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I'm talking about real pens, not software!

I love drawing with Sharpies except that I often smear the lines with my sweaty wrists! What's a similar black drawing pen/marker (felt tip or otherwise) that dries to a non-smearable state much faster (like within milliseconds)?

I would imagine that the type of paper used is a factor here too. What kinds of paper are best for instant-drying of pen ink?

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It's been a long time since I got dirty with markers, but I'd suggest hitting up your local art store and grabbing a few pads of marker paper and try out a range of different markers there. Drawing implement preferences are a very personal things. –  DA01 Feb 26 '13 at 4:41
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Some tag suggestions: drawing or sketching, tools, resources. the pen-tool tag is related to software. –  brnnnrsmssn Feb 26 '13 at 5:36
    
@brnnnrsmssn Good suggestion. Added. –  Yisela Feb 26 '13 at 8:35
    
Sharpies are indelible markers. If you sweat washes up the ink, you must be an alien. Joking aside, beware of the solvents: they are usually toxic. Even the seemingly innocuous alcohol-based designers markers used to cause breathing and even liver problems after long-term (read: career) use. –  horatio Feb 26 '13 at 15:44
    
@horatio I've met a few alcohol-based designers in my time... on a serious note though, thanks for the advice, I sometimes wondered if there could be health problems from such things and had no idea there were known cases of it –  user568458 Feb 26 '13 at 19:52
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2 Answers 2

Paper, qualities and types, is a rabbit-hole that is very deep. Be warned. A high quality coated paper designed for ink-jet printers would take inks very well to reduce or eliminate the possibility of smearing while still keeping the lines crisp. Uncoated paper would absorb inks very well also, but would tend to bleed at the edges. Heavier paper in general would be a benefit to you.

Most inks that are very thin viscosity are going to dry faster than the gel style inks. A factor to look at as well is how much ink you are putting down per area of paper. Even very absorbent paper will only be able to soak in so much ink. The amount of ink laid down by the pen or marker would be determined by the the tip, ink thickness, and possibly pressure you press with. I do not know or have a ton of experience in this area.

In no particular order here are some writing and drawing utensils I really like:

I do have a bias for smaller finer tips, and many of the options above may be too fine for your tastes and/or applications.

If you are re-introducing a liquid solvent to the paper after the ink has dried via your sweaty wrists it may be impossible to keep from smearing. An alternative that many take to when using graphite which could possibly help you is putting a piece of scratch paper under your hand. This could also be a piece of felt or other cloth which may be less likely to cling to your hand, which bothers me a lot. This intermediary surface would hamper the sweat from reaching the drawing surface and smearing the ink.

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If you're happy with the pens you use and simply want to avoid sweaty-hand related smudging, you might have a use for those 'smudge guard' gloves they make for use with graphics tablets.

They're designed to stop hand smudges without getting in the way of using a pen, and I don't see any reason why they wouldn't work as well for real pens as for digital ones.

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I always thought they seemed a bit silly/excessive for their intended use of avoiding smudges on screens/graphics tablets when using a digital pen (could just be because I never really get that problem for some reason), but this seems like a legitimate case where they might really help: they'll be dry, and even if it turns out that the excess ink problem isn't caused by sweat or skin-grease, I imagine they would absorb excess ink before they smudge it.

The advantage over looking for a type of faster-drying pens is, you don't need to change pens from a type you know you like to a type that might not suit you so well.

Search for 'tablet glove' to find them. Also, 'SmudgeGuard' seems to be one common brand name.

Or you could probably get similar results by taking a pair of scissors to an old glove :-)

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Add some sparkles and you have a half Michael Jackson glove. :) –  Lauren Ipsum Feb 26 '13 at 14:14
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@LaurenIpsum :) I always thought there was something unsettling about the way these look... now I know why... –  user568458 Feb 26 '13 at 14:20
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There is something unsettling about how it looks but it has nothing to do with sparkles or Michael Jackson. Dude looks like he has half a hand! Our heuristics cannot find what that appears to be in previously encountered inputs and so starts throwing errors. –  brnnnrsmssn Feb 26 '13 at 15:12
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