ball point pen

Surprise Gift Becomes My Fave: Parker Pen Review

Hi there. How are you?

If you’ve really been paying attention to the drawings I’ve been posting for the past 3 months, you might have noticed that I’ve been using the same pen for all of them.

The Parker Jotter has become my absolute favorite pen.

Sketchbook drawings made with a Parker Jotter ballpoint pen.

Sketchbook drawings made with a Parker Jotter ballpoint pen.

I’ve never felt the need to purchase expensive ballpoints.

Until just now, Bic ballpoints (some of the most inexpensive pens out there) were my faves and what I recommended to my e-course students.

Things changed in January, when I got an Instagram DM from Jackie at Office Depot. She asked if she could send me a “surprise” in the mail. Of course I said yes, and a few days later I got a package in the mail.

Here’s what I got:

I was smitten as soon as I pulled this handmade envelope out of the mailer.

I was smitten as soon as I pulled this handmade envelope out of the mailer.

Inside was this card and a Parker Jotter Pen!

Inside was this card and a Parker Jotter Pen!

How nice was this note? I was so flattered.

How nice was this note? I was so flattered.

It was a fantastic surprise.

There was no expectation that I blog or post about it on social media. It was just a straight up gift! And I love it. Thank you Office Depot!

Ebb & Flow 7  , and all 10 drawings in the series were drawn with the Parker Jotter pen pictured here.

Ebb & Flow 7 , and all 10 drawings in the series were drawn with the Parker Jotter pen pictured here.

My honest review of the Parker Jotter:

(Other than receiving a free pen from Office Depot, I was not compensated for this review. It’s entirely my own opinion!)

I really don’t know why I didn’t try out a “luxury” ballpoint pen sooner. It’s the best and I’m obsessed. All of my recent Ebb & Flow drawing series was made with my Parker.

The ink is totally smooth and there is absolutely none of the “throwing up” of ink that happens with every other ballpoint I’ve tried. It’s easy to achieve the lightest of lights and darks with this lovely hunk of metal. I also appreciate that it is refillable. (It always pains me to throw out a plastic pen when I’ve run it out of ink.)

My one complaint:

I wish I there were other ink colors available besides blue and black. If there were, I would never use any other pen.

Here’s a few other “Ebb & Flow” drawings for you to peruse. I don’t think I’d have achieved the delicacy of mark with a cheapo ballpoint, even my beloved Bics.

Ebb & Flow 8,  8” x 10”, acrylic ink and ballpoint on graph paper. Framed and available for purchase.

Ebb & Flow 8, 8” x 10”, acrylic ink and ballpoint on graph paper. Framed and available for purchase.

Ebb & Flow 9,  8” x 10”, acrylic ink and ballpoint on graph paper. Framed and available for purchase.

Ebb & Flow 9, 8” x 10”, acrylic ink and ballpoint on graph paper. Framed and available for purchase.

Ebb & Flow 10,  SOLD!

Ebb & Flow 10, SOLD!

If you’d like to learn more about the Ebb & Flow drawing series, click HERE.

If you want to pick yourself up a Parker Jotter, head to your nearest Office Depot/Office Max or other office supply store. They are well worth the price and you can use this pen for years to come! Thanks again Office Depot.

Is there a pen you’d like me to review?

Leave a comment and let me know. I am always on the hunt for new pens.

That’s all for now.

Ciao, Jen

Yellow Ballpoints Found at Last!

Hi there. How are you?

I've been collecting ballpoint pens for years now, but I could never track down a yellow. I literally had every other color in the rainbow, in many shades, but no yellow. I needed yellow! 

* HEADS UP: As an Amazon Influencer, I earn a small commission when you purchase the pens I've listed here with Amazon links. It's a small way to support the work I do without any cost to you. (Thank you!)

I've found 3 different yellow pens! Click for purchasing info.

I've found 3 different yellow pens! Click for purchasing info.

The search was long and arduous. 

I googled, I went to every art supply and office supply store I came across, and I checked out the websites of the top pen manufacturers. Still, no yellow! Well, at least not that I could get my hands on in the States. 

Then a breakthrough! 

I was gifted this set of ballpoints from a patron in the Netherlands. It included the first yellow ballpoint I've ever had!

I was gifted this set of ballpoints from a patron in the Netherlands. It included the first yellow ballpoint I've ever had!

A Yellow Perfecto

I was gifted this set of ballpoints from a patron in the Netherlands. It included the first yellow ballpoint I've ever had! (Thanks Natasja!)

The yellow is has a nice bright hue and the ink goes on almost like a gel pen. There's just a little more moisture in the ink than a traditional ballpoint, but it still works well. 

I used my yellow Perfecto pen in this sketchbook drawing. The ink is nice and bright.

One is never enough

I was thrilled to find this yellow, but I knew I'd need more than one solitary yellow pen. I was going to run that sucker out of ink in no time! Again, I hunted all over the internet for Perfecto ballpoint pens but they were nowhere to be found. 

The hunt Continued....

This Yoobi ballpoint pen has yellow and 7 other fab ink colors. Click to purchase one for yourself!

This Yoobi ballpoint pen has yellow and 7 other fab ink colors. Click to purchase one for yourself!

The Yoobi 8-in-1

I was taking a stroll through the pen aisle at Target one day and came across Yoobi product display. Amidst all of the colorful, well designed Yoobi merch was this rad 8-in-1 ballpoint pen with YELLOW! 

All of the inks in the Yoobi are nice and smooth and despite its larger barrel size, it is pretty darn easy to use. The yellow ink has more of a golden hue than the Perfecto, which is great, as now I've got a range of yellows to choose from! 

I finally found a Bic yellow ballpoint pen. The ink is incredible! Click to purchase.

I finally found a Bic yellow ballpoint pen. The ink is incredible! Click to purchase.

The Bic 4 Color Fluo

As I'm never really satisfied with the pens I have, I decided to search Amazon one more time for yellow ballpoints. This time, there was a hit! And it was a Bic! (My all-time favorite ballpoint brand.) 

This 4-in-1 Bic pen features a fluorescent yellow ink that slightly wider than the other 1 mm coloured ballpoints. I paid a pretty penny for it and had to have it shipped from the UK, but man was it worth it! This pen is a dream. 

The yellow ink in the Bic pen is fluorescent and smooth as silk. Click to purchase.

The yellow ink in the Bic pen is fluorescent and smooth as silk. Click to purchase.

Bic is the BEST!

The Bic is by far the best yellow pen I've found. The fluorescent ink is smooth as silk and is oh so bright! I'll certainly be ordering more of these soon and maybe, just maybe, Bic will decide to stock these stateside sometime. 

The yellow in the Paperchase 8-in-1 pen is warm and golden.

The yellow in the Paperchase 8-in-1 pen is warm and golden.

The Paperchase 8-in-1

I didn't really need another yellow pen, but when I spotted this cutie at the Paperchase store at Victoria Station in London, I had to have it! The colors are all a little different from my 8 color Yoobi, so I've got an even wider selection of colors and values to work with. The yellow has a lovely golden tone to it and feels very "Indian Summer." 

When I came back from London about a month ago, I was able to find this pen for sale on the Paperchase USA website. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be available any longer. Boo! If you're lucky enough to live near a Paperchase store, I suspect you can pick one up there. 

Have you found any other Yellow ballpoints I've missed?

Do tell so I can try 'em out and add them to this list! 

That's all for now. Ciao! 


Meet my New Friends the Pentels

Hi there. How are you?

I'm a sucker for a good pen and when I find something I like, I tend to stick with it. For years I've had a serious relationship with Bic ballpoints and black Pilot pens.

When I made the decision to draw in color,  I stuck with what I knew and bought Bics. (Read more about that HERE.) I like those Bics, but I knew there was more out there for me.  I was feeling stifled by the limited color range that Bic had to offer.

So, I went looking for new friends.

I experimented with Staedlter and PaperMate InkJoy ballpoints, but was disappointed with both.

I experimented with Staedlter and PaperMate InkJoy ballpoints, but was disappointed with both.

First I Met Staedtler and InkJoy.

I met Staedlter and PaperMate InkJoy at the big box office supply store.  I was charmed by Staedtler's ten color set and reputation as a quality art supply brand. InkJoy's branding and their claim to be ultra smooth got me interested.  Both had a chance to be my new bestie, but the spark faded quickly.

I didn't like the way the Staedtler pens felt going on the paper. It took a lot of muscle to get a dark, saturated color. Next, I hung out with the InkJoys. The colors were vibrant and for a time the the ink flowed just as smoothly as advertised.  After just one drawing (seen above) the orange seemed to seize up and I had to apply a lot more pressure to get it to flow. Could I really have used up a whole pen with one drawing?

Maybe I was wrong to stray from Bics?

Meet my new friends, the Pentel RSVP ballpoints. Their smooth, vibrant ink is fab for drawing.

Meet my new friends, the Pentel RSVP ballpoints. Their smooth, vibrant ink is fab for drawing.

Then, I had a chance encounter with Pentel.

While checking out the stationery section at Big Lots one day, I came across a set of 4 Pentel R.S.V.P pens. I don't think I've ever bought a Pentel pen before. They seemed lowbrow to me. (I'm an art supply snob.) But, at less than $1.00 a pen, they were a cheap date, so I decided to give them a shot. So glad I did!

Pentel RSVP and Bic Cristal pens were used in this abstract sketchbook spread.

Pentel RSVP and Bic Cristal pens were used in this abstract sketchbook spread.

The Pentels have a nice, vibrant color, go on smooth, and are less apt to "throw up" as the Bics will sometimes do. (You know those little mini explosions of ink that ballpoints have a tendency to make? That's what I'm talking about.)

I also appreciate that they're retractable.......I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten to cap a pen and gotten ink all over the place.

I used Pentel RSVP ballpoint pens in this 3-color sketchbook spread.

I used Pentel RSVP ballpoint pens in this 3-color sketchbook spread.

I've got a wider circle of friends.

I'm pleased with this new friendship and I'm excited to pursue it further. (I'm going to order more Pentels in additional colors today.)

Just because I've got a new friend, doesn't mean I'm giving up on my Bic besties. They produce the darkest darks and are more opaque than Pentels. I like to think that I've just expanded my circle of friends, which will hopefully result in more colorful, more successful drawings!

That’s all for now!

Ciao, Jen

P.S. Wanna stay in touch?