The Pen isn’t my Friend

I’ve been reading a lot about sketchers using fountain pens and I decided to see what all the fuss is about. I went to a local shop and purchased a Lamy Vista, medium nib and a bottle of Pelikan 4001 brown ink to start.

The pen is a joy to write with, but sketching with it is another story. I have the habit of rotating the pencil from when I started architecture school and drafted by hand. This is terrible for a fountain pen, it simply stops writing. This had never been a problem, as I always sketched with pencils or felt-tip pens.

Probably it just takes time to get used to, but anyway I simply don’t enjoy sketching with fine lines. I prefer the looser strokes with broader nibs like those of markers or pen brush.

Yesterday at lunch I tried to sketch with the pen and the drawing was feeling so tight I stopped, got out some Pitt art brush pens and tried to salvage it. I’ll give the pen a few more days, just because it looks so much nicer than a Sharpie, but if I can’t loosen up with it I’ll leave it at my desk. Here is the 15-minute sketch, done at Centro de Bellas Artes.


9 thoughts on “The Pen isn’t my Friend

    1. I wasn’t aware of how much difference the paper does. I tried sketching on a napkin and I get beautiful, juicy, blotted lines. Now i need to find a paper that let’s me use both the pen as I like it and wet media, such as markers or watercolors. Also I figured a grip that doesn’t let me rotate the pen, so I’ll see how it goes.

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