Monday, July 15, 2013

I like pens and I cannot lie

I don't know much about a lot of art supplies. I just like playing with different stuff to see what I like. I go through phases too. Sometimes I'm all about watercolour, then I'm into markers, or pencils. But there's one staple in my sketch-kit that I can't leave home without. And that's a black, waterproof fineliner pen.

I just love a simple black line. I like cross-hatching. It's fun and meditative. I like the way felt-tip pens feel to draw with. I have a Lamy fountain pen (not the expensive kind) but I just can't figure out how to handle it. I'm going to keep trying though.

But I always come back to the humble, disposable, waterproof ink pen. I've tried a few different brands and I'm still trying to work out which one is my favourite.

The first pen I ever tried was the Millenium and while it was all right while I was using it, when I started to try other brands I realised what the problem was. You know how sometimes when you drive a different car, it's really hard to judge where the bonnet ends because of the shape of it? It's a little disconcerting. It's sort of like that with this pen. The barrel is fat right up to the tip of the pen. It doesn't taper off like other brands. I realise this sounds slightly nit-picky, but there you go.

Then for a while I was set on the Uni Pin Fine Line and I still really like that a lot. It's reliable and lasts for ages.

And then I saw the Artline Drawing System pen in an art shop one day. I thought this would be a sure-thing for me. For my entire life I have used the Artline 200 for all the writing I do: from shopping lists to writing in a journal to work-stuff. These pens are always scattered liberally throughout the house and in my bags. But it's not waterproof, which is why I won't use it in my sketchbook.

So when I saw that Artline made a water resistant pen I thought my pen-experimenting days were over. Turns out it was okay. But the reason I had to discount it almost immediately was because I couldn't post the lid. It just kept falling off. I have to post the lid on the end while I draw. It's just a thing I have. Non-negotiable.

So at the moment it's a toss between the Faber-Castell PITT artist pen and the Pigma Micron. I have been regularly using the PITT pen for a while and I like it, but after a lot of use it seems to go scratchy, well before it runs out of ink. That might be the way I'm handling the pen though, so I don't know whether other people experience this. (I also like how they make 'brush' pens and in different colours too - that's what I used to colour the cushion in this drawing).

I used the Pigma Micron for the lines of that armchair. It's the first time I'd really given the Micron a good go and I just loved it. It felt really soft and pliable in my hand - I could lay the lines down really fluidly and quickly. It was nice.

I'm not going to make a call yet about my favourite pen. But I think I'm going to be doing some more drawing with the Pigma Micron.

So there you go. I don't know much about art supplies but it turns out I have a few opinions about pens.

Would love to know your favourite pen. Is there one I haven't tried but should?