Friday, August 13, 2010

Rethinking pens

For the past 10 year or so, I've been using the same pen, it's a pilot gel pen called G-TEC-C4, it's not very common in the USA, in fact I only found one stores that sells them here, which is a Japanese book store, But in Israel they are pretty common as your slightly more fancy then ordinary ball point pen. They cost around 3$ in Israel, and 5$ in NY.

I always loved this pen, but in art school a teacher told me that writing pend are for writing and drawing pens are for drawings and I need to be more professional about my choice of pens. At the time, I switched to pen and ink, which has the most beautiful line, is waterproof and really messy.
Later on, I realized that in the where and when I draw, it's not a choice between a gel pen and a pen and ink, but a choice between a gel pen and a not-drawing-cause-this-is-too-much-hustle. And I went back to the G-TEC.

But, a few days ago, a friend forgot a rapidograph in our place. I remember those from my father and from high school and suddenly I kept wanting to try his pen, however, there was no ink and it was all dried out. So, on Monday, I decided to give myself a birthday present and got 2 of them. One is by Koh-I-Noor, and one by Rotring. It was sort of nice to find out that the pen design and color is still the same as it was when I last bought one of those, which was about 18 years ago.

I've used Moleskine exchange book to give the first one a try. The line is a bit thicker, which I don't mind so much (the Rotring is thinner) and the color of the ink is beautiful - super black and dark, the pen really flow nicely, though - more ink, more time to dry, and also a bit of spreading (but really just a tiny bit). The nicest thing is that unlike the G-TEC, the ink is not water soluble so when I do the painting part, the line stays as crisp which is great.

I'm still trying to decide if I like the result though I feel like the drawing I made with it is more illustrative in style and less artistic, probably because the lines are so crisp.

What do you think? can you even notice the difference?




Snowberry and Lime said...

I really love the result of the Koh-I-Noor! It will probably really help with lightfastness in the long term, would be a shame for your art to fade, right?

I've never really used the rapidographs other than very little in school and I do agree that pen and ink is messy and slow... I have usually just used one of those thin fineliners (waterproof).

Jim said...

I draw everyday. I love the traditional nib and India ink pens, but I also agree about the mess and time. It's almost like a special occassion using them.

Drawing with a Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph is like driving a really, really nice car.