Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for Calligraphy

Another item that has been on my wish list for far too long is the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for Calligraphy - which is the same thing as the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen + 2 Refill Cartridges. Both items are listed separately on JetPens - the former branded for Japan, the latter for the US. At this point, you may be wondering, Azizah, is Jetpens's entire inventory on your wish list?? The sad truth is, yes. Pretty much. But please don't judge me for it, I have simple addictions in life, and this is one of them. The other is cats, but I only have four of those - for sanity reasons, amongst others.
Pentel Brush Pen Open
A very classy pen.
Pentel Brush Pen In Hand
A perfect size, in my opinion.
Well, I know very little about brush pens. I have tried them before but I've never been able to produce anything worthy. I thought this particular brush pen would be a good "entry" model but it is so highly rated that it seems to be better than just an entry model brush pen.

The pen is glossy black with chrome trim, and behaves like a fountain pen with ink cartridges. While it may resemble a decent sized fountain pen, it certainly does not carry the same weight. It's quite light in hand. The bristles are synthetic and according to my rather uneducated brush pen knowledge, I would say it's a "medium" size tip. I think this is a very sleek, attractive pen. I had read some reviews where people objected to the plastic body but honestly, the glossy black body is very nice.
Brush Pen Side by Side
Come on... it's nice, isn't it? It looks like a badass fountain pen.
Pentel Brush Pen Insides
Only a few parts to it.
I don't know what the difference in performance is between synthetic and natural bristles, but if you are particular, don't forget, this one is synthetic! In the time I have been using it, I have not seen any bristles lost. I assume over time, this will happen (like any brush), but for the price, I'm willing to learn on this pen anyway.

After putting the ink cartridge in, I only had to wait a few minutes with the tip held vertically for the ink to make its way to the brush. I was tentative at first because I was unsure of how fast the ink would flow but it's amazing, it's like the brush pen knew how much ink was required.
Brush Pen Tip
Obviously, on the left, uninked, on the right, inked. I was surprised that the bristles were clear. Neat.
The ink never flowed too wet or too dry. If I pressed hard on the brush, more ink would come out, but it was still never too much. The bristles are flexible but will maintain their shape if you use the right pressure. I think this is ideal for offering the user as much flexibility as possible in terms of line variation and brush strokes.
Pentel Brush Pen Practice
This is the first "piece" I worked on. Just trying to doodle and get used to it. Um, please disregard the super creepy cat. 
Pentel Brush Pen Strokes
Variation.
I actually had purchased this brush pen with the intent of reviewing it and then giving it away to a reader, but the fact is, after just a few minutes of using it, I had fallen totally in love with it (read: not giving it away) and suddenly "understood" what it is about brush pens that everyone loves. I'm not an artist or a calligrapher, but the strokes of this pen make me feel creative and different. I think it's a wonderful feeling that everyone out there who feels uncreative should try. It may transform your mindset like it did mine!
Pentel Brush Pen Bamboo
A terrible attempt at bamboo. But still, it is kind of recognizable, isn't it? 
The variety of lines and textures that can be produced with this brush pen is unbelievable. I started discovering all sorts of things I could do with it after only minutes of using it. And again, I'm not even an artist. Imagine what an artist could do with this!
Pentel Brush Pen Practice
More variation. Look at incredible things that can be done with it!
Pentel Brush Pen Practice
A close up so you can see the texture of the "tree leaves" - some lighter, some darker.
The ink is deeply pigmented but does not appear completely jet black to my eyes. Once it is dry, the ink is permanent. I used a waterbrush pen to test this out and the ink did not budge. However, when drying, the ink will be washed out by water.
Pentel Brush Pen Strokes
Wait until it's dry before playing with water. Once dry, it holds fast!
In other good news, there was no ink bleed through when working in my Leuchtturm 1917 notebook. I was surprised, and expected some ink to bleed, but it didn't!

Things to Think About
I wish there was a converter for this pen so it could be refilled by means other than cartridges. I will likely attempt to refill the cartridges with a syringe/needle if I can find an appropriate ink. I think a deep blue-grey ink would be beautiful in this pen.

Brush Up On Your Knowledge
Grand Allusions
Comfortable Shoes Studio
Comfortable Shoes Studio Eyedropper Conversion
Parka Blogs
Nemu Nemu

Price
JetPens - Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for Calligraphy - $13.50 (comes with two refill cartridges)
JetPens - Pentel Pocket Brush Pen + 2 Refill Cartridges - $13.00
JetPens - Refills - $5.00 for four cartridges

Overall
Honestly, whether you're a big brush pen person or not, I would highly recommend this brush pen. I love fountain pens and this brush pen feels like the brush pen equivalent of a fountain pen (was that confusing?). I am very pleased to see what I can "create" with this pen and it even gives me a boost of confidence in the arena of my creativity and artistic skills. While I'm sure there are far better brush pens out there, they are sure to be more expensive. For those who are curious, again, I highly recommend the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.  I can see why it's so highly rated on JetPens!

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.gourmetpens.com.