Expressive Lines with different pens

February 13, 2023 | 9 Comments

During the livestream that I hosted last week, I did a short demo showing why I love a fude pen so much and why it suits my sketching. Not only does it have the ability to produce lines of different thicknesses (by adjusting the angle of the nib) but it also creates variation within a single line.

Two factors are important in achieving this variation:

  • the speed at which I draw the line ( I have a naturally fast pace when it comes to drawing lines thanks to my architectural training!)
  • my light pressure – the nib skims the surface of the page with a slightly increased pressure at the beginning and end of the stroke.

These factors are so important that I thought I should do a dedicated blog article on it and do a few more tests!

So here are some comparisons of four different pens showing:

  • Variation in line thickness
  • A fast-paced sketch (my normal pace)
  • A slower version.


What is super interesting in these examples is that I was able to achieve some variation in the “Liz-paced” sketch using the Artline 200 fineliner!

These comparisons also show that although the Kakimori pen has a great range of line thickness, it doesn’t compare to the fude in terms of variation within each line.


  • Jane Varley says:

    Hi Liz, oh, so pleased to read this as I’ve been using my Fude 55 a lot lately and hadn’t considered drawing speed as contributing to line variation. Must work on my “Liz Pace”! Many thanks, Jane

  • Leslie Rego says:

    I am wondering if you are referring to the Rude De Mannen 55 pen? When I looked up Fude 55 to buy that is what came up. Thank you. Leslie

  • maria bergman says:

    This is so very helpful Liz!
    Haven’t seen anything to compare with your clearly articulated comparisons and tips.
    From now on I’ll be mindful of the pressure at the beginning and end of strokes with the Sailor 55.
    Thanks so much.

  • Tonya Althiser says:

    Excellent instruction, as always! I am a fairly recent follower and I wonder, did you tell us somewhere what waterproof ink you like to use in your Fude pen? Thank you!

  • Jamie C says:

    Fascinating to see how the different pens lay down, but the expressiveness of the mark making itself shines through regardless of pen, it seems!

  • Celeste Uzee says:

    After searching for an affordable Sailor fude pen, I finally found one for around $20 though St Louis Art Supply in the US.

  • Michael B.Y Ming says:

    Hi Liz! 😀 I am considering the Sailor fude pen because of your blogs/reviews.I’m a big fan of EF nibs especially japanese brands EF nibs,they produce super thin lines and I was wondering whether the Sailor Fude when held at the most upright angle or held in a reversed writing angle would be able to produce a line as thin as a EF Preppy or any other japanese EF nib fountain pen?Hopefully you’ll let me know.

    • Liz Steel says:

      HI Michael, I don’t have one of those Japanese EF handy to compare but the fude can make nice fine lines using it vertically (or drawing iwth the back of the nib)

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