Drawing pens

Another Completed Sketchbook.

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I thought about the title of this post for some time. ’Another’ suggested I had completed quite a few sketchbooks, which I haven’t, as I am new to drawing. I have slowly worked my way through a small number with my latest being a blank Baron Fig pocket Confidant. It's the first time I’ve used this brand as a sketchbook.

The sketchbook.

The Baron Fig pocket Confidant made a pretty good sketchbook. I wanted to try a pocket size for its portability and also wanted something with a hard cover. I chose a Baron Fig Notebook as it's a notebook I use for other purposes and therefore one I am familiar with. I was hoping that the familiarity would make my drawing less pressured and more free.

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The pocket Confidant has a hard cover, I chose the darker Charcoal colour as I thought this would wear better. The hard cover meant that the notebook had some stability which I would need for sketching on the go. There are 192 pages of the standard Baron Fig paper with their signature yellow ribbon.

What I have learnt from this sketchbook.

As I am new to sketching it is not something that comes naturally to me. With each sketchbook I work through I am trying consciously to learn in the hope that I improve and that it becomes second nature.

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With this sketchbook I tried to experiment more than I had done in the past. I set out to use this sketchbook with a black ink pen, inspired by Patrick Vales Instagram posts. I wanted keep things simple and just sketch. I stuck to this for a while but after seeing artists sketchbooks online I introduced coloured pencils.

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Coloured pencils felt familiar, from childhood, and easy to use. There are a number of artists that I follow who use coloured pencils as their preferred tools. Like them I wanted to find a small palette that I could use, no matter the subject matter. By not worrying about replicating the colours in front of me and using my imagination, then perhaps my drawing would improve. I couldn’t find a flow with this but it’s something I want to keep coming back to.

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I spent some time using only graphite pencils to try and be fluid with my sketches. The loose style you can achieve with graphite has always been appealing and it was also an excuse to use the softer graphite pencils I have lying around. The only thing that ever really bothers me about graphite is the smudging and the marks left over time that start to blur your drawing.

I returned again to a black pen enjoying the feel of the pen tip on the page. There is something very satisfying about it. Using an ink pen makes me more decisive with my lines. The theory then being that this encourages me to learn from my mistakes, wrong proportions and poor imitations and want to make them better the next time.

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Due to the pocket size of this sketchbook detail wasn’t a luxury I had. Everything had to be simple. In this sketchbook I have drawn a lot of people and I am awful at drawing people. I enjoy watching people, noticing their expressions, the shape of their features and attempt, poorly, to replicate them. Plus there are always people to draw.

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Overall thoughts.

I am starting to understand that the key to my sketching journey is to change things up and to keep finding inspiring artists to learn from. Trying new tools and ideas will open me up to new techniques and styles.

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In this instance the pocket notebook was the perfect companion and the unofficial sketchbook nature helped a lot. My next sketchbook will be different again and hopefully will teach me different things. I feel confidant in saying that for a sketchbook that I carry around I want a simple set up. Sketchbook and black pen seems to work pretty well.

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Mid-Week Mini: My First Inktober Completed.

Today is the last day of Inktober and I have drawn everyday this month. I am really pleased with what I have produced, that I was able to stay focused and to complete a drawing each day.

In this post I have included each drawing I completed, the good, the bad and the ugly.

My Inktober drawings.

Things I have learnt from Inktober.

I have enjoyed drawing with a Tombow brush pen. I like the line width variation from using one pen. It’s handy to just have one pen to use, rather than several drawing pens with different nib sizes. I had never considered using a brush pen to draw with but it works really well.

I restricted myself to using pen and pencil only. I didn’t want to distract myself with anything else. This has made me start venturing into line work but I really have no idea what I am doing. I have looked at a lot of other sketchers trying to see where and how they use their line work to guide my own drawings.

During this challenge I have found that I have no imagination and need to copy or follow something. Finding the time to sketch is tricky and means I am mostly drawing in the evenings. I have found Instagram and Pinterest the best tools and I have been drawing things that I find interesting. I make a note of where the drawing has come from and found this really helpful in developing my skills. Getting my perspectives right is still a major challenge and I just can't seem to wrap my head around this.

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Overall thoughts.

I am really pleased to have taken part in Inktober. I have found drawing extremely calming and a good way to keep myself occupied especially at times where I normally waste time. In some instances my daily drawings have linked back to my day and my Inktober sketchbook has almost become a mini journal. I didn't plan that but I have drawn about things I have on my mind and things I have done. As always the test now is whether I can continue to draw regularly. Every day may be tricky, but finding a balance and routine is where I need to be.

Plus I already have my next sketchbook lined up, so I need to make sure I carry it with my and sketch whenever I can.

Uni-Pin Drawing Pen Review

The Uni-Pin has fast become my favourite drawing pen, permanently attached to the pen loop of my Raydori. I stumbled across the Uni-Pin pen in my old University shop. It caught my eye as I had never seen or heard of this drawing pen and I was attracted to its sleek black design.

The Uni-Pin is first and foremost designed for drawing and design use, however I have found that this pen writes really well, even in cursive, which is not something I have found with other drawing pens. I have been using my Uni-Pin as a daily carry pen for a combination of doodling and jotting down notes.  

This drawing pen has a waterproof and fadeproof pigment ink which means that if the ink comes into contact with water it's staying put on the page. This makes it perfect for people who enjoy using watercolours, something I intent to use it for in the future. 

I have this pen in two different tip sizes, the 0.2mm and the 0.3mm. I prefer writing with the 0.3mm tip as I find it's a little bit smoother than the 0.2mm and the slightly thicker line width is easier to read on the page. However for detailed drawing or precision writing the 0.2mm works really well. There are a range of different tip sizes available in the Uni-Pin from the 0.05mm right up to a 0.8mm so all preferences are well catered for. 

The ink flows consistently well in the Uni-Pin and is a lovely deep black colour. The weighting of this drawing pen is really light and well balanced meaning that it is comfortabe to use for long periods of time. I have found it a tad lighter than the Sakura Pigma Micron, and miles lighter than the slightly hefty Copic Multiliner SP.  

The Uni-Pin has a sleek black, stripped back minimalist design. The barrel is completely black with simple white branding. A unique feature to the pen design is a tiny little window in the pen cap which allows you to see the tip of pen which I have not noticed on any other pen. I am not sure of the exact purpose of this window but I imagine it could be useful if you have multiples of the same tip size in use.  

I would highly recommend this pen. It comes in at a good price at around the £1.75 mark making it compatible to other drawing pens on the market, such as the Sakura Pigma Micron, but cheaper than the Copic Multiliner SP (however this one is a refillable pen, hence the addition outlay cost). Even though this is a drawing pen I really enjoy using and writing with it. It's safe to say I will always have one of these pens close to hand. 

Copic Multiliner SP Drawing Pen 0.35

I have used drawing pens for years. I has started using them when I thought Moleskine notebooks were good as they were one of the only pens that didn't bleed through on that awful paper. I liked how they gave me a clean line, didn't gloop and they made my handwriting look really neat. 

Since these days I have tried out several different brands, one of which is the Copic Multiliner SP Drawing Pen. I have two of these pens, one in black and one in sepia. I like the Copic range of drawing pens for several reasons. 

Consistent Flow and Writing

I have been using the black pen on and off for some time and each time I pick this pen up it works. There is no skipping or issues with the ink flow. The Copic Multiliner is reliable and works every time. 

Adaptable pens

The huge benefit with the Multiliners is that you can refill the ink cartridges and replace the nibs. If you run out of ink you only need to buy the replacement cartridge, not another pen, and if you bend the nib tip or prefer a different line width this can be replaced. I like the fact you don't have to buy a whole new pen if you don't need to. 

As the Multiliners are drawing pens they come in a range of tip sizes. I bought the 0.35 but you can go as thin as 0.03 and as wide as a 0.7 and even get a brush tip. They also come in a range of around 10 colour options which I really like. You're not limited to purely black which can be common among some of the other drawing pen brands. 

Great for doodling and practicing typography 

A doodle from my Travelers Notebook

A doodle from my Travelers Notebook

My main use with these Copic Multiliners is to doodle. In my Travelers Notebook I often copy different styles of typography that I find online. I find copying one of the best ways to understand how to construct and build different letters and how they fit together on the page. I first sketch some sort of outline in pencil so that I can erase any mistakes and once complete I pick up my Copic Multiliner and go over my pencil line to give it a really bold outline. The Multiliners are perfect for this as they are really smooth and work well on a wide variety of different paper types. You can erase the pencil underneath without ruining or smudging the ink. 

A soft nib 

One small thing I have noticed with the Multiliner is that the tip of the pen can be easily bent. I have a heavy hand and can press down quite hard on the page, more so when trying to concentrate. This has resulted in me bending the tip a couple of times, which I managed to recover. Over time and with use the tip has also frayed a little. From the photo below you can see my much more used black Copic Multiliner on the right is a little fatter and looks less rigid that the Sepia pen on the left. Luckily this is one of the replaceable sections on this pen so if I really ruin it I can buy a replacement part and have a pen good as new.  

Sepia Copic Multiliner on the left and Black Copic Multiliner on the right

Sepia Copic Multiliner on the left and Black Copic Multiliner on the right

A reliable friend 

The drawing pen is always a reliable writing/doodling tool. No matter what these pens will work and will provide you with clean and crisp lines. The Copic Multiliner is one of many drawing pen brands that I use. It's not my favourite but I do like using this pen and regularly reach for it. The big selling point is the different colour options and the tip sizes which gives you more choices and allows you to play around with some different pens. Overall I would happily buy more Copic Multiliner SP Drawing Pens and like to keep a few on my desk.