Willow Tree in the Front Yard and Lilliput Review

11x17" across a two page spread in an 8.5x11" Stillman & Birn Epsilon hardbound sketchbook
Ink and Watercolor

I've been admiring the character these willow trees on our property, and looking forward to an opportunity to get out and sketch them. Yesterday after dinner, I was finally able to give into that temptation and scoot outside for 20 minutes or so. I set my stool in front of this massive willow tree and took out my beloved Kaweco Lilliput fountain pen, which is filled with Platinum Carbon Black ink. I love this pen. When closed, it is teeny tiny and perfect for my small sketching kit. The cap screws onto the back, so it posts firmly, and becomes long enough to sketch comfortably. If you click that link above, you can see lots of different views of the pen with a penny for size reference. Below is a photo of it next to my new (ultra-cool and more about this soon) Uni Gel pencil, so you can get an idea of the size compared with a mechanical pencil. I think this photo actually makes it appear larger than it is though.

I'm a big fan of Kaweco fountain pens and have quite an assortment. They are smooth, wet writers and highly reliable. The plastic-barrel Kaweco Sport pens can be converted to eyedropper pens, but since the ink can corrode metal, the Lilliput model cannot be converted. It has other benefits though, like its compact size, and the way it slips into my small sketch bag like a long silver bullet. It never leaks. It always starts right up. It writes like a dream and can keep up with my quick sketching without skips. For a little pen to slip into a pocket or small pouch, it simply can't be beat.

You can see in the photo above that the Lilliput pen, when posted with the cap, is certainly an adequate size for writing and sketching. It is thinner than a regular fountain pen, though that doesn't bother me.

After drawing for awhile, I decided to entertain my inner color junkie, and pulled out my mini watercolor set. That and a waterbrush were all I needed to complete the large, two-page spread. These three items --- Lilliput, waterbrush, and mini pan set, could have fit into a pocket. The little watercolor set can be found at Wet Paint. I pop out the kids' paints and substitute with my artist grade tube colors. For this sketch, I used Winsor Newton French Ultramarine, Aureolin, Brown Madder, and Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold.

Tomorrow I'll take you on a tour of the little red bag in the photo. It is host to the contents of my current "small sketch kit". I can toss that pouch into any bag or backpack and I'm ready to go on a sketch outing.


  1. When I attended the Philadelphia Pen Show this past January I decided to leave my Kaweco Lilliput pen with Richard Binder for a 'tune up'. The Lilliput was already an excellent pen, but after seeing Richard tune my newly purchased Pelikan M320, I decided to have him apply his expertise to the Lilliput. The pen finally returned in June and is better than ever - smooth with a wet fine line.

  2. Hello Jamie. I came here via your review on JetPens of the Kaweco Liliput (which by the way needs a wee fix if you can edit your review as you have an unnecessary space after the last hyphen in your url).

    I am an avid sketcher and the only ink I use is the Platinum Carbon Black. However, as I have used piston fill pens up to this point I have use the bottled PCB ink. A couple of questions then.

    1. I'm assuming that the Platinum Carbon Pen Ink Cartridge fits in the Kaweco Lilliput pen; yes?

    2. What nib size do you have in the Kaweco Lilliput pen - or assuming you have more than one nib size can you talk about how fine fine is for example. Also, is there much flex in these nibs [nothing as flex as my Noodler's Flex I imagine but I am curious).

    Thanks for considering a reply.

  3. Owen, I don't know if the Platinum ink cartridges fit the Lilliput or not. I use bottled ink and refill cartridges that come with my pens by using an ink syringe. Unlike the other Kaweco pens, you cannot do an eyedropper conversion on this pen because it is an aluminum body. My nib size is a fine, and it is not as fine as, say, a Sailor fine. It is a nice, wet line. There is no flex to this nib at all. Hope that helps!

  4. Thanks for the reply, Jamie. I also asked JetPens and heard back from them that no, the Platinum cartridges do not fit. They suggested the reuse, refill with syringe method also.

    I did read one note online where someone using silicon grease on the threads was able to convert the Liliput to an eye-dropper with the caveat that yes, there can be rust, but this can be checked with regular cleaning.

    Thanks also for the nib info. Goulete Pens has a Youtube video comparing the EF, F, M, B nibs of the Kaweco Sport which are apparently the same nibs used in the Liliput. He notes as you have above and that there is little difference between the EF and F. I went with the F as I can flip it round for now to get a narrower line when desired.

    My favourite sketch pen over the past year is the Noodler's Standard Piston fill Flex nib. I was fortunate to get a set of six of these at a ridiculous low price on ebay.

    Thanks for your generosity with your info.