My Virtual Studio: Drawing and Fountain Pens and Markers

You might think of yourself as “just” a crafter. I know that, I’ve seen the social media posts! I’m not buying into that – whenever you make something that didn’t exist before – THAT is art! So if you’ve thought about drawing and wanted to but weren’t sure where to start or if you could, I want to encourage you to just jump in. Pick up a pencil or pen. Draw something. Take a class if that helps; the Whimsical Sketching class is way fun and not intimidating at all – the Drawing 101 will get into more art theory of perspective and shading … and even if you don’t end up being a sketcher long term, it’ll make a difference in your crafting! Okay, I now return you to our regularly scheduled lesson!

Drawing Pens

When combining a coloring medium with pen work, it’s important to determine if your pen is waterproof or not when you want to combine any wet medium – and if it’s Copic friendly when using it with Copic markers. You can usually use any pen on TOP of any artwork, but won’t be able to rework it after an incompatible pen is added. For Bible journalers, testing any pens on a page in the back is helpful so you know what will work and what pens will bleed through. Following is a partial list of pens in my studio:

  • Sharpie markers, waterproof, Copic-friendly AMZ
  • Micron pens, waterproof BLICK
  • Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica pen set, water resistant BLICK
  • Copic Multiliners, Copic-friendly EH or BLICK
  • White Uniball Signo gel pen, only safe on top of mediums EH or BLICK or AMZ
  • Rotring Isograph set AMZ

Fountain Pens

Ahhhh fountain pens, my sweet loves! I did a ton of Fountain Pen research, and you can watch the video below for more info;

  • RECOMMENDED: works great, reasonable $: TWSBI ECO Amazon
  • RECOMMENDED: expensive but mmmmm! Visconti Mirage Amazon
  • Muji fountain pen – reasonable, nice pen – Amazon
  • Lifomenz Storage Box:
  • Hahnemühle Hand Lettering Pads Blick
  • Platinum Carbon Waterproof Ink Amazon

Water-soluble markers

Water-soluble markers are able to be ‘moved’ with water to create some beautiful effects. They don’t HAVE to have water applied – but moving color with a brush can be a beautiful technique to try. I’ve created a conversion chart among just 20 colors – not every brand has every color, so I chose a selection that’s pretty translatable across the four brands I have in my own studio.

Tombow Dual Brush Markers have a nylon brush nibe on one side, and a bullet nib on the other, and are made in Vietnam. They come in 108 colors and they did add the last dozen in 2019, so watch for more releases. They’re my favorite out of these brands – they seem to last longest, the color changes with water aren’t extreme, and they wet very nicely without exorbitant effort!

  • Tombow Dual Brush Markers EH or BLICK
  • Sandy’s Tombow Dual Brush Set (20) (coming soon to Ellen Hutson)

Marvy Le Plume II markers have a felt-fiber brush nib and an extra-fine writing nib that is super nice – and they’re made in Japan. They come in at least 108 colors, as far as I can tell. They’re hard to find in a full set, but you can definitely buy them in onesies and small sets!

  • Marvy LePlume Markers BLICK

ZIG Clean Color markers have a plastic-bristled brush, come in over 90 colors, and they’re made in Japan. They only have nibs on one side. Colors are very bright – and beware, some of them change drastically when water is applied! Zig Art & Graphic Twin Tip markers come in about the same color selection (I found about 82 and they seem to have the same names and numbers), but they have a plastic brush nib on one end, and a bullet nib on the other.

Ranger Distress markers match their ink colors – they have a nylon brush on one side and a plastic writing nib on the other, and I believe they’re made in the USA.

  • Ranger Distress EH

Join our creative community! Our Student Facebook Group is for all classes here …and while there are no finished projects in this class, you’re welcome to join the group and get an idea of what kind of beautiful works can be created from learnings in classes on this website!


I'm an artist, papercrafter, instructor, Youtuber - and all around creative geek! I love all the mediums and experimenting with styles. I especially love seeing others take a step on their own creative journey...whether for the first time, or leaping into new territory as a creative veteran!