The best pens for artists in 2023

Best pens - someone drawing on big paper
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Picking one of the best pens could elevate your artwork, but there are so many available that making the choice isn't easy. All the models out there are best suited to different types of task so the one you choose will depend on what you're planning to use it for.

In this guide, you'll find the best drawing pens, the best pens for writing, the best pen for sketching, the very best calligraphy pens and more. In short, whatever you could imagine using a pen for (within reason), we'll have a standout pick for you here. To collate this list, we've spoken to artists across the globe to get their top recommendations. 

Upgrading your whole pencil case? Head over to our guide to the best pencils, too, and check out our best markers post if you want a set of colourful pens. And once you're armed with the right equipment, don't miss our how to draw tutorials.

The best pens for artists right now

Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Which pen is best for writing?

The Pilot V7 Rollerball is a cross between a fountain pen and a ballpoint pen and is our favourite for writing. Lines are clean and clear and it's comfortable to hold. 

For calligraphy, we like the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen, which is made in Japan and ideal for creating gorgeous script.

Which pen brand is best?

The pen brand you'll prefer largely depends on what you want to use it for. If it's writing, then Pilot do a good range of pens, and if you want to draw then Copic has some great options. For brush pens, we like Sakura's range. Pentel are also good for drawing. 

Tom May

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects. 

With contributions from