Saturday, 29 November 2014

Review: Brush Pens

I bought a bunch of brush pens to try them out. They all are very different in feel and touch. Here I report on my experiences with the brush pens:

I bought five pens from Cult Pens and I compared them with my Copic brush pens which I already had in my posession.

I've never drawn with brush pens before, so it was all a new experience.

Zebra Fude - offers a short squat brush tip that is quite hard so not much flexibility when drawing strokes.

Pilot Fude (soft) the soft one is the black barrel version. The tip is extremely flexible and great for drawing lines with varying widths.

Pilot Fude (hard) this is the blue barreled pen. The nib is comparitively stiff which is better for a more consistence width of line or for someone who presses down quite firmly on the paper.

Kuretake ZIG pen has a real brush nib and is very long. Great for expressive long strokes and pin sharp single hair width lines.
Platinum Fude requires an ink cartridge. It's a bit messy but the bruish tip is a great combo of stiff to flex ratio. I felt I had most control when using this pen for drawing.
The Copic Pens I had came with a pack of multi-width fineliners. I didn't really think they were any good to be honest. The brush nibs were not very good and did not give me the control or expressiveness of stroke pattern compared with my other pens. The Platinum was the best in my opinion, but I also really liked the Pilot soft Fude pen.

This Jaguar and skull was drawn using the Pentel. Pigment is lovely and dark and the range of widths you can create is impressively variable. It's not as fine-tipped as the Pilot soft - see next image.

Drawn using the Pilot soft Fude, this pen gives a lot more variable line widths and can even draw fine hair thin lines if you press lightly enough.

 The ZIG pen was great for larger pieces where the long long tip could be put to good use. Here I draw these vampire ladies with long flowing hair, perfect for the ZIG pen to handle.

I used to think brush pens were not really something I would use much, but I'm finding that I like them more and more. They offer a great opportunity to express ink lines in a different way than fineliners, which is my usual tool of choice. Using a brush pen is not quite the same as using a real brush of course. On the one hand you have the pro that there is a constant flow of ink so you never need to keep dipping in to the inkwell or paint pot. But on the other, the nib can never quite replicate the touch and nuance you get using a good sable brush. For me, it's just something I can bring with me along with my other set of pens when out and about. Nowadays I'm happy to mix up the pens I use for a single composition - drawing with fineliners for the accuracy, brush pens for the flowing expressive wavy lines and Sharpies for the large black fill ins.


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