My favourite pens for overseas sketching trips

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As much as I like the Pelikan M200 fountain pen which is my main sketching pen, that's not a pen I'll bring for my overseas sketching trips.

I prefer to bring disposable pens when urban sketching overseas so that I don't have to bring ink to refill pens.

My two favourite pens I pack for trips are the Uniball Signo Gelstick and the Uniball Air. Both are rollerball pens that uses waterproof pigment ink that dries pretty fast.

The Uniball Gelstick uses gel ink and the downside is the ink gets used up much faster than the Uniball Air which uses liquid ink. But the Uniball Signo Gelstick is less expensive. Here in Singapore, the Uniball Signo Gelstick is SGD 1 and the Uniball Air is 2-3 times more expensive.

The rollerball is quite smooth even on coldpress watercolour paper.

The liquid ink from the Uniball Air can bleed or spread on certain paper.

The inks dry quite fast and are great for quick watercolour sketching. Shown above is a sketch created with the two pens and the Pentel Colour Brush Pens that I have refilled with gray and black inks.

The splatter marks were created by running the brush bristles against the side of the pen tip.

Check out the videos I've made while sketching overseas at


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