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Get Serious about Pen Health

June 18, 2021
With only dried out pens to work with when I made this sketch, I still had fun, sure. But for this particular sketch I would have had more fun with a fresh pen. Read the post.

OK you’ve read over and over on the blog that I love drawing with pens that are drying out. BUT…

Someone has to get serious and march around the house and throw out all the really dried out pens. It’s time to start fresh.

On the evening of this drawing if a fresh pen had been on hand I could have doodled in all the little knitting lines on this pup’s sweater. And I think that would have been fun, and on this particular night it would have even been good for me.

By all means love your dried out pens. I know I do.

But at some point make a point to clear out the dried pens that only get a line or two down on paper before really sputtering and struggling. 

Then put out some new, fresh pens for yourself.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this; simply fill some cartridges and converters with ink if you use fountain pens; or get a couple inexpensive brush pens like the Sakura Pigma Professional Brush Pen FB and place them near your favorite chairs for sketching.

The next time you reach for a pen when you feel like dealing with detail you’ll thank yourself.

Have great fun. You’ll be glad you did.

Sometime your intention can simply be to have fun!

    • Beverlee
    • June 18, 2021
    Reply

    OMG, Roz, you add laughter to my days! Thank you for helping me get through this weird pandemic. I have actually done this, gathered up all my dried out and decrepit pens. Did I throw them away? Hell, no. They’re in a cigar box marked Dead Pens. Next to a cigar box marked New Pens.
    Take care, stay well, keep drawing.

    1. Reply

      That’s what I want Beverlee, to entertain!. I love that you have a cigar box labeled “Dead Pens” and one “New Pens”—great idea! Thanks for reading. Keep laughing!

  1. Reply

    Do you have any advice on maintaining fountain pens? I use DeArtemis ink in mine – waterproof but usable in a fountain pen. I clean them with water in-between refilling but it doesn’t seem to be enough.

    1. Reply

      Zom, I’m not sure what you mean by “clean them with water in-between refilling.” I’m taking that to mean that when you are ready to refill the pen you clean it first. So in that system if you don’t use a pen’s ink reservoir up in a week, it will be that long before you clean it. (That’s the assumption I’m going under here.)

      I don’t use DeArtemis ink because it smells too much for me. I use Platinum Carbon black. My husband who is the real fountain pen devotee in the house (he has 9 he uses daily with different colors of ink in them). He uses Noodler’s (all the one’s he uses are from the bullet proof selection and water-resistant selections—I forget the names of the different lines from Noodlers), Platinum, and a couple other inks I can’t stand to be around. (He used up the DeArtemis I bought but couldn’t stand.) My husband needs archival, waterproof/water-resistant ink because he uses them in his patent log books.

      He has vintage pens that he refurbishes and uses and he has a Falcon and a Mont Blanc—so he’s got a variety of pens and inks that he uses.

      He recommends the following regimen: every week in the winter and no longer than 2 weeks in the summer (it’s a humidity thing) he flushes the pen with water and puts the tips submerged beneath water and soaks them for 8 to 12 hours minimum. He doesn’t dismantle the pen—he uses converters, some have bladders factory attached, all that is left together, just flushed.

      Anyway, he swears by that. And doesn’t have any problems.

      I don’t use fountain pens daily any more, so it’s mostly what to do about my Fude fountain pens. I’m bad with them. They aren’t expensive and admittedly I treat them badly, often forgetting and then I have to soak them for longer, or put them in my sonic cleaner—which I have from my technical illustration days when I used technical pens and a lot of inks that did dry in those thin, tube nibs.

      I hope Dick’s regime is helpful to you if you try it.

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