My Three Favorite Pens for Drawing

I create a lot of my work digitally and using the pencil, but when I’m going analog, I have a few pens that are my go to pens of choice. I’ve put together a list. I hope these tools that have served me well, fill a need in your own toolkit (or as an affordable gift for the artist in your life)! There are three types of favorite pens for drawing.

  1. Twisbi 580 Diamond Fountain pen

I hadn’t had much experience in the fountain pen world to be honest, but a I researched, it seemed that most were required a lot of attention in caring for them. That’s what drew me to the Twisbi fountain pens — their unique design and ease of use. They feature a easy to use system that draws ink up into the barrel of the pen for easy and (mostly) mess proof filling. I actually have two of them. Both with the EF nib. Be sure to use a waterproof ink like Pilot’s Take-Sumi Bamboo Charcoal ink and avoid ink as it can clog and ruin your pen. The Twisbi 580 certainly is affordable around the $50 price range.

2. Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen

The Pentel Arts pocket brush pen is a great go to for when you need those thicker lush black lines. I love the smooth application and even when one is out, they’re good for making texture in your drawings. You can’t go wrong for under $20.

3. The Lamy Safari Fountain Pen

If dealing with ink and filling fountain pens is more than you would like to deal with, you might want to consider the Lamy Safari fountain pen that comes with cartridges. It’s a little more ready to use out of the box solution if you are looking to jump in right away. There’s even a converter kit that allows you to use your favorite non cartridge inks (sold separately. under $10). This pen comes in around $30.


If you are looking for a great sketchbook that can handle drawing and wet media (like watercolors — I use a solid travel kit like Windsor & Newton) a popular choice is the Moleskine notebook (5 x 8.25).

And a recent acquire of mine — the Staedtler Mars 780 Tech Mechanical Pencil that allows you to fill it with your choice of lead (mine is a soft HB lead) and the lead sharpener.

I hope that give you lots of new ideas and tools for you or the artist in your life!

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