Lately some people have been asking me what brand and type of pens I use for working. I thought it might be a good idea to start a blog on art supplies because I´d love to see more posts by more artists writing down their personal reviews and preferences regarding materials and in that way learn from other´s experiences and maybe become curious to try out new supplies.
So, technical pens can be either rechargeable or of one-use-only. Even though I consider rotting’s isographs as my favorite pens, they are not my to-go pen for every circumstance, and I want to talk about what makes each pen my favorite for specific situations.
Rechargeable pens are awesome because they have a built in re fillable ink cartridge, this is how they look de-constructed:
Having a rechargeable pen means not having to buy a different pen for every ink color, but being able to use different colors with one same pen. And even when sticking with one ink color, a rechargeable pen has an infinite amount of usages (as long as you keep them clean), which means not spending more money and, most important not incrementing the crazy amounts of plastic we crazy humans are using nowadays.
The tips on this type of pens are great: as they are made from stainless steel the tip never loses its original size, forget about those pens deforming with time or becoming too thick. Stainless steel tips = define lines for days!
Rotring Isograph´s are a great tool for repetitive pointillism work. Rotrings come in a great variety of sizes which allows for good detail madness.
While living in Peru, rotring pens were very affordable, and moving to Brooklyn I found out how much more expensive they are here. When I buy pens I´d rather get a set, instead of individuals because prices drop a lot, while looking for the best deal I topped with the rapidograph pens by koh-i-noor. I found an awesome 8 or 9 set and decided to try them. These guys are amazing for teeny tiny details, their sizes 4×0 and 6×0 are mad small and very equal in every dot. They are my favorite for details, and, the brand sells a solid set of 7 pens for around 80-100$.
I also want to mention that when I tried contacting Koh-I-Noor, their representatives in the US where super friendly and easy to get in touch with. They were interested in seeing my work and even though they don’t offer sponsorships for artists they were happy to send me free trial packages with all different kinds of materials I was interested in, from all the brands they represent.
Another great feature from rechargeable pens are that the grids they have for opening and closing the pens are suitable for being mounted in compasses.
This is a great usage for doing custom size circles with ink instead of doing them with pencil and then tracing on top. (More precision for the ocd´s like me!)
These pens have been the revolution and the first friend of mostly everyone drawing, doodling and getting obsessed with making clean thin lines. Microns are my favorite pens for drawing on the go, and also when drawing at the beach for sure.
The reason for this is that as Microns are disposable their tips are made out of gel. Gel tips are my number one option for whenever I am drawing on the train or anywhere crowded like at a friend´s house (because yes, sometimes I am such a nerd I draw while talking to my friends, and they are the best because they don’t seem to be bothered by it). Delicate metal tips -like the rechargeable technical pens have- are super fragile and bend/break pretty easy. On the other hand, I can be rougher with gel tips, because they can resist more pressure. Being on the go, on a place where there is motion or whenever I am less concentrated I´d rather use Micron pens. They reach very thin lines –not as thin as the koh-i-noor smallest sizes tho- and seem to be quite the option when travelling and drawing.