Fountain Pens: Are They Good For Sketching?

Fountain Pens: Are They Good For Sketching?

Goodbye to the good old days of using fountain pens for only inking professional signature with great panache. And say hello to the modern fountain pens that are becoming a big hit to a lot of artists.

The use of fountain pens these days is no longer limited only to writing. Thanks to their new composition, this classic tool has already become more versatile. it has had an unimaginable impact on calligraphy, and now it is starting to dominate the sketching realm.

But are fountain pens good enough to replace the traditional sketching tools we were accustomed to using?

Why Are We In Love With Sketching

While most of us treat sketching as a mere act of doodling on paper as required in school or work, there is actually more into drawing that satisfies our soul.

Artist or not, all of us are naturally imaginative. We love to daydream. We have a lot of ideas coming into mind, and sketching is probably the most creative way we can express these thoughts, on the spot, or make a record of them.

Like the famous British artist, art teacher and writer Mervyn Levy said, “Sketching is the breath of art: it is the most refreshing of all the more impulsive forms of creative self-expression…” So, it’s not a mystery why a lot of enjoy sketching. It does not just take the dullness away; it also serves as an outlet to relieve our stresses.

Why Sketch With Fountain Pens

Dryden Fountain Pens for Sketching

While sketching was initially used to be done in pencil, artists have discovered the beauty in using pens and inks. These new sketching tools make sketches more inventive through the water-to-add-more-tone and wash techniques, which are not possible to other drawing media like pastel and pencil.

When you come to think of it, using luxury pens for sketching seems quite impractical! But when you analyze it in more depth, it actually makes a lot of sense. Here’s why:

  •         Nib pens function better overtime. So, unlike pencils and pastels that need to be replaced after several usages, nib pens are more permanent. They do not deteriorate or wear out easily like felt-tip pens. You only need to maintain them properly and buy ink refills, then you can use them for a really long time.
  •         One fountain pen means you can use whatever color you like in your sketches. Do you find it expensive to buy multiple colored pens? Are your 68 colored pencils taking up too much space in your work table? One fountain pen can take away all these hassles.

A single pen can work with any color. You can simply fill up cartridges with the colors that you need and switch from one cartridge to another. It might even be cheaper to buy a set of inks than to buy a set of differently-colored pens.

Also, you can have more options in sketching styles by using different types of inks. Water-soluble inks, for instance, allows you to alter the tone of your sketch. This makes you achieve line and tone using just one pen. Plus quick-dry pigmented ink allows you to freely paint over your sketch without any movement of the ink.

  •         Lines created by fountain pens look more alive. The vibration caused by the bead of ink at the end of each stroke called ‘shading’ makes the lines look livelier. There are some inks that will give you a more solid black line if that is what you are after, but if you like your sketch to look more natural and creative, use a fountain pen.
  •         Fountain pens are for designers. An artist uses tools that compliment his or her character. Regular pens in plastic bodies are dull and boring but fountain pens are designer items. They have an obvious luxurious style about them that makes it a tool worthy to be owned by great artists.

Indeed, fountain pens are the preferred tools today in drawing. And as you go on using a fountain pen for sketching, you will surely find more reasons to use it in creating your art.

Choosing Fountain Pens For Your Sketches

Now that you know why a lot of artists love to use fountain pens in doing sketches, let us delve into finding the right pen to use in drawing.

So, what makes a good fountain pen for sketching?


Ultimately, any fountain pain can be used for sketching. But like any others, not all pens were created equal.

Here are a couple of pointers you should know about before buying a fountain pen for sketching:

  •         Look for pens that write smoothly and continuously.
  •         Find pens that are light to handle.
  •         Find pens that don’t need too much pressure to write.

Ultimately, these three basic qualifications point out to one main characteristic of a good fountain pen for sketching - COMFORT!

Sketching, unlike writing, doesn’t involve a rhythmical movement of up-and-down with a few loops. Your movements when drawing are more varied and free. You might even find yourself constantly changing your grip to your pen. Hence, find a pen that you are comfortable holding. This is critical since you are working with permanent inks, you wouldn’t want to redraw over and over just because you can’t hold your pen properly!

Also, imagine yourself holding a heavier pen for 30-60 minutes of sketching. A trip to the doctor may be necessary to treat your sore wrist!

Your strokes also depend on how comfortable you are with using your pen. A person with an eye for art can easily see when an artist has been battling with his pen while drawing or not.

And after finding a comfortable fountain pen, you can opt to look for varieties of that certain type and pick a style that matches your personality. This way, you can feel more like you are one with your pen as express your thoughts through sketching.

Modern in black, classic in silver, bold in blue, or unique in bamboo; there is so much variety to choose from. Any artist can find a pen that will represent his personality. Find one at Dryden Designs.

Dryden Design fountain pens are designed with easy grip cases and are lightweight. These make them perfect for artists to use.  Furthermore, fine nibs are best for fine detail ink drawings compared to broad nibs which are best for calligraphy. Make a shift to a better fountain pen for sketching with Dryden Design.