Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

Details

Closed to new replies
January 11, 2013
Link

Statistics

Replies: 27

Is there such a thing as a really good ballpoint pen?

:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've been sketching with a cheap ballpoint pen lately (literally one of those they provide in hotel rooms). I actually like it because I can sort of sketch with it, and then gradually darken my lines ([link]). If I draw lightly, very little ink comes out, which is not the case with my regular prismacolor fine tip markers. It's kind of a handy feature. But I was wondering, since there are so many amazing ballpoint pen artists out there: is there a recommended "ballpoint pen for artists"?
Reply

You can no longer comment on this thread as it was closed due to no activity for a month.

Devious Comments

Hidden by Commenter
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for that detailed reply. You seem to sense what I'm after here, which I guess is the characteristic crappy ink flow of cheap pens! I'm realizing I don't want a smooth ink flow, because I'm sketching with pen, rather than inking, if that makes sense.

I actually like the fact that I can't erase these sketches, because the "mistakes" sometimes turn into something good, or at lest unexpected. They also sometimes ruin the picture, but that's OK. Somehow knowing I can't erase frees me up a bit, because I can't fret too much about trying to make it right. Once I make a line, I have to live with it. Even with the cheap pens, I can only sketch lightly a little bit, and then eventually I have to commit to a line and use it.
Reply
Hidden by Commenter
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That technology is totally freaky...it's like something from an old spy movie :)
Reply
:iconhoukou-nrl:
Houkou-NRL Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Traditional Artist
I'll be up-front and say that this heavily depends on what sort of work you want to do with the pen, and to a lesser extent the surface you're working on. Strictly from what I've worked with, those bottom-grade ballpoints are pretty much what you want if you're looking to achieve that multi-toned, sketchy effect. That said, however, it's still new ground for me. I've particularly been avoiding any pens labelled for smooth writing/flow like the plague as I've tried to refill my stock.

I really, really want to second Zebra pens in the event that you want bold, solid lines and don't want to use your Prismacolors for whatever reason, but I no longer seem to have any of my own—a shame, really, as I recall them being quality products. I do understand if you would need a ballpoint to fulfill the need, however, considering I myself have spongy drawing surfaces that drink up ink from free-flowing sources. I often use a Pilot G-Tec-C4 in the sketchbook in question...don't use it! The ink's super-thin and won't even hold when dry (why I don't use it anywhere else, and the paper takes poorly to an eraser anyway).
Reply
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for your advice. After reading your comments and AlanTheRobot's above, I'm beginning to see that a cheap pen may be just what I need, as its crappy ink flow suits my purposes just fine.

I have to get back into real inking of sketched-out drawings. I've got my prismacolors but I've barely used them. If I don't like them, I'll give Zebras a try.
Reply
:iconmercury-crowe:
Mercury-Crowe Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Define 'good'.

Personally, I like the super cheap ones I get at the dollar general.

It's going to be very personal, as to what you like in the pen. I suggest getting a variety of brands and trying them out before you make your decision.
Reply
:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student General Artist
Ball point pen artist :iconvianaarts:

FAQ here:
Reply
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, that is...humbling. Thank you so much for posting the link. I'm not a big fan of photorealism (see this forum post [link]), but wow her skill is just astounding...with just plain ol' Bic pens.
Reply
:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
if you're willing to try something that isn't strictly ballpoint, a Parallel Pen is probably going to suit you.
Reply
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmmm...I googled that and they seem to mainly pens for calligraphy. Do you sketch with them?
Reply
:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
it's a pen, you draw with it. no mysteries here :la:
Reply
:iconclockhound:
Clockhound Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Student General Artist
I think there are, but to be honest, I use a Pentel 1.0 mm ballpoint, which you can find just about anywhere. What I really like about it is that along with having various tones, it also draws very smoothly.
Reply
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OK, so far we have Pentel, Zebra, and TUL. And of course Bic. I think I really will go buy a few and try them out. If that happens in the next few days, I'll report back here.
Reply
:iconclockhound:
Clockhound Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student General Artist
Sounds good. Another thing about using pentels is that they are pretty cheap, and come in large packages.
Reply
:icongeekysideburns:
geekysideburns Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013   Digital Artist
I would look at Jetpens.com they have a fine selection of pens and reviews so you can make a decent list.

More popular ballpoints for drawing are usually [link] and this [link]

But take a look and you might find something tailored for you. ;p
Reply
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
These look like gel pens...I'm not really sure what the definition of a gel pen is actually, but it seems different than a regular ballpoint.
Reply
:icongeekysideburns:
geekysideburns Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013   Digital Artist
Opps, my bad! I was just recommending pens I've had good results in. I guess I use tons of gel pens.

Ballpoint wise Zebra has some good ones.
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
When I do sketches, I use the normal office supply store ones.  They work ok for me.
Reply
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think I'll be interested to see if there's much difference between the "normal" ones and the better (i.e. more expensive) ones. It may be a matter of personal preference...or what you're used to.
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
That's likely the case.
Reply
:iconmad-shrewd:
mad-shrewd Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
Doesn't the answer really depend a great deal on the person. I personally, do all my drawing using Zebra pens because I can draw very lightly with them. I don't bother going dark until I'm ready for a gel.
Reply
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, I'll make a list of what people suggest and try them out. There seem to be a couple of brands of "high end" ballpoint pens.
Reply
:iconshininginthedarkness:
I got some medium-line ballpoints and they're a great step up from the cruddy stick ones. Just picked 'em up at an office supply store, they're TUL brand.
Reply
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You mean something like this? [link]
Reply
:iconshininginthedarkness:
I'm not sure that one's a classic ballpoint, mine's more like this [link]
Except I think I got a 3-pack, not 12.

I have no idea if it's the best pen for drawing, but I really like mine.
Reply
:iconoutsidelogic:
outsidelogic Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ok, thanks. I'll look for them and give it a shot.
Reply
Add a Comment: