I purchased a few Sharpie brush tip markers to play around with after trying the prismacolor brush markers a few weeks back at the Sketchbook Project. For $1.50 each they were a great way to get my Jetpens order over the $25 mark for free shipping. YAY!
Out of the envelope they look a lot like any other Sharpie, a little chunkier and with some grooves on the cap. The end is hollowed out and there is a ring around the end of the marker. This lets the cap click onto the marker when you post it. Smart. Without posting the marker I found it a tad short to use. Posted it was just right. The markers are light weight.
The marker tip is short, relatively stiff, yet pretty responsive at the tip. It’s not as springy as a Prismacolor or Copic brush tip but it does the job. I did a few quick sketches with the markers in my Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook. The paper is a slight cold press finish. The Copic and Prismacolor handle this paper without complaint, the Sharpie is already looking fuzzy. I will admit to being less gentle with my brush tip markers, but in my opinion that’s exactly what these cry out for. Instead of drawing with brush tip markers I try to paint with them.
So that brings me to my next round of inspection, layering. Copic and Prismacolor markers are designed to layer over one another to build up color, so it’s much like working with watercolors. Sharpies tend to stand on their own. Each layer of color turns the tone darker and darker, without subtle shading. Sharpie brush markers are best for bold expressive shouts of color. Finding a Sharpie brush marker in yellow proved to be an impossible task, unless one buys the set of 12. *sigh* So I bought a Copic sketch in yellow.
These will write on just about anything, just like a regular Sharpie. They do seem a tad juicier than regular Sharpies, so might be a good choice for acrylic paint. Just be aware that if you write over gesso with these you’re pretty much going to scrub that brush tip. I found these really fun for fast observations and sketches. The 2 sketches I’ve shown here took all of 10 minutes each. These brush tips really allowed me to lay down a lot of color fast. You’ll notice there isn’t a lot of subtlety though. Sharpies lay down bright bold lines and lots of ink.
These are a great choice for someone who doesn’t want to invest in Copics or Prismacolors but wants that brush tip marker experience, they just need to be away it’s not going to be quite as good. Keep in mind they are probably not lightfast and are certainly not archival. Get them online at Jetpens.
I thougth I'd show you another cowboy drawing. I started this guy the same as the last- with the Pilot Technica .04, quickly scratching out the basic lines. This image is about 5×7 inches just a little larger than the last few drawings I've loaded up.
After that I added the shades of gray, using layers to get darker shades of gray.
Finally I added black with the brush pen.
Obviolsly I'm totally digging these brush pens. I've found a figure drawing class and I think i'm going to go and draw with this pen combination. Additionally, I've used the Loew Cornell pens I reviewed here with this technique and it's pretty cool when they bleed into the gray ink. Also the pens are way more comfortable when used for drawing than when writing.
I have been coveting a pocket brush pen for awhile. I have a brush pen but it has a incredibly long handle and is a pain because of that. I was comp shopping Michael’s when I came upon this pen. Imagine my horror when I got to the counter and found I’d left my 40% off coupon at home… I put the pen back and came back later. With my 40% off coupon I snagged this pen for a measly $10.83, which is less than I could find it online.
It’s sold on a blister pack like most other markers and pens are at Michael’s. Once out of the packaging its a nice looking shiny black pen. It’s comparable in size to most pens on the market. It’s very light weight even with the cartridge plugged into the pen. After wielding a TWSBI 540 for an extended writing session earlier in the day, this is like writing with a cloud. The pen is all black except for a Kanji character on the cap near the clip and the pentel name on the opposite side of the cap.
After installing the cartridge the ink descends into the brush rather quickly, the brush was fully loaded with 60 seconds of installing the cart. The tip is soft, flexible but springs to a point immediately after pressing it down fully. It is capable of giving a hair thin line or a swath of ink 5mm wide. The ink flow is generous and kept up with some very quick line work. The line variation is quite nice and relatively easy to control.
The ink in the cartridges is reported to be in water resistant. Something that I found interesting is that the back proclaims that the “fittings” are leak proof. This tells me that with some silicone grease this pen could EASILY be converted to eye dropper fill. For me, this is a VERY VERY interesting thing. In my testing I found that the ink is water resistant once dry on paper and when wet gives a very nice wash effect with a nice even gray tone. In effect you could take just this and a water brush sketching and you could do the sketch, allow it to dry, add more ink, add water and get a nice gray tone for your shadows. The ink is not water resistant on acrylic paint until it is FULLY dry. It writes without issue on acrylic, no skipping or beading up. It does take quite some time to dry on acrylic paint- to get to the fully dry point it needs a few minutes.
This pen is a very good price when 40% off but at full price at Michael’s I’m not sure. I’d rather put together a $25 order with Jetpens.
I'll probably do an update to this review once I run through the 2 carts that came with the pen and convert it to eyedropper style. (See update on eyedropper fill here.)
Reg $16.99 at Michael’s $14 at JetPens