The 4 Best Drawing Pens to Use
August 28, 2021
Choosing the right drawing pen for your art is an equally important and tricky decision.
There are many different pens out there to choose from. There are also many different online stores selling the same brand, style, or product, but with different descriptions and specifications each time.
This makes the decision more of a maze than a black or white choice.
But it doesn’t have to be so hard.
It doesn’t matter how many pens there are out there, and what other people use.
It matters what pen is right for you.
There are a few different things to consider when it comes to choosing this ideal pen, and maybe even more than one pen will be right for you, especially if you like to create a few different styles of art.
The criteria to choose a good pen include the style of drawing you want to create, particularly so in relation to lines and their width, the paper you use, how colour plays into your art, whether your drawings will include lettering or calligraphy, and how/where you do your drawing.
These factors will influence things like nib size, ink type, pen materials and types of tips.
This blog is here to help you with your decision, by talking about what I think are the best 4 drawing pens out there for sale and explaining why each one is valuable and how.
A lot of lists you will see out there show you many many pens all in one go, with limited information about each one. This blog aims to give you as much detail as you need to make an informed decision about your next drawing pen.
We know how important it is to get the right one, and how frustrating it is to pick the wrong one.
I will talk through each pen and outline what type of drawing and type of artist each pen is good for while discussing their individual features and advantages.
Starting off with number 1, we have my favourite:
1. Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers
The Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers are number one on this list due to their versatility, high-quality ink and customization options.
The markers are sold most frequently in a set of 7 all black markers, which includes different types of tips, namely brush, chisel and fineline.
There is also the option to buy the markers in different colour combinations, and in this case, there are 6 different colour options to choose from Black, Red Blue, Blue, Green, Purple, and Sepia.
These drawing pens are useful because the range of tip size and colour options means they lend themselves to a range of artistic or technical projects.
The interchangeable tip allows thin, thick, or varied lines to be drawn, allowing both illustration and lettering/calligraphy to be executed well.
The fineliner tips are particularly valuable for detailed work, providing crisp and accurate lines.
The ink in these pens is also one of the main selling points for this pen. The ink is premium pigment, acid-free archival ink.
(Archival ink is ink, which is permanent, durable, and chemically stable.)
The Prismacolor Premier markers’ ink is also water-resistant, non-toxic, bleed-resistant, and smear-resistant when dry.
All of these factors make these markers perfect for drawing over watercolour paint, or if you are painting or adding ink colour over initial line work. There can be multiple layers to your artwork without worrying about smudges or smears.
The markers have the distinct feeling of control and versatility that you get when you use a paintbrush, and so they are ideal for pieces where you want clean, flowing lines. They are perfect for creating art with quality and flare.
They also are reported to last a long time, with plenty of ink in there to keep you going.
With advantage after advantage, it’s easy to see why this pen wins the number one position on my list.
The design, ink, and versatility of tips make for an all-around strong drawing pen.
2. Copic 1.0mm Multiliner
Next up on my list of best drawing pens is the Copic 1.0mm Multiliner.
Slightly less versatile, but extremely valuable in its own niche, this is a brush aluminium technical pen.
This pen is best used in technical drawing, manga or cartoon drawing, or writing/lettering.
The brush tip of the pen is soft and porous brush-shaped foam, which allows the lightfast liquid pigment ink to flow through in a consistent and steady way.
This multiliner has a 1.0mm line size, but there are separate replaceable nibs available to purchase in different sizes, and different colours.
The ink is also refillable through cartridges.
Copic is a reliable and reputable brand, and the ink used in their pens has the same qualities.
It is photocopy safe, UV resistant, and waterproof. It won’t blur, fade or smear, and one ink cartridge should be able to produce 200m of lines before it needs to be refilled.
This pen is ideal, therefore, if you are producing linework drawings frequently, and to a high standard. It is also ideal if you are copying, scanning, or doing any kind of production with your work to display or sell it.
If you are serious about your drawings and the quality, detail and linework of them are important to you, this pen is perfect for you and your artwork.
3. Sakura Pigma Micron PN Drawing Pen
You can’t have a list of good drawing pens without having a product made by Sakura on there.
Sakura launched the world’s very first gel ink for pens in 1984, and since then their name has been associated with gel pens all over the world.
Sakura invented and patented the PIGMA ink used in this particular pen more than 25 years ago.
PIGMA ink is a compound of pigment-based inks, and it is more complex and stable than dye-based inks. This ink became a global standard for what can be described as good permanent and archival quality ink.
This pen, the Sakura Pigma Micron PN, is the first technical pen with archival pigment ink to be disposable, with its plastic nib.
The pen comes in 7 different colours, with their PIGMA base.
The ink is acid-free, chemically stable, waterproof and fade/smear-resistant. It won’t bleed through most papers and doesn’t feather.
The bullet-shaped tip provides a 0.4-.05mm line, depending on the pressure you use.
The pen is great for all types of creation, including sketching, technical drawing, illustration, and lettering. It is used regularly by a range of professionals and amateurs alike.
If high-quality ink is your priority and you are happy with disposable pens over refillable models, this could be the right choice for you.
The history of the Sakura brand speaks for itself.
4. Staedtler Pigment Liner 308
The last pen on my list is an accessible and common drawing pen. There is a high probability that you have used one of these pens before, most likely in the coloured version multipacks, at school or college.
The Staedtler pens are versatile and reliable pens, with many different model options.
The Pigment Liner 308 most commonly comes in a pack of 4 or 6, with assorted line options.
These pens are great for all levels of art skills, and very easy to get used to.
The fineline design makes them well-suited to all kinds of sketching, drawing, writing, and lettering, with a range of tip width allowing you to choose the width and thickness of your lines.
The pigment ink is indelible, lightfast, waterproof on paper, and removable from tracing paper.
The ink doesn’t bleed, and the long metal tip of the pens make them ideal for use with rules and templates.
The pens are more basic than some of the previous models on this list, but they have some extra practical advantages which might make them the right pen for you.
These pens are airplane safe, coming with inbuilt automatic pressure equalization. This prevents the pen from leaking when travelling. This means that this is the perfect pen choice to bring with you if you are drawing on the go, or if you are going on holiday and want to bring your sketchbook and supplies with you.
The Staedtler 308 is reliable, accessible, and produces a range of quality lines, allowing you to create works of art wherever you go.
There are many different drawing pens out there to choose from. Finding the right one for you is never easy, but hopefully, this list will help you.
The main things to consider are the line width a pen can produce, the type of ink, the refill options, the type of nib, and whether the pen will lend itself well to the other drawing supplies you are using, including paper.
Stick to these criteria and you should find the right pen for your drawing, even if it takes trying a few out to get it right.
Good luck, and happy drawing!