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Anybody know of a decent drawing pen?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey, so I have a Moleskine now, and hopefully two Rotring mechanical pencils sooner or later.

So all that's left is a pen with a main/sole purpose of helping me draw. I'm going to guess that perhaps one of the Rotring pen models would suffice, but maybe there are other ones I should know about?

Thanks!
post #2 of 16
Try the Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph. I think I still have a set around somewhere. I used to use them constantly in high school and undergrad - I had always been told that I couldn't use a fountain pen because I'm a lefty. I was happily proven wrong about 15 years ago and have been carrying a fountain since. You might find some fountains that would interest you, but the Rapidographs are terrific. I like the deep black India inks they take. Shame those inks clog fountains, but I have to use blue ink these days. We have to, so you can tell an original from a photocopy. Anyhow, hit Aaron Bros. or a local art supply store. You should find a number of Rapidographs in a variety of widths.
post #3 of 16
What kind of drawing are you going to do with your pen? I have used the Rotring Radiographs and Isographs for technical drawings. They are very nice pens and the nibs come go down to 0.13mm and have can be changed for different surfaces which is great. For sketching I prefer ball-point pens to inky pens (good quality 0.5mm disposables are my choice). For heavy lines and fills the Pilot Hi-techpoint pens are good and they can also be used for general writing.

Uncle Erik - which fountain pen model are you using? I too am a lefty and have never found a one that suited me.
post #4 of 16
I have always liked the Sakura micron they have a nice feel on paper
a bit rough but good feel. They tend to make me want to cross hatch allot.
Nice ink and a wide variety of nib sizes.
post #5 of 16
Here's the one I use all the time.



-Ed
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoin View Post
Uncle Erik - which fountain pen model are you using? I too am a lefty and have never found a one that suited me.
I switch off between several pens, but the two I carry most are a Sheaffer Legacy (Touchdown filler) and an aerometric Parker 51. The Legacy is an overlooked jewel - it's almost exactly the same dimensions as a PFM, except that the brass barrel is heavier and feels great. A PFM will run $300-$500, but a Legacy can be found for $100-$130, and I almost prefer it to a PFM. A decent 51 can be found from $30-$70.

You can also find more information about left handed use at nibs.com, Classic Fountain Pens. They customize nibs for lefties and are familiar with our varied writing styles. They come to the LA Pen Show every year and I've met them - nice people and they do quality work.
post #7 of 16
Lately I've been thinking about getting a brush pen to draw with, with an eye on this one in particular: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for Calligraphy
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey everybody, thanks for the inputs! Sorry I kind of let this thread slip under my radar.

I was looking for a ball-point pen instead of a fountain pen; I tried doing it with a Lamy Safari, and the results weren't that pretty. I just wish I had more control over the thickness of the lines, but I guess in order to do that, I'll need a fountain pen and an array of nibs at my side.

That Pentel pen (the post above this one) does look nice, but I don't really enjoy the prospect of having to keep buying new ink cartridges...

Oh, the annoyance of being picky.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMarchingMule View Post
I was looking for a ball-point pen instead of a fountain pen; I tried doing it with a Lamy Safari, and the results weren't that pretty. I just wish I had more control over the thickness of the lines, but I guess in order to do that, I'll need a fountain pen and an array of nibs at my side.
It depends a lot on the pen that you choose. I've tried the Safari a few times, and it's a good enough pen, but there's a much wider array of fountains to try. There are several types of nibs that will give you control over line thickness - many aren't anything like the Safari. If you want to check some out, the Fountain Pen Shop in Monrovia isn't too far away and has a good selection of pens to try out. Too bad you missed the LA Pen Show in February. You'd have been able to pick through several thousand.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
I switch off between several pens, but the two I carry most are a Sheaffer Legacy (Touchdown filler) and an aerometric Parker 51.
Cheers Uncle Erik, I'll have a look for the Sheaffer Legacy and Parker the next time I'm in a pen shop. I've been given a couple of Parker fountain pens in the past. The Sheaffer ball pens are pretty good and my current writing pen is a Sheaffer. So I'll definately have a look at the Legacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
You can also find more information about left handed use at nibs.com, Classic Fountain Pens.
According to that website I'm a 90degree underwriter. Good to know.
post #11 of 16
OK, I think a lot of people are confusing writing with drawing.

Sounds like you want to do more freehand type sketching vs. controlled technical drawings, right?

I'd forget about drawing on moleskin. If you're serious about drawing, draw bigger. Smallest paper you should draw on is letter sized. The most used type of paper I used was Letter and Tabloid sized paper, because you can buy reams and reams of it really cheap at any office supply store.

It's been awhile since I've drawn with old school analog pens, but I'll chime in with some of my old favorite before I went all digital.

In a nut shell, you'll probably need three types of pens for drawing.

1. Ball Point Pen - This one is a must for sketching. You can draw really fast, and it has almost a pencil like quality to the lines than other pen types. I really can't recommend a single brand as everyone draws differently. I recommend trying a whole bunch. For lighter sketching, try good old fashioned Bic Ballpoints. Their inks tend to not gum up too much with build up, but don't lay down as much ink as others. Otherwise, buy a whole bunch and try them out, you'll eventually find your favorite. Best part is ball points are cheap. The cheaper the better, because they are usually light weight, which is better for sketching. Mont Blancs and Parkers make poor drawing tools.

2. "Flair" Marker Pen - Papermate Sanford Flair felt pen is the brand I used all the time. Often used in conjunction with ball point sketches to draw over the light ball point lines. Felt tip pens are great for making bolder lines, outlines, and shadows. Another great thing is you can still sketch very quickly. The down side, is you'll go through them really fast. They lay down a lot of ink quickly, so they dry up quickly.

3. Rollerball Ink Pen - Pilot brand is one I often used. They come in a variety of tip sizes. Try different brands and sizes. Avoid "Gel" type pens, as they gum up quickly, line quality usually sucks as they skip a lot, and take forever to try. Rollerball Ink pens are great for more controlled type sketches.


Now for more expensive pens for more controlled drawings buy Pigma Micron pens. These are the best alternative to Rapidiograph type pens. While it's cool to have expensive Kohinoor metal pens, they are really high maintainence. Letting one dry out will be an expensive mistake, as the tips are difficult to clean out, and will probably never lay down a perfect line afterwards. And either way, the really fine points were a real PITA to draw with, as the fine metal nibs often snagged the paper surface. But old school Rapidiograph drafting pens are obsolete since all control art is done on computer now. Buy cheaper disposables that you can still draw with. Buy some Pigma Microns. They're the best, and they last a long time.

If you're serious about drawing, stay far far away from fountain pens, and anything that says Mont Blanc on them. They are fine writing instruments, but they are not ideal for drawing.

But again if you are really serious about drawing, don't use pens. Use pencils. And I'm not talking #2 Graphite pencils. Try Prismacolor and Verithin colored pencils.

And if you want to make a career out of drawing, go digital. Learn Photoshop and pick up a graphics tablet like Wacom.

-Ed
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
^ Awesome, thanks a lot for that huge bomb of information.

I do indeed have a Wacom tablet, and it looks like the Rotring pencil group buy fell through.

So I guess I'll just use a regular mechanical pencil while sketching in the Moleskine. I guess I got carried away once I saw what some people do in theirs: ’skine.art - Moleskine Art
post #13 of 16
I use a wide variety of various pens to draw with, none of which have a ball.

-Staedtler fineliners come in a variety of sizes. The larger ones (06 is what I use) are good for sketching, 04 and smaller for doing fine details.
-Sharpies (Yes, I draw with sharpies!) are great for filling in large areas of shadow or doing large quick gestures and broad lines.
-Brush pens... I use sometimes but I find wear out too quickly and are somewhat hard to use unless you're used to that sort of feel.
-Also, I often use hard (2H) leads in a Staedtler drafting lead holder for my initial sketching as they are light and don't smudge too much when inking after.
post #14 of 16
@TheMarchingMule: If you are looking at ballpoint pens, have you considered the Fisher Space Pen as a viable option? I have one as my daily carry ball point pen and it has, IMO excellent ink flow and writes smoothly. The cartridges are a bit on the pricey side, but they last a good long time and they don't dry out as quickly as others do so it turns out rather well.
post #15 of 16
I'd use a thick-lead mechanical pencil rather than a pen. The Faber-Castell e-Motion, for instance.
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