Pencil vs. pen

Pencil vs. Pen.

ive seen some great pencil sketches and can see the value in getting shading, soft greys and light lines, but can leave my rollerball.

would love to see sketches of both and opinions.

heres a sample of my pen work. standard Pilot Hi-techpoint V5 extraFine rollerabll on color laser paper. (plus a bit of marker)


I like your sketches, but why do you add all of the inkblots across your drawings? It seems to take away from the ease of reading the drawings…kind of distracting. (I’m in the process of digging up some pen and pencil stuff to continue the discussion…!)

I use both, depending on what I feel like at the moment. Sometimes I have an idea, and it is just not flowing right, switching mediums seems to help get it onto the page sometimes… but I definitely go through phases.


it depends, but for the most part:

pen > pencil

pen= less hassle for sketches; less smudging


both < digital

pencils are almost too much work, great for drawings but not so much sketching (for me)…

i switch back and forth. For quick thumbs, ink all the way. If something has to be pretty I’ll do it in pencil since I’ve drawn in pencil from age 4. Didn’t start trying to draw with ink and sharpies, etc until my first freelance with a consultancy at 25yrs old. Very different feeling so when trouble comes I go with what’s familiar and that will normally make things much better.

its nice not having to sharpen a pen. but like yo i would say i have phases. pencil is appealing sometimes, even more then pen. I would not say digital is better then both though. there is nothing more natural then drawing straight onto a page of paper.

i agree with the switch mentality to loosen up.

sometimes, i used to even whip out a super fat permanent marker on newsprint just to get loose. no such thing as lightweight linework with one of those, and any hesitation gives you a huge bleed spot.

ive actually never tried digital with a tablet, but am thinking of it. still i would never give up my rollerball.


i think the benefits of digital supersedes the “hurdle” of not feeling natural…if anything i wish i could be a lil’ more experimental with the digital medium; especially with tablet-screen solutions being more accessible…

nice sketches, they are loose an tight. seems kinda of like a drawing then a sketch. maybe because to me I see details put into the page that are not directly connected to the footwear designs (ink splots). interesting.

pen for me, havent used a pencil in years (blue pencil sometimes).
been using some paper mate “ultra fine flair” not that fine an works well for note taking an sketching. but probably best is bic, they are good for ghosting.



fantastic motion and line work in your sketches. I love the ink plots, it adds movement, life and composition to your footwear sketches. Keep fighting the good fight!

Bic pen for sketching

And Pilot V for rendering.

I’d go with a pencil, but not the ordinary, a mechanical, dont have to hassel with sharpening. I’ve always liked the pencil more then the pen for some reason but its usually what I feel like…

photoshop over pen over pencil over newsprint :sunglasses:

For sure pen… although I’ll jump brands every other sketch w/ pens. But if I’m going to use pencil, it’s definitely a prismacolor… not a regular graphite. Just can’t use those things much anymore.