Review by Tina Koyama
Akashiya Sai ThinLine Brush Pens ($4.95 each or set of 5/$14.25) are, by far, the thinnest brush pens I have ever used. Available in five earthy colors, the pigment-based inks are waterproof, which is still relatively rare among bristle brush pens. After waiting less than a minute, the inks could be washed without a trace of bleeding.
These slender pens look a bit like eye liners (if you use both brush pens and eye liners, avoid unfortunate accidents by storing them far apart in your purse).
I chose Seiboku (a cool gray) and Hiwadairo (a purplish brown) for this review.
Like most brush pens, the extra-fine brush tips are made of a synthetic material that can be reshaped easily to retain the point. With the pen held vertically, the tip can impart a remarkably thin line. Used at an angle, the brush can make a relatively broad stroke, too.
I sketched a tree with the Seiboku color in a Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook to see the range of line variation, and I love the organic look of the strokes this brush delivers. I think calligraphers and letterers would also appreciate the flexibility and thinness of the brush tip.
If I have any quibbles, it is that the slender barrel – about the same as a pencil – is not very comfortable to work with for any length of time. I prefer a chunkier barrel on a brush, especially for the delicate work that this brush invites. Still, it’s a lovely addition to my (admittedly sizable) arsenal of brush pens.
DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
Tina Koyama is an urban sketcher in Seattle. Her blog is Fueled by Clouds & Coffee, and you can follow her on Instagram as Miatagrrl.