Lamy Nibs in Close-up

lamy pen marksAt one time I always carried some kind of of fibre tip pen with me, such as a Pilot Drawing Pen, but these days it’s just my three Lamy fountain pens – an AL-Star, a Safari and a Vista – with fine, extra fine and broad nibs. Fibre tips offer a degree of precision and convenience, until they start to dry up, but I find that a fountain pen feels more natural.


ef nib
Extra fine nib

noodlersmoorhenFor natural history drawing, I usually go for my Lamy Vista with an extra fine nib which I keep filled with Noodler’s brown ink. Noodler’s becomes waterproof on contact with the cellulose in paper so I can add a watercolour wash. This gives a similar effect to a dip pen and Indian ink plus watercolour but a fountain pen is easier to work with as there’s no bottle of ink to either hold on to or to risk knocking over.

Lamy Vista
Lamy Vista

lamy nibsThe Vista is a transparent version of the Safari so it’s even easier to check that the filler in the pen has enough ink in it when I set off to draw. At the moment this pen is filled with a mixture of Noodler’s black and El Lawrence brown (a kind of khaki, desert brown, named in honour of Lawrence of Arabia), because I had two half empty bottles and it’s easier to fill the pen from a full bottle. The black/brown mix reminds me of Pelikan Special Brown indian ink which I used for many years.


fine nibI keep the AL-Star, the aluminium version of the Safari, filled with black Noodler’s ink. This pen is fitted with a fine nib.

Lamy Al-Star fountain pen


Lamy Safari with Z24 converter and broad nib, filled with Noodler's Black ink.
Lamy Safari with Z24 converter and broad nib, filled with Noodler’s Black ink.

For bolder drawing I’ve got a bright yellow Safari (difficult to lose) with a broad nib. This is the freest flowing of the three pens and the larger, rounded tip, as seen in my photograph taken with a microscope, enables it to glide across the paper.

Lamy Safari broad nib.
Lamy Safari broad nib.

Ink Links

Lamy fountain pens

Noodler’s ink

10 Replies to “Lamy Nibs in Close-up”

  1. Thanks for this post. I love your drawings and was curious about your supplies. I recently switched to fountain pens and have 2 Lamy Safaris and am waiting for a Lamy 2000. Will acquire a broad nib for one of the Safaris. I try to picture myself in your scenes and feel quite content after each brief respite in Yorkshire.

    1. It’s been great to get out and draw again an I’m succeeding so far in my aim to get outdoors drawing every day – even if that’s just in the back garden – but there’s some wintry weather heading this way for the weekend. The Lamy pens really seem to tick all the boxes for me and I like the look of the 2000.

    1. Thank you Al, hope all this in depth and up close info helps you decide on your drawing kit. The silk gloves are essential at this time of year! (and they’re half price in the end of season sale at our local camping store at the moment, so I’m going to invest in a spare pair if they’ve still got my size in).

        1. Absolutely essential Al, especially this morning, when I was drawing in a slushy snow shower, with the aid of a fishing umbrella (there’s another essential). I must admit that the gloves soon got sodden and cold when I was shaking the snow off the umbrella but until then they kept my hands warm. The silk gloves made an appearance when I drew the ash stump:

          1. You’ll soon learn to get used to the indulgent smile from passing dog walkers who you know are thinking ‘that guy with the fishing umbrella; we’re a long, long way from the river here.’

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