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Looking For Ballpoint Pen For Drawing


Inksomnia
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I love to draw and mainly use my fountains pens for that. But recently I tried ballpoint pens and they are great tools as well. I like bit drier type, the ones you can get light and bold marks depending on pressure. I currently use really cheap ones, but you know... I want some proper fancy ones, but which one would suit my criteria? It needs to be refillable, of course. I prefer smallish pens, because I would love to keep this pen attached to my sketchbook and take it everywhere. And it needs to have black, dryish ink. This is the most important part, it has to be able to produce light marks and bold marks.

 

I fell in love with new limited edition Lamy pico. I have no way to test this out, how the pen behaves and feels. I also plan to get just one ballpoint, because still I like my fountain pens more. So I really need your help, what brand have these dryish refills and small ballpoint pens? I like neon green, yellowgreen, lime those kind of colors. But I also like demonstrators, cool engineering and all black pens. So what are your thoughts?

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It's a old mantra on this sub-forum, but since you want colour gradient on the ink, I'll use it: You will likely want to find a refill which suits your requirements, and then try to find the actual pen for it.

 

Unfortunately, it's somewhat unlikely that the Lamy Pico will suit you as it uses a Lamy proprietary short cartridge. Although apparently Lamy M22 does these days have F, M, and B line widths.

You do not have a right to post. You do not have a right to a lawyer. Do you understands these rights you do not have?

 

Kaweco Supra (titanium B), Al-Sport (steel BB).

Parker: Sonnet (dimonite); Frontier GT; 51 (gray); Vacumatic (amber).

Pelikan: m600 (BB); Rotring ArtPen (1,9mm); Rotring Rive; Cult Pens Mini (the original silver version), Waterman Carene (ultramarine F)

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It's all about the refill versus the pen that holds it. Depending upon your budget, you might want to look into specialized low production pens where they've got the capability of holding most any ballpoint refill, like the Ti Arto pen.

 

I find the old style ballpoint pen ink to be too unreliable in terms of line consistency and continued operation.

 

For varied lines, why not get different sizes (much as you would with pencils)? If you find gel inks flow too freely, there are more viscous inks that are more conservative. I think Pilot G2 and Pentel EnerGel refills are great.

[MYU's Pen Review Corner] | "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small

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Good points! I didn't know that there is ballpoint pens that take any refill. Only refill I can buy here is Parker, maybe. I think there is even Parker ballpoints avaible here. I'm not sure about Jotter, I have problem with all metal sections and thinner pens.

 

I have Pentel tradio with Energel ink, but I don't like the ink. It gives too consistent line, for drawing it is ok if it is bit unconsistent and not flows well. I also tried Uniball Signo TSI, which is like Pilot frixion, but it run out of ink already... Best what I could find in my house, was Pentel RSVP, but it has red ink. I have tried G2 and they have too good flow and consistency as well. I tried Uniball Jetsream at store and it was smooth, but it couldn't produce lighter marks.

 

Also, I could use different pen for thicker line, but in sketching (which I want to use ballpoint pens) I prefer using one pen that can produce both.

Edited by Inksomnia
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I would suggest a multi-pen that takes standard D1 refills (from different brands). There are some that come with two or three pens plus a mechanical pencil component. You can really mix and match according to your needs, adding different colored refills, or the same color but different line widths. Check out jetpens.com (no affiliation), they have a great selection of multi-pens and different refills. And, depending on the pen, they have different mechanical pencil components (0.7 and 0.5 mm lead).

 

Good luck on your search 😊

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Ballpoint pens are really designed to give the same width line all the time, could be fine, medium or broad.

I'm not sure that a ballpoint can give lighter or darker lines than it is designed to do.

Also most ballpoints are either black ink or blue, in the Parker type refills.

Other than that, I don't know what to suggest.

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I would suggest a multi-pen that takes standard D1 refills (from different brands). There are some that come with two or three pens plus a mechanical pencil component. You can really mix and match according to your needs, adding different colored refills, or the same color but different line widths. Check out jetpens.com (no affiliation), they have a great selection of multi-pens and different refills. And, depending on the pen, they have different mechanical pencil components (0.7 and 0.5 mm lead).

 

Good luck on your search

Hinky makes a great suggestion. The D1 mini refills come in 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 sizes. As for line variation by pressure, I don't think you're going to find many modern ballpoint refills providing that. I think it best to have a multi-pen where you switch. There are multipens that take multiple ballpoint refills. I think beyond 4 gets to be a bit much (thicker body).

[MYU's Pen Review Corner] | "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small

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Ballpoint pens are really designed to give the same width line all the time, could be fine, medium or broad.

I'm not sure that a ballpoint can give lighter or darker lines than it is designed to do.

Also most ballpoints are either black ink or blue, in the Parker type refills.

Other than that, I don't know what to suggest.

I don't know what trick @Inksomnia is planning to use, but I would suspect using varying downwards pressure on the pen.

You do not have a right to post. You do not have a right to a lawyer. Do you understands these rights you do not have?

 

Kaweco Supra (titanium B), Al-Sport (steel BB).

Parker: Sonnet (dimonite); Frontier GT; 51 (gray); Vacumatic (amber).

Pelikan: m600 (BB); Rotring ArtPen (1,9mm); Rotring Rive; Cult Pens Mini (the original silver version), Waterman Carene (ultramarine F)

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I think there needs to be some clarification here about what kind of variation the OP is looking for.

 

This being mostly a site about fountain pens, line variation usually means the width of the line, something which fountain pens can vary a lot but not ballpoints, as they have fixed width point. On the other hand, though, ballpoints, due to the way they dispense their ink and characteristics of the inks themselves, can produce a light or bold line. Variation of pressure makes for a variation of the sparsity of the ink dispensed, somewhat like the effect of pressure when using pencils, just with less of the line width variation.

 

If this sort of line variation is what the OP's looking for, ballpoints are indeed the way to go. And I'd suggest a normal ballpoint refill instead of gel-style refills, since normal ballpoint inks are more viscous, meaning that they're more reluctant to flow and make a constant line on the paper. I think the normal Parker BP refill is good and smooth enough. Fits a lot of pens as well (G2 refill size).

 

I don't draw much myself, but I know that among some artists the Bic Cristal ballpoint is very popular and has gained some kind of following. If you search Google for "Bic ballpoint drawing" or you'll see for yourself. So I guess it's a good pen to start? Kinda small and basic. Well, too basic perhaps if you have something fancier in mind.

Edited by stuck-in-time
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I don't know what trick @Inksomnia is planning to use, but I would suspect using varying downwards pressure on the pen.

Yes, that is the way I get line variation out of ballpoint pens. Stuck-in-time also really well explained what I mean by line variation. English is my third language so it isn't so easy to express myself.

 

I looked some refills and got even more confused. There is so many different ones. I noticed that drawing take quite much of ink, so I think small refill like in Lamy Pico, would run out really fast.

 

I may go with Rotring Rapid pro, because I have their clutch pen and it is my favorite. It is really comfortable to hold. It uses those G2 type refills.

 

I just got pack of cheap ballpoint pens from Flying tiger to test do I like ballpoints enough to get the refillable one. I try use refillable pens when ever it is possible, I even have refillable higlighters! It is much easier store refills than new pens, it is also cheaper in long run in most cases.

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I know a ballpoint artist, and she swears by the Bic Cristal. Said she tried hundred of ballpoints, from the most fact to the least expensive, but for a reason or another nothing beat the Bic.

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How 'bout a Paka' Jatta'?

 

(Parker Jotter. I only need ONE ballpoint. That's how good it is!)

 

Seconded. I ran a Jotter all through college- only lost the sucker in grad school. I'd actually worn the brushed finish smooth. PIlot G2s were my weapon of choice in med school- 1mm, blue, red, black and green. Emptied more than a few. Now, aside from my beloved fountains, a Fisher AG7 is in my coat. Writes on anything, anywhere.

Physician- signing your scripts with Skrips!


I'm so tough I vacation in Detroit.

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I think Parker made a quality pen with the all steel Jotter. I still have one lying around from the early 1980's that is working perfectly fine. My only complaint with it is that the surface is a bit too slick. I didn't realize the difference until I wound up with a Mitsubishi made "clone" of the Parker Jotter, which has etched lines in the stainless steel. While it feels smooth, the lines provide a better grip than the equivalent Jotter.

 

Mitsubishi_Silver_Stripe_MP_BP_05.jpg

It's really well made. It's cap actuated, like the steel Jotter. The parts photo below makes it look like the internals of the cap are shallow, but they're much deeper inside the cap. There's a screw-like plastic part that suggests there's a means of adjusting it (perhaps to customize how far the tip extends?). Unfortunately, this doesn't take Parker refills. It has its own Mitsubishi proprietary refill. But I was able to find a Pilot refill that will work, with just a very slight modification (aluminum tape around the neck to reduce wobble).
Mitsubishi_Silver_Stripe_BP_parts.jpg

[MYU's Pen Review Corner] | "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small

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Yes, that is the way I get line variation out of ballpoint pens. Stuck-in-time also really well explained what I mean by line variation. English is my third language so it isn't so easy to express myself.

 

I looked some refills and got even more confused. There is so many different ones. I noticed that drawing take quite much of ink, so I think small refill like in Lamy Pico, would run out really fast.

 

I may go with Rotring Rapid pro, because I have their clutch pen and it is my favorite. It is really comfortable to hold. It uses those G2 type refills.

 

I just got pack of cheap ballpoint pens from Flying tiger to test do I like ballpoints enough to get the refillable one. I try use refillable pens when ever it is possible, I even have refillable higlighters! It is much easier store refills than new pens, it is also cheaper in long run in most cases.

Then it's pretty much no-brainer to try the Rotring Rapid pro among other choices.

You do not have a right to post. You do not have a right to a lawyer. Do you understands these rights you do not have?

 

Kaweco Supra (titanium B), Al-Sport (steel BB).

Parker: Sonnet (dimonite); Frontier GT; 51 (gray); Vacumatic (amber).

Pelikan: m600 (BB); Rotring ArtPen (1,9mm); Rotring Rive; Cult Pens Mini (the original silver version), Waterman Carene (ultramarine F)

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I don’t think Pilot makes the ballpoint that got me through high school anymore. G2 replaced it I think. And G2 seems pretty ok if one must do ballpoint.

 

Sakura Gelly Roll doesn’t seem to have separate refills, but it seems very similar to the BIC cristal without being as gross and smeary. They’re ALL advertised as archival (in most gel and ballpoint brands, that’s not the case) and the white one is nice. I’m not sure what size the refill is, but there’s probably fans out there who can help you find a suitable multi pen or regular body for it. I’d guess offhand that anything that can take a BIC refill can use it since the designs are so similar.

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