I need a pen that will change my life!
June 23, 2010 7:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a good pen that I can use for sketching/rendering/etc. The main requirements: ~1mm thickness and it has to play nice with watercolors. Ideas?

I'm a scene design student so this will be used for sketching ideas, rendering perspectives, etc. There's pretty much no consistency with paper (Moleskines, bristol, printer paper - it's all fair game), so the more flexible the better.

I just ordered a set of Microns on the recommendations of earlier AskMeFi posts but I'm also looking for something thicker - around 1mm. I've been using the fine side of a black Prisma for this type of thing, but it's a bit too thick. It's also important that it plays nice with watercolors (for when I have time) and Prismacolor markers (for when I feel like coloring quickly).

Brush-style pens aren't my thing, but I'll get used to them if that's the only option I have to get this thickness. I'm not too familiar with pen tech, so I don't know what to expect exactly. I realize I'm looking for a lot... hopefully there's one pen out there that will do most of what I need!

Thanks everyone!
posted by cvp to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I really like my Copic Multiliner SP, which has replaceable nibs and cartridges. I have the elusive 0.2 size, but it's available in a wide range.
posted by a halcyon day at 8:30 PM on June 23, 2010

Sakura also makes a Micron Graphic that comes in the thicker sizes. Same ink as the Microns.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 9:13 PM on June 23, 2010

I find that Microns will bleed with watercolor OVER them, but if you watercolor, let it dry, then pen over it, that works. I prefer a Sharpie pen over any pen I've used for this specific thing. They come in lots of sizes now.
posted by AsRuinsAreToRome at 10:10 PM on June 23, 2010

Response by poster: I decided to cancel my order on the Microns and go with a full set of Copic Multiliners (not the SPs because of the price). Thanks so much for the suggestions and advice everyone!
posted by cvp at 10:34 PM on June 23, 2010

those copic pens look neat...might try them out myself...you might also try a rapidiograph.
you can buy them individually or in sets and they're easy to refill and clean...you can use pretty much any kind of ink...the line they make is very inflexible though...i.e. it will always be exactly the width of the pen, not thicker or thinner depending on how hard you press.
the price at blick might be a little high...shop around...often the sets go on sale for cheap, but don't include the 3.5 (1mm) size (the 7-pen set has the 3 and 4, though...i've seen it go for as little as 20-25 bucks...)
posted by sexyrobot at 11:58 PM on June 23, 2010

My mom is a professional watercolor illustrator, and she uses the Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pens that sexyrobot linked to, with India ink.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:43 AM on June 24, 2010

Response by poster: For future reference.... My order just arrived so here's a first impressions review. The Copic Multiliners weren't what I expected but work exactly as I hoped. The pen is less like a "pen" and more like a "really incredibly small marker" type of thing.

They work really well with my Prismacolors markers. I also bought a new set of Prismas, and using the new ones as a control I can tell the Copic Multiliners not only do not smudge on the paper but also don't leave any trace of ink on the markers themselves. Plus points for that! I haven't tested with bona fide watercolor but I suspect they'll perform just as well.

Dick Blick also threw in some free bristol, which was awfully kind of them. All around a successful endeavor. Thanks MeFi!
posted by cvp at 8:10 AM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

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