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

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Last Updated on January 13, 2024 by Dee

Micron pens are arguably the most popular choice for lettering and drawing. They come in various sizes, and 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?

How to use Micron Pens

12 Top Tips for How to Use Micron Pens.

**This page may contain affiliate links to products I have used or recommended. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.**

1. Firm Grip

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. Shorter Linework

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. Dry Paint Before Pen Work

Use micron pens under or over watercolor washes for pen and wash illustrations – but always make sure the paint is dry.

4. Test Nibs

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. Replace Nibs

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. Use the Right Paper

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. Write at an Angle

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 for Expressionistic Line

Micron pens are great for starting out on your drawings because they create strong, expressionistic line work.

9. Not too Much Pressure

Don’t apply too much pressure to the nib while drawing.

11. Combine Mediums

Add color or shading by combining the pen ink with watercolors, ink washes, or liquid acrylics.

10. Shake it!

Don’t forget to shake your pen before each use.

11. Scribble for Smoothness

To make the ink flow smoother, scribble on scrap paper with the micron pen for about 10 seconds.

12. Store Correctly

Try to store your micron pens in a cool, dry place to lengthen their lifespan.

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

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

micron pens on a watercolor background

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

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

Micron Pen Art

Here are some examples of the beautiful and refined art you can create with Micron pens, fine liner pens, or just standard ballpoint pens.

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.

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

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.

How to use Micron Pens

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]

Here is an awesome video on Micron Pens!

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.

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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7 thoughts on “How to use Micron Pens | 12 Awesome Tips & Tricks to Help you Create Whimsical Art”

    • I have not personally used them on fabric, however, says: “Pigma® Micron ink pens are perfect for drawing fine details on your quilt, decorating fabric, making quilt labels, and any application where you need a fine, accurate way to permanently mark on fabric.”

      • Yes, they can be used on quilts. I made a quilt for my grand-daughter when she was born. She is now 13. The quilt featured blocks of her genealogy on all 4 sides of the family done with a Pigma micron pen.. The quilt has been washed many times over the last 13 years and the lettering is still very legible. My friend also used Pigma pens for her quilt labels with good success.

  1. I love 005 but I typically get to use them once before they stop working. I don’t have heavy pressureso I don’t know what Im doing wrong

    • Yes it’s because its a very tiny nib. Definitely spend some time shaking your pen to get the ink flow into the nib and also scribble on a scrap piece of paper. Store your pen horizontally so that the ink doesnt dry out in the nib. Hope this helps!


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