Friday, November 3, 2017

My Fountain Pen Best Friends

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. 


  1. I will have to try a fude pen at some point. I still rely on my trusty Lamy Safari. I did buy some Pilot Preppy pens to throw in each of my purses...just in case, but I've had problems with them leaking. Today in honor of Fountain Pen Day I ordered a new Lamy from JetPens. They had a teal one with an extra fine nib and a converter for around $25. Now Jerry has a birthday or Christmas gift bought for me. :)

  2. Interesting pens... I've heard of #4. And weather bunny is pen bunny for the day! Though, this afternoon, she might want to bundle up. Snow?!

    1. It was snowing all day in the northend all the way until about 3 p.m.! Not ready for this! :-(

  3. Thanks for the amazing post, it's very useful and your fountain pen collection is too good. I am too a Pen Geek. I have a lot of unique pens in my pen collection, one of my best in my collection is Lapis Bard Avant Garde Morph Fountain Pen.

  4. This is a great list of interesting nibs and clear photos of each. Thank you for sharing your research and ideas ! -Anne


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