Jet Pens Looks at Brush Pens; and a Compendium of some of My Favorite Brush Pen Posts

February 25, 2015

Jet Pens has put out a fun, short video about brush pens and the different tips they have. If the embedded video doesn't work check it out on YouTube.

After you watch the video (which is about 3 minutes in length) you can go to their website and check out the Brush Pen Sampler they are offering. For $26 you get a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (which is my favorite brush pen) and a selection of other brush pens so you can start comparing tips and firmness, flexibility, etc. and get to know your way around brush pens. I think it's a great deal to get you exposed to a variety of pens available today. (I'm not connected financially with them in anyway except as a happy customer, and I was not asked to write this.)

I'm an avid brush pen user. If you want to know more about what I think about the range of different brush pens Pentel makes you can read this post about them:

Pentel Brush Pens—Which Are Which and What Type of Inks Do They Hold?

If you would like even more information about the Pentel Brush Pens and their characteristics you can check out this post in which I also talk about the watersoluble nature of the Colorbrush's dye-based ink and its fugitive nature. 

Pentel Brush Pens: The Pocket Brush and the ColorBrush

For several years I stopped using the ColorBrush because of its fugitive nature, but in the past three years or so I started using it again as my journal art was less and less concerned with archival materials. I really love using tools that are FUN and brush pens of all types are high on the Fun Factor Meter! So I have returned to these brushes, in particular the Sepia and the Black.

Here's a post on the Sepia ColorBrush: Sketching on Lined Paper

Here's an example (one of hundreds) where I use the watersoluble black dye-based, fugitive ink pens to sketch two dogs who visited me for a long weekend.

In "Why Draw?" Because It Leads to Something…Drawing is Subversive" You will see why I like using the watersoluble pen at life drawing.

If you would like to look at the Aquash Brush Pen from Pentel which is filled with light black, pigmented ink you can check out these links, but also search "Aquash" in my blog's search engine because I have written a lot about these pens.

Pentel's Aquash Brush Pigment Ink Filled Brush

Brush Pens: Another Look at the Pentel Aquash Brush Pen Filled with Light Black Ink

If you are interested in Watercolor Brush Pens check out the Bienfang Watercolor Brush Pens in this Project Friday post about them.

And yes I did a lightfastness test on Bienfang Watercolor Brush Pens which you can see here.

Below are some additional posts I've written on brush pens that may be of interest in your search for a brush pen that suits you and your working methods.

Four More Brush Pens to Consider

Lightfast Tests on Four Japanese Brush Pens

Fading in the Fast Lane: Art Kure Brush Pens

And finally,
if you don't know where to start with your brush pen I've got a five-part series on getting used to your Pentel Pocket Brush Pen starting here. (But you can use any brush pen you want to.)

Learning to use a brush pen is like learning to use any new tool. It takes practice and some working time to become accustom to all the ways the tip will respond to your hand. Don't give up because your first efforts are muddled and blotchy. Keep at it. Try different papers because some papers will fight the pen and others will dance with the pen. You'll find the match that works for you. The main thing is to work with the pen, and then work some more with the pen. It will become "normal" in your hand, even after years of working with tight control on stiff nibs. Experiment and play, and new line possibilities will emerge.

And "Yes" because people always ask, I am working on an online video class for working with brush pens. I hope to have it completed in the fall of this year. But you don't have to wait for that. You can start using these amazing pens right now, and if I lose you as a student I'm happy, because that means you'll have had many more months working with these wonderful tools. And that's why I have been writing about them for so many years on my blog—to get you to use them. So do it already!

    • Mary Harper
    • February 28, 2015

    Thanks for the heads up on the Sampler pack–what a deal! Mine will be here this week. As ever, you are a fabulous source of good ideas about products and projects.

  1. Reply

    Thanks Mary I’m glad this was helpful. I love brush pens so it’s nice to know there are ways for people to try a bunch out.

  2. Reply

    I stumbled upon your blog through you gouache vs watercolor post. I was curious what pen you used, thanks for sharing! Doesn’t your notebook paper get crinkled from the ink and marker you use? Is it thicker than average? I guess i assumed lined papers are a little thinner.

    Love your work!

  3. Reply

    Thanks Jacklynn,
    If you mean the Japanese Notebooks like the one I’m using in today’s post here

    YES that’s thin paper and it gets warped and crinkled and I LOVE IT. It makes the most wonderful noise when I turn the pages.

    When I make my own books I use art papers that are much heavier, like Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media paper or 140 lb. watercolor paper (though I also like 90 lb. watercolor paper).

    Flat pages aren’t something I really care about—it’s a book. If I want to do an illustration that needs to be flat I’ll work on paper mounted to board or thicker paper like 300 lb. watercolor paper.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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