Fun With A Fude Pen

I’ve been a Faber-Castell Pitt fineliner pen user for many years and haven’t strayed much. These pens are very nice and dependable, and I have different sized tips if I want thin and thick lines. I went out of my comfort zone a few weeks ago when a sketcher friend invited me to try her Sailor Fude (pronounce “foo-day”) De Mannen pen. I have tried a fountain pen once before, and remember it being kinda scratchy and not that much fun. Well, this pen revolutionized my thinking!

This pen, with a 55 degree nib (where the ink comes out) angle, is unlike other fountain pens, in that it has a special tilted nib tip. I found it easy to produce very thick lines, as well as a variety of thinner lines. The thinnest line was made by turning the pen upside down onto the bent tip.

This pen was a dream on my sketchbook paper. It takes some getting used to, you hardly have to press on the paper and the ink flows so smoothly. The pen didn’t have waterproof ink, so I bought another pen and a converter, which I filled with Noodlers Lexington Gray Ink, which was waterproof. So lets see what this pen can do….

Our Urban Sketching group met in a member’s garden and we sketched various architectural artifacts, Japanese lanterns, and other fun items. I started with the hanging lantern (below) and did a collage of various things that caught my interest around the garden. A few tentative swipes with the pen led to delight, as the ink flowed and I could easily alternate between thin and thick lines to produce super-fun effects!

This two-page spread continued, and after the ink went on the page, I began adding watercolor. I kept the palette very limited with only a few earthy colors. I didn’t realize it wasn’t waterproof, but after the ink started bleeding a little, I actually liked the effect and didn’t mind it. It helped emphasize the chaos in the environment I sat in, and I love how it turned out.

This pen literally sailed across my sketchbook pages, it’s like it had a mind of its own. I worked so much more loosely with this pen, and really enjoyed it!

If you ever want to try out a new drawing tool, I’d recommend this pen. I’m going to keep trying it in other sketches and see what happens, and you too, can have Fun with A Fude!


  1. I just bought this pen. My first try, not so good, but after reading your post I will try again. Thank you. Your work is beautiful. Glad I found u.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Patty. Glad you are re-trying it. I am still experimenting with it, it takes getting used to. I’m not sure I’ll fully switch over from my Pitt pens, but it’s fun to stretch in a new direction. Keep sketching!

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