Review by Tina Koyama
The Pentel’s Design Fude Menso Brush in the small size ($3.25; also available in medium and large sizes at varying prices) is a product I previewed during Inktober. Despite the range of sizes, all three have extra-fine tips for “drawing intricate detail work like facial features.” The very tip isn’t much more than a hair thick. Compared to other tiny watercolor brushes I have, the Menso is styled more like Asian calligraphy brushes with a longer head.
I dipped it into a bottle of Diamine Sargasso Sea fountain pen ink to test drive the Menso’s range of brush strokes, which is wide, indeed. Cartoonists could certainly draw whiskers and eyelashes with this brush. Made of polyester, the fibers spring back sufficiently. (Test page made in Col-o-ring “Oversize” book.)
During Inktober, I had fun using the Menso with Boku-Undo E-Sumi watercolors and a white Posca Marker with a brush tip. You can see the thick and thin marks I was able to get.
After making the test swatches above, I used the same Sargasso Sea ink to draw my hand again.
I didn’t know how much difference the longer calligraphy brush head would make in how it performs, but I like the wider strokes that are possible along with the extra-fine tip. It’s an excellent brush for this type of painting (and calligraphy, too, I’m sure, if I did it).
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.