Preference for dip pen over technical pen

Hi, I’m curious if anyone has an opinion about when a dip pen might be the preferred instrument over the convenience of a technical pen? Are there advantages unique to dip pens? Trying to understand. Thanks.

I haven’t tried pen and ink for a long time. But if you are wanting for a clean line, I would use the technical pen because you would not overload the dip pen and get too much of a drip from it. That is IMHO. Others might give you pointers on how to prevent this. You won’t have to worry about having a glob of ink somewhere on the drawing and not where you really want to have it go in its place, or put a piece of paper under the outside of your hand to keep from smearing it.

Lenora (lilnora -

Ok, thanks for that. What I’ve gathered is that it’s a technique that persists/survives due mostly to its old school vibe that some people (maybe me) still enjoy. The superiority of technical pens for consistency and convenience seems irrefutable. I’ll be curious to know if anyone disagrees.

Both are successful. The dip pen sometimes leak out, but also had the same problem with a regular pen. Whatever works for you would be the best one. I like both.

I think I’ll just have to do a bit of experimenting and figure it out for myself, I do like the notion of a dip pen.
I wonder if anyone here has tried the Kakimori nib? It seems like it might eliminate the nuisance dripping of other nibs.

To me and in general I think the technical pen looks more…well…technical :grinning:
More stiff, rigid and formal and can look unnatural for some subject. The dip pen looks more natural, organic and the line slightly irregular. I like and use both for different subjects. For a really organic look get a small stick off a bush or tree and sharpen one end for a dip pen. All have their use.

1 Like

Thanks Dale, I like the idea of improvising a twig. Have you ever tried to craft a quill pen from a flight feather?

No, I haven’t but I am sure there is an art to it :slight_smile:

1 Like

I completly agree with Dale - what a great summary. :slight_smile:

I like the organic look of the lines when using a dip pen (or tiny brush) vs using just a technical pen. I think it all depends on the look or image you want to convey. I agree technical pens are easier. From my experience I think they both have unique qualities.

I write with fountain pens almost exclusively. I also have dip pens.

A fountain pen that has a dip pen fill, but more controlled ink flow of a fountain pen would be a pilot 912 with a soft fine falcon nib and a polymer feed. Now, not considered cheap.

I would also look at a pen called “Super 5”. It is weighted very nicely and designed for artists.

Platinum Carbon Black is used by many fountain pen users because of its waterproof-ness.

Dip pens —if you are serious about them, invest in a nice, smooth glass one. Otherwise, you will be going through nibs like crazy. My favorite nib is the “Rose” brand over the Nikko-G.

I’ve used the “G” nib dip pen a bit with Dr Phil’s Black Star ultra matte black ink and gotten good results. Only problem is when inking over a pencil line the nib gets in visual path so I don’t follow as precisely as I can with the Staedtler Pigment Liners, but I’m still new to all this after inheriting a bunch of nice art stuff. Been exploring everything from calligraphy to line/ink drawings to watercolor experimentation then pastels and am just playing along with the “Getting Sketchy” episodes to push the new media exploration a bit and keep practicing, but not very at all yet. In fact, 'm going through “Subjects in Pen and ink” lesson right now.

1 Like

If you are on Instagram, there is an artist with IG@Leighpod that has explored that metal nib above.

Thanks for your response. I too appreciate fountain pens, and I have the Pilot 912 that you described. I’ve not tried India ink in any of my fountain pens yet. Seems like the carbon in the ink would gum up the pen, no?
I am currently waiting for the Kakimori glass nib to become available again. I’m unfamiliar with the Rose one you mentioned. I see others out there on the market. Looking forward to trying a glass nib.

Do not use India ink in a fountain pen. Only fountain pen ink. India ink is for dip pens only.

Ah, I must have misunderstood. I now assume there is a distinction between the ‘Platinum Carbon Black’ you mentioned and India ink. I’ll have to investigate that. Thanks.

The carbon black is an India ink option, there are many but most do not work with fountain pens, only dip pens due to particulate matter in them. The extra dark makes a fine black line easily, but that amount of solids clogs up a standard fountain pen with reservoir where it flows to nib continually, it might work to start then eventually no longer write even though it is full. Then you need to tear pen apart and hopefully get it all un-clogged with an ultrasonic cleaner or complete disassembly with alcohol and brush and even then not all parts are accessible depending on fountain pen.

For fountain pens, only use ink labeled “Fountain Pen Ink” as the rest of the inks are for dip pens and brushing generally speaking.

–ETA: Rapidograph refillable technical pens are their own animal, not sure if you are referring to those when using ‘Tech pen’ label, as generally tech pens today refer to the disposable plastic tipped sets.

Platinum is a brand of ink and carbon black is the color name.