I found an AMAZING pen. The Uni-ball Signo UM-151, seemed harmelss enough, but when I picked it up for the first time and wrote my name it was like that scene in the wandshop in Harry Potter, “the pen chooses the artist”. I have to try this out in a drawing, I said to myself. It flowed amazingly, it stayed wonderfully black, and it was just so easy to use. Sure, it could not take a wash – that’s ok. I have a lot of pens that can. But would it work on that waxy smooth regular Moleskine paper found in their non-watercolour sketchbooks? That yellowy paper upon which I have tried and failed to find a pen I enjoyed using on it? (For my Davis Moleskine I settled on the Pitt pens, as the micron just wouldn’t work with it. The one I sketched this in is one I began back in 2006…) Oh yes, it worked alright. I spent a lunchtime drawing the Old Crown pub on Highgate Hill (above) from a photo, and just fell in love with the pen. I’ve already started planning out whole drawing projects around it, like a surprise midfield playmaker. I may even take it to London with me, to meet the family. I only hope the ink doesn’t run out before Lisbon, as these pens aren’t easy to find (I see stocking up online somewhere in my future).
Incidentally, I only ever went to that pub once, but I lived a short walk from here on Hornsey Lane for three years. I used to catch the 143 bus from just across the road every day (that mad dash in the morning, oh London commuting I miss you…), and one day I did sketch it in my old long-ago ‘blue’ sketchbook, but never drew it again. I took a photo on a trip a few years ago and am only now drawing it. It’s a cool building, in an area of cool buildings.
The pens have a new king.