I quickly wanted to go over these three styles of pens. These are three pens from my own stash of supplies. The choices of brand is also just my preference.
The first photo is an "art pen" by Rotring.. this is representative of all fountain pens, a good fountain pen can be hard to get here at a reasonable cost to be used for ink drawing. When I say good, I mean artist quality. The second is a technical pen or rapidograph pen also by Rotring. As with the fountain pen, it can be hard to get here at a reasonable price and good quality. The last is a disposable technical pen by Uni. These are also available by Faber Castel and a few other brands. This pen is inexpensive and easy to use with non of the maintenance of the other two pens, just uncap and use. With both the fountain pen and the technical pen you can choose your quality of ink and refill the pen. With proper care and cleaning these are wonderful ever lasting tools. Yup, they do require maintenance and time but they are beautiful... you know you are handling wonderful smooth well made tools.
The fountain pen. Yes, to get a nice fountain pen can cost quite a bit of money but not as much as you might think. I bought my Art pens in Ebay after a long search and I found my set of three different nib sizes at an amazing price. These pens were labeled as in amazing condition and actually were. I did do a thorough clean of the pens to make sure of good flow and such. More can be found on wonderful fountain pens, maintenance and ink choices at Goulet pens on youtube or their web site. I am choosing to show you my Art pen here because these are the pens that I am using for my illustrations requiring my fountain pen. The nibs have a nice line variation but not too much. I like the fountain pen for that and also reducing waste into the environment by not being disposable. I find that sometimes on different surfaces depending on the nib quality, there can be a scratchiness, so I use the fountain pens with a smooth surface or hot pressed surface.
I like to have a refillable pen that I choose what ink is inside.
Yes, this is not a cheap pen but I can replace nibs as needed, refill the ink and pass it down to my children for their use. This pen is really light weight, with a smooth gliding nib. This is great for long usage. I have a custom made fountain pen, I found that pen to be too heavy to use for long periods of time, even though it is a much better quality pen. These fountain pens come in different sized nibs and can be sold alone or in sets. I purchased a cleaning fluid and regularly clean and maintain my pens. I don't mind this extra work to know that my pens are always in good working order. This extra work is well worth having a wonderful tool to work with. I like the connection for cleaning my tools, I am silly that way. For me, cleaning my tools, pens and brushes is my way of appreciating my value of them. I bought my pens and had them shipped down with no hassles in the post office, but to be more secure I would probably have brought them down myself or had some one bring them down for me.
The technical or rapidograph pen. This refillable pen is an ink pen with no line variation. There is a floating metal pin that allows for the consistent flow of ink when the pen is touched to the drawing surface.
I was amazed at the flow of the pen over the paper. Sometimes my fountain pens can get a scratchiness that I don't like but I don't get that with technical pens. I have found that these pens don't often skip or drag like the disposible pens do which is one of the reasons I prefer these pens.
The pin inside the mechanism is very delicate and must be cleaned regularly. This is the fragile weak link in this pen. If this gets clogged or ink is allowed to dry in the pin mechanism, yikes. So regular maintenance is a must and careful use of waterproof ink. It could mean the end of that nib.
These pens are sold singly or in sets in varying line widths. I bought a set of 8 pens with different line widths. These pens were originally designed for fine drawings like those of architects. I found them very useful in drawing for my coloring books and animation pen work where I like a consistent line.
These pens come in varying qualities with several companies available. Again, I like good tools and have my favorite brands. My favorite brands being Rotring and Kor-i-noor. But that is just a preference, you will have to choose yours. I shopped online and after considerable shopping around, I found an antique set for an amazing price, in amazing condition and ones that I could find replacement parts for if something happened to the pen. This is the Rotring variation set. Love them.
Because I love my pens and love to take care of them to have them function beautifully, I purchased a jewelry sonic cleaner to clean them. I am waiting for that to be brought down here. These machines use sonic vibration to clean the dainty parts of the pens, and come highly recommended as amazingly effective and gently cleaning tools. This is not necessary but I am an art supply addict and love my art supplies.....
The plastic technical pens come in different quality ink and are "disposable". These are inexpensive and usually easy to get a hold of as they are sold in many stores down here.
These pens are based on the technical pen design only that instead of the floating pin there is a nylon nib.
I find that these pens can be heavier than either my art pen (fountain pen) and my technical pen. I also find that the nib can dry easily and not be a "juicy" as my more expensive pens. I have heard of some people refilling the pens with India ink but I have tried it with no success.
These pens flow over most textured surfaces depending on the age and ink content of the pen.
Make sure when you buy this kind of pen kind, what are the ink characteristics it. There are usually two different types: water proof and permanent, and of course it might not even be marked (never a good sign). What the difference between water proof and permanent means is: Waterproof may not spread, run, bleed or dissolve when exposed to water but may fade over time. Permanent may resist fading in light but be water soluble.
I don't like these tools as they are plastic and can clog or block and skip easily. I know that they are convenient to use and I have certainly bought and used them in the past. I have to say that every time I have bought one I have felt guilty that after I am done they will go into the landfill.
This is just my opinion so play with these tools to discover for yourself.
So artist moving down here to Ecuador, or returning for a visit to another country where art supplies are readily available and are thinking about what to bring back consider these thoughts. You can go to the blog for more in sites.
Enjoy your art supplies and create.