I’m reviewing my drawing kit with a view to making it as sustainable and waste free as possible. The obvious choice is a refillable fountain pen but brush and fibre tip pens are a lot of fun, provide wonderfully expressive line and mark making possibilities. I’m looking for ways to refill them.
These are my current favourite pens, from top to bottom: Lamy Safari fountain with a fine nib, Pentel brush pen, Towbow Fudenosuke brush pen (black = soft tip), Towbow Fudenosuke brush pen (blue = hard tip), Unipin fine lines in 0.05, 0.2 and 0.3 (two 0.2’s shown in the photo by mistake!) I also use 0.1.
The Lamy is easy to refill there’s no need to buy a converter. I’ve just emptied an old cartridge cleaned it carefully with distilled water and dried it. Then use a syringe to refill the cartridge with Platinum Carbon ink, a waterproof ink that allows me to draw then add watercolour washes. It’s a tribute to the Lamy’s wonderful tough construction that I’ve never had any problems with these pens blocking or clogging due to waterproof ink. It is of course vital never to use tap water to clean them or to dilute ink as this will react and gum up the pen. (Same goes for waterbrushes filled with diluted ink).
The Pentel brush pen is great fun and a wonderfully expressive tool. It comes with it’s own cartridges of waterproof ink so it’s simple and mess free to refill. I haven’t tried refilling an empty cartridge with Platinum Carbon ink yet but I suspect it would work very well and cost a lot less than buying fresh cartridges.
Towbow Fudenosuke and Unipins, these are my current guilty pleasures, they are disposable fiber tips containing a fiber core soaked in ink. The Towbows have wonderful squashy tips which offer an excellent variety of line width and mark making possibilities. I have tried to refill one in the past but without success, and with a great deal of permanent inky mess! There’s more to refilling fiber core pens than just injecting more ink… However I will definitely have another attempt when these run out. I’ll post an up date soon.