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Monday, January 4, 2016

Brush Pens--Comparing Zebra, Pentel, Kuretake, Pilot, and Tombow


As an I artist I love trying new pens and markers. 

I was looking for some brush pens because I was starting to practice script writing. I also read that many were using these brush pens to outline art or create beautiful pictures.

I Googled around and found that Jet Pens had a sample set of five brush pens, one each from Kuretake, Pilot, Pentel, Zebra, and Tombow. I've used the Pentel brush pen and have a colored marker set from Tombow, both of which I am very happy with. The other three will be new to me. (Love JetPens.com BTW. Easy ordering and super fast delivery--and no, they do not pay me.)

I was looking forward to trying the Kuretake pen because I heard it had a very springy tip and lasted a very long time. I was also excited to try a brush pen with a super fine  and hard tip like the Zebra because I'd had no experience with them at that point. 

Getting the delivery was exciting. All of the pens are made in Japan, and the packaging is different from what we are used to in the USA, and it made it very interesting to open and begin.

A big PLUS for me--all of the brush tips are made from felt or synthetic hair so NO animals are hurt in the process.

Below are writing samples from each pen.



Below is a video describing from Jet Pens describing each pen and showing it in action. 


The Kuretake pen had a nice solid tip. The ink flowed well but not too fast. It allowed for nice control. I like the feel of this pen.

The Pentel pocket pen is the most popular brush pen on the market. It is a refillable pen with a springy tip and a heavy flow. Although I loved writing with it, being a beginner it allowed for the least control of all the pens. That being said, I loved it and feel it will be worth it to continue using it and improving.

The Pilot soft brush pen is very interesting. The ink flowed very dark and nicely, but if too much pressure was applied on the down stroke the entire tip lifted, and the point of the tip would pop off the paper. BUT--that makes for very interesting lettering and the ability to stylize. It was the only pen that squeaked as I wrote.

The Tombow pen was an all-around nice pen. Good control and good ink flow. 

My favorite of the pens was the Zebra fine. To me it was the closest to a Crow Quill or calligraphy pen with a nib. It offers great control and the ink is very dense and black. It also makes a slight scratchy noise as you write. I like that.

Here's a short video of me using each pen. I've just started with script writing with a brush pen so my samples are not beautiful like some other videos out there.


I have a feeling that as I improve and get used to using these pens that I may change which is my favorite.

This drawing was done with the Pentel brush pen. 

If you would like to enter a giveaway to win the all the pens in a JETPENS sampler set, click HERE. All entries will be entered into Random.com on February 1st and the winner will receive the Brush Pen Sampler that I reviewed above! Winner will be notified by email and announced in a post on this blog. If there is no response from winner within one week, a new winner will be chosen. Brush pens will be sent to winner within thirty days.

So please follow my blog and enter the contest for more art, kid lit, pen addiction posts, and a chance to win!

Good luck! xo 

51 comments:

  1. I haven't used brush pens, just regular ones, but I've generally had good luck with Pentel pens. Being left handed, the big consideration for me is if ink smears or not.

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    1. I like Pentel too, and being left handed and using these pens would certainly be a challenge. They write more like paint brushes than regular pens.

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  2. The pens look wonderful! I love that you've described them so well. Adorable kitties!

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  3. Have fun with your pens, they all loo so tempting! Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Yes! They are lovely--wonder who the lucky winner will be? Hugs right back!

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  4. Super cute illustration and interesting to read the different quality of tools -- informative and fun!

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    1. Thank you Abigail. I figured I would do the nesting dolls in honor of Russian Christmas yesterday! xo

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  5. Love the gang you drew with your wonderful pens.
    Happy New year and PPF xx

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    1. Thank you! Happy New Year to you too. PPF hugs. :)

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  6. Lovely painting ! I love the Pentel Brush pen as well!

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    1. Thank you Susi! Yes--I find it harder to use, but just adore the way it writes. I hope I get used to it.

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  7. Great drawing with those pens. Happy PPF

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    1. Thank you! I drew the nesting dolls for Russian Christmas yesterday. PPF hugs :)

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  8. Thank you for sharing your findings on the pens. I love your charming kitty illustration. Happy PPF!

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    1. Thank you Arnoldo! I am so glad I found PPF, so many wonderful people. Happy PPF to you to!

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  9. What a sweet winter drawing!! Thanks for sharing about the pens. I always order mine from Jet Pens too:) Happy PPF!

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    1. Thank you thank you Linda! Just in time for Russian Christmas! And YES--Jet Pens was a great find!

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  10. Thank you for the review on the brush pens. I have never used them for drawing but your sketch is so good I may order some of the narrow tip ones.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Faye and for the lovely compliment! I am very happy with the pens.

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  11. Welcome to the blogosphere and thanks for sharing this info!

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    1. Thank you Christine! Grateful I found all of you :)

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  12. Thank you for visiting my blog & yes we both have fabulous hair- my stylist reminds me that people pay hundreds$$$$$ to get our hair color!
    Mother nature gave me mine after breast cancer but it's ok because I have always been a "blonde" at heart!
    Your blog is so interesting-my young grandson is the artist in the family and I wish the schools had more classes. It was fascinating that we both use the phrase "I love my family more than words can say" which I tell grandson all the time!
    It has been a delight to meet you & I am happy to be a new follower.
    Wishing you much happiness in the new year!
    Mimi http://inmyprimetime.blogspot.com

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    1. Lovely to meet you Mimi! And yes, my family means everything to me. Thank you for following. I will be adding a how-to video to this blog each Friday for kids--the last one was a cat.
      As for our hair--the silver makes us shine! See you around the neighborhood--and I am a follower of yours now too.
      xo

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  13. Hi and welcome to blogging and PPF. I have not tried the brush pens. Thanks for the vids on the pens. I am now a follower and will link your blog to mine. Have a very nice weekend
    Nicole/Beadwright
    beadwright AT HOTmail Dot Com

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    1. So very nice to meet you Nicole and thank you for the follow and the link. (I'll have to look up what it actually means to link so I can return the favor.) Good luck in the giveaway! xo

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  14. Hi Dea, thank you for following my blog, it's a great honour to me. I linked you to G+, welcome ♥ I just started there, my circle is still very small.
    Happy weekend ♥

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    1. Thank you sirkkis it is a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for linking me--I am just starting to blog properly ( I hope) and it is lovely getting to know people like you! xo

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  15. Great post!! love your illustration piece. I love jet pens as well and have used them for years but your post about these pens is a keeper and when i am able i will check out more of your suggestions. good to meet you here.

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    1. Thank you Jo! I just discovered Zebra and brush pens in general on a post in Instagram--it opened up a whole new writing world for me! (And drawing). I'll be looking forward to seeing you again. xo

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  17. Ah, the search for the perfect pen!
    Thanks for all the information here and the video links.
    Your illustration is delightful, love the three little ones peeking out of mummy's basket.
    I am following your blog, not to get a free give-away but because it is such a charming blog.

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    1. Thank you thank you sheila 77! You surely made me smile--your kind words made my day. Looking forward to seeing you around the neighborhood! xo

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  18. OH WOW Dea I'm hyperventilating reading your post. I don't know where I've been hiding because I've never heard of these pens! I watched your video and they are just perfect for my kind of artwork. I love them.
    I know you probably won't believe me when I tell you that I was going to follow your blog anyway... before I read about the giveaway! Truthfully, honest, cross my heart and all of that!
    I use black ink pens for a lot of my art and I used to do calligraphy many moons ago. These pens are so perfect for everything.
    I'd better shut up now otherwise you may think I'm weird... but I do love the look of them. I'll keep everything crossed and hope I'm picked.
    Thank you for the opportunity and the information.
    Have a wonderful weekend and Happy PPF to you
    (denise_a_allan@hotmail.com)

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    1. Nessie! I think I have found a kindred pen spirit! I was just saying to a friend the other day that no one really understands my obsession...
      I think you might!
      A few of them are waterproof too so if you want to add coolor over the top they do not blend or bleed or smudge.
      Good luck in the giveaway!
      And you are too cute--I am glad you are following!
      I am sure I will see you around the neighborhood!
      xo

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  19. I'm ALSO a pen-aholic!! Or Pen Freak. Just ask my husband! Pens have to write smoothly, not skip & feel good in my hands before I buy them again. So there are a LOT of us out there! I actually think there are WORSE addictions in the world than Pen-Aholics!
    Thanks for posting about the pens.
    Nancy Sapp sapps2luv (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Nancy I completely agree with you! Our obsession is pretty innocuous compared to most. I even carry a few of my non-faves around with me in case I want to trade with someone that has a pen that writes smooooth. Thank you for stopping by! I'm sure I'll see you for my next pen review. :) xo

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  21. hello Dea..lovely drawings on here in your own original style..thanks for visiting my blog and leaving nice comments

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    1. My pleasure--and thank you for visiting me too. Have a lovely weekend--see you around the neighborhood! xo

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  22. I love your drawing today and all the others along the side of your blog, too!
    Very interesting write up about the pens. I am just starting to buy some different types and haven't even opened them yet. I do love the Sakura pens that I learned about using for zentangles a couple of years ago. Thank you for your comments on my blog. Now following you, too! :>)

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    1. Ah it is nice to find another pen fan! I found one by the Japanese company Deleter that I LOVE. Super sharp point that springs right back. Neopiko Line 3 and it is waterproof! Well thank you for stopping by and thank you so much for following! See you around the art world! xo

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  23. I always love trying out new pens, and reading about other people trying them out. I have a few brush pens too, incl. the Pentel and the Tombow. I like the Tombow but it feels more like a calligraphy pen to me than a brush pen. I like the ones that you can refill, I have a Platinum brush pen which comes with a converter to refill it with their ink, which dries quickly and is completely waterproof. Haven't actually used my brush pens in ages, but now I just feel inspired to!
    Love your drawing!

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    1. Oh it is so great when you find a terrific pen AND it is waterproof. I am going to look up the Platinum. I got the Tombow watercolor set (markers) for Christmas and I am in love. I like them because they can go from super super fine to very thick. I recommend them. In fact I chose them over several other big brands.
      Thanks so much for stopping in and your nice words--hope you come back--maybe we can talk about photography! xo

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  24. Fabulous, Dea! I, too, am a pen addict! Loved your pen review. I am going to sign up to follow your blog as soon as I finish this comment! Have great day! jill at jillholmes (dot) me :-)

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    1. My dad is a camera addict--our fix is a whole lot cheaper. :) Thanks for popping in and signing up...see you around the neighborhood. xo

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  25. I very like your Happy Winter Card, it reminds me of an Russian toy, called Matrjozhka... at all I like your kind of drawning, will follow you now
    Greetings from Germany :-)

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    1. Yes! We collect them here. So glad it reminded you! Wonderful to have you as a filler from Germany--thank you! Come again. :)

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  26. wow! this is a double wamming lol I don't only get your awesome updates but I am entering this awesome giveaway too :) It just doesn't get any better, Thank you so much :)

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    1. You are a sweetheart! Good luck in the giveaway--the pens are awesome. xo

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