Good Pens for sketching

I was wondering what pens others use for sketching. Currently I use Bic Round Stic pens but are there any other suggestions?

I’ll use pretty much anything.

For the most I use gel pens (muji 0.38 and various Pilots) and fineliners/felt tips (Niji Stylist and Pilot Razor point*). I don’t use ball point that much, but my favourite here is Bic Finepoint.

*btw, these two pens are very different. The Pilot being kind of juicy with bold lines, while the Niji is great for doing thin/construction lines.

Uniball Jetstream is a nice step up from the Bic ballpoint. You still get bic shading but with gel smoothness. Still can’t marker over it but it’s really nice and smooth.
But my number one workhorse is the uniball roller micro. It’s a little hard to work with but gives consistent line widths, solid black ink, doesn’t smear, etc… It has a hard metal point so no line variation though but you can marker right over it with no problems.

My girlfriend bought me a few of those fancy prismacolor super fine pens, so I’ve been using those a lot.

I also use the muji pens. I tend to get the packs with all the different colours and use different colours for different components when sketching isometrics and elevations, although in front of clients I try to stick to red and black to maintain a hint of professionalism. Also I find it easier to find notes in my diaries and sketch pads as I often remember which colour I wrote them in and I can designate different colours to different aspects of a project/different projects.

I use a 0.7 Uniball Jetstream. The line thickness is just right for quick sketches and as skinny said it, it’s smooth.

For better control of line weight, I switch to using pencils. The Staedtler Karat Aquarell got a good balance of hardness and line strength, and it hardly smudges. Although it’s technically a watercolour pencil it works very well for sketching, plus you can marker all over it and it won’t smudge.

Any good websites for purchasing these pens mentioned above (that are not bics) ^^^…at a good price of course or do you get what you pay for…

Try the new Sharpie Pens. They don’t bleed and play nice with markers.

I love them! I also like the original Bics. I bought some Hi-Tec-C’s and don’t really like them.

Sharpies and bics rule…normally whatever is closest to hand

pilot hi tec-c are great (the 0.3 is amazing!), but a little hard to find state side. They don’t bleed at all with markers.
I went on a search for them after Feng Zhu recommended them on one of his videos.
After a lot of looking I finally found a spot in the Chicagoland area that sells them.

you can find them on but I try to always buy local before I’m forced online.

I love my “Hi Tec C’s”. I mostly use .05 but like the .03’s for very small details.

I usually use Faber-Castell pencils, or black Uni-Ball Signo 0.5 or 0.7

From my experience, the best pens to sketch with are MonAmi 153 (0.7mm). They’re a Korean ball point pen. Sketching with one of these pens has the feel of a pencil, and has a very fine ink ball point. These pens are really hard to find, try checking a Korean book store.

I use whatever is available.

I do like the dirt cheap Bic round stic medium ball points

i’m an all time bic/ ballpoint lover, but
when im doing quick ideations, the pens tend to leave this lattice sort of thing. it’s like a droplet full of ink that gets collected on the part of the tip that’s not being used. and it sort of just leaves this drop of ink in the middle of a curve.
it can take the life out of details and sometimes makes it messy if the bottom of your palm goes over it.
ive been told it’s cuz of the angle at which i sometimes hold the pen, but i’ve tried everything. and the funny part is, i’ve observed, i haven’t seen anyone else who has this problem. :exclamation:

but BIC and even the staedler NORIS STIK are amazing.

Hello eveyone, this is my first post on the forums. I love this site btw!

Some of the greatest pens I have found to date, although possibly more in keeping with illustrating then just sketching, are the Sakura line of Pigma Microns. They are comparable in quality to any premium technical pen (they are not ink cartridge re-loadable though) at about 2$ a piece (American), they have outstandingly rich archival (aka acid free) ink tones (the black is the purest jet-black I’ve ever scene), they don’t bleed anything like other pens/markers (including the high priced cartridge re-loadable technical pens), and they have some of the finest felt tips on the market (.005 or .20mm). Many professional illustrators swear by them, and the consistent outstanding results I have gotten with them made me a believer. Granted, paper quality has a lot to do with any pens output, so I think they work best on bristol/illo board/and velum surfaces, but they are still ahead of the curve on just about any paper I’ve ever tried.

Check out these links for more info: <—(this guy has absolutely stunning examples of what can be achieved with the Microns)

I have fallen in love with the “uni-ball vision exact micro.” For me the ink in most rolling ball pens will skip when sketching curves, but this one is real smooth no matter what angle or direction your putting lines down.

I like the uni-ball vision micro a lot, they are just so smooth to sketch with. they put out a lot of ink which can be bad at times. I’ll have to try the exact micro sometime.

@ ross

Ya, the exact doesn’t push out as much ink as the vision. It also has a pretty cool rubber grip on it :smiley: