When it comes to fountain pens, people think about writing as their primary use case, although a fountain pen can be one of the best tools for drawing and sketching. Drawing is all about control and precision and fountain pens are perfect for both.
We will be reviewing the best fountain pens for drawing and sketching, focusing on the most important aspect of the fountain pen: the nib!
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The Lamy Safari
The ABS plastic body of a Lamy Safari feels light on the hand and is comfortable to handle even for beginners. This, coupled with its compact length and easy-to-grip barrel, gives you good control whether you need to draw intricate details or sketch light strokes.
The superfine and fine nib options are ideal for executing thin lines and do not have the scratchy feeling that most fine nibs have. The medium nib, in comparison, works well for bolder lines but still offers well-measured ink flow.
Tip: The stainless-steel nibs are sturdy but you can opt for gold nibs if you prefer flexible nibs.
The Lamy Safari comes fitted with an ink cartridge filled with blue ink. However, you can always change it and use a black (or different colour) ink cartridge. Both nibs and cartridges are easy to change.
The gorgeous design of the Sailor 1911 makes it hard to ignore, but there is more to this fountain pen than looks.
The fountain pen nibs, in particular, are certainly worth writing home about. They are superbly crafted and are a work of art in themselves. The standard Sailor 1911 has a 14k gold nib while the large has a 21k gold nib.
Tip: The 21k offers a little more flex than the 14k.
However, the highlight is that they are available in 7 variations: extra-fine, fine, medium-fine, medium, broad, music, and zoom nibs. This variety allows you to find nibs for almost any style of drawing or sketching that you would like to pull off.
That said, Japanese nibs tend to be a little finer compared to those of fountain pens from other regions. A fine Sailor 1911 nib, for instance, may draw like an extra-fine nib of another fountain pen brand. It is thus prudent to keep this in mind as you consider what nibs to pick.
On handling, the cigar shape comes with a sizable grip section with a diameter of 0.375″ and 0.45″ for the standard and large versions respectively. This provides ample grip, but you may need to test the pen posted and unposted to learn which option gives you a comfortable balance for your drawing or sketching style.
The Sailor 1911 is refillable using an ink cartridge or converter which is a plus because you can experiment with more inks. You can also buy and exchange Sailor 1911 nibs.
You can find Lamy Safari, Sailor 1911, and all the fountain pens on this list at Goldspot.com!
The alluring Pelikan M200 feels substantial in your hand but not heavy. Its weight balances out beautifully with its compact size and makes it easy to manoeuvre while maintaining precision.
Notably, the grip section can feel a bit short depending on the size of your hand. If this is the case for you, consider posting the pen. More length and some back weight may help you handle it more efficiently.
Pelikan M200 nibs are made of gold-plated steel. They are available in extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad widths. It may not hurt to have more than one nib but if you can only get one, consider the fine nib. It has a little bit of flex and can offer you thin strokes with normal handling and thicker strokes if you apply some pressure.
This pen refills using a piston mechanism. It is easy to use and leaves no mess behind.
The Pilot Falcon Fountain Pen
The Pilot Falcon has a simple yet elegant resin body. It is a lightweight pen with a sizable 14mm barrel and 12mm grip section.
Tip: if the Pelikan M200 section feels a little too small for you, this may be a better fit.
The Pilot Falcon’s 14K nibs are renowned for their unique softness. To be clear, they do not bend enough to be categorised as flex nibs, but they are not 100% stiff either. However, if you apply a measured amount of pressure, you will be able to achieve different line variations.
Additionally, the ink flow to the nib makes drawing with a Pilot Falcon a special experience. It delivers lines that match the width of the nib you choose but they are beautifully vivid. The nibs also glide smoothly even if you choose to attempt swirls or other complex sketching or drawing techniques.
Pilot Falcons can be refilled using an ink cartridge or a converter and is one of the easiest pens to clean. Still, be mindful about refilling ink at the right time to avoid encountering scratchiness when the ink is running out.
Benu Talisman in FoxGlove
FoxGlove is believed to offer protection in the mythical world. The Benu pen brand states that it is included in the making of this flashy fountain pen. So, if you are looking for a fountain pen with more to offer, behold the powers of the Benu Talisman in FoxGlove.
Mythical powers aside, the Benu Talisman is worth considering if you would like a statement pen. It is eye-catching but also has a great build that makes it reliable for long-term use. Its dimensions are not much different from the Pelikan M200 or the Pilot Falcon.
In terms of functionality, its iridium-point stainless steel nib is available in fine, medium, and broad. It is smooth on paper and the ink delivery is just right; not too wet or too faint.
The nib is stiff and thus offers little line variation but you will notice a difference if you hold and use the nib with the front facing the back. The medium nib also performs remarkably and may serve you well if your work alternates between defined lines and shading.
Another advantage of this mythical instrument is that you can use it for long art sessions without needing to refill too often. It comes with an ink converter and a blue ink cartridge which both hold a generous amount of ink.
Moonman Fountain Pens
The Moonman range of fountain pens comprises highly dynamic designs. It would, therefore, be remiss to highlight only one of them when the collection offers a pen for almost every need at an extremely affordable price.
The Moonman M2 may be ideal if you are new to drawing using fountain pens. They have a stylish transparent body that is lightweight and very easy to handle. The nibs are also efficient and do not require any extraordinary handling technique.
The Moonman N6, on the other hand, may come in handy if you would like to push your creative boundaries. It is compact and light but comes with 2 nibs: an extra-fine or fine fude nib and a glass dip nib.
The fude nib is slightly bent. It is great for line variation and has an almost brush-like consistency. Meanwhile, the glass dip nib is recommended for special effects and flourishes.
Looking for a more traditional and sleek fountain pen design? Then look out for the Moonman S1. It has a typical fountain pen design but is unique like all Moonmans. Its stainless steel nib is bent and delivers brush-like strokes. It fares particularly well for calligraphy, drawing in broad strokes, and sketching in general.
Moonman pens are affordable and provide great value for their price. They are also durable enough for regular use but come with different filling mechanisms.
The Pilot Metropolitan is lauded as a good pick for beginners but let’s give credit where it is due. This simple fountain pen performs well enough to qualify as an everyday drawing and writing instrument for almost anyone.
The weight of the pen is evenly balanced and does not feel flimsy. Posting it does not upset the weight balance but you may enjoy it if additional length improves your pen handling.
The barrel is comparatively narrow but it is surprisingly comfortable to hold even for extended durations. The threads are also smooth enough for you to adjust your grip upwards if you need to.
Pilot Metropolitan nibs come in fine and medium widths. They are both sturdy and hardly offer any line variation. On the bright side, you can always pair your Metropolitan with nibs from other pilot pens. The Pilot italic nib, in particular, offers very luscious yet well-defined strokes. It is often used for calligraphy but works quite well for drawing too.
This fountain pen comes with an ink converter but is also compatible with Pilot ink cartridges.
Art is not a linear journey. Ideas morph as you sketch or draw and it is important to have drawing instruments that can help you bring all those creative concepts to life.
If you had not considered using fountain pens for your drawing before, take this guide to the best drawing and sketching fountain pens as your invitation to start. Any of the pens listed here may just be the silver bullet you need to take your craft to the next level. You can find all of them at Goldspot.com.
If you’re interested in learning about other types of art pens, check out our review of different markers, ballpoint pens and more! If you’re interested in calligraphy and creating brush-like effects, check out our review of the best brush pens for artists.