What I like
- I like using pen, and have been using only strictly but nothing else except pen and ink, and saying goodbye for now to pencils because it is the bold, the beautiful, the irreversible way is the way I preferred to go in my drawing practice. The irreversibility gives opportunity for mistakes to occur, and without mistakes, we don’t learn. I am not deliberately trying to make mistakes, but I give space for it to occur, and it strengthen my confidence, so perfectionism doesn’t ruin all the fun I could be having.
Why I don’t have a preference
- I drew these two pages chronicling all the pens I own, in the hopes of a deeper analysis of my preference only resulting in reminding me what a maximalist I am.
- At the end of drawing all these pens, I realise that I actually don’t mind whichever one I use, depending on what the drawing i am trying to make. Even the most bleeding kinds I rather like. In this selection, that award goes to MUJI brush pen. What I like is still a finer tipped ink pen, but it must also have the flexibility to produce slightly thicker lines if needed. All in all, most of the ink pens here can do that, so the degree of preference becomes flattened.
- The MUJI brush pen came with me on my year off traveling and this one I kept until it died had one hair sticking out of the brush, and that allowed me to make very precise details, such as a face even if its very small. I loved that pen. And this brings me nicely to the next point.
Why I always look for the best brush pens
- There is no such thing as the perfect brush pen, but there is that perfect brush pen for now. I go through stages with ink pens where I want fluidity to come before accuracy and even if the lines I made is wrong, i did it my way, which these days is confident inaccurate.
- I used to like the accuracy of a graphic fine liner, and the sizes I used to teach fashion illustrations was a range from 0,03 to 0.3, and 0.5 is just slightly too big.
- These days, with travel sketching, I no longer use the smaller liners, even tho in countries limited in stationery, I manage to use the same ink liners months on end. And use the MUJI brush pen sparingly because it bleeds too much, and make my watercolour muddy when there’s too little details.
- The best brush pens is one that has a nice fine tip, but when pressed down, can pull a lovely thick brush line and shape a nice leaf like stroke. The best brush pen is not one with actual brushes, but of a soft felt tipped kind mimicking a brush. The downside of the felt tipped kind is it gets tired really fast, and the tip will fray and be less pointy after a few use.
- UNIBALL Air by MITSUBISHI, with the L-Broad tip is the one I end up using most in the latest travel sketchbooks because it has the sensitivity and line variety of a fountain pen, it has good feedback on paper, and it can be controlled to create thin and thick lines. In the end, a brush pen is not my favorite liner, this one is.
The Urban sketcher’s favorite ink pens seems to be the FUDE fountain pen, and after a long time, after a lot of hating, and a lot of grumpiness, I started to use FUDE in a way that feels how it should be appreciated. I still cannot understand this crazy looking nip, but i see the benefit of the flat broken-looking tip for broad strokes, and then twisted the other way round, it gives thin and precision if that’s what you need.
The two FUDE pen I now use is not drawn in the big pen page but I drew them seperately. They are the inexpensive Sailor fude pens, the 55 degree nib and the 40 degree nib. And I find myself gravitating towards the 40 degrees more as the weeks go by, it feels like more control can be hand, the thickness of the 40 degrees is more suitable in how I expect my pens to work.
So finally, here’s my preference,squeezed out of me by deliberate pressure.
Favorite liner : UNIBALL AIR by MITSUBISHI, L-Broad
Favorite brush pen: PIGMA BB, by SAKURA.
When in limited stationery places, for travel, I will always default to the PIGMA MICRON by SAKURA.
And the ones I used a lot without realising it is ZIG MANGAKA by KURETAKE. Do I like it, I don’t think this way. It is effective, it is reliable, but it’s not something I LIKE or LOVE using.
There’s little correlation to what I like using and what is effective. What is effective does the job, while the ink pen I love gives me a deeper satisfaction even if the drawing isn’t produced in it’s most highest standards, and the 40 degree Fude pens are currently still under review to fill this space.