WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Media > Pen and Ink
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-21-2015, 01:36 PM
pedlars pen pedlars pen is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,787
 
The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

For thousands of years there was very little choice in choice of which pen to use , you could cut a reed & sharpen it to a point or you might use a feather from the end of a birds wing .
Nowadays it is pretty confusing; artists can choose different types of pen from many different manufacturers .
Each has different characteristics, different thickness of lines, different types of ink that will fade in no time when you put a drawing into a frame for display, some types of ink are waterproof allowing you to use watercolour paint with them, some are convenient to use , etc.

I wouldn't pretend that my views & experiences are not reflected this piece, pure objectivity is difficult when considering such a subjective & personal thing but hopefully it might give you an idea of some of the options.

Perhaps though one of the most important considerations for any artist when choosing a pen is how they FEEL in use; if it doesn't feel right to you- then that pen is no good to you .
Any specific model pen which I mention I will have used myself ,there will be other makers of pens available of course, some of which may very well be their equal, but I haven't personally used them.


BALLPOINT PENS

PRO'S Ballpoint pens , (biros if your British & old school !) are everywhere & there's always one to hand when you need to make a sketch. They're great! - you can make a deep rich dark line or you can make a really light barely visible mark.
If you start your drawing slowly using these really light marks & then slowly build up the drawing this pen can take the place that a pencil might have taken when just starting a drawing, doing all those early construction & perspective lines, tentative outlines before you commit to the final dark bold line .
Working this way it is entirely possible to make a photo realistic drawing with a ball point pen .
They will work well on even the cheapest, horrible paper possible as a bonus. This sounds GREAT! & many artists fall madly in love with ballpoints for drawing BUT BEWARE ! - she is a pen fatale which will deceive you & the affair will be short lived !
CONS
The problems are -
1. That ballpoint pen ink regardless of the colour ink it has or which brand you try will fade terribly very quickly unless you press on hard to get the blackest line possible. All of those delicate tones that you took such pains to
create will fade to a pale shadow whether it is exposed to the light or not , leaving you with a drawing where all of the tonal balances are ruined.
This serious shortcoming is confused by manufacturers having the official ISO.(international standards organisation) stamp. This standard refers to the pen being used in normal writing conditions & not how an artist would use it.

2. The unique character of ballpoint pens makes them a poor learning tool if you wish to improve your skills because of their ability to draw a cautious , nervous & unconfident line faintly without the decisive commitment demanded of any other type of pen. The result is that while you appear to be progressing in your pen work, you are not! You are in fact developing bad habits that hold you back when it come to using any kind of proper artists pen.
A further problem is that in order to get a good black line you have to press down really hard compared to any other type of pen .
Please note, I have never said that you can't do great drawings with a ballpoint or that they don't have some roles to play in sketching - they can, but I cannot recommend them for serious drawing nor to anyone with the slightest interest in developing their all round pen & ink drawing skills

DISPOSABLE TECHNICAL PENS OR FINELINER PENS
as they are also known.

FineLiner pens are perhaps the most popular choice for drawing they are clean to use & well behaved , the ink they have in them is permanent & fade proof. Drop one of these cheap disposable pens into your pocket with a sketchbook you're ready to draw anywhere.
There are always different sizes of line width choices & in some makes ranges of colours to choose from too. They are the ideal choice for a beginner & the first choice for many a professional illustrator as well .
The line they give is of a single unvarying thickness & the ink is very thin , it is not the darkest looking black ink . Originally intended to be a technical pen used to draw up plans & with a ruler they are designed to be used upright or nearly so.
The thin fibre tip can be damaged if used with a heavy hand. Over time it can wear & when that happens it gives a wider line than when it was new .
This type of pen also suffers from the tip drying out if you forget to replace the cap any time you are not using it - be warned!

One area of confusion when selecting pen line thickness choices across different manufacturers is that some specify the width of the line a pen gives whilst others give the size of the actual tip which is a different thing !
It means that one manufacturers pen of 0.1 makes a different width line to another's 0.1 ! I can't pretend to have tried out every single manufacturer to give you a definitive comparison but the Micron line width sizes are in fact slightly wider than a pen called exactly the same number in the uni-pin & copic ranges.
A well known tried & trusted brand are "Sakura pigma Micron" who offer a wide range of colours too.
Uni-pin are an excellent brand that are usually a bit cheaper yet are every bit as good as any other brand, in particular their 0.05 & 0.1 sizes are extremely crisp & very fine lined.
Copic do a wide range of options in this type of pen, they are a high quality pens but their tiny 0.03 size pen was perhaps too ambitious as it never lives as long as its ink supply.
I want to keep emphasising that the choice of type of pen is extremely personal & very subjective. Many artists use a technical pen/fineliner all the time ,they have for years & find it totally satisfies their every drawing requirement.
Some artist don't like these FL type of pens feeling that they have weak & characterless line, with little feel to them in use compared to other alternative types - Well lets see what else you might use !

NON DISPOSABLE TECHNICAL PENS


Rotring are the main manufacturer of this kind of pens nowadays, they deliver a very precise width of line in their own special ink which is light fast & waterproof. The line width is exact, constant & a good dark black .
These pens are expensive to buy & most artists find that they are very fragile especially in the smallest of line widths , they can refuse to start & it is important not to leave them lying around full of ink for long.
The problems stem from the fact that they rely on the ink to be delivered to the paper via a very fine tube with a hair fine wire within it to regulate the flow, it's not without good reason that they sell spare replacement "nib units" separately!
They have to be used fairly vertically & the contact with the paper is slightly scratchy.
There are still some artists who will put up with the high maintenance & fragility of these pens as there is no other pen that will deliver such a regular width line which is dark & permanent.
It all depends on what your drawing style & even your temperament requires of a pen .


GEL PENS

Gel pens are not very widely used by artists but have some advantages & disadvantages over disposable technical pens .
A gel pen has a roller ball which rotates very freely if you get the right brand & model , their main attraction is their thick , rich black ink.
They make a lovely sketching pen ,the model made by "Pilot" called HI-Tec-C in the US. & sold as G-Tec-C4 in the UK , it is perhaps the most popular amongst artists .
The ink is not permanent or light fast ,their coloured inks fade very quickly indeed. The black ink though is quite robust & lasts better than any normal fountain pen black ink in my ink lightfast fading tests.

N.B. update
- I have now completed a two year long lightfastness test on the G4 gel pen & can report that it is fully lightfast & can compete favourably with any fineliner declared as lightfast of the same line width . Further I have also learned that this pen uses carbon particles as the pigment suspended in the gel - definitely I would be confident to use it on a picture I intended to sell for wall hanging. ONLY in the black colour though.

The 0.4 roller ball on this pen makes a 0.2 width line, it does take a little while to dry though & is not waterproof.
Another model of interest is the UNI-BALL Signo which is available in a number of line widths, the 0.38 size roller ball gives a line width of 0.2 . The ink used in this brand is very lightfast & waterproof , although I still prefer the feel of the C-4 above.
One great strength of any gel pen is that they can make their line on any quality of paper whatsoever & it will not spread or bleed at all, good paper is expensive & can inhibit an attitude to experimentation, that factor alone should recommend gel pens to any artist at least for some work.

FOUNTAIN PENS

Fountain pens are a delight to draw with their sensual wet line just seems to encourage creative enjoyment gliding effortlessly over the paper !
They can be cheap to buy & run compared to any other type of pen, every colour ink in the rainbow is available.
They are available in a number of line widths & with certain models you can get an even thinner line by turning the nib upside down & using the back to draw with.

Fountain pens are a much loved tool of artists everywhere,you can slip one in your pocket along with your sketch book & discover the delights of working outdoors or when you have a spare moment on the train commute to work.
Most of all it is the the feel of drawing with a fountain pen that makes them a favourite drawing tool of so many artists.

There are hundreds of different fountain pens to choose from & they are made by a lot of different manufacturers, many are very expensive but most of that expense is tied up in the cosmetic appearance .
To find reviews of any fountain pen ever made or any ink you should go to http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/ .

I will recommend just a couple of pens which are very popular with artists universally & are cheap but very good pens, I have owned maybe 20 or 30 different models & agree with the consensus that these are eminently suitable for drawing.

PEN CHOICE

1. "Platinum Preppy" as the name suggests this is a cheap pen that can be had for the price of a disposable "micron" yet it is a lovely pen to draw with. I like a really fine line & the
extra fine nib size Preppy will give you a line of 0.2 when you use it normally, if you use the back of the nib you can get a really fine hair line. It is available in a wider line version, medium (0.5line)
2. "Lamy" Safari model (or any model they all have the same quality of nib & internals). This pen is a little more expensive but will last a lifetime. It is a joy to use with its wet ink feed & again you can use the back of the nib to get a thinner line; this is the best sketching pen I've ever used. I like the Extra fine size nib , Note. -it makes wider lines even though its still called an extra fine, than the Japanese "Platinums " extra fine - there is no standardisation of European & Japnese sizing.

The LAMY pens are available with a number of thicker lined nibs too interestingly you can buy any size Lamy nib & they click on & off very easily so trying out a few sizes of nib is not too expensive.

INK
You should be aware that you MUST use an ink specifically designed to be used with fountain pens, as many a person has found out the hard way!

You CAN NOT use Indian ink, acrylic ink or the vast majority of pigmented inks because they will kill the fountain pen . "Platinum carbon ink" is one of the very few alternatives that are lightfast & waterproof.

So you are very largely restricted to dye based inks which are not lightfast at all, nor waterproof , the pretty coloured ones are particularly prone to fading away on exposure to light.
However be realistic , if the work is away from the light in a sketch book or folder & you are prepared to deprive future museum going generations of your work! there's no problem.

"Pelikan 4001 Black"(not the coloured versions of this ink) is a good dark ink that fares pretty well when exposed to light .

"Noodlers " inks are tested here- http://hudsonvalleysketches.blogspot...tness%20tests& many come out well in Jamies lightfast tests.

Fountain pens usually come with their ink in a cartridge , all cartridges are broadly speaking specific to only the one manufacturer, you can usually buy a converter again specific to your model of pen, which will allow you to use bottled ink from any manufacturer. This opens up options & saves money.

An even cheaper way of doing this is to get a syringe intended to fill printer cartridges & use that to fill an empty cartridge.

MAINTENANCE

You do, with fountain pen,s have to give them a rinse through under running water after you have used a cartridge or two to keep them running smoothly.
To give a pen a really good clean , steep the nib section in a bowl of water overnight & rinse it through.

DIP PENS

Dip pens first became widely available in the 1840's, before that you used a reed or a birds feather sharpened to a point !
Why on earth would an artist of the 20th century use such an apparently primitive tool ?

PROS
Well quite simply no modern pen can make such a variety of different kinds of marks as a dip pen, consequently in practiced hands no pen is more artistically expressive. You can start a line very thin & make it get broader and broader or you can start at a very broad line & taper it smoothly down to the width of a hair. When you apply a tiny bit of pressure on the nib
(which is made from springy steel & has a slit cut down its length) the ends open up & a wider line results.

So you can, with practice, make any mark between a hair's width & say 2mm (3/32"). This infinitely variable line width combined with the feel of the spring of the nib transmits every tiny nuance of feeling from the artist's head & heart to the page both consciously & subconsciously. The fall of light can be suggested more subtly, ,calligraphic marks can can add interest & life to a drawing, No pen can draw like a dip pen can.

CONS

There is a downside however; in this modern world where we are used to ease of use & convenience from our tools, a dip pen feels awkward, unruly, unforgiving & demanding compared to any other type of pen. It would be best if you learned how to draw with another kind of pen first & then went on to try a dip pen, even if you were a great draughtsman already you might still find dip pens just too much hassle to be worth bothering with.

Assuming you could already draw reasonably well it might take a month or so to get into the swing of using a dip pen.

It is not practical to take them outside to draw, you would need somewhere to balance your bottle of ink & some water on hand to periodically
clean your nib.
Personally speaking I learned to draw mostly with a dip pen then got sick of the hassle, went through all of the types of pen I've previously written about
here & have now fallen back in love with its unique charms some years later! I can definitely say more with it , but also instumental in my return to
dip pens was that I tried out a lot of different dip pen nibs that I hadn't tried before & found some that seem more cooperative , that didn't fight back. I also tried out some new types of ink & found some that looked OK. & were easier to use.

CHOOSING A NIB

There are loads of different nibs you can buy, each one has a different feel, it is good to try to develop a very light touch when you draw with dip
pens, a sensitive touch. Some pens flex readily & others need a bit more pressure to make them get wider , when buying them it is called high elastic
& low elastic. Small very fine dip pens are so sharp that you just can not make a line in certain directions of travel -it will just dig in the paper & leave a blot !
I don't want to have to think about direction of travel too much , heck, drawing is hard enough anyway !

As these pieces are meant as introductions to different types of pens I will restrict my comments to nibs that are the smoothest & easiest to draw with & which offer a good degree of line thickness variation BUT I can only comment about the ones I have used before , so there may well be others as good I haven't tried , however I am discounting 20 or more that I have tried.

MY FAVOURITES

I very much like the "Brause 66 EF " also known as the arrow because of it's shape.This nib makes a very fine line with light pressure & when some pressure is applied the transition to making a wider line feels very much in control , it is the smoothest nib I know for its line size: for its size it carries a lot of ink so your flow of drawing is interrupted less by the need to dip your pen.
I also really like the "Brause 361 Sterno" known as the pumpkin! This is a large looking nib which gives a very fine line but it can swell to give a bold line too, it carries a load of ink & moves very smoothly across the page.

I should mention also the "Gillot 170" , it is a fine nib which is reasonably smooth & well suited to drawing , it will swell its line fairly freely & in a controlled manner.
The first 2 nibs are my favourites & would suit a beginner just trying out dip pens & would give an old hand at pen & ink an extremely pleasant surprise - all these years , it didn't have to be that hard!

When you get a new nib it is covered in a thin film of either oil or a resin to prevent rust forming, you must remove it by giving it a very gentle scrub with an old tooth brush using detergent or white spirit,rubbing alcohol etc.

INK FOR DIP PENS.

The ink for dip pens must be of a certain minimum thickness in order to cling to the nib, this excludes most fountain pen inks.
Indian ink is THE traditional ink to use it is very black , thick & sticky. It is totally lightfast & waterproof after it has dried for an hour or more. In use it is wise to have a a small tumbler of water on hand & a bit of chamois cloth or tissue to clean th nib every 15minutes or so to prevent the ink drying onto the nib & inside the tiny slit; it will quickly ruin a nib if you neglect to do this.

Acrylic inks from various manufacturers will also work well , they are also lightfast & waterproof & available in many different colours, in use they are thinner than india ink & you must still wash your pen periodically.

There are a few water based inks which may be used which do not require you to wash out the pen frequently , "Higgins Eternal " is a good choice , it is lightfast pigmented ink but is not waterproof.
If you intend adding washes of watercolour or diluted ink you must use waterproof ink.
Personally I prefer to use the Higgins ink because there is no washing the pen to interrupt the flow of work & your pens last much longer. Others like to use the india ink because it is so thick & rich a line, you can actually catch your fingernail on the raised line of india ink, there is nothing like it.

PAPER OPTIONS

You will find that you can definitely NOT use cheap paper with dip pens! Bristol board is the classic & still the best choice. The hard surface resists the digging in of a sharp pen & the ink will not spread so that your sharp lines are preserved. You can rub out pencil underdrawing ( with a soft putty or polymer eraser) without fear of damaging the paper & the thick board will resist being handled over the sometimes extended time that a tight pen drawing can take.

Good cartridge paper is also OK. as long as it has a smooth & hard surface although it does lack some of the advantages of bristol board. Many a paper maker will claim that their paper is good for pen work but often it was not dip pens that they had in mind when they made the claim so beware.

Calligraphers use a very thin paper which allows them to see their guide lines for lettering through their paper, this paper is designed to be used with dip pens. An artist can use this paper to ink up a lively sketch he has done in a different medium or just roughly , he can place this paper over the sketch & hopefully retain the spirit of the sketch , I suppose he could use a photo using this method too, although I don't approve of that !

Artists find that if drawing anything taking a while the natural oils that come out of your skin can soil a drawing; to prevent this they
have a small postcard sized piece of scrap paper underneath their drawing hand, it also helps prevent any smudging of ink that hasn't dried yet or is not waterproof.

Mike

Last edited by Charlie's Mum : 11-03-2015 at 07:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-21-2015, 02:35 PM
pedlars pen pedlars pen is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,787
 
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

I apologise for the lack of layout, WC.s text editor tool is broken & cutting & pasting from wordpad doesn't carry across the paragraphs & the correct spacing I put into the original draft to make it more readable.
Re-editing the whole document & correcting the spacing by flicking in between the small posting box & preview page a thousand times is just to daunting a task ! Hopefully the information is still obtainable in the current form.
Mike
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-21-2015, 05:16 PM
otherworlder otherworlder is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 307
 
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Thanks Mike for that awesome expose! Here is my two pence worth.

I actually really love dip pen, the line has so much character and I actually find that it has MORE control than alternative material that can achieve the same look, namely a brush pen or a paintbrush. For nib, my favorite is the bowl shaped extra fine (Speedball 512), because it's super multi-tasking and will do just about anything, from laying down blocks of ink fairly fast to clean thin lines using the back, and it feels smoother than a lot of those super fine nibs, which can be quite sputtery.

My biggest issue with dip pen is actually ink spill. Even if I am super careful, it is almost inevitable that the nib will catch on something and sputter, or I just drip some ink accidentally, and that just can't be fixed. I now use dip pen exclusively for outlining a piece that I plan to finish up digitally. Mostly because it can achieve the right look of lines for digital art, and mistakes are forgivable to an extent, photoshop will take care of them.

For me there is only one choice of technical pens, that is Copic. For one Copic has incomparable range, 0.03 to 1.0 and two different sizes of brush, and great color range for all sizes. And the other really important thing, Copic is the only brand that is permanent to just about everything. Sakura Micron is waterproof but they will dissolve a little when you apply alcohol based ink over them. Copic just gives you an immutable black lines no matter how much solvent you throw at it.

I have developed a fondness for water soluble pens (tried Steadtler Triplus and Stabilo 88 so far). The two brands I have tried both give thin, clean lines, a wonderful range of colors, and really surprising solubility. They actually work exactly like watercolor pencils and I am seriously not exaggerating. If anything they have less dry-to-wet color change than most watercolor pencils and will produce a gorgeous watercolor-like effect once you add some water.
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-21-2015, 05:19 PM
Charlie's Mum's Avatar
Charlie's Mum Charlie's Mum is offline
Moderator
North East England.
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 50,978
 
Hails from England
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Thanks for this herculean effort Mike!
I'll add my pens when I have some time
__________________
Cheers, Maureen

Forum projects: Plant Parade projects in Florals/Botanicals, Weekend Drawing Events in the All Media Arts Events forum. Different Strokes in the Acrylics Forum.
**Information Kiosk~Acrylics**
**Reference Image Library**
**My SAA website**
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-22-2015, 10:52 AM
katwalk katwalk is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,561
 
Hails from United States
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Mike Great job, just want to add a couple of items.

I use Koh-i-Nor Rapidograph technical pens, they are basically the same as the Rotring pens just a different mfg. The smaller tips require vigilance to keep working, and I have found in practice that the 3x0 tip is the finest I can keep working with the ink I prefer to use (a permanent black) They make other inks and I have a feeling the finer tips (there are 2 that are smaller than the 3x0) would work longer with one or another of those. But I don't believe those inks are permanent.

A side comment, if you think you want to go the Technical pen route, it is cheaper in the long run to purchase a case of pens, each pen will run you around 20.00 US dollars (or more) I paid about 75.00 (now about 115.00) for a case of 7 pens about 5 years ago. I think you can get 3 pens in a case for about 25 US dollars a better deal if you aren't sure.

A bit more about Copic pens - not the markers. Copic makes 2 kinds of Multiliners the ones in the silver/aluminum cases are more expensive initially but have replaceable tips and cartridges. The ones with the gray cases are throw aways, they also make a .05 tip, which is even finer than the .03 tip. I have 5 of the Aluminum Multiliners .5, .3, .1, .03, .05. I personally tend to use the .1 and the .03 the most, the .05 line is really almost too fine. I believe the tip sizes go up to .8 but I am not totally sure about that. For reference I believe the .03 Copic is equivalent to the Micron 005 tip. At Dick Blicks I have to ask for the Aluminum cased pens, they keep them under lock and key. The refills are on the racks with markers and other multiliners.

The "Grey" case Multiliners come in several colors, brown, green, blue, grey and red. The cases are actually toned with the color of their ink. The colors also come in several sizes.

There are other manufacturers that make artist disposable pens, Staedtler, Faber Castel (they make brush tips) Zig Millennium, and Prismacolor. Sizes of the tips vary and as Mike said even if labeled the same as another mfg the line may be a different size.

If you are into colored inks, Faber Castel has the most with their brush pen line, Staedtler has colored pens with a smaller firmer tip, but they only have the one size. Micron has several colors in multiple sizes, though there are some colors that only come in the 05 size. Then there are the Marvy Le Pen's, they don't give a size I think it is equivalent to 05 (like the Staedtler pens). As to the permanence of the color - well, I don't know, it sort of depends on the color and the manufacture, so look at labels, read on-line web sites, and more realistically scan or photograph all of your finished work as you finish it.

A comment about nibs, it used to be that I could easily find art stores that carried the various nibs manufactured, but no longer, at least in my area, Dick Blicks and most other art stores (brick and mortar) only carry Speedball nibs. Though Blicks also has Zig pen tips for Manga the G-Pen, that is the tip that I have taken to using. it can give a very fine line (which I want in my dip pens) is a bit stiff but still flexible enough to vary my line width. Other nibs that Mike mentioned will probably have to be ordered on-line. I use the Speedball nibs but I don't really like them.

Other papers that can be used for ink: Canson makes Manga Pads which are very nice for Pen, if you are in the USA Borden & Riley makes #409 Paris Bleedproof paper which I really like, and there is also Bee Paper Super Deluxe sketchbooks, their heavyweight paper has some texture but is a firm enough surface to take ink well. If you want to add watercolor to your ink work, think about using Hot Press Watercolor paper, though I know watercolor painters will also add ink to cold press, or not papers, I think Rough is too rough for a dip pen. Just make sure if you are going to ink first that you use an ink that dries waterproof, unless you want it to bleed.

That is it, the world of artists pens, ink and paper is really rather large, if possible I suggest a visit to a Brick and Mortar art store and have fun browsing and selecting your weapons of choice. Also take the time to explore different pens/inks and papers, you may like combinations that others don't, whatever works for you. For instance I don't like Faber Castel's brush pens, but others love them. I also don't use fountain pens, which is a whole other area that can be explored.

One last comment as I am USA based I am not sure what is available in Europe or the rest of the world, though I gather Japanese MFG's aren't that available in Europe, (Micron's, Copic, Marvy and Zig are all Japanese Mfg's) leaving Europeans with a much narrower choice of pen options.
__________________
Kathy
http://katwalkdesigns.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-22-2015, 11:33 AM
pedlars pen pedlars pen is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,787
 
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Thanks for that Kathy, certainly all Japanese pens are available in Europe,
well definitely UK.
Microns, Zig, copic no problem locating any part of their extensive range ,I mention Microns & Copic above. Never heard of Marvy ? .
Often big multinational manufacturing companies market a pen under different names in different continents though.
There a loads of pens I've tried but didn't mention because I wanted to keep it as short as possible ! but did try to recommend some absolute classics whilst emphasising the VERY personal nature of choosing a pen.
Cheers Mike
PS. Fountain pens really are great to draw with !
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-22-2015, 11:59 AM
katwalk katwalk is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,561
 
Hails from United States
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Mike I will take your word about fountain pens, way back when I was in High School and used fountain pens for notes I did draw with them, but it has been a while (a long while)

You did a very through report, just wanted to add some comments about the Copic pen choices as they are a bit confusing, at least I found it so when I started trying to buy them, and Rapidograph is/was a US Mfg so their pens are easier to find here in the States.

Hmm you may have the Japanese pens in the UK, but I sort of remember messaging with someone who was Germany and he didn't have access to them at the time, course things change, he had Staedler's and Faber Castel of course and maybe something else. Marvy is LePen and you may not have them, you aren't missing much, there are about 12-15 colors and only one tip size.
__________________
Kathy
http://katwalkdesigns.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-22-2015, 02:05 PM
pedlars pen pedlars pen is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,787
 
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Strange that you found that the Copic Multiliner 0.5 was finer than the 0.3, I found exactly the same. It must be true !
The copic multiliners work on a different system to most fineliners (at least the silver coloured ones) instead of having a micro fibre tip like a Micron etc. they have a small filament of nylon within the the metal tube .In my experience it is less prone to wear than the usual fibre tip type.
However their line width is totally un-changingly constant whereas with the fibre tip type if you draw with it a long way off vertical & use it with a very light touch you can tease out some different finer lines & if you flick it fast you can taper the line. I like that ability to vary the line so a little bit so I prefer the fibre type of tip. The UNI-PIN is my favourite of this kind of pen & by far the cheapest too.
I wish you could get some good browns in this kind of pen , the Micron dark brown is OK ish but their sepia is far too red, the Zig brown is incredibly watery & a horrible colour.
What do you mean the 0.05 is almost too fine ? I love them & wish I could get finer !
It just goes to show again how very personal choice of a drawing pen really is.
Cheers Mike
Reply With Quote
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-22-2015, 02:37 PM
Hazartist's Avatar
Hazartist Hazartist is offline
Senior Member
Hillsboro, Ohio
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 364
 
Hails from United States
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Mike, What an awesome bunch of information! Thank you for taking the time to share!
Reply With Quote
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-22-2015, 05:06 PM
pedlars pen pedlars pen is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,787
 
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazartist
Mike, What an awesome bunch of information! Thank you for taking the time to share!

Thanks Hazartist I'm pleased you found it helpful, nice to see you around again.

Cheers Mike
Reply With Quote
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-23-2015, 08:42 AM
katwalk katwalk is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,561
 
Hails from United States
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Mike

I am now confused, I was talking about the .03 and .05 tips, not the .5 which is larger than the .3

OK did a test of my 5 pens here is the line comparison, and it looks like the .03 is a finer line that the .05 which makes sense of course, don't know why I was thinking it was the other way around.

As for browns the darkest, brownest brown disposable pen I have is actually the Prismacolor Fine Line Marker, according to the the label the brown is Archival/acid free/lightfast, I am actually liking these pens more than the Micron's recently, I have had the 005 Microns stop working when I am fairly sure there should still be ink in them, the Prismacolors are holding up better, and they come in assorted sizes, maybe not as many colors as the Micron's but pretty close. I am using the 005 Prismacolor. The pens are actually made in Japan, but the Company is owned by a US Corporation. Hmm not sure you get Prismacolor pens or pencils in the UK. By the way I hate their Pencils, quality of those isn't the best. I find the Micron brown a bit too red also, the Prismacolor is a darker brown than the Copic brown.
__________________
Kathy
http://katwalkdesigns.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-23-2015, 10:13 AM
pedlars pen pedlars pen is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,787
 
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

That explains it my young nephew HAS been using the 0.03 !
Hah & he swore he hadn't , I was never sure.(he's only allowed to draw with pens I give him, he has the feel & touch of an engraver !
Even so I have had a copic 0.03 fade away & die on me twice way before they could have run out of ink.
Prismacolor no not so much in the UK, plenty of their coloured pencils but little else here.
Mike
Thanks for those scans they do prove the point.I have only once had the 0.05 & o.o3 together & I can only conclude it was damaged.
Reply With Quote
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-23-2015, 11:56 AM
Rahul_jain Rahul_jain is offline
Senior Member
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 310
 
Hails from Canada
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

I will add my bit about the fountains pens I have used and liked...this is all very subjective...so, pl. keep that it mind and don't be hesitant be try others if you happen to chance upon them as we only really learn from experience. My intent here is to show you where you might be able to start, not end.

I generally like Japanese fountain pens over European and American for following 2 main reasons:

1. Extra Fine nib in japanese FP is really extra fine and I like to draw with very fine lines. You won't get such fine lines in European fountain pens and there fine is only equivalent to medium in Japanese fountain pens.

2. I find that they don't skip (railroading in FP terms) when working at fast speed and they can keep up with my usual very fast speed. Their line quality is also very good and even their extra fine nibs don't scratch the paper.

I would suggest following FP to experiment with.

1. Pilot Penmanship with Ergo Grip (Extra Fine nib): NOTHING beats this FP for very fine lines in terms of price and quality. It can be obtained for under $10 from amazon and really gives very fine line quality. It is sold as Lumix brand in NA, but I would suggest getting one directly from Japan from amazon, which you can get for same price even with shipping from Japan due to the magic of exchange rates.

2. Pilot Metropolitan: This is a very fine classic looking pen for under $20. looks great, feels very comfortable and works very very well. It doesn't come in EF nib, but its fine is sufficient in most cases.

3. Desk Pens from Pilot and Platinum: If you want extra fine lines, these desk pens really give you very fine lines with great line quality. Platinum desk pen also takes Platinum Carbon ink, which is I believe only pigment waterproof black ink available for fountain pens. I find them better than Rotring ArtPens.

4. Sailor Young Profit FP (Extra fine nib): I like Sailor FP as well and this pen also gives very nice EF line quality though is bit expensive at over $85.

5. Pilot Metal Falcon SEF FP: If you really want to splurge some money, you can try this one over $180, but it will be worth it in long run. SEF stands for Soft Extra Fine and the word 'Soft' refers to the fact that the nib has some flex to it. Line quality of this one is awesome and this is the pen I almost exclusively use currently. You can get some very fine line with this FP by barely touching the nib to paper and the nib still doesn't skip.

I have tried other brands but kept coming back to the ones listed above. If you are new to FP and looking to experiment, I would suggest you start with the first 2 above but again this is my subjective opinion.

For Inks, I almost exclusively use Noodler's Black ink. I find that it gives good deep black and in the ligthfast tests I have read on line, this ink has performed very well, to the extent what can be expected of a FP ink. There are some discussions about the damage this ink can cause to FP due to its composition, but I haven't had any issue with it. It is a good practice to clean your FP at least one in a month with any ink. I tried inks from other brands, but went back to Noodler's.

Hope this helps.

Rahul
__________________
Visit my website for more drawings
Pendrawings.me
Reply With Quote
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-23-2015, 02:12 PM
pedlars pen pedlars pen is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,787
 
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Ah thanks for that Rahul, my favourite is is a a platinum UEF, Ultra extra fine, they are guaranteed for use with platinum carbon ink.They are a step down in line width from any other pen. The quality is excellent & I've probably drawn more with that pen than any other pen outside of dip pens. I didn't want to recommend it though as it is too big an investment for someone just wanting to try out a type of pen - the very people this piece was written for.
Your endorsement of the Pilot penmanship I do have reservations about because it is the least reliable & most temperamental about starting & missing - mostly due to poor alignment of the nib tines. A slightly more expensive pilot though is definitely a top contender , they do make brilliant pens.
I'll stick with my recommendation of the preppy EF as the cheapest way to experiment with Japanese EF pens- Although do concede that the plastic top & case are very flimsy.
More than anything I would have liked to have talked about how to adjust fountain pens because you can tune even quite a cheap one to work excellently if you know what you are doing but feel that is is beyond a lot of peoples interest/ boredom threshold !
Mike

Last edited by pedlars pen : 10-23-2015 at 02:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-24-2015, 12:24 AM
Batman55's Avatar
Batman55 Batman55 is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,940
 
Re: The Different Types of Pens Used by Artists

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedlars pen
Strange that you found that the Copic Multiliner 0.5 was finer than the 0.3, I found exactly the same. It must be true !
The copic multiliners work on a different system to most fineliners (at least the silver coloured ones) instead of having a micro fibre tip like a Micron etc. they have a small filament of nylon within the the metal tube .In my experience it is less prone to wear than the usual fibre tip type.
However their line width is totally un-changingly constant whereas with the fibre tip type if you draw with it a long way off vertical & use it with a very light touch you can tease out some different finer lines & if you flick it fast you can taper the line. I like that ability to vary the line so a little bit so I prefer the fibre type of tip. The UNI-PIN is my favourite of this kind of pen & by far the cheapest too.
I wish you could get some good browns in this kind of pen , the Micron dark brown is OK ish but their sepia is far too red, the Zig brown is incredibly watery & a horrible colour.
What do you mean the 0.05 is almost too fine ? I love them & wish I could get finer !
It just goes to show again how very personal choice of a drawing pen really is.
Cheers Mike

Some great information in the OP, and in this response (as well as from katwalk.) I'm tempted to try out some of these pens mentioned, especially the fine Copic multiliners, and then perhaps the UNIball Pin.
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:33 PM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.