The Last Drawing Pen You’ll Ever Need

*Links contained in this post are affiliate links for Amazon and/or Dick Blick and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. These commissions help fund more content like this, so thank you!

Fine Line Pens for Illustrating and Doodling

Let’s talk about pens. It is a sad moment when you are mid-doodle and your $3 Micron Pen starts to run out of juice. I can’t tell you how many pens I have gone through over the years, but it starts to add up quickly even if you are just a hobby artist.

As a frugal artist, I have never been satisfied with single use paint pens/markers or drawing pens. I like products that last forever, and I am super excited that I found this product. Just like the paint pen I frequently recommend, I found a drawing pen that is refillable, precise, and versatile.

I can’t see myself buying any other pen for a long time. Well–except for all the other sizes of this particular pen…

Rotring Isograph Technical Drawing Pen

This isn’t a new product. Rotring has been around for decades, but I only discovered these pens in 2019. I believe these have been marketed mostly to architects and technical drafters, but I think more artists would love them.

I bought the .25mm Rotring Isograph pen and filled the reservoir with some India ink I already had in my studio, and my goodness is this pen amazing. I used to buy Micron .005 pens (Amazon), but I felt like the ink was a precious resource and my pens would dry up too quickly from all of my doodling. They are great pens, but when I’m afraid of running out of ink, I feel like it gets in the way of my creative process.

Enter the Rotring Isograph Pen, and my fears disappeared. When ink starts to run low, you just open the pen, fill the reservoir, and go back to drawing. Sweet, sweet creative freedom. Now I won’t be chucking single use pens in the garbage can after a few drawings.

Products I use:

Pen Pros
  • Very precise
  • Pen reservoir is refillable
  • Pen is easy to dismantle, clean, and refill
  • You can customize the colors and inks used
  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • So far I haven’t encountered any ink burps or pen explosions.
Pen Cons
  • Not cheap. These pens are a bit expensive initially. The .25mm pen I bought was around $25, but it pays for itself after a few refills if you factor in how many single use pens you’d go through over a few months.
See how I use it here:

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Let me know if you give this pen a try! It has become one of my new studio favorites!

If you enjoy learning about the supplies I use in the studio and want to know more, let me know through Instagram or Email, or consider becoming a Patron of mine to support more content like this. Now go get messy and share your creation on Instagram using #messyeverafter!

-Kelly

SUPPORT MESSY EVER AFTER ON PATREON:

A lot of artists don’t like to share their secrets, but I’m an open book. If you enjoy the content I create and the advice I give to other creators, please consider becoming Patron of mine on Patreon. Pledging as little as $1 a month supports this content and my career as an artist.

Further Reading:

Abstract Art Tutorial w/ Catalyst Wedge and Fine Line Paint Pen

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted a tutorial video, so I hope you enjoy. Please see the list of links below for all of the materials I used to make this and let me know if you have any questions!

* If you follow the affiliate product links below and make a purchase through Amazon or Blick Art Materials within 24 hours of clicking, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you. (Yay! Thanks for supporting the creation of this content!)

Acrylic Paint:
  • Liquitex Professional Acrylics (Blick or Amazon)
  • Blick Artist Acrylics (Blick)
  • Brea Reese Acrylic (Amazon or buy from their site for better prices.)
  • Blickrylic White Paint (Blick)
Fluid Paint Mixture:

Recipe= 1/3 Smooth Heavy Body Paint + 1/3 Floetrol/Flood + 1/3 Water

Read more about my recipe here.

  • Floetrol (Amazon, but it might be cheaper at home improvement stores.)
  • 4 oz Plastic Bottle for Storage (Amazon)
  • 16 oz Plastic Bottle for Storage (Amazon)
  • Spray Bottle for Spritzing (Amazon)
Brushes:
  • 1″,2″, and 3″ Synthetic Brush Multipack (Blick or Amazon-I haven’t tried this brand yet.)
  • 2″ Cheap Foam Brush for Varnish (Blick or Amazon-Multipack)
Catalyst Wedge:
Fineline Precison Applicator:
  • 20 Gauge (Blue Cap) Fineline Precision Applicator (Blick or Amazon)
Canvas:
  • 10″x10″ 3/4″ Profile Blick Studio Cotton Canvas (Blick)
  • 10″x10″ 1 3/8″ Profile Blick Studio Cotton Canvas (Blick)
Varnish:
Filming Equipment:

See this blog post for details on my video setup.

  • Logitech HD Pro c920 Webcam (Amazon)
  • Logitech Webcam Software
  • Webcam Scissor Arm Stand (Amazon)
  • Edited with Adobe Premier Pro
Links:
More Tutorials:

The Best Metallic Gold Ink and Paint for Fine Line Work

I have loved gold fine lining for years. My earliest frustrations of trying to find a good metallic paint pen occurred in 2009. I tried gel pens, calligraphy markers, oil based paint markers, and gold paint with the finest brush I could find. Paint markers ran out too fast or burped globs of ink on my work, working with a fine brush was time consuming, and gel pens just kind of suck in my opinion.

In the last two years, I have found my favorite products for metallic gold fine line work and now I can stop wasting my time and money (Hurray!). And of course I’m going to share my discoveries with you!

*Links contained in this post are affiliate links for Amazon and/or Dick Blick and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. These commissions help fund more content like this, so thank you!

I’m going to go over three products:

FolkArt Craft Paint in a Fine Line Applicator

If you are looking for a product to apply fine metallic gold line work on top of acrylic paint on canvas, craft paint in a Fineline Precision Applicator may be perfect for you.

I use this Fineline Applicator for all of my acrylic line work. You can read more about it here. Basically, take your shimmery gold paint and squeeze it into the applicator bottle. If the paint is thick, add some water and shake, but often these craft paint brands are thin enough to squeeze out of the applicator as is.

See how I use it here:

You can find a lot of metallic acrylic paints out there. I’ve tried many brands and applied my gold lines with with a very fine brush, but craft paints often have more metallic shimmer to them in my opinion. Choose your preferred gold color and go to town!

Finetec Pearlescent Mica

This product is on my favorite supplies list for November 2019, but I have to gush more about it here. If you are looking for a super opaque metallic product to add on top of your work on paper surfaces, you have to try Finetec Mica Watercolors.

You can apply this product with a dip pen or brush. Each color comes in a solid pan, but all you have to do is wet the surface with water and rub a brush over the pan until the color starts to “melt”. Then you can apply the mixture to your pen tip or use a brush.

The end result is so fricken pretty. Look at that shimmer!

Winsor and Newton Gold Ink

Before I discovered Finetec Mica Watercolors, this Winsor and Newton ink was my favorite for embellishing my paper works. The ink is easy to apply with a brush or pen nib, and the end result beautifully shimmers when it catches the light.

I usually use either a Speedball Sketch Pen (Amazon) or my new Tachikawa Comic Pen (Amazon) to apply this ink. Before dipping your pen or brush, make sure to stir the bottle really well as the gold settles at the bottom. You will also want to stir the bottle frequently if using the ink for a long sitting. This is my biggest complaint with the product–the gold settles quickly.

But look at how it shines on this hand embellished print in my store:

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There you have it! My top three materials for creating metallic gold fine line work in my art. Have you used any products that you absolutely love? Feel free to share your recommendations in the comments below while commenting is open.

If you enjoy learning about the supplies I use in the studio and want to know more, let me know through Instagram or Email, or consider becoming a Patron of mine to support more content like this. Now go get messy and share your creation on Instagram using #messyeverafter!

-Kelly

SUPPORT MESSY EVER AFTER ON PATREON:

A lot of artists don’t like to share their secrets, but I’m an open book. If you enjoy the content I create and the advice I give to other creators, please consider becoming Patron of mine on Patreon. Pledging as little as $1 a month supports this content and my career as an artist.

Further Reading: