Different Types of Drawing Pens

When you start your art classes, the first thing you learn is how to draw subjects using pencils. There is another type of drawing however that you might want to try next—pen and ink. Like pencils, drawing pens also have a lot of types which produce different thicknesses of lines, colors and control.

Below is a guide on the most common pens used for drawing.

Ball Point Pens

What’s that? Ball point pens? Yes, you can use the humble ball point besides your daily writing needs. Made in the early 1900s, they’re cheap and come in different ink colors. Their grip is designed for comfort and everyday use. It’s good to start with ball point pens first before you invest in more expensive types like fountain pens.

Archival Pens

The ink used in archival pens last longer than the other types. They are an excellent choice if you want to keep your drawings for a long time or if you’re planning to sell some of your artwork. Other types of pens have a label “archival” on the tube, so read the package before purchasing.

Drafting Pens

Drafting pens are also called technical drawing pens. They were initially made for the use of architects and engineers. They produce precise lines which makes them ideal for any drawing whether it’s for drafting or sketching objects. Artists use them for comic illustrations, lettering, and blueprints. They have to be held at an angle for them to work and are also slightly expensive. There are types that can be refilled using a cartridge or bottled ink.

Fountain Pens

The first fountain pens similar to what we see today didn’t appear until the late nineteenth century. It competed with ball point pens for while but eventually lost out to the latter because of the price range. One advantage of fountain pens is that you don’t need to press hard when drawing because the flow of ink is better than the ball point pen’s. Even when they are more expensive, they can also be refilled.

Graphic Pens

Also called graphic markers, they come in a variety of colors perfect for drawings like comic illustrations. Some hobbyists also use them for coloring books. Their points are slightly larger to allow more ink to pass. If you’re planning to buy marker pens, it’s cheaper to get a set than buy them singly.

Reed Pens

Reed pens are made from a single length of a bamboo or straw reed. To use a reed pen, it is dipped in a ink. They are the oldest type of pen on this list and were used ancient Egypt. They’re different from another old type of pen, quill, that has a duller point than reed pens. Some still use reed pens for calligraphy. If you want to be stylish or to create a different effect on your drawings, some stores still sell reed pens. You can also make one yourself.

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