Fountain Pen Info

September 30, 2019 | 13 Comments

Many of my readers will know about the epic “Fountain Pen Sketching” series of articles I produced in 2015, but more recent followers might not be aware of it. It was a comprehensive guide to starting sketching with fountain pens and I have added more articles since then.


So I thought it was a good time to create an index of my most important fountain pen articles as I get asked the same questions regularly.

Why draw with a fountain pen?
Some of the reasons why I love fountain pens: flow of ink, ease of using at different angles, variable and lively lines, reusable etc
How to use a fountain pen
How to hold your pen, vary your grip, post your cap (or not), what paper to use, how to refill and maintain your pen
How to choose a fountain pen
Budget, use, nib, ink capacity and refilling, weight, thickness, length, design etc
Review of a few ‘basic’ fountain pens

  • Platinum Preppy (and Plaisir)
  • Platinum Carbon Desk Pen
  • Lamy Safari, Vista, Joy
  • Pilot Metropolitan
  • Pilot Prera
  • Pilot Kakuno
  • Kaweco Sport (Classic or Ice)
  • TSWBI Eco

Review of a few fountain pens with variable lines (flex, brush)

  • Noodlers Flex Pens (Nip Creeper, Konrad and Ahab)
  • Pilot Falcon
  • Gold Lamy nib
  • Pentel Pocket Brush Pen
  • Noodlers Konrad Brush Pen
  • Platinum Weasel Brush Pen

Review of a few fountain pens with variable lines (calligraphy – fude, stub and parallel)

  • Lamy Joy (Stub)
  • Pilot Parallel Pen
  • Sailor Fude De Mannen (55 and 45 degree)
  • Hero M86 and 578
  • Duke 209

Permanent Ink for Fountain Pens
A list of the most common ink that sketchers use in their fountain pens which are suitable for ink and wash.
The pen that I use and why
The Lamy White Joy (now the white and red version) with a Gold M nib.
Flying with fountain pens
I do it all the time and rarely have any issues – read more about it!

So what other questions do you have?
Do you use a fountain pen that is not listed above? (I already have a list of extra pens to review but would love to hear your suggestions!)



  • Kiriaki says:

    Hi Liz,
    I have not used a fountain pen for drawing but many years ago I did buy one for writing with nibs designed specifically for left handers. Should this be a consideration when purchasing a new pen for drawing?

  • C A Fitzgerald says:

    I was most recently working at an art supply store (!) and my boss gave me a Super5 pen to try out. I played with it a little but lately have used it quite a lot and like it. I’ve refilled the cartridge with Platinum Carbon and so far no clogging. It has a nice smooth nib. There are no markings on the nib except Super5 just like the barrel. So I assume it’s the 1mm nib shown here
    the price point is certainly good. I wouldn’t call the nib super loosey, but loose enough. Might be worth a try.

  • Kim Anne Guthrie says:

    I had seen this post before, but today was the first time I realized that you drew the flowers with a fountain pen. This reminds me I need to buy more ink and a FUDE pen.

  • Julie Noyes says:

    Thanks for this…I just bought the Pilot Kakuna and some lovely blue and violet inks from Noodler’s. So far I’m loving drawing with the fountain pen. The Pilot was really inexpensive and yet is making beautiful lines. i was thinking once i got the hang of drawing with the fountain pen I would upgrade, but now I’m thinking I might stick with the Kakuna for a while (and maybe get an extra to hold a different color ink),

    Anyway, thanks for the review…it was spot on.

  • Hi Liz. How do you stow your fountain pens, standing or laying down?

  • Susan Noguchi says:

    Hi Liz – how do you find the ink capacity of the Sailor Fude? I fitted my TSWBI eco with a fude nib and it runs out really quickly.

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi susan
      It does use a lot of ink but I don’t draw that much so I probably refill my cartridges once a fortnight? I will have to check this!

      When I’m traveling and sketching all day I refill every second day 🙂

  • Josee Houde says:

    Hi Liz,
    Recently I realized how vast the world of ink is!

    Do you use also water soluble ink to play with this effect and just adding water at some places?

    My birthday is coming soon and I was thinking of asking a gift certificate to go shopping for inks and maybe make a personal challenge with just fountains pens with insoluble and soluble inks and a waterbrush …In such a case what fountains do you think will you use?… Platinum Preppy are less expensive and I’m happy with the one I have with fine nib… Maybe have some of them of different colors? What do you think?

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi Josee – I haven’t really used watersoluble ink that much so don’t have any specific recommendations. I actually like adding water to permanent ink (I have to work really fast but can move some of the ink while it is still wet)

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