A while back my friend Brinn penned a post about pens. And recently my other friend Bob Borson penned a post about sketchbooks. Recently I also penned a post about the connected path between brain and paper for architects. All of this penning got me thinking about pens and sketching. What are the best pens, pencils, and markers for architects and sketching?
For me one of the most critical qualities to look for in any sketching instrument is LINE. Is the line uniform? Is it easy to control? Can I change the quality of the line with pressure or angle? In the case of pencils, will the line get chunky and smudge if I use too much force? Or will it be barely visible on the page?
I went through my bag and grabbed a few of the pens and markers that I keep constantly on hand for sketching, writing, drawing, whatever and did this little sketch to demonstrate the various qualities of line that most architects will work with.
The chosen sketching utensil for any artist, more often than not, can be almost as unique as the artist. At the end of the day, as architects and designers, whatever you sketch with should feel comfortable; it should just feel right. But ultimately, what you sketch with is not nearly as important as the simple act of sketching. They say a photographer is only as good as his last photo, or a writer on as good as his last book. Well, an architect is only as good as his/her ability to translate ideas into discernible reality on paper.