The Anatomyst

Art and Illustration

Hand, Linework Using Pilot Parallel Pen


I was somewhat saddened by the loss of my favourite Tachikawa Manga fountain pen recently (although I’ve now found it*) but it gave me a chance to look through all the pens I have accumulated over the years. I have a lot of other fountain pens, a couple of brush pens and I also rediscovered a Pilot Parallel pen I had. This is a fantastic pen for calligraphy work. It has two parallel metal plates in a range of widths (I have a 3.8mm version) so you can make fine lines with the plates on edge just like the tines of a fountain pen or you can make broad strokes by drawing the wide edge across the page. A whole range of line widths is possible just by holding the pen at different angles. It’s a really lovely pen. I think the reason I’d put it aside was that it uses a lot of ink when making those wide strokes and has proprietary cartridges (I refill mine using a fine syringe).

Study of a hand. Pilot Parallel pen. Black ink on 50gsm layout paper.

I drew this hand first using a light blue pencil** and then inked using my parallel pen. As you can see, it’s mostly fine lines but I have turned the pen slightly in places to add thicker, darker lines.

*We’re in the process of trying to move house so all that tidying up is showing just how much I love buying pens and how much of a hoarder I am!

** The light blue pencil is an old trick I’d learnt from comic book artists – it doesn’t show up when photocopied or scanned.

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