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Comfy, Ergonomic Drawing Tools for Artists & Calligraphers Over 40

Imagine with me the early scribes’ working spaces: dimly lit, cold rooms with no modern facilities, limited materials. We can assume that those who created beautiful manuscripts accepted that backaches, neck pains, and calligraphic cramps were part of their calling.

Thankfully, we create in the 21st century.

Today, many “mature” scribes are discovering that with a few adjustments they can be quite comfortable as they pursue the pleasure of creating.

Since I belong to that crowd and teach many retired professionals, I’ll share some ideas that work for us: ergo chairs, paying attention to posture, taking breaks to stretch and walk, and having good eyeglasses.

And of course, choosing comfy writing tools. . .

The pens, pencils, and markers shown in this photo are made for comfort as you do calligraphy or draw. There are many others available, too.


Here are the ergonomic artist tools shown above:

Pilot makes the Dr. Grip gel pen (in silver on the left) as well as the Color Eno mechanical colored pencil (in light blue).

Pentel offers the Twist-Erase mechanical pencil (royal blue at center) while Faber Castell carries a Jumbo pencil (deep green in middle) and the Big Brush Pitt artist pen (orange in the photo, but available in many colors).

Also of note, Tombow’s ballpoint “Zoom 505” (royal blue on the right).

For pointed pen or traditional calligraphy, the chubby “carrot” nib holders are really nice. There’s a specific model for straight (Italic, Roman, book hands; lighter wood) and oblique (pointed pen, darker wood).

While the Staedtler Ergosoft colored pencils in the box at top are triangular, not round, and pencil thin, their unique coating makes them easier to hold and minimizes hand fatigue. I was skeptical at first, but if you have a “death grip” and hold on for dear life, these may be a better choice.

But what if your beloved drawing tool isn’t ergonomic?

Pencil grips (see the far left purple item) work well. Apply a little pressure at the open end to shimmy it on, then adjust the position and you’re all set.

I sincerely hope some of my favorite go-to pens find their way to you! For those of us over 40, quality of work and comfort often go hand-in-hand. :)

As always, my Facebook page contains more ways to use these tools on your personal projects. Like it to learn more!

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

If you’ve been reading my articles here on EmptyEasel (or have ever visited my blog) you probably know horses are one of my favorite subjects. :)

But, while I’ve shared a lot of techniques for creating realistic drawings and paintings, often with horses as the subject matter, I’ve never actually shown you how to draw a horse. . . read more

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