As a follow up to one of our recent Q&Art videos on choosing the right ink, let’s discuss the important implement that channels the ink from our hands to the page; the fountain pen.
Fountain pens are interesting to work with for many reasons. The feel of a fountain pen in your hand can add something extra to your experience with making art. The fact that they are not your typical disposable pen plus the history behind them gives them a bit more weight, in your hand and in your mind. They are also eco-friendly and if you fill them with waterproof ink, they are great in combination with a set of watercolors, to carry with your sketchbook.
Many people in the Sketchbook Skool Kommunity eventually like to try fountain pens- but what kind of fountain pen to choose? And what kind of ink? While the possibilities are literally endless, here are a few suggestions for pens to start with as well as inks with which to fill them.
Pens can vary in price but it’s good to have somewhere to start. Brands aren’t everything but certain companies and names in the pen world come with a tradition of quality and excellence that will turn your first experiences with a fountain pen into a habit that you will return to again and again. These are a few of our Fakulty’s favorite fountain pens:
Good quality fountain pens are sometimes expensive to buy but if kept properly, can last you a lifetime (or two). Here are a few tips on how to care for your fountain pen so that your pen will accompany you on a lifetime of sketchcrawls and daily drawings.
Modern self-lubricating ink does not ruin your fountain pen, but is permanent so you can add watercolor washes. Inks can vary in color, opacity, thickness, and viscosity when applied to different kinds of paper. Some favorite permanent, waterproof inks among both Fakulty and students include:
Experimenting with inks? Here’s a tip: Don’t put India Ink in your fountain pen – you’ll ruin the pen. Stick with brush, bamboo, and dip pens for this popular staple.
We blog about a variety of materials. Sometimes a fountain pen hits the spot for people and sometimes a Bic pen works wonders. Find materials that are affordable for you and work with your preferences and don’t worry, these will change over time! As you get more comfortable you will experiment with different materials as you’re never tied to a single medium. And keep in mind that it’s not about having the newest and shiniest of pens in your bag, but pens that work for you.
We must remember that everything depends on how we use a material, not on the material itself… New materials are not necessarily superior. Each material is only what we make it.
—Ludwig Mies van der Rohe\
German Architect and Educator
What’s your favorite go-to fountain pen or utensil?