Pens or Utensils

Pens are used for sketching or drawing. Pen & ink is a series of marks set down on paper as an abstract or to resemble something the eye could recognize.

Quill pens or dip pens can create calligraphic lines, which refer to a flowing line drawn or painted slowly or quickly in varying thicknesses, which can be used to create text or calligraphy.

Two kinds of marks can be made with a pen or technical pen: lines or dots. The best way to gain control of the pen is to practice. Create a line drawing or the appearance of texture, highlights, and shadows.

Vocabulary of Pens

Includes the following.

An ink Bottle is also called an Inkwell.

What Is Ink Well?

An ink well is a container for ink typically housed in a hole in a desk.

Today, inkwells are usually small jars or containers, often made of glass, porcelain, silver, brass, or pewter, used for holding ink in a convenient place for the person who is writing.

Inkwells gradually fell out of use in the early 20th century as the reservoir fountain pen replaced the dip pen.

What Is a Nib?

A nib is part of a quill, dip pen, fountain pen, or stylus, which comes into contact with the writing surface to deposit ink. Different types of nibs vary in their purpose, shape, size, and material from which they are made. A nib-type pen is a holder for metal nibs.

A Nib Up Close

Nib Vocabulary

  • Nib - Metal writing end of a fountain pen
  • Line Variation - lines look thinner in some parts or thicker in others.
  • Flow - how much or little ink the pen provides to the nib
  • Tines - the parts of the nib that bend when it is flexing
  • Spread - how far apart the tines get when the nib is flexed.
  • Break - when the ink flow stops, especially while the nib is flexing
  • Railroading - when there is a break in ink flow, the split tines draw parallel lines
  • Bounceback / Springback - how easily the tines return to their unflexed state
  • Sprung Tines - when a nib is flexed too far beyond its capacity and will not return to its original state
  • Wet Noodle - pens with maximum flex and minimal pressure

Types of Nibs

  • Flex - the nib creates line variation with the amount of pressure put down by the user.
  • Stub - flat nib, tipping material is ground flat on the end.
  • Fude - the nib is bent and produces either broad or thin lines.
  • Crisp Italic - sharp edges, thin or broad strokes
  • Cursive Italic - slightly more rounded edges than crisp italic, smoother
  • Oblique - stub nib, ground at an angle (vintage)

Nib Size & Characteristic Decoder

EF - Extra Fine (USA: 0.5 mm, Japan: 0.3 mm)
F - Fine (USA, 0.6 mm, , Japan: 0.45 mm)
M - Medium (USA, 0.6 mm, , Japan: 0.6 mm)
B - Broad (0.9 mm)
1.1 mm - Size
1.5 mm - Size

Fountain Pen Ink Converter

Filling the reservoir with ink may be achieved manually with a Pasteur pipette (eyedropper) or syringe. You can also use an internal filling mechanism called a converter. It creates suction (through a piston mechanism) and transfers the ink directly through the nib into the reservoir.

Some pens employ a removable disposable reservoir in the form of pre-filled ink cartridges. However, you can choose what ink to use in the pen using a converter.

Types of Pens

Includes the following.

Quill Pen

What Are Quill Pens?

Quill pens were first used to write in ink long before the invention of the metal nib pen, the glass dip pen, the fountain pen, or the ballpoint pen. People have been writing with quills or feathers for centuries. A Quill pen does not have an internal ink reservoir. The quill tip must first be immersed in an ink well (usually a bottle) to make marks.

A quill is made from a fly feather bird (preferably a feather from the primary wing) or a large bird. The point of the feather is then cut and sharpened. A hand-cut goose quill is rarely used as a calligraphy tool today because many papers are manufactured or derived from wood pulp.

Quill Pens

The paper wears down a sharp quill quickly. However, it is still a tool for a few professionals because it is more flexible than a metal nib and provides an unmatched sharp stroke.

Bamboo Pen

What Is Reed or Bamboo Pen?

Like quill pens, a reed or bamboo pen is made from natural materials. The reed or bamboo is carved to a point dipped in ink.

Dip Pen with Changeable Nib

What Are Dip Pens?

A dip pen has no internal ink reservoir; the nib or tip must be immersed in ink to make marks. After being dipped in ink well, a glass dip pen can write multiple sentences before needing to be dipped again. Dip pens typically use thicker ink (usually shellac-based) than fountain pen ink.

What Are Glass Pens?

A glass dip pen delivers ink to the paper through twisted flutes on the tip. These nibs are explicitly cut to feed the ink back to their delicate point. Glass dip pens are easily rinsed off in the sink and instantly ready for new ink color. This is why they are great for testing new inks quickly.

Glass Dip Pens

What Are Fountain Pens?

A fountain pen is a pen that contains an internal reservoir of liquid ink and a metal nib. In 1809, Bartholomew Folsch received a patent for the first pen with an ink reservoir in England. The ink was squeezed through a small hole to the writing point from the reserve.

Fountain Pen

At the same time, Romanian Petrache Poenaru, a student in Paris, invented the fountain pen patented in May 1827 by the French Government. A fountain pen draws ink from a reservoir through a feed to the nib and deposits the ink on paper via a combination of gravity and capillary action.

Preferred Brands

Technical Pens

What Are Technical Pens?

The technical pen, often called the Rapidograph, has a tubular point with no flexibility. Each point makes just one line width. They come in different sizes. The advantage of this pen type is that you do not have to carry ink, and there is no constant dripping.

Ballpoint Pens

What Are Ballpoint Pens?

A ballpoint pen, also known as a biro or ball pen, is a pen that dispenses ink (usually in paste form) over a metal ball at its point, i.e., over a "ballpoint." The metal commonly used is steel, brass, or tungsten carbide. The design was conceived and developed as a cleaner and more reliable alternative to dip and fountain pens, and it is now the world's most-used writing instrument.

Rollerball Pen

What Are Rollerball Pens?

Rollerball or rollerball pens use ballpoint writing mechanisms with water-based liquid or gelled ink instead of the oil-based viscous inks in ballpoint pens. These less viscous inks, which tend to saturate more deeply and more widely into the paper than other types of ink, give roller ball pens their distinctive writing qualities.


What Are Felt-tip or Marker Pens?

A marker pen, fine liner, marking pen, felt-tip pen, flow marker, texta (in Australia), sketch pen (in South Asia), or koki (in South Africa) is a pen that has its own ink source and a tip made of porous, pressed fibers such as felt. A permanent marker consists of a container (glass, aluminum, or plastic) and a core of absorbent material. This filling serves as a carrier for the ink. Markers may be waterproof, dry-erase, wet-erase (e.g., transparency markers), or permanent.


Includes the following.

What Is a Hatching?

It is used to shade areas. It is created by a series of parallel lines. The closer the lines are drawn together, the darker the value. Hatching lines may be vertical, horizon, diagonal, or cross-contour, i.e., across the form.

What Is a Cross Hatching?

It is used to shade areas. It is created by a series of parallel lines that cross each other.

  • Scribbling
  • Stippling


Click the tabs below for resources on the following.

  • Click here for a list of recommended books in order.

Back to Top ↑

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Ok, Go it!