Hi. I think you would simply say 'He tried the pen on a piece of paper' - leaving context to give the reason why, or 'He tried the pen on a piece of paper to see if it worked', if there was no context.
You must have a very light touch (or high quality ball point pens). Often when a biro is a bit recalcitrant, it can take quite a lot of scribbling before it becomes co-operative. Occasionally they need more persuasion, and I press harder. Many's the time I've shredded the paper before admitting defeat and consigning the bloody thing to the bin.