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[Process] Current Favorites! Part 1: Brush Pens + contest! [CLOSED]

2 Ish Good!

Note 2012.04.14: Contest is closed and winner has been contacted but feel free to keep posting your suggestions! I'm all ears!

Do you <3 stationery goods as much as I do?


This week, I'll be doing a series of nemu*blog posts, (sponsored by one of my absolute favorite online stationery stores, JetPens) covering just one facet of my love of all things stationery -- writing and drawing instruments!

Now, while I may be giving some of my own recommendations, I encourage you to participate and let me know some of your own recommendations per each category! Participate by replying to my four (4) blog posts this week with your own recommendations and/or product wish list according to each pen type and I'll enter you in a drawing to win a $25 e-gift card from JetPens! (Which means you will get automatic free shipping within the US!) Respond to all four (4) blog posts and get a total of 4 entries in your name!

Without further ado! Part 1: Brush Pens! (read on!)

So, I've tried a number of brush pens over the years... I've even blogged about them back in 2008. (Was that really almost 4 years ago? o_o; Have a read if you want to see where I started! Yee!)

Now that I'm much more comfortable using them, I have a couple HGs (Holy Grails, for lack of a better term) that I almost always try and carry with me.

Let me preface by saying that brush pens are not the easiest things to use and not all pens are created equal. Material used for the tip and the inks vary from pen to pen, so I use different pens for different needs. They all will require a light (and steady) hand to get those beautiful tapered and varied lines.. and that takes practice. It certainly doesn't happen overnight, but I find the end result it totally worth the effort. :D!

#1: The Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (+ refills) for Calligraphy


This is my go-to pen for just about all occasions. I currently have 2 -- one in my events bag for signing and quick sketches, and one on my desk which I've been using to sign everyone's books over the past month. I also bought myself a box of refills, which were full at the beginning of this month and now I am overdue to purchase more.

To be honest, I had a heck of a time trying to use this pen as a brush-pen-n00b. The brush point is long, made of synthetic fibers. It holds a point beautifully, but requires a light hand with good degree of control to get those fine lines. I find I even hold my pen a little differently to accommodate the brush point. But for those interested in giving it a go, stick with it! I find my drawings feel much more alive and expressive when I work with this pen.


I drew this sometime early last year, I think.

The ink cartridges it comes with are pigment-based and more or less waterproof. If you've been keeping track of my book-signing progress, you'll see all of them have been colored over with alcohol-based markers. No streaking or bleeding of color!


The best thing about the pocket brush pen is that it's affordable for a great quality pen. $13 may seem like a decent amount to dish out for a pen of all things, but considering a real good inking brush can run you about $20 and it -doesn't- come with ink, it's a deal. :D I've had these pens for a number of years now and just replace the ink when it runs out -- the brush point has been holding up strong!

BTW - JetPens has 2 versions of the pen available: the US version and the Japanese version. I have one of each -- there is no difference between the two -- just the packaging.

#2 The Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pens


These guys are my brush pen back-ups in my events bag and my go-to pens when I am inking comics on comic paper/bristol board.

While I use the Pentel brush pens for -most- things, there are some limitations I've come across. The ink isn't a very opaque black and I experience a little feathering on some bristol boards (because the paper is absorbent.) Also, when I'm tired, I lose some control in my hands and my lines become quite shaky.

The fudegokochi pens have a plastic-type tip and create a much more consistent drawn line. The point is also shorter, which means the pen can be comfortably held at your usual drawing/writing angle.

They come in 2 main sizes: regular and super fine. I prefer the regular and use it for inking my comics. Scott loves the super fine point and uses it when he signs books.


The ink is a shiny, opaque black that sits on the paper. It's very dark and can write wet. It also takes longer to dry, so be patient, lest you smear ink or transfer it to other papers. This also means you won't be able to color -over- the inked parts as it's not waterproof.

They are disposable and super affordable at $3.50 each - a nice starter pen for anyone interested in experimenting with brush pens.

* * *

There are a few other pens I like to use when sketching on-the-go, like the Zebra Disposable Brush Sign Pens and Pentel Standard Brush pens -- all recommended, but not quite in my favorites category (for nit-picky reasons, really.)

So! From JetPen's extensive brush pen collection, what have you tried/would like to try, and/or recommend? I'm all ears!

Post anytime from today until Friday at 5pm Hawaii Standard Time (FYI, we're 3 hours AFTER the U.S. west coast) to my [Process] blog posts and be entered to win a $25 gift card from JetPens!

Share your thoughts

19 Replies

  • Haruyo

    I actually have a Kuretake no. 13 brush pen, I love the tip of the brush. I've only lost one hair from the brush that I can remember so far. The tip has held up pretty well for me. I don't think it would work well for drawing, but I like it for writing and trying to work on learning to write kanji properly. The fact that it's a fountain pen and I can change out the ink when I need to is just bonus to me. I really enjoy using it for writing though. ^.^

  • Hunter

    I can't afford alotta of these brush pens but I had experience via art class on The Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and it was very easy,I mean the only issue I had was the tip wears down kinda easy (especially when dealing with used ones)but thats because I didn't get to take care of them lol. Meanwhile number 2 reminds me of these one type of ballpoint pens my dad used to get for himself until I kept taking them for my drawings lol and he knew it. He loved how it wrote but I loved how it flows with the ink. But like I said I prefer #1 over # 2 but in this case whatevers cheaper >.>.

  • SnowyBear

    I have never used brush pens, but one of my friends draws manga and she likes the Pentel pens (^_^) I would like to try them, though.

  • Stephanie Tran

    I have actually only used two types. Faber Castell and Prismacolor. Personally, I like Prismacolor's brush pens better. They're smoother and last longer.

  • Jonny

    I second your comments on the Pentel Pocket Brush pen. I've found it great and dependable for thicker lines, large illustrations and filling in large areas of black. I think I'll have to give the fudegokochi pens a try now, though the slow-drying quality will probably be an issue...

  • Kristine

    I am a personal fan of the Prismacolor brush pens! My only problem was I was getting used to them and put them through some SERIOUS wear and tear!

  • mu

    I also really like the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and the Kuretake Fudegokochi pens. Sometimes I use the Pentel Super Fine Tip Brush Pen, although I often find the lines not as clean as the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. I want to try the Zebra Disposable Brush Pen sometime.... ^__^

  • Heather

    I use the Tombow Dual Brush Pen for cartooning... it has a brush tip on one end and then a non-brush tip on the other. I also use Pigma brush pens a lot... but mostly just because they're easy to find at a craft store, and also the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. :)

  • Aisazia

    I've used Zebra Disposable Brush Sign Pens and Faber Castell, and another I can't remember but was from a giveaway. I like them well for sketching. I have used the Pentel Brush Pen from a friend and liked it well enough. However, I do own a Noodler's Brush Pen and I actually like it. It's similar to the Pentel in my opinion but it has a piston fill so I can use whatever ink I want. I end up using a black ink to sketch. That way I don't have to buy any cartridges and just buy a bottle which takes me awhile to go through. :D

  • Susie

    On my wish list I would really love to try the Kuretake Watercolor Brush Pen - Pocket Set. I love watercolor and think this set is a great idea!! i love it when you use watercolors in Nemu Nemu.

  • Kayla

    I have never tried brush pens but they look fantastic! My current favorite pens for line work are STAEDTLER triplus fineliners.

  • Bettina Marie

    I've one of the Kuretake brush pens, but rarely use it (I think I actually need to replace the currently dried out cartridge actually >.>;;;)...while it brings me back to my college years of using dipped brush and ink, I now prefer the Deleter Neopiko inking pens for the main body of my work, as they give me more control over the line work, but still delivers the dense black inks I need for reproducing comic art. For backgrounds I use Copic Multiliners as they seem even more stiff than the Neopikos (of which I can surprisingly get a varying line width from) and produce more consistant lines. For filling in large black areas I use the Marvy Uchida pigmented Le Plume brush marker (found in most scrapbooking departments of crafting supply stores). :D

    Since reading this though, I think I'll have to dig out my old Kuretake brush pen and take it for a ride to get back into the swing of things again! ^_^<3

  • Kathryn T.

    I love brush pens... they make practicing kanji so much more fun. ^-^ I would love to get a few fine-point ones to play around with... new pens are one of my favorite things.

  • Jo

    This series was really fun to read - I've always loved stationary. X3
    I've actually just started using a brush pen - the Sakura Micron one - and it DOES take practice. Everything looks awful so far XD

  • J_Seymour

    Back when I drew a comic for my campus newspaper, I also used the Zebra disposable "sign pens." I picked them up for cheap at Marukai (this is sort of a Japanese dollar-store in Honolulu). But I never learned to use them as my main inking tool, I'll admit. I used them mainly when I needed something very strokey-looking, like when drawing the leaves on plants, or onomatopoeia-text for loud noises.

  • Mary C

    I'm currently loving the Kuretake Zig Letter Pen (Superfine) for plain old writing. Such a great change-up to make everyday stuff much more fun! Would love to try other Kuretake products!

  • David Paccia

    I like to ink with the Kuretake #13. Like you said brush pens take a while to master, but are well worth it.

    Thanks for the chance to win the JetPens gift card.

  • Charles L.

    I own the Pentel Pocket brush pen and use it everyday to sign letters. Since I'm also a fountain pen geek, I have lots of fountain pen ink sitting around in bottles. I converted this brush pen into an "eyedropper fill" by just coating the threads with a bunch of vaseline. So I just threw the cartridge away and now I fill the brush pen with whatever ink color I like.

    (Currently it's filled with orange.)

  • Alberto

    The Pentel Pocket Brush pen seems to be the best balance of performance and value with fair availability stateside. Another satisfying option would be to use a Kuretake #8 or #13 loaded with the water-proof Platinum ink cartridges.