Sunday, August 24, 2008

art materials: brush pens

Here is something fun for a bit of art on the go. These are various sorts of brush pens and a water brush (top). The brush pens are all loaded with pigment now, but were fresh nylon bristles when I got them, just like the water brush.

Water brush and three brush pens.

I wanted to be able to do watercolor easily in the field and I hesitate to take anything that would need cleaned up "in the field" as well. The Pentel Color Brush Pen (bottom) seemed like a good thing to try, and I've seem people bragging up how wonderful their "Pentel Brush Pens" are. I got the sepia to try out, but was not impressed. It was a bit like a brush trying to be a pen and it wasn't a very good brush. Particularly the bristles keep trying to be in two bunches instead of one. I'm willing to believe that that is not usual and it's just a problem with mine, but it didn't leave a good impression. I'd also read that you can do a bit of watercolor over it after a day or two drying. This is truly like watercolor and it doesn't matter how long you let it sit, it will not allow for painting with water over it.

Then I found that what people rave about is the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (one up from the bottom), which only comes in black. It's also a little harder to find. I gave it one more chance, although I can't get any other colors, and got one. This has much shorter bristles that seemed to be connected when I first got it, but split up as the ink soaked them and it was used. Unlike the other brush pen, there is nowhere to press to help the ink along, the ink flows into the bristles as it will. This is much more like a pen that aspires to be a brush and overall has been very pleasant to use. There is nothing unruly about this nib.

I also got a Kuretake No. 61 Brush Pen with silver ink (one down from the top) for little bits of fun. The tip is a little shorter than the color brush pen. It also needs to be squeezed to push the ink from the reservoir to a second that fills the brush. This one stays in one tight bunch but is a little wider than the color brush pen. For what little I've used it, it has been quite nice if a bit bolder than expected. The metallic ink is not transparent.