Tools: Confessions of a Pen Nerd

February 25, 2012 - no comments. Posted by in Uncategorized.

Being a bit of a pen nerd, I was excited to try out the new batch of pens I’d ordered from JetPens, a Japanese stationery store. I’d become hooked with the Pentel Keityo Double Sided Sign Marker Pen when I first bought it, which yielded a writing/sketching experience much like using some pen/marker/brush pen hybrid that allowed for very precise control of the line you were putting down. Plus, it comes with a gray on the other end as well, good for accenting sketches. It’s difficult to describe what it’s like using this pen, the range of line widths you can put down and the nice feeling of control you get from being able to quickly go from doing fine detailed work to putting down a nice bold line, so instead, here’s a hornless unicorn-type animal that I drew with the aforementioned pen:


So when I ran out after starting to use this pen in my work more and more (particularly for storyboards), I had to buy another one. While at JetPens, I decided to try some similar pens they had. I was looking in particular for some gray shading markers which are good for adding emphasis and just generally making ho-hum sketches look amazing. Going off reviews, I bought a couple and I have to say I’m hooked on these pens. All of them work very well together, and the inks do not bleed nor smudge (a personal pet peeve).

Why am I so excited about mere ink in a plastic barrel? Bear with me as I extol each of their virtues:

  1. Kuretake Pocket Color Brush Pen – This pen puts down a lovely light gray wash that you can build up on top of. (The caricature of myself in that corner is shaded with this pen.)
  2. Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen – I’m starting to like this pen more. I initially found the brush tip too thin, but I really like how it produces a very crisp line even on this cheap sketchbook that typically makes whatever I write a bit feathery.
  3. Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Outline Pen – Nice to write and sketch with. Unlike the others, it doesn’t have a brush tip but more of a nib.
  4. Pentel Keityo Double Sided Sign Marker Pen – I couldn’t try all these new pens if I didn’t know at least the trusty one I loved was also coming in the mail in case if the others didn’t measure up.
  5. Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Pen, Set of 6 – Such a great value and the shades of gray are all beautiful. (The lettering in the top left is shaded with these brush pens.)

I know a lot of people would recommend COPIC markers for the kind of gray shading marker I was looking for, but at the end of the day, I feel they’re a little too watery and bleed through the paper too easily, and it breaks my heart when a perfectly good side of the paper is ruined like that. Which hopefully explains some of this undue enthusiasm for ink in a barrel. Alright. Pen nerd out. :)

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