Need help finding the perfect ballpoint pen for drawing?
Check out our expert tips! I show you how to pick a pen that suits your unique needs.
5 Expert Tips on How to Find the Perfect Ballpoint Pen for Drawing
- Draw something real
- A good pen doesn’t blob
- Look for a wide sensitivity of the pen pressure
- Get a retractable pen
- Consider a cheap ballpoint pen.
I arrived 1 hour early at the Consulate of France.
I walked around to kill time and I found a pen shop!
Let’s test some pens.
I’m looking for one with good comfort
that will bring higher results in drawings for your sketchbook!
5 good practices to choose the best ballpoint pen for you.
There are so many ballpoint pens out there. I could recommend some of my favorites for industrial design sketching, however, a good choice of pen depends also if you have a “heavy wrist”.
Heavy wrist: A tendency to draw too dark.
TIP 1| Draw something real
The draft paper at the art shops for people to test pens never has any drawings inside. We often see a few hatching and little writings of random words. I believe artists and designers don’t test the pens the right way.
- Choose a ballpoint pen and draw something.
- Use it in real conditions: draw perspective lines, curves, shadows, line weight, light reflection…
- If you wonder what to draw, simply look around you.
I choose this cute red pencil sharpener to draw.
TIP 2| The best pen doesn’t blob
- Many ballpoint pens start to blob after drawing with it for a while.
- Choose one that doesn’t blob after many strokes.
- If it blobs early, avoid it or you will keep cleaning your nib all the time.
Plus getting stains on your drawing and hand palm.
TIP 3| Look for a wide pressure sensitivity
- Find a ballpoint pen that offers a wide range of contrast from very light to dark.
- When we draw with a ballpoint pen in design sketching, we do not aim to erase. Starting a sketch light is important.
- Test your pen with plenty of construction lines for example.
TIP 4| Get a retractable nib
- How many pen caps have you ever lost?
- How many clothes, bags, pencil cases… have you stained by a pen with a missing cap?
- How many times has your pen rolled and dropped on the floor?
- To avoid all these inconveniences, I recommend a retractable pen.
- It is optional, but it is great to sketch on the go!
(Example: Urban sketching or doodle note-taking)
TIP 5| Consider a cheap ballpoint pen
This non-branded ballpoint pen cost 5000VND (Vietnamese dong) = USD$0.22 only. Ballpoint pen technology is now a commodity:
- You can find great pens for cheap
(but also expensive ones with lower quality or defaults.)
- Don’t judge a pen by its price or look.
But by your own test and experience.
- The simple design of pens is often the best.
Extra shopping time!
I couldn’t resist to adopt a few more pens and pencils.
A flashy pink graphite pencil STAEDTLER 2B was calling me.
So I tested it drawing Doraemon as I did for the pencil sharpener. 🙂
Next time you go to a pen shop, draw something, and feel free to send me your drawings by email at firstname.lastname@example.org :).