The Best Drawing Pens

Written by rachel watkins
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The Best Drawing Pens
Artists often use drawing pens to complete their work. (Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Ordinary ballpoint pens can be found in any office or classroom across the country, but these pens are often unsuitable for artists. Artists' drawing pens are designed specially for use by illustrators and drafters. The quality of the ink and the durability of the pen are often of a much higher quality than everyday office pens, while the tips of artist pens are specially designed to create smooth, polished lines.

Uni-ball Deluxe Fine Tip Pen

These pens are inexpensive and suitable for both writing and drawing. This fine, 0.7mm ballpoint pen makes a sharp line with minimal ink bleeding. The ink in these pens is fade resistant and archival quality, meaning it can be used for finishing pictures on archival quality paper. The colour scope of these pens is minimal, but they can be found in basic black, blue, red and green. Uni-ball Deluxe pens are available in office supply stores.

Speedball Dip Pen and Nibs

Speedball makes traditional dip pen nibs and holders. These pens can be equipped with standard pen nibs or fine-point nibs. Standard nibs are strong and ideal for drafting and lithography purposes. Fine point nibs work best for detailed ornamental drawings and ruling pictures. As of May 2011, nibs cost about a dollar while the nib holder costs about fifty cents online and at art supply stores.

Faber-Castell Pitt Artists' Pens

Faber-Castell makes highly versatile artist pens ideal for coloured drawing and sketching. Sizes include superfine, fine, medium and large brush. Waterproof coloured India ink is used in these pens, which are also acid-free and pH-neutral so that they will not negatively affect archival paper. These pens come in 48 different shades with kits specially designed for manga, landscape or black and white drawing. As of May 2011, full sets run about 90 dollars while individual pens cost about two dollars and can be found at art supply stores and online.

Rotring Rapidograph Pens

Rotring makes professional technical drawing pens with permanent, waterproof black ink. These pens are ideal for black and white sketching or outlining and defining lines in finished works. The Rapidograph pen provides consistent ink flow without leaking or blotting. Point sizes include 0.13, 0.18, 0.25, .0.3, 0.35, 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0mm. As of May 2011, these pens cost about 30 dollars each, while their replacement cartridges can be purchased for about eight dollars for a box of three at art supply stores.

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