Best Brush Pens and Ink Overview

Choosing the Art Supplies for Your Art

The most important part of deciding which materials to use in your art are; the final result, ease of use, and price point.  I find that there is a give and take.  There is a lot of trial and error.  Without that, I wonder if I would enjoy the process as much as I do.  Creating art is an exploration, both in what the subject matter is, and the process of creating it.  We all have our own process, here is a glimpse into mine.

Best Brush Pens for Drawing and Inking
Kuretake Brush Pens and Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

I have been in search of the best brush pen for over five years.  I first noticed brush pens in a video of Yoji Shinkawa sketching Snake from Metal Gear Solid, at a convention panel.  Once seen, it cannot be unseen.  The beautiful strokes it created.  The stark contrast of jet black ink on a blank piece of white paper.  Whatever that alchemy was, I wanted it.

Finally, it was mine.

I used it for over three years, on practically everything I drew.  Whether it was sketches, or actual comic book pages, it was all Pentel Pocket Brush.   Actual dip pens and brushes were rarely used during this time.  At the time, I was traveling a lot, attending numerous conventions or just on vacation.  It was the most convenient way to create on the road.

The Pentel Pocket Brush ink is still my favorite.  It is pigmented permanent ink that is waterproof and Copic marker proof.  In a perfect world, that would be the ink I use for everything.  But, I love experimenting with different inks.  I guess in a truly perfect world, I get to continue experimenting.

Experiment, I did.

Kuretake Brush Pen

The Kuretake brush pen No.40 has blown me away.  It has both a synthetic nylon and natural bristle option.  The natural bristle is my favorite.  So much so, that I bought a replacement tip for my No.13 pen, and have two with natural bristles.  Couple that with the ability to fill it with your own choice of inks using the ink converter.  It has overtaken the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for me.

Kuretake versus Pentel Pocket Brush Pen - Price Point

There is an obvious price gap between the two.  The Pentel Pocket Brush Pen is about $11 USD and the average price for the Kuretake Brush Pen ranges from $23-$40 USD, depending on the model.

The ability to refill the Kuretake with different inks, the natural bristle option,  and not having to buy replacement cartridges, as a result, makes financial sense to me in the long run.  I can't wait to create new sketches and comic book pages with it.

comic and manga inks
Comic book and manga inks

Ink Tests with Watercolor and Copic Marker on Printing Paper

Using Ink with Watercolor, Copic Markers

I ran a quick smudge test paring the inks with watercolors and Copic Markers.  Most of my work consists of mixing ink, watercolor, and Copic markers.  There is a lot of consideration for other artists like myself who are or intend on illustrating in multimedia.  Printing paper was used in this test since many of us sketch on printing paper or sketchbook paper that can be thin at times.  After all, if it looks decent on thin printing paper, then it will look pretty awesome on bristol and watercolor paper.

Here is the most comprehensive article I have found on brush pens for drawing comics.  Please check it out!


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