KISS 5: Pro Pens
Thank you for being so patient. One of those flus bit me and forced me off the desk for over a week. So I hope you had a lot of fun drawing things in isometric projection. Since you now become more and more a good KISSer (nice word, isn’t it?) I want to introduce you to five new pens. Consider this as my top five of favorite pens.
- The German Lamy Safari fountain pen is really a great pen! Not only that for its good price it offers tremendous quality, every part can be ordered for replacement. The nibs are ideal for sketching and writing. I have plenty Safaris with different nibs. They are available in plenty different variations: From bright color plastic, simple black or white, or other materials like aluminum. If you love handwriting it’s also the most cost-effective way to get a fountain pen with a golden nib. Simply order one for around $65 for the Lamy Studio, it will fit on your Safari too. Beside that the Lamy Studio is of course a great pen too. All Lamy pens share high quality and ergonomic, timeless design. Speaking about great design: Check out the Lamy 2000!
- Japanese Too Copic markers are an icon. Even in modern days of computing almost every designer has at least a dozen Copic marker around. The reason: Their ink doesn’t do the typical marker stripes when filling out large areas and doesn’t kill the paper. The original Copic is the square-shaped with two tips, which I highly recommend. Over 200 colors are available. These have one brush side and a broad side. You can refill the pens and replace the tips. Copics are pricy but if you take care of them they are for live. For the beginning I would start with a neutral gray, since it’s useful to ad shadows to sketches. Just be careful which ink you are using when coloring with Copics, they tent to smear it. The pens I mentioned in KISS pens work fine.
- The Pentel Sign pen is on of my favorite pens. Together with the Uniball Micro it’s the pen I have usually with me. The pen itself has a good shape to work with, the tip has a good size for sketches and the ink has a good quality. It works with the Copic markers too! They are available in various colors. I prefer black and grey, which is great to accentuate outlines without darken them too much.
- When it comes to large sketches a lead holder (or clutch pencil) is your weapon of choice. The are not expensive either and you don’t make your fingers dirty like handling the lead itself. I don’t want to be picky about dirty fingers, but sometimes it’s nice not to cover your working place with dark fingertips. Especially when it’s not your desk. Go with a softer lead because it’s darker and easier to erase. I recommend buying an aluminum one, since they are not that much more expensive and are made for live. The plastic ones will break after a few years, especially when exposed to direct sunlight, what naturally happens when you do a lot of outdoor sketching. Staedtler Mars builds the standard, Koh-I-Nor from Czech are the ones I prefer. Fürst from Germany also build great ones. The short ones with 2mm lead are great to carry around.
- Same league as the clutch pen is his little brother the mechanical pen. The difference is the thinner leads. Since clutch pens are for really rough sketches, mechanical pens are made for detailed work up to technical drawings. Same here with the material: They are cheap in plastic and if you buy from Staedtler or Faber the even have a good quality, but it’s really worth to spend more money for a metal one. My favorite is the Rotring 600 from Germany. I think it’s not available in the US, but you can order them from Europe and Japan.
I hope this inspired you again to sketch. Remember: The only bad sketch you did is the one you don’t draw!
(c)2011 Tom Mayer/Meza Boogie, All Rights Reserved