Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ink Pens

Last month I talked about line, so I thought it appropriate to cover a bit on ink pens this month. I love to sketch and draw in ink. Just putting ink to paper frees me up because I can’t use an eraser, which means I get what I get. I do a lot of over-drawing, that is, if I make a mistake I just draw over with a corrective line.
My favorite pen, and most expensive, is the Rotring sketching art pen. I get wonderful, full lines and no skipping. I use non-permanent ink and experience wonderful washes. However, I don’t take it out with me on sketching trips as I’m afraid I might lose it. Mine cost over $20 , so it has a nice safe home in my studio. (at DickBlick on-line store: $18.89) In general, when I’m sketching outside, I use whatever pen strikes me for the moment. Sometimes I’ll use the Koh-i-noor’s Rapidosketch pen, the cheaper cousin of the standard rapidograph pen. They come in three nib sizes .25, .35 and .50 and for me, perform the same as the expensive ones. (at DickBlick on-line store: $13.70)
Micron pens offer the same and are a bit more convenient. What bothers me about the tech pens is that the nib can get clogged—a bummer when you’re outside. The Microns are always at the ready for sketching, but unfortunately are disposable. They are available with permanent ink in several different colors and come with different-sized nibs, my favorite size is 5 black. Make sure your pen says “waterproof and fade proof.” You can purchase them in any art or craft shop for about $2.45 Fountain pens in general are a nice addition to my sketch box. I started using them when we lived in England for a spell. Back there, students still use fountain pens to learn writing. I like the flow of the fountain pen, and the ones I own, create rather thick lines. Sometimes they’re hard to start going, a drawback for outside work. But they are worth it, as they also make wonderful gray washes, giving me the freedom of just taking my sketchbook, waterbrush and fountain pen out and about instead of lugging a big bag filled with all sorts of things.
Speaking of gray washes, I also use the Uniball, Onyx gel pen, which you can find at any stationary store for less than a $1. I buy them at Staples –a box of 12 for $6.49. Wow. This pen is so convenient and makes crisp washes. I’ve had a great time playing with them this summer on our Sketch’n on the Go ™ trips through out the Portland area. So there you have it. My little review of pens I love to use. Check out the video below. I want an iPhone!!!

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