The Very Best Pen?

I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I don’t care about (feel a need for) expensive writing pens.

In fact, I’ve never thought about pens much at all.

If I find one I like, I use it.

End of story, right?

However, it has come to my recent attention I now own five hundred ZILLION pens.

At least!

So, why do I own five hundred zillion pens?

(None of them, by the way, are super expensive pens.)

I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of different pens for art’s sake.


I’ve been using a Hobonichi for my “Doodle A Day” project and I keep experimenting with pens/ink for THAT.

The pens I find best for my Hobo are not the same pens I find best for my mixed media art projects.

After much experimenting, I thought I’d share some of my (so-far) favorites here today.

Maybe it will make the search for a perfect pen easier for one of you?

Or, maybe you have a pen lover and/or artist in your life you’ll be needing a gift for?

•  The best white pen in the entire world:  Uniball Signo Broad 

I’ve tried a ton – this is the best WHITE to write with, I promise!

You can also use it to cover up mistakes on white paper.

(Like white-out in a convenient pen form!)

•  The best watercolor BRUSH markers:  Zig (Kuretake) Clean Color Real Brush Pens

Oh, how I LOVE these!  These pens come in so many beautiful colors, blend really well together, and are a joy to play with!

You can make all sorts of PRETTY with them.  And yes, they are BRUSH pens … with real brush tips.

If you aren’t into art, you might STILL like a couple just to play with on your calendar, etc.

I often use my Pentel water brush with them for a watercolor-painterly effect.

It’s easy to carry the Zig Clean Color Brush Pens in a pencil case and use them while sitting in waiting rooms, while traveling, etc.

They’re one of my very favorites!

•  The best/most adorable fountain pen:  Kaweco Classic Sport White Fine Point Fountain Pen

Did I mention it’s small and adorable and so fun to write with?

I like to use a (relatively cheap) fountain pen to write with.

I love my Lamy pens, too, but there’s something special about my Kaweco.

•  The best highlighters:  Zebra Mildliners

I love these highlighters because they do what they’re supposed to do without overpowering the text you’re highlighting.

(I’m a nerd and I highlight a lot when I read nonfiction books.)

I hate it when a highlighter is distracting and abrasive.

The Zebra Mildliners come in a variety of pretty colors, too.

•  The best “I can write over anything, even acrylic paint” black pen:  OHTO Fude Ballpoint Pen  

This pen is a workhorse.

When I’m painting with acrylics and I want to outline something I’ve painted, I know this pen is up for the task.

It can write on/over just about anything.

Would I write a letter with it?  No.

But, it is “THEE” pen to write on acrylic paint with.

•  The best drawing/outlining black pen/s:  Uni Pin Drawing Pens

I admit, these weren’t my first choice when I began practicing drawing.

But, over time I’ve found them to be the ones I return to time and time again.

Everyone loves a good, reliable, Sharpie … right?

But, Sharpies bleed through a lot of (most?) papers.

The Uni Pin Pens don’t bleed.

They come in a pack of five assorted tip sizes which is very convenient.

They feel good in my hand when I draw with them.

They’re also water and fade proof.

What’s not to like?

•  The best gel pens for writing and/or art:  Sakura Gelly Rolls

Remember these from your childhood?

Well, they’re still out there with all their beautiful colors.

They’re fun to write with, and they’re awesome for adding details to watercolor and/or acrylic paintings.

(I say that as if I’m an artist vs. the very-casual-art-player I actually am.)

If you have kids in your life, you’re pretty safe assuming they’ll love “helping” you make art with these, too.

Gelly Rolls are just fun, regardless of your age.

•  The best felt tip colored pens:  Stabilo Point 88 Pen Sets Rollerset of 25

These pens look like pencils.

They’re comfortable to write with, and I haven’t had one bleed through paper yet.

(I hate pens that bleed through paper!)

I also really love the roll-up case they come in.

(So handy for travel!)

I use these pens a lot without thinking about them much at all.

They’re reliable and effortless.

Do I have other pens?

I’m embarrassed to say, yes I do!

I have various paint pens – but paint pens fall into an entirely different category of their own.

I, also, enjoy using Microns, Le Pens, and/or Staedtlers.

(And, oh yes, Sharpies sometimes, too!)

All of the above pens have cult-like followings.

And, I DO like them.

But, my favorite (and most used) pens are the ones listed in the bullet points above.

If you have a favorite pen for art/journaling/every day use, feel free to tell me about it in the comments section.










3 Responses to “The Very Best Pen?”

  1. Suzanne

    Yep I buy some stuff from Dick Blick.
    They don’t have a store in OC, but I’ve visited one of their L.A. stores and I’ve ordered from them online. But, I have Amazon prime so I don’t have to pay shipping when I order from Amazon. Also, Dick Blick was out of stock on the watercolor Zig markers for months. Depending on what I’m purchasing, I check around for prices, factor in shipping, etc. and then make a decision based off of that. I DO wish I had a decent art supply store near where I live. I have craft stores like Michael’s, but no art stores.

    • Mj

      We don’t have a Dick Blick’s here in San Jose so I mostly buy online from there or Amazon. I don’t particularly care for Michael’s as much anymore.


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