The Best Drawing Pens In 2021

Drawing is essential. It’s not just for creative people; it allows anyone to express their inner thoughts and feelings about anything that might be going on in life right now. From doodling with a pen and paper to more detailed drawings, we’re able to get our emotions out there into something tangible, something you can see or draw!

In the world of art professionals, drawing pens are the key to success. Yet, for many artists, cartoonists, architects, engineers, illustrators, designers, and so on, pens are not as regular as it seems. Each has a purpose, a technology that makes them stand out and help an artist deliver.

For people where illustration is life, each drawing has a purpose, and appropriate tools are required to achieve a vision. There are many options for drawing pens out there, and it may appear overwhelming, so let’s start with some basic information before we get into the best drawing pens we’ve found.

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Picking The Right Pen

There are different types of drawing pens available. They fall under various categories depending on an artist’s needs. However, there are some basic factors that you’ll want to look at before getting your set of pens.

Tip Types

Drawing pens have varying endpoints on where the ink flows out of the tool.

Ballpoint pens have this metal ball on the tip that rolls and disperses ink as you glide it on paper. They are also known as “ballpens” and are very common, cheap, and widely available. While they are popular in writing, beautiful art can also be achieved with this tool.

Fineliner pens come in assorted sizes and usually have long, fine and metal-clad tips where the ink comes out. Some have needle-point ends, which are useful for drawings that require precise line width, such as architectural or engineering illustrations.

On the other hand, Brush pens are great if you want to easily lay out colors with wide coverage, such as strokes needed when doing calligraphy work. A nice brush tip is soft, flexible, and dispenses ink very well.

For a classic approach, there are dip pens with varying nib sizes available as well. In addition, there are special nibs for calligraphy, drawing, and mapping purposes. The nibs are usually made with metal that may tarnish or rust if proper care is not observed.

Ink Quality

Ink is a big consideration in making illustrations because drawing pens have different types of inks in them. They are usually permanent, so be careful if you have inks that are not quick-drying. For instance, gel pens have thick and more opaque inks that may not be instantly dry.

Drawing pens can be filled with either pigment ink or dye ink. Basically, pigment inks usually last longer than dye ones. This makes pigment pens a common choice for artists.

Some brands offer refillable inks, but extra care should always be practiced. Bottled inks can be messy, but some offer cartridge refills that are easily snapped when it’s time to replace them.

It’s also good to consider inks that are water-proof, smudge-proof, and fade-resistant. Finally, if you want lasting art pieces, look for those with archival quality.

Color Proof

Some illustrators need to color their sketches, while for some, it’s not necessary. If you need to color your drawing, consider pens that won’t smear when you apply it with your coloring medium.

Pigment inks are usually water-proof and can be used with alcohol or water-based markers. There’s a lot of fineliner pens or brush pens that go well with colorful markers.

Some dye inks are not water-resistant; thus, they may smudge with water-based media such as watercolors. Inks for a dip or fountain pen is great with watercolor art, although there are also drawing pens that can support this.

If unsure, always test your drawing pen on a piece of paper. Then, apply color after giving at least 24 hours of drying time to your sample work.

Top 8 Best Drawing Pens

We have rounded up the eight best drawing pens that many cartoonists, sketch artists, technical drawing professionals, calligraphers, and the like give a thumbs up!

1. Sakura Pigma Micron Fine Line Set

Pros

  • Professional quality pens with archival-quality ink
  • Versatile set with varying tip sizes to create precise lines
  • Fade-proof, smudge-free, bleed-proof
  • Water and chemical-resistant inks
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Tips may be sensitive to pressure
  • Inks are not refillable

Sakura is a Japanese brand of professional-quality coloring materials and drawing pens. This includes gel pens, markers, pastels, and so on.

Various artists and professional illustrators find the Sakura Pigma Micron Fine Line Set one of the best pens around when it comes to drawings. This useful set features a pigment ink with archival quality; thus, ensuring that projects do not fade and are water-proof. In addition, since the ink is quick-drying, there are no smears, bleed-through, and feathering on paper.

These Micron pens absorb nicely on paper. They are smooth and bold and work well if you need to be precise to the tiniest detail of your drawing.

Pens are properly labeled with the tip size. Each set includes 1 of each size: 005 (0.20mm), 01 (0.25mm), 02 (0.30mm), 03 (0.35mm), 05 (0.45mm), 08 (0.50mm)

Sakura Pigma Micron Fine Line Set
Sakura Pigma Micron Fine Line Set
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2. Rotring Rapidograph Technical Drawing Pen

Pros

  • Professional quality pens with archival-quality ink
  • Replaceable ink and nib
  • Ideal for technical drawings with varying tip sizes to create precise lines
  • Water-proof and long-lasting

Cons

  • Expensive

Rotring is a German brand for the professional level of technical drawing and writing sets. They are ideal for those in architecture or engineering given the very accurate needle-point of their tips which comes in different sizes. They are heavy-duty and may last a lifetime with proper care.

The Rotring Rapidograph Pens have high-precision tips designed for very detailed line work. It has hard chrome-plated thin tips and is wear-resistant. The nibs are replaceable, too. They also come with a capillary ink cartridge system that is replaceable. So instead of the usual ink refilling by pouring ink in a cartridge, you get a new clean helix every time. This features a pressure equalization system to ensure that ink flow is smooth and maintained. Rotring also has the Isograph set, which features a refillable ink cartridge.

This brand may come pricey, but considering the ink quality and its durability, you will be able to get a good value for this in the long run. It has an archival ink quality that ensures your work lasts for a long time.

Pens are properly labeled with the tip size. Each Junior Set comes with a mechanical pencil, three ink cartridges, and 1 Rapidograph pen of each size:0.25 mm, 0.35 mm, 0.50 mm.

Rotring Rapidograph Technical Drawing Pen
Rotring Rapidograph Technical
Drawing Pen
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3. Staedtler Pigment Liner Pen Set

Pros

  • Professional quality pens with archival-quality ink
  • Water-proof and long-lasting
  • Versatile set with varying tip sizes to create precise lines
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Inks are not refillable

Staedtler is one of Germany’s oldest companies. Starting off with lead pencils, the company has grown to manufacture markers, coloring tools, and other writing instruments.

The Staedtler Pigment Liner Pen Set has black pigment ink with longer tips. This makes it great for use with rulers, stencils, or other templates. This is a good starter set with assorted sizes because it comes at an affordable price range. Many artists use this for sketching and writing. They apply smoothly on paper and don’t bleed through.

Pens are properly labeled with the tip size. Each set includes 1 of each size: 0.05 mm, 0.1 mm, 0.2 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.8 mm

Staedtler Pigment Liner Pen Set
Staedtler Pigment Liner Pen Set
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4. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens

Pros

  • Professional quality pens using India ink
  • Versatile set with varying tip sizes to create different widths
  • It does not bleed through paper
  • Permanent, odor-free, and water-proof

Cons

  • Inks are not refillable

Faber-Castell is a very popular brand when it comes to drawing and coloring materials. Being in the industry for a while, they are known to produce high-quality pens, pencils, markers, and more for every level of artist.

The Pitt Artist Pens feature highly-pigmented India ink. They are permanent and will last for a long time. This is also a good choice for mixed media work. Watercolors on your sketches do not smear, provided that they have dried up well. These Pitt Artist Pens are also available in grey, sepia, and other colors.

This set comes in 4 different sizes (fine liners and brush) that many artists and illustrators, including hand-lettering enthusiasts, love. The tips glide smoothly on paper. The brush pen has durable and flexible. They are also sold individually in case your pen runs out of ink.

Pens are properly labeled with the tip size. Each set includes 1 of each size: S (Superfine 0.3 mm), F (Fine 0.5 mm), M (Medium 0.7 mm), and B (Brush 1-5mm)

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens
Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens
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5. Speedball Cartooning Pen Set

Pros

  • Professional quality dip pens that are great for beginners
  • Versatile set with varying nib sizes to create different widths
  • Long-lasting pens and parts can be bought individually

Cons

  • Nibs may tarnish or rust if proper care is not followed

Next on our list is another well-established brand in drawing, sketching, calligraphy tools, and more. Speedball is recognized as the makers of high-quality pen nibs for dip pens, fountain pens, and more. They offer a broad range of supplies that will help artists achieve beautiful and lasting arts.

The Speedball Cartooning Pen Set includes four dip pens. Dip pens do not have any ink cartridge and use bottled inks (usually India ink or acrylic inks) where the nib is dipped to collect ink. It can create fine lines, cross-hatching, calligraphy, and more. While this can be classified as a good beginner set, it takes practice to learn strokes and proper pressure to use this.

Note that these nibs require cleaning after use to avoid rusting. Pen cleaners are available from Speedball. Be mindful when carrying them around to avoid bending nibs or accidental leaks on your ink bottles if not properly sealed.

Nibs are properly labeled with the size. Each set includes 4 x B-style nibs (B1, B3, B5, B6) and 2 x pen points (No. 100, No. 512).

Speedball Cartooning Pen Set
Speedball Cartooning Pen Set
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6. Copic Multiliner Set

Pros

  • Professional quality pens with archival-quality ink
  • Versatile set with varying tip sizes to create different widths
  • Permanent, fade-resistant, and water-proof
  • Copic-proof and won’t smear

Cons

  • Inks are not refillable
  • Nibs are not replaceable

Copic is an ultimate must-have when using alcohol-based markers. They are known for their rich, vibrant colored markers that are made to last. They also have their own paper selection, marker accessories, and fineliner pens.

This Copic Multiliner B2 Set contains nine pieces of pens, two of which are brush pens. The varying sizes of tips allow you to make very thin to bold strokes, thus making it great for sketching manga, landscapes, and other projects. The black pigment ink is permanent and water-resistant when dry. They work well with regular Copic markers if you intend to add color to your art.

While Copic alcohol markers are known to have refillable inks, this Multiliner set does not support it, nor are the nibs replaceable. Consider getting the Copic Multiliner SP set for replaceable nibs and inks, but this comes with a higher price.

Pens are properly labeled with the tip size. Each set includes 1 of each size: 0.03 mm, 0.05 mm, 0.1 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.8 mm, 1.0 mm, and 2 brush-type pens

Copic Multiliner Set
Copic Multiliner Set
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7. Uni Pin Fine Line Drawing Pens

Pros

  • Professional quality pens with highly pigmented ink
  • Versatile set with varying tip sizes to create different widths
  • Acid-free, permanent, fade, and water-resistant
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Inks are not refillable

Mitsubishi Pencil Co. makes uni Pin from Japan. It is a company that offers a wide range of writing and drawing pens, gel pens, rollerball pens, markers, and more.

The Uni Pin Fine Line Set belongs to their artistic drawing line intended for graphics and technical drawings. Its long, metal-clad fine tip is great if you need to use it against rulers, templates, or stencils. It is lightfast, which means it doesn’t fade easily when exposed to sunlight.

It is also great for regular writing, journaling, sketching, and crafts because the tips are durable and glide smoothly on paper. The ink is very black and doesn’t bleed. It dries fast, thus, won’t smudge on your surface. It also works well with watercolors, markers, or even highlighters after thoroughly drying. It’s good to have, considering that it’s cheap.

Pens are properly labeled with the tip size. Each set includes 1 of each size: 0.05 mm, 0.1 mm, 0.2 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm and 0.8 mm

Uni Pin Fine Line Drawing Pens
Uni Pin Fine Line Drawing Pens
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8. Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen

Pros

  • Professional quality pens with highly pigmented ink
  • Durable brush pen that can make fine and broad lines
  • Permanent, fade-resistant, and water-proof
  • Replaceable ink cartridge

Cons

  • May need some practice on how to apply pressure to get desired strokes

Pentel is a well-known US brand that provides high-quality writing and art products worldwide. This includes pens, pencils, markers, and erasers made for users of all ages.

The Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen is a single pen that features a durable and premium nylon brush tip. The ink flow is smooth as you apply varying pressure on your brush pen to release it on your paper. It does not bleed through and dries fast. You can also use watercolor with it or alcohol markers.

This is a good tool to make cartoons or painting-like effects. You may create solid lines or textured looks depending on how you control your pen. It may take some practice to get used to this, but it will be easier to make random art once you get the hang of it.

The brush pen comes with replaceable ink cartridges but not the tips. This set includes one pen and two ink refills.

Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen
Pentel Arts
Pocket Brush Pen
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Conclusion

A drawing pen is a basic part of any artist’s supply kit.

Exploring the different brands and types allows any user to expand his options in this field. While each may be intended for a certain purpose, say technical drawing pens are for technical work, this is not a limitation for anyone who wishes to use them for another goal.

It’s all about exploring what works well for you to bring out the best in your beautiful illustration. Enjoy each step. Cheers!

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