a new pen every other day.

Friday, June 21, 2013

pen 16: staedtler lumocolor

there are several things that remind me of the relationships i've been in over the years: the obvious being movies, music, books, smells,video games etc... and then theres things like coffee mugs (stolen from all night diners or bought in second hand stores) a ring or two here and there and, i just realized, pens.

i found this pen back in 2006, i was sitting in the bar on the corner near my apartment, sketching, drinking, and listening to purple rain and paint it black for the billionth time when the pen i had been using ran out. this in itself was a rare occurrence, i usually lose them before the run out. so of course i didn't have another on me at the time, which was also rare, if you you know me in real life you know that i'm usually toting a messenger/ammo bag that contains like 95% of a working office... right, focus.

so i asked the bartender, who happened to be the owner as well, if there was a pen i could borrow while i was there.

she handed me this pen.

i know this is completely random and probably not all that interesting but if you knew the bar i am talking about you would be as shocked as i was to have that be the first place i had ever seen or heard of that pen, to put it another way, budweiser was $3 a bottle and well shots of vodka was $2, and this place exists in san francisco.

so i used this pen and fell in love, i tried to hint that it was awesome and going to waste just writing out drunks' phones numbers and balancing the till, but the owen wouldn't have any of it, and i should point out that she is/was a generous woman.

so around that time i met a girl and she visited on vacation, i took her to my usual haunts and she had heard me going on and on about the pen before coming out, she brought with her a wretched bottle of white australian wine, and a full color set of these pens with a few extra black pens for good measure.

so, yes, this pen has a special place in my heart. it is a brush-ish type tip, they do bleed a bit but not so much as long as you keep the tip moving, they say that they are non-bleeding but...  idont agree with that claim. they are durable within reason, you can press harder on them than most pens i've used, they are good for filling moderately large spaces, covers up pencil marks, they don't fade if you need to erase the under sketch, they saturate to a true black (or whatever color the pen is), they take ages to dry out, especially if you take measures to make sure that they are stored properly, and they smell nice. they claim to be "dry-safe" meaning that "they can be left open for days and not dry out," i just shrug and say whatever, i've never felt the need to test this feature. they will write on nearly everything you can think of, including watercolor and acrylic (once dry) although i've never tested it out on gesso. the last thing that is kind of neat is that these pens are supposed to be refillable, again it's something that i have never tried so i can't tell you how well that works (and here i fail as a reviewer).

i can't say that i've ever found them in retail stores, or art stores for that matter, but i can't say that i've actually bought one, and haven't needed to be looking for one. you can get them online, the random site that came up first when i googled "staedtler lumocolor" has list prices that run from $5.19 for two black pens to under $19 for the eight color set. if you are willing to pay a little under $30 you can buy a box of 12, you with choices of super fine, fine, medium, and broad. the same website has its own pricing which they say is 30% off list, i'm not sure what the shipping costs are but i would have to say that this pen is worth trying, for under six dollars for two, we are talking about a pen that is more durable than the micron and copic and produces a line that is somewhere in between a brush and fine point pen.

*update* yes, i am aware i spelled it wrong in the drawing... i'm just too lazy to fix it.


Aloquin said...

Score!!! You mentioned gesso!!! Which, begs the question... do you use gesso, and if so, what have you used it for? The pen review was great, I'm messing recently with more brush-style nibs... not entirely sure how I feel about them yet. I think I'm used to more sturdy, so I tend to rely on what I know. But I'm going to haunt NYC tomorrow after not being there for years, and you'd better believe I'm going to get some sketching in!

Patrick Brennan said...

i haven't used gesso in many, many years, i usually stick with acrylics and to a lesser degree, watercolor. if you do end up getting one of these pens and try it out i would love to hear how it works