Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Tale of Two Pens

a tale of two pens
Originally uploaded by daveterry.
Oh the eternal search for the perfect sketch pen.

And so I bought a maple wood A.G. Spalding & Bros. roller ball pen. It's got a great heft and lays down a bold black wet 0.5 line. The fit and finish is perfect. The wood has a smooth natural feel.

A.G. Spalding & Bros. also makes several other wood finishes and pen designs. For example, they have a fountain pen in the same wood design. They are also available at (I'm not affiliated with A.G. Spalding & Bros. nor Jetpens, I just like their huge selection and speed of delivery.)

Here's the bad news, the ink is not waterproof. Rats. So the sketch looks a little blurry and muddy. As I painted over the sketch with the watercolor wash some of the pen's ink mixed in with the color, thus producing the darker hue. If it were waterproof ink, it would be a perfect 0.5 sketch pen. If you buy the fountain pen you could fill the cartridges with your own waterproof ink, such as Noodlers Bulletproof Black. (You can read more about some of my experiments with Noodlers Bulletproof Black here.

The Helix 0.5 here pictured is waterproof but the cap doesn't post which makes the pen short and light. It doesn't have the heft of the Spalding. It came in a four pack with several other line weights: 0.1, 0.3, 0.8.

I suppose if I were more of an artist it wouldn't matter WHAT pen I used. I sure envy Andrea Joseph's work. It's outstanding. And she does all her sketching with discarded pens. Her work is quite incredible.

So maybe that's my problem. I'm spending way too much time shopping for pens rather than drawing with them.

To believe in one's dreams is to spend all of one's life asleep. - Chinese Proverb