How to use Micron Pens | 12 Awesome Tips & Tricks to Help you Create Whimsical Art

Last Updated on March 31, 2023 by Dee

Micron pens are arguably the most popular choice for lettering and drawing. They come in various sizes, colors and can be found at just about any art supply store.

But how do you use them? What tips can you give to someone who is just starting with micron pens? Here are 12 top tips & tricks on how to use micron pens to help get your creative juices flowing!

Wondering How to Use Micron Pens?

12 Top Tips for How to Use Micron Pens.

a hand holding a micron pen and drawing a peony flower to demonstrate how to use micron pens

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  1. Hold your micron pen firmly without putting too much pressure on the nib. Try to center it between your thumb and forefinger when writing. The micron pen should glide across the paper surface, creating crisp, clean, and professional line work.
  2. Try to draw using shorter linework so that the nib lasts longer. Often drawing out long, continuous lines can cause clogging of the nibs.
  3. Use micron pens under or over watercolor washes for pen and wash illustration – but always make sure the paint is dry.
  4. Test out your pen nib sizes before you begin on a piece of scrap paper. This helps you to get a good idea of the line weight and what it will look like in your drawing.
  5. They are considered disposable pens because you do not get refills, but you can replace a nib as long as you have a spare one.
  6. Draw on smooth, high-quality paper that is meant for pen drawing or writing. If the page feels rough and the nibs get stuck, it’s not a good surface to draw on with your micron pens.
  7. It helps to write at an angle when using fine tip pens like microns so that they don’t clog up with extra ink buildup.
  8. Micron pens are great for starting out on your drawings because they create strong, expressionistic line.
  9. Add color or shading by combining the pen ink with watercolors, ink washes, or liquid acrylics.
  10. Don’t forget to shake your pen before each use.
  11. To make the ink flow smoother, scribble on scrap paper with the micron pen for about 10 seconds.
  12. Try to store your micron pens in a cool, dry place to lengthen their lifespan.
micron pens on a watercolor background

Doodling has become a profession, with many artists becoming full-time doodlers.

Some artists have probably used micron pens for more than a decade.

Companies like Google, Vans, and many more, use Micron pens to design illustrations on their products and social media.

[Wondering How to Find Your Art Style? Read this blog post!]

Micron Pen Nib Sizes

Micron Nib Size Reference Chart

micron pen nib chart

Thousands of artists all over the world rely on micron pens to create their masterpieces.

If you love intricate drawing, calligraphy, or graphic design, this is a pen for you.

Now that we’ve touched on how to use micron pens let’s get into choosing the best size!

Micron Pen Common Sizes

.005 – This is the most popular size for micron pens because the line it produces is very thin and almost weightless.

0.1 – This pen’s nib produces lines that are quite a bit thicker than the .005 but still retains precision.

0.3 – If you want to draw with dark, thick lines, this is your pen!

0.35 – This pen gives off thicker and darker lines than the .3 but still retains precision.

0.5 – This is a great pen if you want to add more detail and depth to your drawings!

0 .8 -1.0 mm pens give off an even thicker line weight than the .5, so these are great for mixing colors and giving off more detail into your drawings.

1.15 mm and up are usually used by comic artists, but you can still use them in graphic design for added punch!

Micron Pen Brush Tip offers a beautiful line for calligraphy and lettering and can also create whimsical line drawings.

How to use micron pens pinterest pin

What can you use Micron Pens for?

  • Use Micron Pens for Calligraphy: Calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting, which can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be. The best way to learn how to do calligraphy is by doing a lot of lettering practice!
  • Try different pens and keep experimenting until you find the one that works best for you.
  • Use Micron Pens To Write Poetry
  • Writing poetry is a very relaxing activity that can be done anywhere and at anytime. Writing in small, precise letters on high-quality paper will make your poems even more beautiful!
  • Sketch with Micron Pens: Micron pens are great for creating very fine lines or details in drawings.
  • They can also be used to create a value study before painting, which is something you should always do when starting on a new painting. By doing a value study, you can imagine how each of your color tones will look before applying paint to the canvas.
  • Use Micron Pens For Coloring: Coloring intricate coloring pages requires a fine nib! This is why micron pens are always a safe option! They’re great for coloring complicated line drawing and coloring books too.
  • Use Micron Pens For Graphic Design: Micron pens are great for creating designs that require precision and sharp edges. The best part about using micron pens for graphic design is how easy it is to create perfect lines and clean shapes.
  • Use Micron Pens for Contour Line Drawing: Contour Drawings are drawings that are composed entirely of line. The line gives the viewer an idea of where the various surface planes of the subject lie, and importantly, defines the outline.
  • Use Micron Pens To Draw Anime Figures: To create a good anime drawing, you need to practice how to use micron pens. They’re great for creating intricate lines and details and are also used for rendering people in the manga style because of how detailed the linework can be.
a hand holding a micron pen and drawing a daisy

Waterproof v/s Watersoluble

Maybe you’re into drawing comics? Manga? Urban sketching with a watercolor wash? Mixed media art journaling?

For all of the art processes above, choosing a waterproof pen matters!

What is waterproof ink?

Waterproof ink will not smear, which means it’s excellent for using with mixed-media and watercolor painting.

What is water-soluble ink?

Water-soluble ink will dissolve once it touches water.

Microns come with both types of inks, and you should choose the right one based on how you plan to use them.

a hand demonstrating how to use micron pens on a watercolor background

How Should you Store Your Micron Pens?

Store in a cool, dry place.

Micron pens tend to leak when overheated (like if you have left them on the back seat of your car.)

If you are using microns, keep them in a cool, dry place to prevent this from happening.

Store them with their caps on. Do not leave them in hot places or in direct sunlight.

[Take a look at the Best Pencil Cases for Artists for some great storage solutions for your Micron Pens and other stationery!]

Micron pens are waterproof and have archival quality with up to 100 years of lightfastness. 

If you plan on doing a watercolor wash, you must make sure your watercolor is 100% dry on the paper before you use your Micron pen.

Or, if you are using watercolor washes on top of a Micron Pen, then make sure your micron ink is 100% dry.

Micron pens are the highest quality, most precise pen available in the market.

They give you a lot of control while writing, and they are great for calligraphy or any other fine art that involves detailing your work.

Micron pens should not be confused with markers because they don’t provide the same broad strokes.

While markers can make light work of large areas, microns are much more suited to intricate drawing.

The history of Sakura Pigma Micron pen

Sakura Color Products Corporation of Osaka, Japan, established an American subsidiary in 1986.

Sakura developed a crayon in 1921 and was the first company to establish oil-pastel or Cray-Pas.

With regards to ink, Sakura developed the technology to break down the particles in pigments to pass through ultra-narrow nibs.

The development of the Sakura Pigma Pen was aimed at architects and others involved in drafting work.

In 2002 the company established a subsidiary in China Shanghai Sakura International Trading Co., Ltd.

In 1986, the company set up a subsidiary in America, Sakura Color Products of America, Inc.

Some other FAQ about Micron Pens

Do microns work on glass?

No, micron pens will not work on glass.

How do I refill my micron pen?

Most micron pens come with a small, disposable needle tip.

When you’re ready to refill the pen, use craft pliers to pull off the nib.

Fill an eye dropper with India ink and squeeze the ink into the pen.

This is a great way to continue using your micron pens after the ink has dried up.

[Related Post: A List of the Best Junk Journal Supplies]

How to use micron pens

Here is an awesome video by thefrugalcrafter Lindsay Weirich, who has a great way of demonstrating how to refill a Micron Pen!

Are Micron pens permanent?

Yes, how to use micron pens are permanent! They’re an excellent option for artists who enjoy pen drawing, lettering, and mixed media.

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How to Use Micron Pen Pinterest Pin


One of the best things about micron pens is that they are relatively inexpensive but still high quality. If you’re just starting out with lettering and drawing, I recommend trying a few different sizes (0.1mm, 0.35mm) to see which one works better for your creative needs before investing in an entire set.

You can find them at almost any art supply store and online. If you have questions on how to use micron pens or want to know more about what my favorite tips and tricks are when it comes to these popular pens, drop me a message below! I’m always happy to help get your creative juices flowing!

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