|My fountain pen BFFs.|
Pencils – both graphite and colored – have been getting most of my drawing love the past year or so. But in the second week of InkTober when I decided to switch from ballpoint to fountain pen, I was reminded (yet again – I had a similar InkTober revelation two years ago) of how much I love sketching with the latter. It’s not that I forget, exactly, but since the fountain pen was one of the first tools I started drawing with, I sometimes take it for granted. While pencils, colored pencils and brush pens all have unique qualities that I love, a fountain pen delivers an unequivocal line matched by none (at least in my hand). Unlike any other drawing instrument, it seems to express my hand’s movement and direction most closely – like it or not. There’s no erasing, covering up or backing out. I don’t always love what it reveals, but like a brutally honest friend, it never falsely flatters me, and it can still surprise me with its elegance. So today’s Fountain Pen Day post is dedicated to my BFF pens:
Nos. 1 and 2: Sailor Naginata Fude de Mannen. My epic search nearly three years ago led me to No. 2 (1911 full size in matte black), and when I sourced a second one (1911 full size in standard black), grabbed it, too. ‘Nuff said.
No. 3: Franklin-Christoph Fude. My newest fountain pen, it is the most surprising in that I did not have high expectations when I bought it. Besides my beloved Sailors, the F-C fude has proven to be the only acceptable fude I will use.
No. 4: Pilot Posting. I don’t often have need for an ultra-fine or even fine fountain pen when drawing because when I have one in my hand, I find myself getting too fiddly with details in a way that is not flattering to my sketches. But every now and then I need a line finer than what my fudes can produce, especially if I have the urge for line work that mimics traditional pen-and-ink hatching. Pilot’s under-rated posting nib does the job.
No. 5: Sailor Cross Point. Although it doesn’t have quite the same range of line widths as my fudes, the Sailor Cross Point is even smoother (which I thought was hardly possible). Because of its more limited range, it doesn’t get as much sketching mileage, but I still take it out now and then to remind me of what a joy it is to use. Most of the time it stays inked up on my desk as my favorite journal-writing pen. I also love it for sentimental reasons: It’s the only high-end fountain pen I purchased in Tokyo.