Some of my favorite pens for Mixed Media

I’m not a pen expert at all, but I’ve received some questions on what pens I use in my art journal and I thought I’d just show you all what I use here! This is my big big pen box that I love so much:

My big pen case

It sits on my work place and I dig through it when I need something to write with in my Art Journal! It’s usually stuffed with a lot more pens but I’ve just kept my favorites for this photo! If you want to be able to journal (write) over anything and in different styles and colors you will of course need several different pens. I live in Sweden so I don’t have access to all the cool pens existing, but I have managed so far. Let’s check them out!?

To the left in the box:
My big pen case
The Vellum Writers by Kuretake have two ends, one thick bullet tip (1,2 mm) and one fine tip (0,5 mm). Mine have lasted for a long time and are still going strong with great colors that will write over acrylic paint, magazine clippings and so on. These are pigment inks that are acid-free, archival quality, lightfast, waterproof, fade-proof and non-bleeding as stated on the pen. Maybe all that is important to some people, not to me though.

The Gelly Roll pens by Sakura are thin writing pens that I first didn’t appreciate, but they are quite nice to doodle with on magazine layouts (follow outlines of people or things for example). I have Metallic silver and some Med that glitter! They write smoothly but will smudge for a while because of the excess ink; so slow down and let them dry before you continue on a page.

To the right in the pen case (the pen case isn’t really a pen case, it was storage for knifes we bought or something like that I think):
My big pen case
From the back you see some different colors of my Calligraphy pens Zig Memory pens, also from Kuratake in Japan. These also have two tips, but the big one is 5 mm and I think it’s way to big to write anything but one or two words unfortunately. The ink is more transparent than the Vellum Writers but has great color and are nice to write with! I got a couple of these for my birthday two years ago from my friend Emma and I’m still using them!

My big pen caseThe blue Zig Memory pen is just called Writer and has metallic blue color. It’s a cool pen, I need to get me some more colors!

The white pen I have and like is called Uni-ball Signo and made by Mitsubishi in Japan. I had two of these that kind Michelle sent me, but both are now empty and I need to go look for new ones!

The only black pen in this box is a Micron 0,5 mm archival drawing pen. I love to draw with these and I have several pigment liners like this one and other brands too. They are mostly to thin to write on acrylic paint or any bulky surface, but they produce a great black line that I can’t be without even though these are the most expensive ones of my pens.

Pens are expensive and I usually only buy one or two at a time and test them out. I hope that helps you a bit, but as I said I’m not a pen expert. I’ve linked to some resources below, check them out and have fun with the supplies you already got!

And I’d love to try any pens you don’t need. Send them my way! ;-) Have you checked out the eco-friendly pens at Stubby Pencils [via angry chicken]. Such cool pens and crayons they make! I want to try Smencils and Soy Crayons! Then I want to set it up like this and tell you all what color my day was!

16 Responses

  1. I definitely need to try out some new pens! I do have many kinds of colored pencils though… Thanks for visiting my blog and your lovely comments! Roxanne

  2. Ahhhh i am such a pen/pencil/marker hore! Your post is really interesting, on one side I can see what pens we don’t have in canada and on another side i can see that some of the pens you’re using are really internationals. makes me think of this great post of danny gregory
    and you would like to discover new pens, I can also suggested this i did a few months ago.
    Oh, and I love pink!

  3. Hi Hanna,
    Thanks for the info. I’m a big fan of gelly roll and micron pens. They are the best :o)

  4. Another great post Hanna! It’s always good to learn what pens work for different people. I have a ton of different pens and markers that I use regularly. I’ll have to try the Vellum Writers though. Never tried those before.


  5. Thanks for the info on pens, as you describe the vellum writers they are just what I am looking for, so I am off to source them.

    I can get White Gel Pens-Hybrid Gel Grip (point is fine) locally, so if you can’t find them email me and I can send you.

  6. Love your pens–I’m a pen addict myself. I even have a secret place I keep my favorites (like my Sakura Microns and my beloved Pilot Varsity pens) so they don’t get borrowed and forget to find their way back to me).

  7. Hah! I love the sincere intensity with which you select & use your pens. People make fun of us, but they just don’t understand!

    Thanks for stopping by Among the Burrs & Stickers, too–lovely to have new & surprise visitors.

  8. Hanna, thanks for directing me to your post! In the meantime quite by chance I found out that a pen I’ve been using for handwriting in journals is PERFECT to use in art journals!!! It’s by Rotring and it’s called “Tikky Graphic” and costs about ?2.50. I have a 0.1 nib and it goes on supper smooth, doesn’t smudge, totally clear over thick acrylic paint. I think it will be the same on crayon, I just did a tiny squiggle. Super easy to write with it on the acrylics is the main thing for me! Only downside is, it only comes in black. Thanks again!

  9. I love, love, love pens! I have many of these same pens, although not the Gelly Roll ones. And that metallic blue looks fantastic.

    I love Microns, although they certainly are expensive. Funny, I had to talk myself into buying my first set and now I go through them like there’s no tomorrow (but that’s because I do mostly line drawing).

  10. I enjoyed reading about your pens Hanna. I have masses too but my favourite drawing pens are Rotring Rapidograph pens of all different sizes from the largest down to .13 which is incredibly tiny and I used for my really delicate work. Gel pens are also great. I want to try the new “sharpies” which are all the rage too.

  11. Awesome post. I too have a Micron pen, and I love it. They’re $2.99 where I am, so I try to get the coupons, because I’m a cheap college student. :)

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