From the first time we pick up our favorite crayon to scrawl shapes as a child, we learn the importance of a good drawing pen. The tool must be an extension of our hands which can make the image in our mind appear on the paper in front of us.
It is tricky to know what drawing pens and art pens to buy, for those newbies it can feel like a minefield. As for professionals, we often stick to what we know, so we struggle to find new tools to experiment with.
In this article we will show you our top picks of inking pens, drawing pens and art pens.
What to look for when buying your next art pen
- Archival - you want the work you produce to stick around a while, so look out for archival pens so the ink doesn’t fade over time
- Waterproof ink - A water spill is the last thing you want to ruin your work!
- Bleed proof - While shading and smudging can work on some designs, for precision artwork it is important to have a drawing pen that maintains the integrity of your design
- Pigment ink - Lasts longer than normal dye inks
- Smudge-proof - Not just a challenge for the left-handers, smudging can happen as you sketch around the paper, don’t let your drawing pen betray you
Dyvicl Black Micro-Pen Fineliner Ink Pens
Dyvicl Micro-Pens are incredible value with quality thatto rivals more expensive art pens.
- Waterproof pigment ink
- Strong black colour
- 8 micro nib sizes and one brush tip art pen
- Dry out quickly
We like this set because it gives you a great value set with enough range for you to complete a detailed drawing. The ink is dark and the pens feel great quality, even for the low price they are sold at. The quality rivals more expensive pens and the nibs are solid enough to use for stippling.
They are really great for using with watercolor, the ink is totally waterproof so it'sare great to use alongside your paints. They do not bleed, smear or fade. The ultra-fine nibs also work very well for those final signatures on your art. A great alternative to micron pens, it is worth trying this set-out. For the price, you can’t go wrong!
Rotring Rapidograph Technical Drawing Pen
- Stainless steel nib
- Barrel indicated line width
- Refillable ink system
- Can be tricky to assemble
This is a great drawing pen if you need a low maintenance refillable pen. It’s innovative cartridge system means each time you change the cartridge you get a new ink helix, giving you a clean nib each time. There is almost no need to clean the nib and it remains crisp each time.
The pen provides clean lines and is of great quality. This range of pen is one designers often return to again and again, favoring the reliability of the model and the quality of the nib.
Sailor Fude De Mannen - Stroke Style Calligraphy Fountain Pen
Sailor Fude De Mannen, Stroke Style Calligraphy Fountain Pen is a great calligraphy pen for experts and beginners.
- Easy to create thick and fine lines by angling the pen
- Available in different angles
- Handles like a paintbrush
- Controlling ink flow can be tricky
We love this calligraphy pen because it gives all the style and feel of using a brush but without the mess. The cartridges are easily available, simple to replace and don’t tend to dry out quickly.
The pen is a great all-rounder for note-taking and for calligraphy use.
Available in different angles so you can experiment to find one that suits your own needs, but you may find the 55 degree angle easier to handle than the 40 degree. It is also really great to use for sketching with many technical designers opting for this pen for professional use.
Uni Posca Paint Marker Pen
Posca Paint Marker Pen is great for writing on all surfaces
- Water-based pigment that is lightfast and waterproof
- Ink does not bleed
- Available in a wide range of colors
- Can dry out if not used regularly
These marker pens are perfect for use on a range of surfaces, the ink holds fast and is vibrant. Available in a wide range of colors these pens are great for drawing on unusual surfaces and experimenting with the assortment of colors available.
The ink is really strong, light colors can be used over the top of dark, giving a really great contrast to your art.
Sakura Pigma Micron Pen
Sakura Pigma Micron Pen is a great value for those who regularly misplace pens!
- Archival ink great for use in acid-free environments
- Chemically stable and waterproof
- Low price point
- Unattractive design
These pens are great as they come at such a great value price point that if you are prone to losing your pen regularlyregulary, you won’t be throwing away huge amounts of money! The Micron pen is also a great staple pen known for its sturdy quality, skip-free writing and safeguarded with the permanence of pigma ink.
They are available in a range of sizes and the white comes as a gel roll nib which is particularly useful as an art pen. Not the most stylish looking but is certainly functional for art use.
Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers
Tombow Dual Brush Art Pen is great for shading your drawing and artwork
- Consistent drag-free lines
- Self-cleaning tips
- Great for professional use
- White pen is clear ink, not a white ink pen
These pens are really something special for shading your artwork. The pack is greyscale so you can select as you need to get through the right shading on your black and white designs.
Ranging from darker grey through to a white pen with a slight variation of grey/lilac shades in the middle. The only drawback being that the white pen is not white ink, it is a clear ink, so keep this in mind when preparing your designs.
When shading it is common to have smudging on the pen tips, however these pens self-clean so you maintain a consistent line each time.
Sharpie Art Pens
Sharpie Art Pens are great for a selection of vibrant colors.
- Wide range of colors
- Fine nib for precision lines
- Bleed free ink doesn’t leak through the paper
- Not as hardwearing as other brands
We love these pens for their big-name vibrant colors and ease of use. Their fine nib is great for precision lines and perfect for detailed drawing of your most colorful designs.
There isn’t a note of a specific nib size but adjusting your pressure gives a different edge to your lines and a variation in size. Just be careful not to press too hard and damage the nib, they are sensitive!
The only issue is that the yellow pens don’t seem to be as vibrant as the other colors and don’t stand out particularly well on a white background. Other than that a great set of art pens from Sharpie.
Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers
Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers are great for heavy-handed artists
- Strong nib that can withstand pressure
- Available in fine, chisel and brush tips
- Richly pigmented ink
- Ink can be used up fairly quickly
We love these pens because they are much harder wearing than many other pens on the market. The nibs are pretty sturdy and perfect for creating different lines and textures without the worry of ink smudging. The ink is also fast drying and waterproof so you know your work will last through the ages.
They are available in set of different nib sizes so straight away you are set up for your next art project. An all-round great set of drawing pens.
Staedler Pigment Liner
Staedler Pigment Liner is great for technical drawings
- Long metal tip
- Fineliner width
- Lightfast waterproof ink
- Bleeds when used with a highlighter
This drawing pen really is a great pen. It is difficult to find any negatives on this pen, the bleeding with a highlighter really is a tentative negative! This pen is sturdy, gives a crisp line, doesn’t bleed, leak or splurge ink when pressed. It seems to be fairly indestructible!
Useful for technical drawings with rulers due to its long metal tip, so it is a favorite with manylots of technical designers and graphic specialists.
Copic Multiliner SP Black Ink Marker
Copic Multiliner SP Black Ink Marker is a great value pen with replaceable nib options
- Ink cartridges are easy to replace
- A range of 10 replaceable nib sizes available
- Professional looking aluminum body
- Can dry out quickly
This pen is harder wearing than the popular micron pen and also looks a little more stylish. Designed as a long lastinglonglasting drawing pen with replaceable nibs and cartridges, this gives you the feel of a really professional pen. The Pen adds anwith the ease of use and lightweight feel likeof a disposable art pen.
Using the pen on rougher surfaces does wear the nibs down quicker but if your preferred surface is smooth paper you will get some serious longevity out of the pen.
So as you can see there really is a drawing pen out there for everyone and it really can depend on your needs for each piece but if we had to recommend and pick our favorites we would go for the Copic Multiliner for its durability and long-lasting design. For color-work, we recommend the Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers, the ink is vibrant and works well on many different surfaces. It has a real quality edge to it that other color pens just don’t seem to achieve.
Your art pen choices are very personal but we hope that we have given you a little direction as to where to go with your next purchase!