I haven't done many drawings with regular pens, either ball point or felt tip. Either I was young and and didn't have access to them or was older and was using bottled inks and more exotic writing utensils.
When I was a kid in the 70s my friends and I drew with pencils and ball point pens that were everywhere. In the mid 70s it seemed the felt tip pen was introduced. The Bic 'Banana' made the biggest impact as it was advertised with funny commercials featuring Mel Brooks and Charles Nelson Reiley <cite>YouTube
</cite>. I colored many early drawing with these pens until they went dry. At this point I went on to better materials.
Around 1980 I discovered the Pilot pen. At our office we had three colors: Black, Blue, and Red. What made this pen so great was the ink was water soluble. The Black pens in particular would dissolve into a beautiful indigo. I probably made half a dozen drawings with these pens. The blue and red made for nice quick accent colors on drawings using art inks. Here's a drawing I did of Terry Wells
circa late 1980.
When I ran out of these pens I couldn't find any substitutes- not that I looked very hard.
A couple years ago I ran across the Zebra 'Jimnie' gel rollerball pen. This was a nice pen but it wouldn't do the wash trick that the old Pilot's would, but it did draw with very little skipping and the black ink looked good.
I did this drawing of Veronica Karecova
Recently I went all yuppie
and picked up some Moleskine notebooks
(there's a journal entry by itself.) I was looking for a pen to use on it. I ran across this article: Covert a Pilot G2 Pen into a Montblanc
; so I picked up some Pilot G2 pens and some inexpensive Montblanc refills and made the hack. It worked fine. The Montblanc didn't write well on the Moleskine paper. The Pilot G2 pens were better but still not the best. (I found cheap Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip pens worked best on the Moleskine paper.)
I did notice the Pilot G2 ink was water soluble much like the Pilot pens of the 80s. Again the black pens did the best job. Although water would create a nice wash, it wouldn't lift much of the original ink off so the original lines stayed relatively dark. I changed my drawing style leaving the light gray areas white. I then lift ink in darker areas and use it for the lighter grays. When I'm done I let it dry. I noticed once there is a wash on the paper, the ink flows much easier. I don't know if this is caused by sizing in the Canson paper? Once dry I go back and make the dark areas darker and do a few more washes if necessary. Examples: