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Anybody use a FP for sketch work?


Moderator Emeritus
My oldest daughter enjoys a variety of artistic endeavors. Some of her favorite expressions are heavily influenced by Asian, and more specifically Japanese, forms. These range from traditional watercolors to manga style characters, and is beginning to teach herself Kanji. I would like to get her a fountain pen and ink for her upcoming Birthday for inking her work and would appreciate suggestions. The process is first a rough pencil sketch that is then inked over, pencil lines are erased and then watercolors are are panted over. If she likes the finished piece than the work is sealed with a light spray similar to a varnish. The ink would have to be near bullet proof to withstand the process. I was thinking of a flex pen as that would give her greater line control and was impressed with the video I saw of the Ahab pen but have little FP experience and none with a flex nib. Any help or advise would be appreciated.


Moderator Emeritus
A dip pen allows a quick change of different nibs and a quick change of ink.... most artists use these.

The Nid Hog

Moderator Emeritus
A dip pen would be my suggestion too. If she wants to practice kanji, I'd probably suggest a pencil for that (if you PM me, I can recommend some workbooks too), but a fude pen (brush pen) would be fun for her to write with as her ability improves. I have been tempted to buy one of the Noodler brush pens over at Goulet Pens, but I haven't done so yet. You can also get disposable fude pen at most larger Asian grocery stores.

You can probably also find a full-on calligraphy set (brush, ink, etc.) at the Asian stores--I saw supplies at a small Japanese market near my house last time I was there. It's fun, but I would probably hold off on buying something like that until her interests progress that far.

Hope she has fun!


Moderator Emeritus
I have been considering both those options, dip and brush pens. Regardless of whatever else I get I may get a brush pen as well. I thought of a dip pen set but I was concerned about clean up and storage, she shares a room with her 4yo little sister. I thought a pen with a cap could be gotten out for use and put away in her desk drawer easily. As far as ink colors go black and brown are what is suitable for what she is doing now. I'm not at all dismissing dip pens but those are my concerns. I'd love to get her a Asian calligraphy set, but that will probably have to wait until she is ready.
This suggestion is not a fountain pen, but you really can't beat it for convenience. Sakura Micron pens are fantastic. The ink is archival quality, and you can get them in nice thick tips all the way down to incredibly fine tips. They should be available at all fine art stores. I am in australia, but I see you are in america... which means you are lucky enough to have Dick Blick art shops, which will surely have these excellent markers.

Definitely check out this blog...


She does amazing work, almost all with fountain pens. Very creative calligraphy and drawing.

Here's a real good example of some really cool and creative calligraphy.

But check out all her videos and blog posts....very unique.


Moderator Emeritus
Thanks for the links. So that those that are interested can se more clearly what I was talking about these two images are more similar to what my daughter likes doing in terms of technique, although form and style are very different. Everyone's been very helpful thanks. keep the suggestions coming if you have any.

The images posted here are property of their creators/copyright holders and are used here only as an example of ink and watercolor work.


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