans, yellows, pinks, grays are not well represented in Micron. Unfortunately, the other markers usually have larger nib sizes.

Sue Galos 07-15-2007 11:38 AM

Re: Idea for a Sticky Thread
Out of lurkdom .... I'd love to read about the pens people use - I general do ink sketches followed by watercolour washes - so permanence is important. Currently I'm using a Staedtler 03, but I find it very dry. I'll like to find something that has a smoother flow - my fine Sharpie may be my next choice.
My stuff is generally not meant for public consumption so I'm not as concerned with the archival nature of the pen - but a nice flow that IS archival would be great to find.

sassybird 07-15-2007 03:21 PM

Re: Idea for a Sticky Thread
Ethan, I suggest that we make another thread called Pen's People Use and set it up as a sticky from the beginning. That way people can share their experiences with different pens.

CPM 07-15-2007 07:57 PM

Re: Idea for a Sticky Thread
Ethan Great idea. One thread of another, I like the Microns because they are easy. I have a Pentel Cartridge pen set that flows better than the microns, but needs more care to keep it from drying out. - Chris

MonicaB 07-21-2007 10:58 AM

What kind of pen do you use?
Since this is a frequently asked question, members suggested we start a thread that discusses the kinds of pens people use for ink work. So feel free to add to this list.

A summary of the types of pens available might also be in order:

1. Dip pens. Cheap, quick, somewhat messy for slobs like me. Offer a variety of lines widths with the same nib. Not very portable.

2. Prefilled drawing pens. Cheap, portable, come in some colors. Some people like a finer nib than the smallest, but a good choice. Usually archival. Good choice to start with.
http://www.dickblick.com/zz207/02/ or http://www.dickblick.com/zz207/59/

3. Technical pens. Nonvariable width of line, but infinite variety of sizes and colors, since you fill it yourself. You can mix colors, dilute strengths, whatever you want. High maintenance, particulary in smallest nib sizes. More expensive. If you go this route, read up on maintenance.

4. Cheap bic pen - the kind you find on the floor. See work by maori boy, dolors, and drwells.

BenR345 07-22-2007 07:08 PM

Re: What kind of pen do you use?
I'd also like to add, for anyone on a tight budget (or if you just don't have a really good art supply store nearby), try ZiG Millenium pens.

They would fall into the prefilled drawing pen category that Monica mentioned. They're archival, and they have most of the same qualities of a Sakura micron. But, you can get a set of two of them (.01 and .05) for less than the price of one micron pen. Also, they're available at any Wal-Mart.

They aren't quite as good as Sakura microns, but they're still surprisingly good for being so common and inexpensive. I did some of my best work with those before I moved on to microns.

Eternity 07-22-2007 08:08 PM

Re: What kind of pen do you use?
I guess I'm a technophob from the dark ages. I use Hunt's pen nibs with crow quill holders and dip into my ink. I like the feel and everything about the "old fashioned way". I have tried prefilled pens before and HATED them. Over time the ink turns a weird purple color. I do have to deal with buildup but have found the best cleaner for ink and pens is this environmentally safe stuff called "Planet Solutions" concentrate.

Studio-1-F 07-22-2007 08:40 PM

Re: What kind of pen do you use?
Pens I use, in no particular order ---

-- Pilot Razor Point (black ink) and a Niji Waterbrush (or a brush and a cup of clear water) for pen+ink+wash sketching - These ubiquitous cheapie pens are loaded with a very nice water-soluble ink that washes easily to a nice deep blue-black. (See two examples here: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=418470)
Once you moisten the line and let it dry, it becomes a mostly permanent mark and you can watercolor with abandon. Pen available at any office supply store (be sure to get the silver pen with the black ink), any art supply store, or from Dick Blick for less than two dollars, here: http://www.dickblick.com/zz207/03/

-- Copic Multiliner -- When I want a solid waterproof line. Copic pens are refillable come in six widths, at $2.50 each. Alternative is the Zig Millennium at $1.89 each or the Sakura Pigma Micron Pen, at $1.84. All three of these are available at any local art store or from Cheap Joe’s or Dick Blick online.

-- Lamy Vista fountain pen with a 1.1 mm calligraphy nib -- My sketchbooks are really sketchbook/journals and I like to write as well as sketch, so I have been using this fountain pens to do both. The black ink that comes in the cartridges is okay but not as good as some of the beautiful water-soluble inks out there in bottles. If you decide to go that route, be sure to buy the converter, so you can fill from bottles. These pens are available from John Neal, for $35.00 plus $4.95 for the converter: http://www.johnnealbooks.com/prod_detail_list/7

You can get the same 1.1 mm calligraphy nib on a Lamy Joy body for a tiny bit less money. But it is a longer pen. Not very compact. Again, be sure to also get the converter.

-- Niji Waterbrush Mini Set (12mm brush point) filled with black ink. Use three and fill each with a different dilution of the same ink so, together with the blank clean white of the paper, you have four tones to work with. The waterbrush is $5.58 at Dick Blick: http://www.dickblick.com/zz051/33/

-- Pelican M200 with a medium "I" (italic) nib, filled with any of those fun inks listed below. Outstanding writing AND sketching pen, very fluid and smooth. The pen is available at any good pen store or online for around $80.

INKS!!! Water soluble inks that I have found so far that I like:
- Private Reserve Velvet Black - jet black lines that wash into a beautiful black with just the tiniest hint of plum. Beautiful!
- Noodler’s Walnut - dark, dark, brown lines that wash into a perfect burnt sienna color. Gotta work fast before it totally dries.
- Private Reserve Chocolat - very dark brown lines that wash into a reddish burnt sienna color. (Example is here.)

I do not do stipples and so have no use for the "technical" drawing pens that I used way back when, when I was in grad school. Those Rapidiographs. Aaack. The name alone makes me shudder with the memory of the maintenance required to keep them from totally and irretrievably seizing up when left open for more than a half an hour. I don't draw on drafting film any more! If I want to use those archival waterproof PH-balanced no-fade will-last-longer-than-the paper inks, I will use the Copics and their cousins, or ye olde Speedball dip nib with Noodler's Bulletproof Black ink.


Kiukok 07-23-2007 10:07 PM

Re: What kind of pen do you use?
Just to add to the list, Marvy Le Pen is my friend. :)

Vegas Art Guy 07-30-2007 07:45 PM

Re: What kind of pen do you use?
I use three types of pens for my addiction er drawings.

Sakura Mircon in every color I can get my hands on.
Right now I have them in the following colors:
Red (.005 to 05)
Black (.005 to 05)
Brown (.005, 01 & 05)
Green (.005 & 01)
Pink (.005 & 01)
Orange (.005 & 01)
Purple (.005 & 01)

I also have the 10 color set of Staedtler Triplus Fineliners (.3mm) I'll probably get the 20 color set at some time and give the smaller one to my daughter.
Light Green
Dark Green
Light Blue
Dark Blue

Last but not least I have the Sanguine set of Pitt Artist Pens

I got the microns at Aaron Brothers for between $2-$3 each depending on if there is a sale or not. All the others I got from Blick.com...

jazzadellic 08-01-2007 03:28 AM

Re: What kind of pen do you use?
1 Attachment(s)
I didn't see anyone mention Rapido-graphs. They are not as convenient or easy to use as some of the disposable pens, but they are great for drawing. The main problem with them is you have to clean them regularly, before each refilling. Although I admit, I have left ink in them for over a year or two, and even with dried 2 year old ink, I was able to clean them and make them useable again....So the upside is that even if you neglect them like me, they can still be cleaned and used again. :evil: Only problem I have ever had with them is that for some reason, that I have yet to figure out, they occassionally leak a large glop of ink...which can ruin a drawing in progress. But this is very infrequent, and could possibly be caused by shaking the pen too hard (to get the ink flowing) or something. I know some professional level pen & ink artists use Rapido-Graphs exclusively, like the author of "The Technical Pen" (Gary Simmons) and his drawings are amazing. Don't let the title "technical pen" fool you, you can create beautiful art with them. That book btw I would highly recommend to any pen-and-ink artist. Anyways, i'll upload a partial drawing which I used the rapido-graph for, though you can't see the detail too well because of the pixel restrictions here on WC, I had to shrink it down to about 1/4 the scan size...

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