Monday Matchup #73: Pilot Varsity Assorted 7-Pack

Hey there fountain pen friends! Madigan here. We did something new with Monday Matchup this week. Usually it involves matching one pen with one ink. This week, I chose to match one pen with… six other pens!! Madness, I know, but I couldn’t resist the Pilot Varsity Assorted 7-Pack.

These are stand alone pens, with the ink already inside. We generally recommend them for people just starting out in the fountain pen world who might not be ready to take the ink plunge yet. Since I’ve been swimming in the deep end of fountain pens for awhile, I’d never actually used these pens when I chose them. I was really excited to give them a shot!

So I had this pack of amazing pens in front of me. I just stared at them, getting more and more excited. Monday Matchup can be an artistic challenge at times because you have to work in just one hue. Showing lines and variation is part of the fun, but can be rather difficult at times. This week, I didn’t have that constraint. I could do anything! Overcome with this feeling of power that only a new pack of pens can impart, I realized the only thing to do was draw unicorns.

I grabbed some Tomoé River and started out by writing the center quote in pencil. I drew the basic shapes of the unicorns in pencil and then picked up the pink pen and drew the outline of the first unicorn. I knew that I wanted to do ink washes to create depth and shading, however, without a bottle of ink, I was going to have to improvise. I used a brush pen to go over the top of the nib and brush the ink onto the page. It worked well! The pink ink in the pen spread out nicely with water application. I went on to the next unicorn and did the same. I set it aside and gave it a generous amount of dry time before using the black pen to give more substantial lines. Finally, I used the same pen to draw designs in the mane and tail of the unicorn.

I continued on in this manner, getting better at it as I went along. My first unicorn was questionable, but by the last one (the top dark blue one), I feel like I was getting pretty good! I loved how the ink looked in the ink wash and being able to combine different colors. The black pen provided crisp edges and expressive eyes.

I was surprised by how great these pens were to write and draw with! The nibs are smooth and the ink flowed nicely from the pen, even wet at times. They are also incredibly lightweight, which makes them ideal for drawing in my opinion. The colors contrasted nicely with each other and come in enough variety to be interesting to the eye.

These pens would work great in the office (depending on the color), at school, or for travel. They’d also make a great gift to get someone interested in fountain pens, or for even a fountain pen enthusiast like myself! I’m seriously so impressed with these pens.

The Pilot Varsity Assorted 7-Pack  is available at for $20. You can also purchase individual Pilot Varsity pens for $3 each.

Have you used a Pilot Varsity before? What did you think of it?

Did you know you have a chance to win the products featured in Monday Matchup each week? The contest happens over on our Instagram page each Monday at noon. Follow us on Instagram, match a fountain pen and ink, share a picture of your match, and be entered to win by tagging us (@gouletpens) and using the hashtag #mondaymatchupgiveaway. Don’t forget to click on the hashtag to see what everyone else is matching that week!

Write on,

2017-10-11T14:00:55+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Monday Matchup|2 Comments
  • I have used the Varsity before and for a very inexpensive pen, it writes quite well. I also like the fact you can do a quick hack and convert it to an eyedropper pen.

  • I have used the Varsity before and for a very inexpensive pen, it writes quite well. I also like the fact you can do a quick hack and convert it to an eyedropper pen.