Spring Has Come to NYC!
Me and Martha Stewart

My Favorite Pen: Sakura Pigma Micron

This is an article I wrote that appeared on Craft Critique two weeks ago. Which reminds me, I need to go and buy some more pens! I recently had houseguest who generously gave me a gift certificate to my favorite art supply shop! Yay!


I can’t draw. I’m not much of a painter, either. But, I have discovered a black pen that makes me look like I can do both!

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that the Sakura Pigma Micron is the greatest black pen on earth. I have a collection of them in various sizes, but 01, 03, and 08 are my three “go to” sizes.

So, why do I love these pens? They’re archival, waterproof, fadeproof, juicy, and the tips don’t easily squish. I’m hard on pens. I use them for doodling, journaling, drawing, and I like to write on unusual surfaces. My Sakura Pigma Microns handle textured paper, painted surfaces, and chipboard with ease. They will write on plastic or metal, but you have to use a sealer or they’ll rub off. I use them on fabric (such as quilt labels). You don’t even need to heat set! They dry quickly, so there’s no smearing (always a plus for lefties or messy folks like me). But, it’s their ability to make me look good that I love the most.

Here’s my secret:

1. Use a pencil to make a horrible little scratchy sketch. Erase and fix. Erase and fix. Erase and fix.
2. Use one of the thinner pens (01 or 02) to trace your sketch. The real trick is to make the lines smooth (rather than sketchy) – like an illustration.
3. Erase all the pencil lines (a.k.a. “the evidence”).
4. Use watercolor paints to color in your drawing. Don’t worry about going outside your pen lines (the pens are waterproof).
5. Once it dries, you are left with your little masterpiece. (And nobody has to know that you can’t draw!)

Here are some examples of my recent work: