When I first saw the package of Pentel Artist Brush Sign Pens I thought to myself, “I need another set of brush pens like I need a hole in my head.” Let’s just say I have purchased just about every brush pen on the market at one point or another thinking it would be the key to unlocking either brush pen lettering or watercolor/marker pen drawing. Needless to say, pens won’t make me a better artist. Sure, some tools might inspire us to practice more or might be more conducive to our particular drawing or writing style but after almost ten years of publicly testing pens, it’s about time I figured this out, right?
But I digress..
The Pentel Artist Brush Sign Pen is a, for lack of a better turn-of-phrase, wolf in sheep’s clothing. The original Sign Pen is a very unassuming bullet tip fiber-tipped marker. The Artist Brush Sign Pen is a WHOLE OTHER beast.
I received the 6-color set to try and was struck by the colors included in the set. Usually, a 6-color set will feature standard colors like red, blue, green, purple, black and either orange or pink but the Pentel Artist Brush Sign Pens mixed it all up and included grey, yellow ochre, and sky blue with the more expected orange, violet and pink. But no black or true blue or green. I’m not complaining. I find the choice fascinating.
Each pen in the set features long slender, extra fine polymer fiber brush hairs. Tina reviewed the black model earlier this year for drawing and compared it to several other brush pens for drawing. The close-up above makes the bristles seem huge but the photo below will provide more sense of scale. What I wanted you to see is that the bristles are individual strands in the above image.
The bristles are firm with a lot of snap back. If you’ve used other bristle-based brush markers or natural fiber brushes you may have experienced some that are slow to spring back. The Pentel Artist Brush Sign Pens are different. The quick spring back makes them easier to use for anyone new to brush lettering because the brush returns more quickly to a perfect point.
The firmer brush tip also means that the range of thicks to thins is epic. With a light touch, the thin lines can be extremely fine and with firm pressure, the thick lines can be super wide and lay down a lot of ink.
Ignore the “5 min” note above. I forgot to wet test the ink. So, look at the photo below. The grey and yellow ochre were fairly water resistant. The sky blue is not water resistant at all and the orange did not fair well either. The purple and pink showed some resistance but bled a good deal when wet.
These brush pens are not watercolor pens like the Winsor & Newton Watercolor brush pens , Akashiya Sai Watercolor Pens or Tombow Dual Brush Pens. The inks will not blend or flow like watercolor but the Pentel Artist Brush Sign Pens have their own merits. The extra fine tips with firm bristle tips make them worth the investment and the unique colors are a nice break from the standard assortment sets.
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 16 with 6mm guide sheet
- Pens: Pentel Artist Brush Sign Pens 6-Color set (12-color set available at JetPens for $43)