A new pen I love

Just before the holidays I received a few new pens in the mail, sent to me by Ackerman Pens in California. I’ve been experimenting with one of them for the past week, and I have to say I love how it feels. It’s a Manga G Zebra Fountain Pen with an ink reservoir that I filled with Noodler’s Bulletproof black ink.

For years my favourite pen was a Platinum Carbon Desk pen because of the flexible nib, but this pen is even better because of the variety of line thicknesses I can get. It has all the properties I love in a dip pen without having to constantly dip into an ink bottle.

Here are the lines I’ve made with the pen: very thick, very fine, and the ones I like the best that go from thick to thin and back again.

I’ve been using the pen all week. After filling it, I drew cards for my family, and did a bunch more drawings in my sketchbook, and still have not filled it again. It hasn’t leaked or blobbed except for once when I shook it by mistake. The ink flow is very even, the nib is precise yet flexible, and the weight and balance of the pen is perfect in my hand. There’s another pen in the box that I haven’t filled yet that has a pump that releases extra ink when you need it. I’ll write about that one after I use if for a while. I may fill that one with Platinum Carbon ink just to compare the two inks and how they both work when I add a watercolour wash to them.

43 Comments on “A new pen I love”

  1. Yvonne Carpenter says:

    Hi Shari! What a coincidence that you tested this pen – I was supposed to get one for Christmas from my husband! I say supposed to because Ackermen Pens forgot to put the actual pen in the box and shipped only the spare nibs, lol! So no pen for me yet! I got the pump Sketch pen with overfeed and also a couple of Manga G Zebra nibs, as it appears you can easily switch nibs. I can hardly wait to try it – owner said he is sending it right away. Fingers crossed, but your review above will have to do for now, and thank you for that!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no!! I hope you get the pen soon. I hope you love it as much as I do. I haven’t tried the other nibs yet because I am loving this so much I don’t want to jeopardize anything by playing with it! Let me know what you think when you get it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yvonne Carpenter says:

        Will do! I am curious about their Sketch nib, as it is supposed to “catch” the paper a lot less than other nibs. Supposedly you can move it around almost like a ballpoint pen, let’s see! As for the pen being absent, it happens sometimes at this time of the year! I understand the owner was a “one man show” for the 2 weeks before Christmas as he could not find any help. I can only imagine how crazy it was to fulfill orders, take packages to PO and keep up with emails from customers, all at the same time. Like they say, “bless his heart'”!!!


      • Hi Yvonne, I did have some conversations with Charles Ackerman. I do believe he was trying to fill orders and also driving across country to be with his family for Christmas. So yes, I hope people understand if their pens arrive a little late, I guess. We are all learning to be more patient these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yvonne Carpenter says:

        Oh yes, absolutely! It is not like I don’t have other pens to use, so it is totally fine with me!


    • Jason says:

      I have recently started using my first fountain pen and I also got the noodlers bulletproof black ink. But I am a little frustrated, the ink seems to take a long time to dry and susceptible to smudging, are you experiencing the same? Perhaps it is the paper but I have tried it in stillman and birn beta and epsilon, moleskin watercolor sketchbook with similar problems.

      Planning to try one of your online courses.


      • Hi Jason. When I first bought a fountain pen many years ago, everyone was using Noodler’s ink. I had no success with it but I thought it was just me. Using the wrong paper, not waiting long enough for it to dry, etc. But now that I have been writing about my new pen, I get a lot of responses from people who have the same problem. It is not the paper you are using. It is the ink.
        If you go to the better pen retailers like Goulet Pens or Jet Pens, you will find tests where they show you how long it takes for Noodlers to dry. It is very long and then it still smudges. If you can get it, switch to De Atramentis. It is much better for drawing especially if you are planning to add water on top of it.


  2. Chris Rusk says:

    Nice puppy drawing, great fur and nice flow. This looks like a really good product! When you mentioned filling the ‘reservoir’, I had a sudden urge to use peacock blue again!


    • Chris, it really is a nice pen. You need to use that blue. Fill your pen too. And happy new year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chris Rusk says:

        Thanks! I will order one and I will give it a ‘go’. I used to use a pelikan pen that had different nibs and a reservoir (many many years ago).

        This year, my daughter gave me two pallets of indigenous-made natural watercolour paint (in paper wrapped ‘cakes’) from Manitoulin Island (that I am very anxious to get into.)

        Here’s to a safe and a very Happy New Year to you too🎉


  3. Denise says:

    Thanks for the “heads up” on a new pen-can’t have too many! I guess it’s off to the website for me to purchase one. Happy Sketching!


  4. April Stewart says:

    Shari, Thank you for the pen review. I looked at the link and the IDEA that it can handle so many wet mediums AND has a big reservoir is HUGE. Add in that price point and YOUR endorsement. Winner winner chicken dinner. Merry belated Pen Christmas to me LOL. Thanks Girl.


  5. Jasmine says:

    Hi Shari,
    I read you can fill this pen with almost everything, including India ink as well as Golden acrylic High Flow, contrary to usual fountain pen. Were you going to give it a try? Or do you know of someone who did? Would be nice to hear from a pro :-), as I would be afraid to clug it permanently…
    Thanks! Jasmine

    Liked by 1 person

    • HI Jasmine, I haven’t filled mine with anything but ink. And now I love it so much that I don’t want to mess up the nib. But I can ask Charles Ackerman if he has samples of drawings done with india ink or Golden Acrylic High Flow. I am curious too!!


  6. Janice Kelly says:

    Always appreciate reading your views on art materials.
    Have a Happier New Year.


  7. Vicky Porter says:

    Shari, I wonder how many orders you inspired with this post. It sounds like just what I’ve been looking for. Your sketches are lovely. If only the pens could come with your talent, too. 🙂


  8. Raylie says:

    Hey Shari

    Im so glad to read this. We are looking to bring Ackerman on as a sponsor. So happy to get your seal of approval! Ill keep you posted on our negotiations.

    I was looking at your course on Marinas. I think I am going to enroll. I too live next to a marina. Yes, so confusing to try to get it into a sketchbook!

    Best wishes for a healthy and productive 2021!

    Raylie Dunkel raylie@verizon.net



    • HI Raylie,
      I’m glad to hear that about Mr. Ackerman. He seems like a nice man and I hope this post helps him sell pens.
      And I hope you like the Painting Boats course. It may give you something to do over the winter!
      Best wishes to you too!


  9. redharparts says:

    Thanks for this review. I’ve read about such pens and one I looked at had poor reviews. I followed the link in your review to the Ackerman sales site. Did you get the overfeed?

    Of concern is the link on that Ackerman page to their brush tool keeps trying to load a different, suspicious page, or none at all (404).

    My experience with Noodler’s Bulletproof black is that it doesn’t dry quickly enough for Urban Sketching with watercolor wash.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kate,
      Thanks so much for writing. I really appreciate your tip about the ink. I switched to Platinum Carbon Black and it’s much better. It dries in no time and now I can add wash. I have never been that successful combining Noodler’s with watercolour. I thought it was just me.
      I’m sorry you read back reviews about the pens. So far so good for me.
      No complaints to report and I took it out today for some car studio winter sketching.


  10. i SO wanted to love this pen but I could never get it to work for me! You got some gorgeous line out of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Judy Sopher says:

    Interesting. I like the effect and will look into it. Thanks. and, as always, your sketch is great.


  12. Donna says:

    We are all going to buy this pen!!!!


  13. mcammeehan says:

    Thanks for the product review. I haven’t tried pens like so I’d like to start with one that is more affordable in case I don’t manage well. Any suggestions on a ‘beginner’s’ version?


    • There are so many that you can try but I can only recommend what I’ve use. I also like the Platinum Carbon Desk pen that I use with carbon ink cartridges. It is quite easy to obtain and has a nice nib. I think I bought it at Jetpens or Goulet pens many years ago.


  14. John says:

    Thanks for the review. It is syringe-filled?


  15. Michaela says:

    This pen looks really neat I would love to try it! What’s it called?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Shari! I so love your sketches! And they are inspiring! Thanks for this wonderful review of the pen. There is a fantastic Canadian family owned store in Toronto called Wonder Pens – similar to Jetpens . They carry a lovely line of inks and pens. I am going to see if they carry your “favourite pen”. Looking forward to seeing
    your 2021 sketches!


  17. greenraingarden says:

    Hi Shari! I love your sketches of Alice. I’ve been trying to figure out if this pen also lets you use ink cartridges. Do you know? I’ve been searching for a good flex nib fountain pen for awhile, but am interested in one that would allow me to either fill it or use an ink cartridge while traveling. Thank You!


  18. Margaret Horak says:

    Hi Shari! I’m so happy you posted this review! I’ve been looking for a pen that does all this one does. I have the same pen you used earlier, the Platinum DP fine line pen, which I love, but have been looking around a for a pen that does more and different lines. I’m off to the ‘Zon to order it now!

    Also, I’ve been enjoying your online classes. So far I own the Water series and the Flowers, and am eyeing a couple more. All this should keep me out of trouble! LOL!

    Thanks again!



    • Hi Margaret, It’s so nice to hear from you! If you like the Platinum pen you will love this even more for all the same reasons as me. And so happy you are enjoying the classes. Guess what?? They keep me out of trouble too!! Shari


  19. emcnew says:

    These look great. Unfortunately my mother-in-law ordered me some for my birthday and they never showed up. Owner kept saying they were shipping but nothing. We’ve asked for a refund.


  20. emcnew says:

    These look great. Unfortunately my mother-in-law ordered me some for my birthday and they never showed up. Owner kept saying they were shipping but nothing. We’ve asked for a refund.
    (Sorry if this double posted)


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