An Experiment: Fountain Pen Ink in a Waterbrush Pen

5 10 2020

As I wondered in my last post about the feasibility of putting water-based fountain pen ink in a waterbrush pen, this week it’s time I follow through on that half-conceived thought and put my own possessions on the line to see how this plays out.

The dog is an optional but encouraged step

Step one: gather the materials. You’ll need a waterbrush pen—I’ve decided to use a Caran d’Ache medium water brush because it was the first water brush I found among my scattered possessions. Step two: realize the water brush still has water in it, frantically eject and violently shake water out of the water brush to the best of your ability. Accept that there are still some stubborn fragmented water droplets in the water brush, and that you have no patience to wait for it to dry out further. Step three: summon up your very frighteningly be-needled ink syringe and ink of choice (for this experiment, I chose J. Herbin’s Gris Nuage, because in my time I’ve found J. Herbin inks to be well behaved, and the light grey ought to do well for sketching), and use the dangerously stabbity syringe to transport ink from the bottle to the belly of the water brush beast. While I could have used the plunger mechanism on my water brush to suck up ink, I didn’t want any backwash from the brush to end up in the ink bottle, so this seemed like the better way to go. Then push the little squeeze zone and wait for the ink to make its way to the brush.

You know what would have been better? A gif of the ink, timelapsed, saturating the brush tip. But you know what you’re getting? A still picture because I realized my great idea several hours too late.

First thoughts: this can hold a lot of ink. That will be handy. And this particular water brush, since it has a hard body is a lot more secure to transport around, while still having a little squeeze section to control the ink flow while working. But the ultimate question: Does it work?

You can see in the upper right corner where I was still getting the leftover bristle-water out of the system. Also, color correcting? Pfft, never heard of that fancy-fangled nonsense

The ultimate answer: apparently! So far, anyway. I’ll continue testing this bad boy and see if any unforeseen consequences pop up (anticipated scenarios: the pristine bristles get stained by the fountain pen ink; if I ever want to use this as a water brush again, what if I can’t get the ink washed all the way out so the water is always tainted???), but for now, especially for a cheap water brush, filling it with fountain pen ink seems like something you can do with minimal downsides. Time will tell if the water brush rises up to choke me in my sleep, or gets dried out ink clogged in it or something. But my shiny first impression is that, rather than try to clean ink out of an ancient ink-filled brush pen, filling up an empty water brush may be the better way to go.

Old Pentel Brush Pens: a Short Cautionary Tale

28 09 2020
Make your garage floor more photographically interesting by using an ancient locker shelf

This will be a quick post, just to tide you over. A time may come in your life where you find an old Pentel brush pen, one that has perhaps been slightly chewed on by a cat at some point in time, a brush pen that you can say with confidence you have not used in at least two years, but possibly five or more. You may shake the brush pen, and hear no liquids jostling within, and you may attempt to use the brush pen and note how dry and barely depositing on the page at all the whole operation is. You may then notice that the brush tip unscrews from the body (in exactly the opposite direction of the way you want it to), so the thought may occur to you, “can I possibly clean out this brush pen and fill it up with a fountain pen ink of my choosing?”

CAN I????????

Dear reader, do not fall for this trap you’ve created for yourself. It has been days of me trying to clean this thing out, including use of the magical miracle Rapido-Eze pen cleaner, and STILL there is ink that comes out. If you want this concept so badly, just buy an empty waterbrush and fill it with ink.*

*Note to self: test whether this actually works.

Tag Team: Akashiya Bamboo Brush Pen & J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe Ink

14 09 2020

Once upon a time, I thought it would be a good idea to go back through my reviews and update them with how a product held up over, say, several years. A pen can be great right out of the gate but if it kicks the bucket after a few months, that’s an important thing to consider in terms of whether it’s worth it. Unfortunately for the greater cause of knowledge, I never felt particularly inspired to actually take up this quest.

The road to incomplete pen knowledge is paved with good intentions

And while I still don’t feel especially compelled to launch that project, this ramble of a review certainly falls in line with that intention. I first reviewed the Akashiya Bamboo Body brush pen over 8 years ago, when JetPens apparently sent it to me for free (wow, thanks y’all, that was mighty kind and luckily I’ve gotten much better at using this thing since then). I also forgot that it used to have white writing on the barrel, because that has long since worn off. The rubber finial is a little scuffed, and the barrel now has a couple small cracks toward where it screws together, but it’s not something I notice when using the pen.

More cracks than a hackneyed joke about a 2-plumber convention. But less cracks than the same joke if there were 4 plumbers.

But this isn’t just about the brush pen, which has somehow survived 8 years of probable abuse and neglect. This is about that rare combo that elevates the pen into something better: J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe fountain pen ink IN the brush pen.

There’s the magic

Back when I was first using this brush pen, I fell into a trap thinking that it needed to be inked up with black ink. There’s no good reason for why I fell into this trap. I certainly noticed that the ink cartridge the pen came with was the same as a Platinum Preppy cartridge, but it took a shameful amount of time before I put together the realization that I ought to be using other colors of fountain pen ink in this brush pen for maximum drawing satisfaction–I don’t see evidence of me using colored ink in this pen for drawing until around 2015, and even then the inks I used (Sailor Yama-dori, J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor) did not inspire a renaissance of brush pen sketching like the Diabolo Menthe has.

Nothing will inspire a renaissance of color correcting all my images so they look like they took place in the same dimension

I’ve mentioned before that the turquoise family of colors is magical, and this holds true for the Diabolo Menthe. It’s light enough to be a great sketching color that looks good with darker lineart over top (the lineart also being the only means by which to correct mistakes), while also being dark enough to make visual sense for the frequent times I just don’t feel like making the effort of going back over a sketch with another pen.

Of course, sometimes lineart is the only way to salvage these things, like the hand on this sketch. I tried

The other great benefit of this particular ink is how well behaved it’s been in two unlikely places: the sketchbook with the paper I didn’t like where the Pentel brush pen ink liked to fuzz and feather without any regard for my feelings, AND on the Mead typing paper where I simply assumed, due to the astonishingly light paper weight, that anything heavier than a pencil sigh would be a disaster.

Pentel brush pen up top, below the magic duo on Mead typing paper, left, and toothy Monologue paper, right

I’ve already filled this brush pen back up once, and foresee this becoming the sort of regular in rotation that I never let run dry.

Much to my amazement, JetPens still has the black body and natural body versions of this brush pen in stock. It’s still a very big pen, the cap neither posts nor has anything to keep it from rolling away into oblivion, and I’m sure there are more practical brush pens to use this ink with. But they just don’t look as cool, and that’s the majority of what matters. This is a cool pen that I still haven’t completely destroyed 8 years later, and this ink makes me actually want to use this pen. What more can you ask for?

You can ask for this drawing of my friend as a socially distanced boba tea mermaid. Yes, excellent choice, how did you know to ask for that?

Tag Team: Assorted Brush Pens & Slow-Moving Paper

7 09 2020

The interesting problem with self-made notebooks is that you actually have to make them. Yourself! It sounds all well and good until you’re actually kneeling on the garage floor, cutting paper with your little old X-acto knife because for some reason you wanted the notebook to be smaller than the paper folded in half, but bigger than the paper folded into quarters, sloppily stitching notebook signatures together in accordance with the best tutorials a quick internet search could find. And perhaps your supplies of cheap typing paper are running low, so as you get to the end of your last handmade notebook you think to yourself, “I’ll just use one of the dozens of blank sketchbooks I have. No big deal.”


Why someone like myself would give so little consideration to the actual paper in the sketchbook I chose remains a mystery. Perhaps I had the misapprehension that pencils just write on anything, and there’s nothing that drastically different about the paper involved.


Obviously that right there is some amateur hour thinking. I’d love to tell you more details about this sketchbook model, the paper weights, and so on but I peeled off the sticker and helpfully THREW IT AWAY. After leaving the peeled sticker on my desk for weeks in which I could have potentially referenced the information on said sticker. So, it’s a Monologue brand hardcover sketchbook with 64 perforated pages and textured mystery weight paper, that’s what I remember.

and that’s all you need

Oh fine. A bit of Googling tells me this is a Basics Monologue with 148 gsm Italian heavyweight acid free drawing paper, and in all likelihood this was sent to me by Grandluxe to review……..many many years ago.

I’m so sorry

The important thing is I quickly discovered that the textured surface of this paper pumped the brakes hard on my fast and loose Col-Erase-based sketching style. I’m sure if I wanted to do proper pencil drawings with nice shading and blending it would be great. But that’s not what my heart desires right now. I want to have a cursed thought and have it drawn before my friends can even begin to threaten to have my imagination taken away.

I’ve made literally hundreds of drawings in quarantimes, and so few are actually suitable for public consumption

And not only do the pencils go slow on this paper, but it takes up seemingly a lot more lead. I probably struggled through about ten pages of pencil drawings before accepting that I needed to find a better sketch combo to use. You might look at the double bookcase crammed half-full of mostly or totally empty notebooks and sketchbooks and think, just. Just use a different sketchbook. You have so many jus-JUST USE A DIFFERENT SKETCHBOOK????

You fool. You absolute fool

No, friend. I am committed to finishing what I’ve started here. And besides, this presented me with a challenge to find writing implements that would replicate the quick sketching experience I’d fallen in love with using my previously blogged about tag team combo. Enter the brush pens and other assorted pastel felt tips:

They are my children and I love them all equally. Just kidding, some children are better than others

The number one spot goes to a combo so great, it’s going to get its own review: the Akashiya bamboo brush pen loaded with J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe ink. This is the perfect stand in for a light blue sketch pencil, except for the part where I can’t erase anything and have to live with my horrible mistakes forever. If I’m feeling lazy, I can stop the sketch there, in shades of blue, or pick out another brush pen to lay down some lineart on top of it. For working big and fast, I favor the Akashiya bamboo brush pen, Faber-Castell PITT artist brush pens, or Koi coloring brush pens, with guest appearances by the Pentel brush pen.

For a more detailed or fine-lined sketch, I grab either Marvy Le Pen Flex pens or Sharpie Pens, both in soft pastel colors.

If I weren’t lazy, I’d ink over the pastels with a dark lineart. But that’s not the life I’m living right now

Are these combos perfect? No. This paper likes to fuzz and feather, look close at this Pentel brush pen inking:


Nevertheless, I persist in this sketchbook. Only about 15 pages left, and I’ve learned a valuable lesson about what kind of paper I prefer to sketch on and why. Plus, mixing things up with color is fun. I miss erasing, but I like the way I’ve been forced to experiment with my writing implements to find something I like sketching with here.

I have nothing witty left. Take these sketches and run off into the sunset, friends

Mini Review: Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen – Twin Tip – Gray & Black Ink

1 02 2013

This drawing is from 2010!

This drawing is from 2010!

In honor of Hourly Comic Day, I wanted to give a little shout-out to my HCD pen of choice, the Tombow Fudenosuke twin tip brush pen.



It pairs well with my Rhodia Dotpad No. 12 for the perfect quick-sketch experience.

The caps are not the most convenient things to post on each other, but you do what you can. BONUS! This picture is actually of 2 pens. I'm still waiting for the first one I bought in 2010 to die.

The caps are not the most convenient things to post on each other, but you do what you can. BONUS! This picture is actually of 2 pens. I’m still waiting for the first one I bought in 2010 to die.

Though a little dark, the gray is perfect for rough sketching and shading, and the black is sufficiently dark for inking and borders. There is a little give in the brush tips, but not so much as to be unruly or unwieldy for a brush pen novice.

Old tips on the left, new on the right.

Old tips on the left, new on the right.

Though I would prefer a lighter gray, the big winning factor for the Tombow Fudenosuke is convenience. I only need to grab one pen and my Rhodia dotpad, no keeping up with multiple pens. The tips do wear down over time, and as they near the end they get dry, but you more than get your money’s worth before that day comes.

If I draw anything sufficiently neat this year, I’ll add it to this post! Happy Hourly Comic Day!

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen – Twin Tip – Gray & Black Ink at JetPens
Rhodia DotPad Notepad – Black Cover – 3.25″ X 4.75″ – 80 Sheets – 5 mm Dot Grid at JetPens



Akashiya Bamboo Body Brush Pen – Red Body

21 04 2012

I forgot; my scanner is too small for 9x12" drawings. Oops. I'm sure you're not missing out on much. Except for catsnail (snailcat?) in the bottom right corner.

It seems I have not yet taken the opportunity to embarrass myself with a brush pen. Luckily, JetPens has been kind enough to assist by providing me with this Akashiya Bamboo Body Brush Pen, free of charge (the embarrassment, however, is all up to me).


In spite of a continued lack of mastery wherever brush pens are concerned (unless they are waterbrush pens, but that’s a different story), I persist in loading them onto my wishlist and acquiring them on a dispiritingly regular basis. Those of you who know what you’re doing with brush pens may want to turn away now, and skip to the link at the bottom—unless you like cats.

Cats not included

This is quite a pen, bigger even than the eternally popular Kuretake No. 33, by about 5mm. Almost as big as two Liliputs put end to end. This isn’t something you’ll just slip in your pocket (though it will easily fit in my preferred pencil case). Given that it would take a pocket of some exceptional depth to contain, I’m not much concerned by lack of clip.

Despite being made of bamboo, this pen will make a poor substitute for chopsticks

Unless you absolutely hate anything vaguely Asian/the color red/Communism more than McCarthy did, then I think you’ll agree that this is a lovely, elegantly repurposed piece of bamboo (in America, the typical purpose of bamboo is sushi placemats, chopsticks, and swords/fishing poles for children lucky enough to live near a random bamboo forest). But I have a few design quibbles I’d like to knock out real quick. The cap doesn’t post, which is irksome when there’s nothing on the cap to keep it from rolling away. The white lettering is already starting to wear off (good thing I can’t read any of it anyway)—though my Rotring Art Pen also had that problem shortly after I reviewed it. But most confounding of all, the cap does not secure satisfactorily. If you look close up there, you can see a gap between the bottom lip of the cap and the rest of the body. It doesn’t go on any further, but it also doesn’t snap into place so you know that that’s as far as it’s supposed to go. Not that it feels like it’s in danger of popping off, but there’s something profound that’s missing. In lesser mortals, this would be an invitation straight to a psychological meltdown.

Pen also comes with instructions, all in Japanese. I bet this cat can read them, but he won't tell me anything. Probably because he's a jerk. Or because he's an inanimate object.

For reasons lost on me (probably because the only part of the packaging I can read, besides the pictures, is the barcode), the two cartridges this pen comes with are exact clones of the typical Platinum Preppy cartridge; word on the internet is that the Platinum converter is a perfect fit—and this is a pen that would make the converter worth buying.

The other, less reliable word on the internet is that the ink provided isn't a true black. Well, I gathered up every black I could find in brush form...either that person is full of it, or I don't know what true black is.

Now, when it comes to brush pens, I don’t know what I’m doing; I just own several brush pens and use them on occasion, wishing I could be like those other people who pick up a brush pen and turn it into a magic wand. The closest I get to wizardry is easily replicable card tricks, relying on as little deception and actual magic as possible.

Pictured: (cat)people who have a better idea than me how to actually use a brush pen

That said, and in spite of my quibbles, I enjoy using this pen. Though I can’t get lines quite as fine, nowhere near as often as I can with a Pentel brush pen (a review for another day), I prefer the hard body that still manages to have a surprisingly consistent ink flow—generous, but not juicy. The Akashiya doesn’t have bristles as long or as few in the middle (for some reason, I want to call that area the “sharp”? Don’t quote me on it), thus why I can’t get the same consistently thin lines, but maybe this brush pen isn’t designed to cramp you into a scale that small. A big bodied brush like this seems to be gunning for a big, flourishing stage. More open, relaxing.


All the other brush pens I have are unerringly purposeful, their designs an absolute sentence of utilitarianism. But something about the design of this pen makes it feel fun. Playful.

Unless you're these guys. Then it feels like work.

Moreso than my other brush pens, this one begs to be doodled with. It doesn’t have the look that sternly chides, “I am for professionals who know what they are doing.” This pen says, “Come here! Let’s make tea and have fun! And talk to ourselves! And get strange looks from people nearby!”

What does this say? Does it say bamboo? It looks a little bit like the Eiffel Tower to me. Pretty sure it doesn't actually say "Eiffel Tower."

Hopefully, I’ll be able to make an update to this post titled “Here It Is, You Guys, I’ve Finally Figured Out What I’m Doing,” but in the meantime, I’m going to have a lot of fun doodling with this pen.

Thanks again to JetPens for providing the sample!

Akashiya Bamboo Body Brush Pen – Red Body at JetPens

Platinum Fountain Pen Converter at JetPens

Pilot Petit 1+2+3 Mini Pens

9 07 2011

I see great promise in these pens!

Another exciting sample package of complimentary goodies arrived in my mailbox recently from Jetpens! :D (this little face is obviously shorthand for “one thousand thanks unto JetPens”) I would never have guessed a few years ago how exciting a white Jiffylite bubble envelope could be.

The Pilot Petit is back, and true to cliche it's better than ever

I was pretty bummed when I saw that the old Pilot Petit1 was being discontinued. It wasn’t the best fountain pen; at the time I found the nib to be a bit too wet of a writer for my tastes, but I really liked the principle of the thing. Luckily, I already owned about six Pilot Petit1 pens, and a whole bevy of ink cartridges to go with them.

So naturally I needed more Pilot Petits when it burst back onto the scene. I always wondered what the “1” in the name was about; seems like Pilot was planning this product expansion all along (or at least, they can pretend that’s what went down).  You’ve got the Pilot Petit1, a fountain pen just like the original; the Pilot Petit2, a sign pen/marker pen (for very small signs, I presume); and the Pilot Petit3, a fude/brush pen.

Note the clear underbelly on the fountain pen; a thoughtful touch that lets you see just as easily as you would with the brush and marker pen exactly what color you have loaded.

We’ll stick to numerical order, for sanity’s sake, and start with the Pilot Petit1.

Hey there old friend!

I don’t know if this is just a variation in quality control or what, but the new Pilot Petit1 seems to actually be a fine nib this time, which is great considering that’s what it’s branded as. Maybe it’s just the one I got, I don’t know, but if the new Pilot Petit1 models really are true fine nibs, that’s great news for the future of these pens when drawing (and writing on multiple types of paper; finer nibs tend to fuzz and bleed less).

Why stop at one round of drawings when I can continue directly overboard with two?

I can’t really see a difference in the nibs, but I felt like the new Pilot Petit1 was better. If anyone knows why this might be, please let me know. Otherwise I assume it’s just wizardry and penmagic.

To the left, an old Pilot Petit1 color-coded to the nines, lest you forget what color originally came in the pen. To the right, the new Pilot Petit1, colored only by the ink within.

The entire body of the new Pilot Petit1 is the same translucent color (mine is purple), including the clip and the cap, in contrast to the old Pilot Petit1 which had a clear cap instead. Another minor difference is that the body of the new Pilot Petits have four very small bumps around the end of the pen, so the cap clips on when you post it instead of just being pushed onto the end until it goes no further.

The sign pen has a clear cap and a translucent clip and body, making it easy to see the marker tip's color

I don’t really do much work with signs or markers. And this marker tip is really a bit too small to be making actual signs. I did test it on some small, glossy, sign-like paper:

The theme was "Why am I trying to get away with NOT having obscene amounts of writing/drawing samples?"

What I’m starting to see is the potential for these three pens to work together in an artistic capacity. Use the Petit1 for doing fine, detailed work, as well as sketching out guidelines and such, then use the Petit2 for coloring in larger areas, making thicker lines, etc. And then use the Petit3 for fun and profit.

Pilot Petit pens 2 & 3 seen here in the wild, sizing one another up before battle(/mating; the rituals of pens are unclear)

Finally, the Fude/brush pen. This is the only compact brush pen I have, certainly the only one I know of, and undoubtedly the only one clocking in at anything less than prohibitively expensive. Coupled with the ability to choose between various ink colors/refill/change ink colors without having to buy a new pen, I think the Pilot Petit3 stands out as a very fun intro option to brush pens. Line variation was great, and the only complaint I have is that I find the solid colored clip to be a little gauche. Maybe do a clear clip instead? It just doesn’t match the rest of the set, or even the rest of its own body.

Pilot may come out with some crappy products, but they make up for it with hits like these.

Pilot’s done a good job improving upon the Pilot Petit. Care was taken with the details—like adding tiny bumps so the cap would click securely when posting, or making the underside of the fountain pen nib out of clear plastic so you could easily see the ink color—and it’s paid off. My hope is that they’ll come out with more ink colors (at least all the ink colors they had with the original Pilot Petit1; several of my favorites are missing), more body colors (currently the only body colors available are in the theme of girlsplosion springtime pastel bonanza), and perhaps even more models (like, say, a Pilot Petit4 rollerball? Petit5 highlighter??).

Thanks again to Brad and JetPens for these samples!

Pilot Petit1 Mini Fountain Pen – Clear Violet Body at JetPens
Pilot Petit2 Mini Marker Pen – Clear Violet Body at JetPens
Pilot Petit3 Mini Brush Pen – Clear Violet Body at JetPens
Pilot Petit Pen Refill Cartridge – Clear Blue – Set of 3 at JetPens

Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pen – 5 Autumn Color Set + Akashiya Sai Watercolor Mini Pallet + Kuretake Waterbrush – Small – Compact Size

10 12 2010

It makes no sense to review these separately. Enjoy an excruciatingly long title instead!  So, I was looking for something fun to round out a recent Jetpens order when this watercolor brush pen set caught my eye.

Look! Primary colors! This is important. Also, check this nice plastic case! Bonus.

Being an impatient person, I like to practice the infuriating art of watercolors. I tell myself that it’s an exercise in improving my disposition; like meditation, but with more mess. Also, more set-up. Though I have both watercolor cakes (cheap, but my favorite) and tubes, as well as a whole mess of brushes and several sketchbooks of cold press paper, I rarely use them. Doing watercolors involves a ritualistic set up: get the two glasses of water, lay out the mixing trays and colors, get some newspaper, prepare drawings, get some cups for the brushes…look, I swear it’s a lot more of a pain to do than it is to describe. I still haven’t cleaned out my water cups from the last time I did a full watercolor set up. My tubes are shoved in a defunct purse somewhere in my room, and the watercolor cakes are under the bathroom sink, for reasons I can only hope existed and made sense at the time.

Enter the Akashiya Sai watercolor brushes.

With these colors, I can recreate the entire rainbow and RULE THE WORLD..of...rainbow making...?

I picked up the Autumn color set because, if these things operated like regular watercolor brushes, then really, all I needed were the primary colors (and black, which, for this, I used the Pentel standard brush pen—but that’s another review), and I could then make any color I wanted.

Poor recent college graduates can’t just go around buying pens all willy-nilly (in spite of what my monthly(more like twice monthly) JetPens orders might suggest). Gotta be crafty, gotta mix things up. Literally. In a palette. With a water brush pen.

A waterbrush pen. Only one. Don't let the picture fool you.

Before and after use. Actually, having two of these would be fantastic.

While the Kuretake waterbrush pen is billed as “small” and “compact size,” I can tell you that it’s the size of a normal pen (actually a bit longer, and a bit thicker). I was worried we would be dealing with mini-pen sized dispensers of water; this is not the case. Cease your worrying, good citizen. The Akashiya mini palette is a nice sturdy plastic, easy to wash, and fits neatly in the front zipper pocket of my Nomadic PE-08 Easy Classification pencil case (but that is yet another review). After boggling vacantly at the whole assembly, I figured out what I can only assume is the correct system for mixing colors (I do not read Japanese, nor did this come with any instructions anyway).

Observe my lack of Photoshop color-matching skills.

Color with the brush directly into the palette, add water from the waterbrush as you fancy, mix with the brush, put brush to paper. It’s insanely, satisfyingly simple. Normally, mixing colors is a rigmarole production of brush to color, to water, then clean brush, get new color, try not to contaminate the source colors, mix, clean brush, get more color, so on. Here, the middleman of sending brush to color has been consolidated into a glorious lovechild of brush and color source. The brush IS the color source. Fantastic! You can color directly with the brush, mix color in the palette, do whatever you want. That is what convenience is about, my friend.

I don't understand how this pukey yellow-green makes that lovely peach skin tone. Do not understand.

That pinkish effect? Made with this green. I...I don't even know.

Now, I used the waterbrush the entire time for painting; I don’t know if that is the typical protocol of what is supposed to be done. The advantage of using the waterbrush is that it cleans itself out; no need for multiple cups of water for rinsing dirty brushes, providing water to clean ones, serving as an intermediate water state between dirty and clean… Just have some scrap paper handy to wipe the waterbrush out on until it’s clear again. Ta-da. It’s practically magic. The body is easy to squeeze if needed, simple to refill, and lasts for quite a while (I’m still on my first full fill).

The disadvantage of using the waterbrush: I often failed to get a fine tip effect. I have brushes I could have used for that. But I didn’t want to deal with cups of water. Perhaps with a lighter touch, I could get the same from the waterbrush. Another disadvantage: sometimes in painting, I was lifting color up due to the wateriness of the brush. But this seems more like a problem with watercolor in general than with this waterbrush.

By your powers combined...

Let me pull this all together: if you like watercolor, and especially if you want to be able to do watercolors on the go, you should get this set (brush pens, water brush, little palette, the whole thing, buddy, no skimping). The brushes are all great to work with; as you can see in this picture, the tips are synthetic individual brush strands (NOT felt tip. I am mostly against felt-tip); the waterbrush is the same. I would recommend you get a black pen as well. Everything you need (besides a sketchbook, of course) to paint with watercolors can fit in your pocket. I have had no problems with any spilling or leaking in carrying my set in one of my Nomadic pencil cases. For a little over $20, painting has become convenient enough that I can do it on a regular basis. That is a convenience well worth your money.

Now, before I set you loose with a page of painting examples I did and your requisite item links, I want to send a big thank you to JetPens. When I ordered this set, the yellow pen arrived having leaked into its cap. I contacted JetPens about it, and they sent me a replacement pen with no problems and no hassle. Their customer service is just…so pleasant, it’s hard to believe it’s categorized under the same umbrella as the typical nightmares masquerading as “customer service.” They are terrifically helpful people; if you ever have a problem with your order, just let them know. (I wish I had known this sooner, I could have sought their advice over a finicky Tachikawa manga fountain pen…but that’s another review.) Thanks JetPens! :D I will definitely be buying more of these pens when they run out. (and more pens…all the time…)

Art! Doodles! Paint! Insanity! All colors on this page made with the Autumn color set (plus a little Pentel brush pen black). Inking done with..Sakura microns? And maybe a Tachikawa manga fountain pen? Heck, who knows. Click this thing! You know you want to examine these masterpieces.

Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pen – 5 Autumn Color Set at JetPens

Akashiya Sai Watercolor Mini Pallet at JetPens

Kuretake Waterbrush – Small – Compact Size at JetPens