It shouldn’t surprise you that I love art supplies and I love discovering new tools. When I saw Brush pens popping up for the first time, it made me very curious. So I bought a Pentel Colour Brush pen and a Kuretake brush pen and tested them.
I know your equipment doesn’t define how good your work is, but damn, sometimes good equipment does help you a long way. The brush pens I bought are definitely part of that “good equipment”.
Pentel Colour Brush pen
I bought my Pentel Colour Brush Pen at Schleiper, a local art supply store. It cost €9,18; which I found quite expensive for what I though was just a fancy marker. These brush pens are refillable though, with a filling costing around €2,20. The Colour brush pen comes in different colours, but because my art supply shop only carried the refilling for the black ones, I bought a black one. I wanted to use it for typography, so black was a good choice.
Kuretake Brush pen
The other pen I bought was a Kuretake Brush pen (in medium), which also cost €9,18. This one differs from the Pentel brush pen because you buy an empty pen. The reservoir on top of the pen can be filled with water and then you can use the pen like a normal brush. This means you can always pick the color you want to use and it makes this pen wonderful for watercolour or ecoline. When I first tried it I used watercolour, but I didn’t get the colour saturated enought for my purpose, so I switched to ecoline, which was a great success!
The Kuretake Brush pen is also pretty awesome for when you want to work on location, for example with watercolour pencils or with just plain watercolour.
I’ve also seen people filling the reservoir with ink or ecoline, which seems to work for them, but I’ve never tried this myself.
As I said, I bought the brush pens because I wanted to use them for handwritten typography. I picked the Pentel Brush Pen for my work, but since then I used the pens some more and sometimes the Pentel Brush pen does disappoint a bit. It probably has to do with the way I hold the pen + with being a leftie. Sometimes the pen makes very sharp edges, while I rather see more roundness in my letters.
The Kuretake Brush pen really makes pretty round lines, which I prefer. I also like that the Kuretake Brush is multifunctional. If you want to work with different colours it’s really easy to do. Being able to work both with watercolour paints and ecoline is also something I really liked because the different media give different effects.
I used both pens to make some quick sketches and I liked using both of them. The results are quite different, obvously. With the Pentel Brush Pen I felt a bit constricted, not being used to work in only one colour. In my sketches I didn’t have the same problem with the sharp lines.
With the Kuretake Brush I felt more at ease. My go to medium for colouring illustrations are watercolours. With one filled reservoir (and no extra water) I could draw different subjects in different colours. The only thing you need to switch between colours is a rag to wipe your brush clean. I loved using this pen, although I kept trying to put my brush in my tea, out of habit (because it was the only water container on my desk).
I really like these brush pens, they’re probably one of my favourite discoveries this year. There’s so many options with both these pens! Do any of you use them? What is your experience?