Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith PRO 3:58pm, 6 December 2006
I recently bought one each of the large/small Moleskine sketchbooks without knowing what kind of paper was in them. It reminds me of the "Oak Tag" paper used for Manilla folders. It seems that my regular pens/markers are reacting differenty to this type of material and I was wondering what kinds of writing impliments people favored for use in the sketchbooks.

JOHANNA | ANNAHOJ 10 years ago
Hey Stephanie! Well, I use some "stabilos", but I got some problems with the color black - it turns into violett after a time... And eccept "stabilos"? I use a sort of permanent ink...
Interesting - I had never hear of "stabilos" I just looked them up on the Dick Blick Website. Looks like a waxy marking pencil. interesting. Do they smudge?

I've been on a pen kick lately, and I really seem to like the Paper Mate Fine Point Liquid Expresso ink pens. I need to try out all my pens in the new sketchbook to see what I like the best.

sour mash 10 years ago
I use correction pens and rapidiographs.... i love the kohinor ink that comes with rapidiographs. I use that in as well as sumi in my moleskines... also walnut ink and pencils. dip pens with sumi or even india ink. i really use what ever i have layng around but those are the main things i use.
LHOON PRO 10 years ago
Only fountain pens with good quality ink, and if I got the time a nib pen with ferro-gallous ink.
It should be a punishable offence ever to write in a moleskine with a ballpoint pen.

Btw: I get my inks from, they are very good!
Adam Case 10 years ago
I draw mostly with ballpoint pens (cry about it LHOON) and occasionally a Uniball Signo micro 207, technical drawing pens also work very well.
m00by Posted 10 years ago. Edited by m00by (member) 10 years ago
I use... staedtler pigment pens(.05, and .1 mostly). and faber-castell pitt artist pens, brush tipped, india ink, magnificent pens.. :) and pencils... =D
clover. 10 years ago
Staedtler pigment liners, and colored rollerballs.
DiffDx 10 years ago
I draw with Faber Castell PITT artist pens with fine, small, medium, and brush tips.
Sebastian Waters [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Sebastian Waters (member) 10 years ago
glue-stick for my collages, pencil with 2B for drawings
lecates 10 years ago
Inka. Always available - one on keychain, one on backpack. Only ball point I've ever liked. Expensive though.
hikaru.M 10 years ago
staedtler pigment liners. 0.1 or 0.3 mostly.
Euan Mckenzie 10 years ago
Im a big fan of fine tip sharpie pens, they may not be the most delicate of pens but they seem to last forever and write beautifully!
vulvanist [deleted] 10 years ago
I love using Tombow ABT brush pens. They are so cool.

xx Lisa
Drawing and colouring pencils mainly.
And for writing: whatever I get my hands on first, I have so many pens it's getting silly :)
bigweeums PRO 10 years ago
i use a Sepia toned Sakura Pigma Micron .05, its waterproof and fade proof. i really like how the sepia tone looks on the tint of the paper. i use it for sketching and writing.
PiperJon PRO 10 years ago
Lamy Safari or Vista, medium nib, Noodler's black ink, even in sketch books. I also use a brush-pen filled with Noodlers; I have both Kuretake that I got at Hobby Lobby, and several Sakura that I have filled with just plain water for using with various watercolor pans. - Pj
PiperJon PRO 10 years ago
@LHOON: does de-atramantis have an English site? I'm a little rusty on anything that ain't Southern dialect US... :D - Pj
fatbabylarry 10 years ago
this is a great question and i love all the input :) so far, i've used faber castell pitt brush pens - lovely and doesn't bleed. the uniball signo is also great as well as their GelSticks which have lovely color all of which do not seep through the lovely pages!
El Negro Magnifico 10 years ago
I'm with Mooby and Zelda; Staedtler pigment liners all the way.
hillflock 10 years ago
I fell pretty hard for the Rapidoliner when I first started drawing but when the bottom fell out I took Dan Price's advice and tried the Sakura Pigma Micron (mostly the .25mm). Also feeling out the PITT artist pen.
Andrea Garza ~ 10 years ago
Sakura Pigma Micron, Uni-Ball Micro, Prismacolor Markers with nibs, the Prismacolor bleed through horribly though.
AugustGarage PRO 10 years ago
Currently, I am using Rotring XONOX pigment (my new favorite) and Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens (not bad, not great).

Previously, I used ZIG Pigment liners (also quite nice) and Sakura Pigma Micron (cool colors, but the nibs, especially on the smallest sizes, feel too 'brittle' to me).
LHOON PRO 10 years ago
@PiperJon: nothing but German at de-atramentis, although they have a link to a Japanese page selling their products ;-)
essentielley PRO 10 years ago
Pilot's 'PreciseV5, extra fine'...

and Pentel markers.

Although it really depends on the individual, of course....
(example; I shy from anything costing more than the one's I mentioned because I lose pens.....quite frequently.)

Maybe dedicate a page to testing pens?
athena. 10 years ago
Sakura Pigma Microns. I love them, but I go through them very quickly. The nibs break fairly easily too. Though I am currently using a Pilot G-Tec-C4. I use a Lamy Vista fountain pens for my journal though.
therealnani PRO 10 years ago
I don't use the sketchbooks but in my moleskines, i just started using Staedtler's tri pens. An improvement over the Sanford uniball pens I was using.
Avalonux 10 years ago
fountain pen, vandyke brown usualy..., sometimes the fischer for gothic script and just a brush for chinese naturally ;-)
aesop 10 years ago
I use Zig markers when I can. They're the only really waterproof ones I've found.
murky PRO 10 years ago
I use noodlers' black and legal lapis for virtually everything - though it doesn't absorb quickly with moleskine.

With ciak it works a dream.
Ruin T 10 years ago
Hello everybody!
Pilot Hi-tecpoint V5 & Pentel brush GFKP, but I also use anything else really!
Stevie~Dee 10 years ago
I've been using the Pilot Hi-techpoint v5 and you can see the ink on the other side of the page, which is a drag... :(
corvinod 10 years ago
I strictly use a parker jotter. I like the feel in my hand, and the ink is stable, and the refills are reliable.

I have used both the traditional refill and the gel refill in moleskine.

I am primarily a writer, so drawing is not for me.

The change to Moleskine was a smack to my punk rock ideals enough, walking away from a spiral bound journal was tough.
hanserik 10 years ago
I am primarily a writer too. And I use a Uniball Jetstream (black) and love it :-)
.comma h. 10 years ago
Mostly drawing but I use the same for writing;
-Sakura Pigma's,
-Artline 200 0, favourite when they are old and the nib is worn out!
-spray cans!
Im dissapointed that my Letraset TRIA and Copic markers bleed through the sketchbook paper...
23rd spiral 10 years ago
in my new London City Notebook my trusted Waterman fountain pen bled odly and horribly. On cheep paper it beeds out in all directions, in this moleskin it bled in small lines like streams away from the writing. Argh!!

So, in starting my first Moleskine pocket weekly diary i had a crisis... risk streams of ink or use a biro! I had no gel pens left, and needed to start on new years day of course. Also, because i only get 7 narrow lines to record a day's activity, the pen can't be too thick. Any UK-avalible ideas?

I see many of you use fountain pens, any ideas why mine went so wrong?
Eudaemonian 9 years ago
staedtler triplus fineliner (never runs out of ink, I swear!!), Pilot precise V5 extra fine, Le Pen marvy, uniball grip 0.7,... yeah I'm just writing down what the pens say on them. when I was a kid I loved fountain pens, maybe I could look into that again but refilling them was always a pain in the a** & I'm a messy girl so I smear the ink all the time. :p
Morgaine Swann 9 years ago
I haven't settled on "the" perfect pen yet, but I keep coming back to the Pigma Microns with the larger points. I like the nice dark ink for my black and white drawings. Le pen is nice, too.
thraxil 9 years ago
I have 3 or 4 nice blue ballpoint pens that I got as free schwag from a tech company. Very high quality with heavy brass bodies. They draw incredibly smoothly on the paper in moleskine sketchbooks. I used them for all the blue drawings in this set. I really don't know what I'm going to do when they run out of ink. There aren't any markings on the pen indicating who made them. I'll probably end up emailing someone at the tech company and see if I can find out who they order their pens from.

I also used a black Fisher Space Pen for the black drawings in this set. It works pretty well, but the ink is a little prone to smudging. Still looking for a replacement ballpoint that gives me the same ability to get gradients, but doesn't smudge as much (If I can find a black version of my blue pens mentioned above, that would be perfect).

I occasionally use a black Pilot G-2 for the more line-oriented drawings and for writing. And I have a nice .18mm mechanical pencil for the rare occasions when I want to draw in pencil.

Faber-Castell Pitt brush pens are good on other paper, but I don't like how they feel on Moleskine sketchbook paper. In the large Moleskine Cahier notebooks, I use a mix of colored pencils and Staedtler Mars Graphic 3000 Duo Watercolor Brush Markers. I also recently aquired a Moleskine watercolor sketchbook and have been experimenting with that, but haven't come to any solid conclusions yet except that the Staedtlers and colored pencils don't work well with it.
I am now the proud owner of the following:

3 x staedtler triplus fineliners
1 set Stabilio Mini's
2 Regular Stabilio markers
S & M staedtler Lumocolor (Black)
set of 12 Primary & secondary Prismacolor markers
Set of 24 Faber Castell Pitt Brush Pens - I LOVE THESE
Several assorted Zig Milleniums
Several Gelly Roll pens
And lots more I'm sure. (This was not all bought at once)

Thing is, since I bought most of these, I have gone back to my Canson sketchbooks. Will need to pull out the Moleskine sketchbook and do another "Pen test"

Thanks for everyone's input, and to Dick Blick (Art Supplies) and the Art & Drafting Connection for feeding my habit.
lowfatsourcreme 9 years ago
I have fallen in love with the Skilcraft Fine pens. They are only available through the federal government or their website, but quite nice and smooth ballpoints.
I'm using this Stabilo 'Bionic' thing at the moment which is bright orange, a rollerball and totally indestructable.

I kill pens very badly. This one doesn't sputter, is pretty fluid and has survived in my trouser pocket for months, which usually does for pens. So my guess is these will be discontinued soon.
Jacob Morse PRO 9 years ago
Actually, I believe LHOON was seen using a ballpoint pen. :)
I use Sakura Pigma Micron 0.35 mostly.
Or just any Sakura pen in general is good.
Morgaine Swann 9 years ago
I get such good information about pens from you all! Thanks especially to those who provided links. I recently got some nice pens - an astronaut bullet pen, a Shaeffer Agio fountain and a Tombow rollerball all in pink. The Fountain pen actually seems to work on my Moleskine journal's paper. For drawing, the Tombow so far is my favorite. Not too impressed with the astronaut pen, but I haven't been in a situation where it would really be an advantage. I just really never liked ball points. I got all of these at, which has a nice selection of good pens.

I also got a set of Pilot G-2's but I haven't done an inktest yet.
kkkataish 9 years ago
pilot v-tech pens.
also copic markers.
i don't care about bleed through.
Mike Skalnik [deleted] 9 years ago
CarminaGitana PRO 9 years ago
Sakura Pigma Microns (005) and Staedtler pigment liners (.05). They seem to be prone to clogging or becoming bent out of shape, but nothing beats that amazingly fine, instant-drying line for drawing or writing.
flickrmao 9 years ago
uni-ball eye fine ink sits bewdiful on moleskine pages a few seconds before sinking in, so you can really work the smudge...go the smudge!
emd111 PRO 9 years ago
Pilot G-2's.
ScarpagiaLLa 9 years ago
I use Stabilo pen, Faber Castell and Giotto stilnovo watercolour pencils. For the black I use sometimes Pilot V Signpen.
jez_zimbo [deleted] Posted 9 years ago. Edited by jez_zimbo (member) 9 years ago
I used to use a Sheaffer White Spot fountain pen but it's a bit impractical while travelling. I now prefer a steel Parker Jotter biro, black ink, fine point.

My notebook
Lisa Gallup PRO 9 years ago
I'm hooked on Uniball Vision Elite pens. Also love the Pitt brush markers.
trail_artist 9 years ago
I like to use any permanent very black drawing pen. Lately I've been using Simbalion extra fine marking pens, Derwent watersoluable color pencils and Derwent color pencils. I have found some color ink base drawing pens to strike through the heavier paper in the Moleskine sketchbooks and found that some people like the designs that appear on the back side of the page.

I have a collection of hundreds of antique dip pen nibs of about 90 varieties which make very interesting marks on Moleskine sketchbook paper. They have a quality that makes the sketch look older.
heavdog PRO 9 years ago
Always on the lookout for pens for the Moleskine and other sketch books...just got turned on to the Pitt pens, brush and otherwise. Have been using the Sakura Microns for as long as I can remember. Now my newest find: Prismacolor premier fine line markers, all different sizes and colors, though I only tried the black in a variety of widths (.005, .03. .05 and .08) Nice and dark, smooth - these could be my new faves!
eeshie [deleted] Posted 9 years ago. Edited by eeshie (member) 9 years ago
For the longest time I only used bic crystal ball point pens (blue ink only). I just started using Pilot G2s and I love them. However, I do find that they smear a bit.
Christopher Holden Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Christopher Holden (member) 9 years ago
I am so happy with the Staedtler Pigment Liner pens I recently purchased. They are acid free, lightfast, waterproof on paper, quick to dry, don't bleed through or smudge, flow smoothly, come in a 4-pack of .7, .5, .3 and .1 and use archival quality ink. Yes. I'm so pleased!
heavdog PRO 9 years ago
I have a couple of those, too, love them. The quality I look for most is a dark, black ink. So far, the Pitts seem the darkest, aside from India ink and a nib.
speedmaster70 9 years ago
Wonderful thread, thanks. I use only the lined Moleskines and my tool of choice is a Lamy 2000 fountain pen w/ an extra-fine nib. I sometimes use a Lamy Dialog 2 RB pen too.

rpscott123 9 years ago
For me, I found that my Waterman Charleston fountain pen with an extra fine nib and Noodler's Legal lapis ink works really well with the Moleskine paper.
wigrid_herja 9 years ago
Waterman pen. Point F. Black ink. Pure classic :)
Asier3d 9 years ago
Pilot is OK for lineart, but you can get a watercolour look with the combination of Tombo Markers

for the shadows (i use two very very light ones) and then you can alternate pencils in different wides.

That´s the resulting style:

Shane Vorhaben 9 years ago newest discovery is the Gelly Roll Genius Rollerball ...the black is a very dense, flat black...dries pretty quickly too....check'em out..
The Cameras Voice 9 years ago
Signo, Dixon Triconderoga, Derwent, Inoxcrom, Microns, and hopefully Shane's Gelly Rolls, I haven't found em yet. Probably more but these are the main ones...
.comma h. 9 years ago
+1 for the Parker Jotter. With a black gel cartridge amazing to write and draw with on Moleskine sketch paper.
rathofbuns 9 years ago
I need to throw in my vote for the black Pilot G2, but the 05, not the 07. The finer point makes for faster drying and a smoother line. I've been using them for about six years and affectionately refer to them as "Celestial Pens". The 05's are a bit harder to find than the 07's, but it's definitely worth it.
markintexas 9 years ago
My pens change with my mood and I have plenty of both. Currently in my work bag are:

A couple of Pentel Hybrid Gels (black and blue ink)
A couple of Sharp 207 mechanical pencils, one with a B lead and the other with blue leads.
A Pelikan fountain pen, fine nib
Pental Superballs (extra fine) in red, green and blue

Uniball 207, in both sizes and several colors were in the bag last week.

I carry three Moleskine notebooks normally - two medium size notebooks, one lined and one grid. The lined one is for work. The grid for personal use. I also carry a pocket Reporter where I write down stuff that I otherwise might forget (songs I hear that I like, news stories to follow up on, etc).
neon indian [deleted] 9 years ago
microns! microns! microns!!!
miclumayag 9 years ago
Pentel Gel Pens, Pelikan M200, Pelikan M800 and Lamy Safari fountain pens are my weapons of choice. I use Pelikan 4001 and Noodlers Bulletproof black inks in my fountain pens.
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