post #16 of 16
I apologize because my interest here is not audio. I got here by googling "drawing with a fountain pen" which I do periodically to see what other people are doing with fountain pens.
This post nearly made me choke:

Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
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.
I'm not sure if this post is meant to be taken seriously or not. The advice about paper is just silly. People draw on all kinds of paper, all different sizes. Small sketchbooks are a serious tool of artists around the world. The obvious reason is that they're easy to carry with you wherever you go, which is one of the keys to getting better: draw, draw, draw. Wherever, whenever the mood strikes. And proper sketching/drawing paper will be better than reams of paper from office supply stores, which will yellow as time passes because it's not acid free. Art paper is meant to be archival. Printer paper is not.

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.
While I can say that I've seen people create amazing drawings with ballpoint pens, ballpoint pens don't allow anyone to draw any faster than any other pen I've ever used for drawing. Also, you'll find that they're probably not lightfast, they're certainly not waterproof and they take more pressure on the paper to get the ink to flow. Mont Blancs and Parkers certainly do NOT make poor drawing tools.

*snipping the part about Flair markers 'cause they do, as was pointed out, wear out rather 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.
I'll agree with this part. What's ironic is that rollerball ink is about as close as you can get to fountain pen ink without actually using a fountain pen. It's liquid, it requires very little pressure to apply to the paper. Not a bad choice.

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.
Pigmas are good. As are Faber Castell's Pitt pens. Plus, the ink is archival. There are also those Copic markers so many people love, though I've never tried 'em myself. BTW, Copic is now making a version with a fountain pen nib. Go figure...

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.
Here we've entered Mythville. Fountain pens are excellent for drawing. I don't see how someone can recommend ballpoint pens for drawing and then say to stay away from fountain pens, without ONCE giving a reason why. Leaking? Not anymore. Blobbing? Not anymore. Ink isn't waterproof? Not anymore. Difficult to maintain? Not anymore. Cartridge fillers, piston fillers and waterproof & archival inks made by Noodler's have eliminated these old arguments against fountain pens. People are drawing with the $22 Lamy Safari. With ebay Esterbrooks. With disposable (yet refillable) Pilot Varsity pens. People are also drawing with expensive Mont Blancs, Namikis, Pelikans and Parkers.

Fact is, plenty of people have been using fountain pens for drawing for a long time and plenty of people still are.

Tell this guy Mattias that fountain pens are not good for drawing:
Mattias Inks

Or Russell Stutler, whose website got me interested in what turned out to be my favorite drawing pen: an Esterbrook fountain pen with a 9128 nib. He's used fountain pens, brushes, you name it, for drawing:
Russell Stutler's Sketchbook Home

Take a look at this drawing (not mine) on Flickr and then search around for "fountain pen" on Flickr and you'll see lots more fountain pen-made drawings:
corded drill.jpg on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Tell me that power drill isn't a thing of beauty the way he drew it. With a fountain pen.

And this is my sketch blog, which doesn't include larger drawings and paintings done in ink, charcoal, graphite, pastel, oils, watercolors, even acrylics done on 3.5 inch floppy disks that went bad. But it does include sketches done in fountain pen, some more detailed than others.
My Sketch/Watercolor blog

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.
The choice to use ink or pencil is a personal one. And whether to draw in color or black and white is another personal decision. There's no reason pencil is better or worse than ink and no reason drawing in color is better than drawing in black and white or shades of gray.

And if you want to make a career out of drawing, go digital. Learn Photoshop and pick up a graphics tablet like Wacom.
Again, this depends on what the person wants to do. There are people out there still getting work in "analog" artwork. Google can find 'em for you.

The bottom line(s) are:
1) there's no one way to create art or even just doodles or sketches
2) there are better places to ask for advice about drawing pens. is a good place to start. Russell Stutler's sketching forum is another (The Sketching Forum Home Page).