Monday, June 6, 2011

Falling In Love All Over Again

My new Noodler's piston fill fountain pen
Did I mention that I got it in turquoise? I love turquoise!
Okay, okay I'm a pen snob. I admit it. I have many drawing pens and am constantly searching for “just the right one.” Recently I got so disgusted while working on salable clip art that I went back to using nib pens for my studio work. Thus far they're the only pens that have given me the line quality that I've been looking for. Of course, while they're wonderful for studio use, a nib pen is not a good choice for outdoor sketching. Not practical and extremely messy if your ink bottle finds a way to leak. So what to do?

I have a Parker fountain pen that I just love for writing and drawing too, although it has a bit of a heavy line. Recently I have been reading about the Noodler’s Flex pen and was interested in trying it out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one reading the good reviews (including Nina Johansson’s, thank you Nina for the great review!) and the pen has been sold out all over the Internet. And though I have inquired in no less than four states at pen shops, no one has it stock.

A fan of Noodler’s ink, but with no previous knowledge of their pens, I went to the University bookstore in Seattle (a great store by the way, in case you ever are close by) and tried out another Noodler’s pen, the piston-fill fountain pen. It was love at first line! The nib is medium-fine and creates a wonderful line. The pen is lightweight and Matt says that it looks very good in my hand. (He’s even more of a pen snob than I am!). It’s true that it’s a single line width, but it’s such a nice pen that with a Pitt brush pen along for adding thicker lines, I’m all set. The barrel twists to fill with ink and it seems to hold much more ink than many pens with ink converters. The windows in the barrel let you know when your ink supply is getting low. After a weekend of drawing with it, I’m totally hooked. Kudos to Noodler’s for making a great pen!

Here's another sketch I made with my new pen and watercolor pencils. It's a canid skull from the "Wolves" exhibit at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington.

Canid Skull, pen & ink with watercolor pencil
PS. I did manage to order a Noodler’s Flex pen this morning from Goulet pens. What nice people! They also sell ink samples so I’ve got a few colored ink samples coming along to try out in the new Flex pen. After I’ve had a chance to try it out, I’ll let you all know how it stacks up against to my new favorite turquoise Noodler’s piston-fill pen. My hope is that together, they'll be an unbeatable pair.

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