The Best Fountain Pens for Sketching and Drawing

Photo from @micahfinds on Instagram


Fountain pens are great for writing, but did you know that they are also excellent tools for drawing and sketching? The precise and fluid linework allows you to create smooth and varied lines depending on what you’re creating. Aside from that, fountain pens are much livelier than their pencil, ballpoint pen, or fine liner pen counterparts. 


If you’ve always wanted to draw with ink, then a fountain pen might be great for you to use. Sketching with ink also improves your skills and confidence in a way that pencils and erasers just can’t. 


There are many options out there for the perfect sketching fountain pen and even the right fountain pen inks to use. We’ve narrowed it down to five of the best pens you can use for your sketching needs. 


1. Pilot Prera

The Pilot Prera is a simple choice that has a precise and slightly springy nib. Artists will enjoy this since it feels great in the hand and moves well across paper with great ink flow, even when using more rapid strokes to draw. You can use either cartridges or converters with this pen, and you can also swap out nibs if you want a finer or broader tip. 


If you’ve tried or own a Pilot Metropolitan, you can think of this pen as its more balanced and polished sibling. However, those looking for something much more lightweight and affordable can opt for the beginner-friendly Pilot Kakuno in a fine or extra fine nib size. 


2. LAMY Joy


The LAMY Joy is unique in that it is beautifully shaped like a paint brush with its tapered end. However, bear in mind that it can only be purchased with a calligraphy nib initially, in 1.1mm, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm sizes. Sketchers who want the feel of a nib like the classic LAMY Safari but want the long-tapered shape of this pen can purchase a separate nib to swap out. 

This fountain pen is perfect for producing bolder and more variable lines in your sketches. Those who aren’t used to broader nibs can opt for the 1.1mm stub before moving onto the 1.9mm nib, which lays down quite a thick line of ink. Looking up writing samples can help you decide if this is the pen for your drawing style. 


3. Narwhal Original Fountain Pen



Nahvalur or Narwhal, as it is commonly referred to, produces quality fountain pens. The original fountain pen this brand released is excellent for sketching. It lays down a generous line of ink without being too wet that makes for a great drawing experience. 


The pen is also a nice size — not too big and heavy but not too light either. The clip is a nice touch and allows artists to attach the pen to sketchbooks or in a pen case for safekeeping, like the Caran D'Ache Pen Case. It’s sturdy and built to last, making it a great candidate for your lifelong sketching endeavors.


4. Pilot Falcon


Gold-nibbed pens also make excellent tools to sketch with because of their more flexible properties. The Pilot Falcon has an interesting beak-shaped nib that is made from 14k soft gold. This results in softer lines that are similar to smooth pencil strokes or brush marks. However, unlike brush pens, this fountain pen is much easier to control with a great degree of precision for finer details.


The Pilot Falcon does come with a hefty price tag because of the gold nib. However, if you want to draw something with a bit more bounce and a softer touch, then this is a great pen to have in your collection.


5. Pelikan Classic M200


Last but not least is the Pelikan Classic M200. Unlike the Pilot Falcon, this fountain pen’s nib is made of bendy stainless steel plated with gold. Artists who want more flexibility in their nibs should opt for the fine size rather than the extra fine nib. Pelikan nibs also run a bit wider than Japanese nibs, so be careful when making your selection. 


What makes the Pelikan Classic M200 great for sketching is that it is quite compact and lightweight. You won’t need to refill your pen for some time even after a lot of sketching because of its large ink reservoir. It’s a very pleasant experience drawing with this, and if you have the budget to purchase it, we recommend that you do.


The Bottom Line

Sketching with fountain pens is a truly enjoyable experience, especially if you have the right pen to do the job. Whether you prefer flex pens, extra-fine nibs, or even a stub nib, these options should have you covered.




Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting

Author: Ramona



“ Gold-nibbed pens also make excellent tools to sketch with because of their more flexible properties” — that’s a myth and a bit misleading. Yes, they can be, but that’s not true across the board. The Pilot Falcon is a springier pen, but Sailor gold nibs (and others like Platinum) are hard as nails- even their 21K ones.

Eileen P. Goldenberg

I am a full time artists and Urban Sketcher and I love using fountain pens for sketching. I also teach people how to maintian and use fountain pens for sketching. One important point is the type of ink you use, permanent or non permanent ink. I love Platinum Carbon Black for my everyday permanent black. It dries fast and is great to use with watercolor. I would love to write an article about Urban Sketching and Fountain Pens for your posts.. My IG is @eileenpg to see my Urban Sketches. Thanks very much. I look forward to hearing from you.. Eileen

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