At the beginning of me exploring brush pens, I stuck to synthetic bristle or natural hair brush pens. Things like the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, Kuretake No. 13, Kuretake No. 40, the Pentel Pigment Brush Pen, and eventually the Platinum CF-5000. I personally love the control of a bristle brush, and finding the perfect one for work on the go drawing and inking filled my pen based passions for a few years.
Hard tip brush pens, on the other hand, I rarely seeked out. My first was the Faber Castell Pitt Brush Pen, but since the tips always got so grimy after the first 10 minutes of use, it tainted my opinion of all hard tip brush pens. Also a pro tip for Pitt brush pens: you can pull out the tip and rotate it to get a fresh second side, if you didn’t know.
The Akashiya Sai ThinLine Brush Pen Extra Fine, Sumi Black just sucks. It has no redeeming qualities: it's way too dry, it's ink capacity is low, it's tip turns into a ragged mess quite quickly. The only good thing about it is that you only wasted about 5$.
There are a lot of brush pens out there that look similar to this design: a bristle brush tip, and huge barrel, which doubles as a replaceable ink cartridge. It's a bit of an odd design compared to the more fountain pen-like brush pens, in that you have to squeeze it to push ink into the feed area. These pens aren't nearly as nice to look at, but it's currently my favorite brush pen. This is a utilitarian, function over form brush pen, and it's one of the cheapest of the refillable bristle brush pens by far (usually around 6$ on Amazon or $8.25 on JetPens). If you don't have one of these pens, I suggest you grab one.
The East Hill Tombstone White Brush Pen (EAST HILL EH16-1) has been on my radar since I first saw it on Jet Pens a few months back. I don't like most white-out pens because most are garbage. The gel pens usually are too ghostly to do anything ( I do love the Uni-ball Signo Broad UM-153 Gel Pen though, it's a slight bit wide but it's still great), and there have never been any white bristle brush pens as far as I know, until now. Also there looks like there are pretty much no reviews for it, so I figured I'd get one out there with some examples.
The Pentel Pocket Brush Pen is one I've had issues with for years. It was my first brush pen purchase ever, somewhere in my senior year of college. I grabbed one, it had some OK qualities, but I wasn’t super happy with it. I’ve purchased two more Pentel Pocket Brush Pens since then. The first one developed a major split in the brush hairs, making it come to two tips instead of one. The second one was too wet in flow, until I changed to a sketchbook with rougher tooth paper, then it became too light in flow to make the marks I wanted to make (people refer to this as dry brush). This also might have been an issue with me using other types of ink for a while, always fountain pen ink, but still not standard Pentel Pocket Brush Pen refills.
To put a long story short, I gave all of this a shot again, and while the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen does definitely have issues, it’s also one of my favorite mops to draw with right now. Let’s get into it.
(aka Timo) is a comic creator, designer, and illustrator living in Durham, North Carolina. He has his BFA in Studio Art from East Carolina University with a concentration in Illustration. He hates speaking in the third person.
© Copyright Timothy Weaver 2019