16 of the best drawing pens for professionals and beginners

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Whether you are a professional illustrator or an amateur painter, shopping for new art supplies is an exciting experience. Each type of medium holds a myriad of untapped possibilities for creative projects. A set of drawing pencils and a new sketchbook will help start your artistic journey, but the right pen can be the tool to bring your idea to life.

Unlike markers or colored pencils, pens can provide precise and consistent line art for artists specializing in intricate details. Their affordable price and quick drying time also allows for higher production than working with paint. This is why they are one of the most popular mediums among illustrators. However, pens are not limited to your typical ballpoint pen. You will find that there is a pen that is designed for almost any type of line art including calligraphy, sketching, caricature, drawing, etc.

With so many options available, choosing the perfect set of pens can be a bit overwhelming. This is why it is important to learn about the different types of pens and what each of them can do for your art. Once you’ve tried your hand at a few different inking projects, you can even mix and match different types of pens to create new types of effects.

Looking for more art supplies? We’ve got you covered in our guide to the best colored pencils, best markers, and best watercolor paint sets.

Cup pens

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Different types of pens

Like any creative tool, pens come in several categories. When you start looking for the perfect utensil, it helps to think about what you want your pen to do for you. Here is a quick description of common types of pens:

  • Pen are perhaps the most practical and popular modern pens. Their revolutionary design channels thick, oil-based ink through a steel tip that “rolls” across the writing surface. Although ballpoint pens are most often used for taking notes and keeping a journal, some artists use them to create amazingly detailed illustrations because they are an affordable and durable tool.
  • Roller ball pens are similar to ballpoint pens, but instead of oil based ink they use gel or water based ink. As a result, rollerblades produce a “wet ink” that looks more like a fountain pen.
  • Gel pens are a great tool for craftsmen. Gel ink has a high viscosity and comes in a variety of colorful inks which are great decorative additions to any multimedia project. And, like ballpoint pens and rollerblades, gel pens allow for fine, controlled line art.
  • Pens are based on traditional feathers and are defined mainly by their different feathers. Writers and calligraphers turn to these pens for their expressive and flourishing lines. While some of the best fountain pens may have a higher initial cost, they are often refillable and can be used with a variety of permanent and non-permanent inks.
  • Point felts are essentially finer markers and have the same porous tip made from pressed felt fibers. While not a popular option for writers, artists and coloring book enthusiasts appreciate markers for their bold strokes and variety of colors.
  • Brush pens are ideal tools for bold ink application. Their unique tip can be made from natural bristle bristles or synthetic nylon and mimics the effects of a brush. These pens are particularly popular with calligraphers and illustrators.
  • Technical drawing pens, or drawing pens, are the preferred artistic tool of architects, engineers, illustrators, and anyone else who depends on precise and consistent lines. They usually feature needle point tips in assorted widths, such as 0.5mm and 1.0mm, making them ideal for any detailed line art.
  • Feathers feature a wooden, metal or plastic handle and a single metal tip. As the name suggests, the nibs do not contain an ink reservoir inside and instead should be dipped into an inkwell. Dip pens often come with a variety of different nibs that allow for specific line art and are popular tools for designers, illustrators, and calligraphers.
Draw with pens

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Our picks for the best drawing and journaling pens

Now that you know the different types of pens, it’s time to think about which of these utensils would best complement your creative project. Even though there are hundreds of pens designed for unique purposes, don’t be afraid to experiment. Part of the fun of acquiring art supplies is seeing how they can bring out a new side of your art.

Before you start your next creative project, check out our list of best drawing and journaling pens, below.

Set of 48 Fiskars gel pens

Fiskars Gel Pens

Fiskars | $ 18.64

Are you looking for a set of pens that can draw the rainbow? This gel pen put by Fiskars offers 48 vibrant colors, including neon, glitter, metallic and even two-tone blends. Use them on dark paper and multimedia projects for a decorative touch.

Pilot V-Ball Liquid Ink Pen

V-Ball Pilot Pen

Pilot | $ 2.46

Pilot is known for its reliable pens. The V-Ball rollerball pen has an advanced ink supply system that will help you write journal entries effortlessly.

Pentel Arts Pen Sketch Pen

Pentel Drawing Pen

Pentel | $ 3.49

The Pentel The sketch pen has a flexible tip that can create both fine lines and wide strokes. It uses water-based black ink, ideal for expressive drawing, cartoons, and calligraphy.

Sakura Pigma Micron Fine Line Set of 10 (100th Anniversary Edition)

Sakura Micron Pigma Drawing Pens

Sakura | $ 28.34

Almost all artists know SakuraThe famous Pigma Micron pens. These drawing pens come in a range of nib sizes that will help you make intricate and bold line art. Pigma ink will not pass through paper and will not fade against sunlight and UV rays.

Faber-Castell Ecco pigment pen

Best drawing pens

Faber-Castell | $ 24.20

The Faber Castell The pigment pen can do it all. Whether you’re drawing or writing, its fine metal tip provides precise and stable line art that can be used on a variety of papers, including transparencies.

Set of 4 Artline Drawing Pens

Artline drawing pens

Line of art | $ 8.21

Artline drawing pens is another set of technical pens. Their feathers are reinforced with metal, making them great utensils to use with rulers and jigs. In addition, Artline ink is water resistant and fade resistant.

Set of 5 Windsor & Newton FineLiner pens

Winsor & Newton pens

Winsor and Newton | $ 11.01

Winsor and Newton art supplies are synonymous with quality. Their series of Fineliners are ideal for sketching, drawing and writing. They also feature pigment ink that is water resistant and fade resistant.

Set of 3 Rotring Isograph Technical Drawing Pens

Rotring Isograph Pens

Rotring | $ 74.59

For an accurate line drawing, you should look no further than rOtring‘s Isograph Technical Drawing Pens. The College Set is designed for architects and includes 3 refillable pens with stainless steel tips that will support rulers and jigs.

Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica Set of 5

Pentel Hybrid Technica pens

Pentel | $ 13.60

The Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica Pen uses ballpoint pen technology and archival, acid-free, water-resistant ink. These pens provide a smooth and consistent line art, ideal for sketching, drawing, and manga art.

Pilot EasyTouch 12 Pack Refillable Ballpoint Pens

Pilot ballpoint pens

Pilot | $ 5.69

Looking for a pen that will help you go through your homework and act as a sturdy drawing tool? Well, PilotThe retractable ballpoint pen can do just that and more. Choose the set of 12 to make sure you always have a pen ready for use.

Set of 20 Stabilo Color Parade markers

Stabilo pens

Stabilo | $ 19.72

Sometimes markers just don’t make a difference when it comes to coloring intricate designs. It’s there that StabilizationFelt pens are provided. Their set of 20 pens comes in a handy case that folds up into an easel. And their odorless, water-based ink won’t go through paper.

Kuretake Brush Pen

Kuretake Brush Pen

Kuretake | $ 27.99

The Kuretake The Brush Pen features a natural sable hair tip and water resistant pigment ink. Not only is this brush pen great for expressive lettering, it can also produce detailed line strokes in illustrations.

Kuretake ai Liner Ultra Fine Brush Pen

Kuretake Brush Pen

Kuretake | $ 9

Inspired by cosmetic eyeliner, the Kuretake ai Liner Brush Pen offers precise line art, ideal for comics and manga. Plus, it uses a water-based black ink that is water resistant and won’t smudge or bleed when dry.

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Pentel | $ 12.58

PentelThe Pocket Brush Pen is a small but powerful tool. Its flexible tip allows you to alternate between fine and wide strokes with a single brushstroke.

Rotring Fountain Pen

Rotring Fountain Pen

Rotring | $ 30

The right pen can improve even mundane activities. Signal Rotring‘s Fountain Pen — This utensil combines the balance and tip of a quill pen with the utility and convenience of a fountain pen. Use it for calligraphy, journaling, and even illustration.

Speedball Dip Pen Cartoon Set

Dip Pen Set

Speedball | $ 9.48

Some artists swear by dip pens. If you want to see what this expressive tool can do for you, SpeedballThe Cartooning set is a good place to start. This kit includes 2 plastic holders and 6 unique metal tips to help you draw all types of lines.

This article has been modified and updated.

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