Quick Sketching: Trying Out The Platinum Carbon Pen

I just bought a Platinum Carbon Pen from Jet Pens.  I’m a fan of Platinum Carbon Black ink and this pen is supposed to have a feed sized specifically for this pigmented ink.  Most people say that it has a very fine nib.  Giving away the punch line, I think both of these things are true.

The pen comes from Jet Pens looking like this.  I carry my pens everywhere and this one is just way too long.  It’s designed to look and feel like a dip pen.PCarbonPenAnd so I “fixed” mine.  I cut it off long enough to allow the ink cartridge but short enough that I could post the cap while it was in use.  For anyone wanting to follow this approach, that’s 6cm from the gold ring around the pen body.

Once cut, I mixed up some epoxy and dabbed the pen up and down in the puddle of epoxy, filling the hole in the end of the pen.  Once dry I simply sanded everything smooth and the result looks like this:






Cut down like this, it makes a very comfortable sketching pen.  When capped it’s nearly as short as a Kaweco Classic Sport and when posted it’s nearly the length of my Pilot Prera.  The balance works out well also.

The pen really shines, though, because of its fine line, which is actually finer than my Pilot Prera (F), which is already finer than a Lamy (XF).  The Platinum Carbon lays down a line nearly as fine as a Gillot 303, if you’re familiar with dip pen nibs.  Hatching is a dream with this pen.2012_12-quick_sketch0

The Platinum Carbon Black ink cartridge that comes with it is nothing short of spectacular.  This ink is the definition of a true black and it’s absolutely waterproof.  You can buy this ink in cartridges or in a bottle.  I’ve always been a fan of Platinum cartridges because they have a small metal ball that keeps the ink mixed and so I just fill them from a bottle using a pen syringe.



So I sat down and took the pen for a test drive.  I did some tonal hatching practice and several small sketches, just to get used to the feel of it.  I’ve included a few of those sketches here, all done in a Stillman & Birn Alpha (4×6).




I like this pen a lot.  It’s a great compliment to my Pilot Prera and Metropolitan pens and may become my ‘go to’ pen for quick sketching due to its super-fine nib.2012_12-quick_sketch5




5 thoughts on “Quick Sketching: Trying Out The Platinum Carbon Pen

  1. I’ve cut my pen and wow is it easier to hold for sketching!! Didn’t dip in the Epoxy yet but will do so sometime here in the near future. Thank you for sharing your tip and your wonderful sketches!!!

  2. I agree…the pen becomes downright handy as a portable sketching pen once you cut it down. The one downside, for me, is that I normally clip all my pens into my carry bag and this pen has no clip. Happy New Year, Susan.

    Cheers — Larry

  3. Pingback: Music, Friends and Sketching – A Very Good Day | Larry D. Marshall

  4. Hi Larry,
    I purchased a Pilot Penmanship EF and some Platinum Carbon Ink cartridges from Jet Pens. Could not figure out how to move the metal ball from the front end of the cartridge into the body of the cartridge, so ended up loading the pen with Noodlers instead. Any suggestions appreciated. Love the fine line produced by the Penmanship which has a nice ergonomic grip as wheel, all for $8.25 a great pen. I would love to try the Platinum Desk Pen once I solve the cartridge issue – love your idea of cutting it down for portability!

    Great blog, very inspiring and informative ! Just finished your book, a great read!

    Any suggestions appreciated.


    • Debbie, Platinum cartridges won’t work in a Pilot Penmanship. They’re very specific to Platinum pens. If you do have a Platinum pen, you just push the cartridge, very hard, onto the back of the pen feed and the small ball gets pushed into the cartridge. This is actually a very nice feature of Platinum cartridges as the ball keeps the ink well-mixed.

      Cheers — Larry

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