Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pen Variations (plus one pencil)

In my Bad Pen Day post, quite a few of my friends had recommendations as to what I might use if I had to replace the Artpen. I took some time to experiment with some of the pens I had on hand. The following ladies will model a variety of pen lines and one will even show off her yellow pencil couture. Here they are. Not sure if you can tell the differences once they've been scanned, but feel free to vote on your favorite!



  1. I vote for the fountain pen. I like its thick and thin lines.

  2. Stephanie~I love a flexible line, but I hate a nib that wears down too fast--I use either an old-fashioned crow-quill or my Rotring ArtPen, even my old Koh-i-Noor Rapidographs!

    My favorite sketch is the Waterman.

  3. Thanks for commenting, Chip. I love line variation. It's like composing music...in a way. Not that I've done that!

  4. Hi Bernadette,

    Thanks for your input! I always like to know what other artists use.
    The Rotring Artpen is what the Koh-i-noor turned into. I have a few of those. What I had a problem with, was the fact that it took 2 nibs to do what the old artpen did with one!

    I used to use a lot of dip nibs. Sadly, I press pretty hard when I draw so I used to wreck crow quills fairly regularly.

    The Waterman is pretty nice!

  5. The Waterman has a nice bold even line with no apparent "skrtichiness" & the fountain pen shows some beautiful subtle variation (or mebbe cuz it's just my favorite sketch)
    But, yeah, the Koh-i-noor looks like an awesome fit with your style.
    - Wes Dildine

  6. Well, that was fun! I actual like the one drawn with the yellow pencil. It like the roughness.

    It is really awful that you can't get the one pen you want. Having the right feel is just as important as how the work turns out. There is nothing like the wrong utensil to make a piece a bear to deal with.

  7. Thanks for your input, Wes. I think I may get the fountain pen fixed. I really like the lines. I like the Waterman, too, but you're right, the artpen really fits my drawing style!

  8. Hi Kyle!
    Funny, the pencil looked better than I thought once it was scanned!
    True, feeling comfortable with the pen while you are working is almost as important as the finished work.

  9. Whatever the artist likes best to draw with...that's the one that's best! :)

  10. Perfectly said, Becky, and very true!

  11. I like them all except the Pentel Brush Pen. Of the others, I like the Tombow best. This is a wonderful study for all cartoonists and illustrators.

  12. Thank you, Paul. I put the pencil drawing in there just for you!

  13. I thought the Lamy didn't look as if it held it's line very well at all. All the rest were great. Maybe it's a case of different tools for differednt subjects. I love my pit but some sketches just have to be done with my Rotring Tikky (.3) and others with my Koh-I-Noor sketch pen.

  14. You're right, Peter. The Lamy was very stiff and really not suitable for my drawing style.
    I'll have to check out the Rorting you mentioned. Koh-i-noor are really great pens!

  15. Check out the Noodler's Ahab Flex Pen. It's not quite heaven (compared to the original Artpen) but it may well be Purgatory:



    Nice colors, if you care:

    Noodler's ink is supposed to be very good too, though I plan to just dip it in india ink instead of filling and clean it with an old toothbrush.

    At least it's not the Hell that the Rotring Artpen is. My guess is Kohinoor used the name of the original on their stiff one-liners because they wanted to take advantage of the following after discontinuing it.

    Back then, I'd occasionally call Kohinoor to urge them to bring back the old pen and the marketing director would tell me he was still getting calls 10 years after it was gone. But no go – they were losing money on it. They should have just doubled the price – still would've been a bargain.

    The Ahab is stiffer and fatter to hold, but it may break in and I may adjust to the fatness (or buy the previous version).

    Joe Vissichelli

  16. It's so funny that you mention this pen, Joe, as I bought a couple of different versions of it. I have been using Noodlers ink for the last few years, as well. I tried calling Koh-i-noor several times, too, to no avail. It would be fantastic if they could bring it back. I hated that Rotring one and the Noodler pens aren't perfect at all... but better than nothing as back-ups!