I’m sure a lot of people have reviewed this pen, and in some ways I will. However I hope to take a different path of exploration.
First let’s state the obvious. It’s a synthetic brush pen, that uses disposable ink cartridges. So, why is that special? In contrast to other synthetic brushes, this one is very good albeit a little unforgiving. More on that later. It was intended as a convienient pocketable calligraphy brush. Here in the west this isn’t of great necessity. Although in its home country of Japan where the native language is created with beautiful brush strokes, it is a very useful tool to have. Also I imagine a concept that is high in demand as Pentel themselves make multiple variations of the idea. Such as the Pentel Sign Pen Fude Touch ( what a mouthful of a name ), which uses a flexible felt tip that simulates a brush.
I have had and loved this pen for almost 3 years now. So why wait so long to write something about it you may ask? I didn’t want to love it, but I do. I always go back to it, and when I am thinking of what pen to use it is always in my top 5. So, it may be obvious that I don’t use this pen for it’s intended function. I use it for drawing and sketching, hopefully my skill in this practice won’t be the scope of this article.
So the good and the bad: The tip is very unforgiving, as I mentioned earlier. Every nuance or hesitation your hand or wrist makes is transferred through the brush. This makes it necessary to slow down and proceed with slightly more concentration. I like to work fast and off the top of my head and this pen punishes me for it often. Now slowing down is a double edged sword if you will. On one hand, it creates a deeper connection and commitment to what you are doing. On the other hand, it is harder to work loose and let your looseness happily create something that looks more imaginative than your actual skill may provide. Or then again sometimes happy accidents happen and you are rewarded, for me this pen isn’t full of happy mistakes. More so it creates bolder lines when I move to quickly and ruins small details when I am not paying enough attention. Also as much as it makes you slow down and concentrate, moving too slowly will also create more hesitation marks and ruin small details.
I know you may be asking, are you certain that you love this pen? Yes I promise you that I do. Why? Well the pen is fantasticly lightweight to it and and doesn’t fatigue my hands. Also it fits in to my clumsy mitts wonderfully. The brush always seems to stay wet and the ink flows smoothly, even when I don’t lift my hand for a long line. Not to mention that when you are in the zone so to speak, you can embody a certain sense of control. Then this pen becomes very rewarding, almost as much as inking with an actual brush can do.
So, is this a pen for you? Maybe not, it takes some getting used to and a good deal of patience and commitment. Ah, but when you get it right, it’s wonderful.
Here is a video I made using my Pocket Brush pen. I hope you enjoy it.
I bought my Pentel Brush Pen, and have had no endorsement whatsoever for this article.