Fountain Pens for inking?


  • SVS OG

    I’ve been using dip pens or microns for my inking and I like the dip pen better for the look of the line it puts down but I like the micron for ease of use. I was thinking that a fountain pen might be a nice compromise. Does anyone here have experience with using them for ink work? If so, what are the pros and cons? What size or style nib do you recommend? (I do more old fashioned controlled cross hatching rather than a broader comic book style of inking.) Do you have a particular brand that you like? I’d love to hear people’s thoughts before I invest in a pen.



  • @demotlj fountain pens are tricky. The nibs are typically steel and not as flexible. The ink flow is sometimes inconsistent. There are so many brands out there. I use on for sketching, the Pilot Metropolitan pen. Some people say the Lamy are good too but pen collectors dont like Lamy. Typically for a good fountain pen Gouletpens.com is what pen people recommend. They also sell individual nibs you can put on a cheap pen to save money. Personally I like the flexibility of pen nibs, if i want consistency I will utilize microns. (Jinhao 750 plus a goulet size 6 steel nib should set you up for success)



  • @demotlj Have you tried the pentel brush pen? (it's the refillable one that @Jake-Parker used in his inking 2.0 class. It has a bunch of Japanese characters on it. Or Chinese, Korean? I am no linguist.) I know its a brush pen, but for me, it has been like using a quill pen in its expressive lines. It gives me very fine lines and also thick lines. With a little practice I have become very consisitent with it. I actually think I prefer it to Microns for everything except hatching and very fine details, in which case I still default to a micron. The ease of use is much better than the other brush pens I tried. I can actually pull off fine line hatches with it, but will need for practice to become consistent.

    I agree with @Aleksey about the fountain pens. They are more for writing than for drawing and I don't think you would get the same effect at all. In my opinion, they generally allow too much ink flow for any kind of detailed drawing (and sometimes too little!) But I certainly have not tried them all out so there might be some out there that would be useful.



  • My recommendation is look up fountain pen fanatics on youtube that review cheaper pens. DONT try to put a dip pen nib into a fountain pen it will make you angry


  • SVS OG

    @chrisaakins The variance of the line that the dip pen gives me isn't nearly as great as a brush pen -- it's more a "liveliness" that the micron doesn't have -- but it is slow going because I have to dip it constantly and every time I dip it, I risk the possibility of the flow being inconsistent with the last lines I laid down. Some of that, I'm sure, comes with more practice but that's why I was thinking a fountain pen with a cartridge would be faster than dipping. @Aleksey I have read that people like Lamy's and they aren't very expensive so I might try that. I looked up the Jinhao 750 and that is cheap enough that I wouldn't be out much if I end up not liking them. Thanks.



  • @demotlj i was where you were a few months ago. The only one I found I liked was the metropolitan pilot. The jinhao 750 i only got to replace the nib with a number 6 goulet nib. I prefer the liveliness of the dip pens though.

    Pentel also has a sketch pen its the “tradio” but its very sketchy with heavy ink flow but great for sketching.

    I learned to love the dippyness of it all it makes me feel really cool... and a nerd..


  • SVS OG

    @Aleksey There is that appeal of feeling more "at one with the art" when I use traditional materials. I think the more digital our lives become, the more I appreciate the sensory experience of working with real paper, ink, and paint. Of course, I also still really really like the "undo" button on my iPad 🙂



  • Sheaffer is my favorite fountain pen; it takes less pressure to use and has improved the quality of my handwriting.



  • Depending how you want to ink find an old Pelikan M120 fountain pen. There are still some new nibs kicking around on ebay. Bought a couple 35+ years ago and they still work great.


  • SVS OG

    Hard to believe it's been so long since I started this thread. An update -- I did get a fountain pen -- a Lamy Joy -- and I love it for writing but I ended up going back to dip pens for inking illustrations. It's easier to change color ink with dip pens and the fountain pen nib isn't quite as flexible as the dip pen. I use the fountain pen for text.



  • LAMY Joy is also great. I love this set. The widest nib produces such pretty writing with wider and narrower lines just like a calligraphy dip nib but with the consistency of a fountain pen.



  • @chrisaakins I, too, like the lines the Pentel brush pen makes! I’ve been practicing drawing with it for a while now and I’m finding it really tricky! I still can’t get consistent lines. Still trying to get a feel for how to control it. It’s definitely worth the wait and patience.



  • I love the Kuretake brush pen, and you can buy third-party waterproof cartridges for it also, which is very important to me—so many brush pens I tried came with ink that wasn’t permanent.

    I’ve searched and searched, and nothing exists that is exactly like a nib pen. I created a brush in illustrator a number of years ago that mimicked a nib pen about as closely as was possible. It took me weeks to get it right, and it still wasn’t perfect, but I drew webcomics with it for a few years. Now I’m fiddling with procreate brushes, trying to find the perfect nib brush for me, and the Rusty Nib brush set from True Grit is the closest to the real thing that I’ve come across.

    Still, a beautiful fountain pen with a flexible nib will always be on my wish list…


Log in to reply