I got over halfway through a sketch today when I got frustrated, crumpled it up, and threw it away. I’m admittedly very dissatisfied with my choice to drop $70+ on a set of Rapidograph pens. Ever since I was a graphic design student at Ball State, I was told that these were the pinnacle of pens. Because of their price, I always chose to use Zig Millennium pens and occasionally Micron pens instead.

As I began adjusting to the Rapidographs, I was frustrated with two points. Firstly, it was much more difficult to draw straight lines. With the felt tip pens, I was able to apply more pressure. This allowed me to steady my hand and draw relatively straight lines over long distances. With the Rapidographs, applying more pressure causes the line to skip and my paper to scratch. My second frustration, and this is the one that’s unforgivable, is that when I left the pen, the plunger thing puts a tail on my lines. This essentially turns all of my lines in to strange distorted L shapes. There are precious few ways that I can hold the pen without this happening and none of those ways are conducive to comfort, dexterity, or (much to my dismay) getting nice line quality.

I’ve watched the overall quality (cleanliness) of my drawings go down since attempting to use the Rapidograph pens. I moved away from my Zigs because I figured the Rapidographs would be cheaper in the long run and would produce superior drawings. However, I was totally wrong. I’m simply frustrated. While these pens my be great for drafting, they’re absolutely terrible for my kind of sketching. I’m extraordinarily frustrated.

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