Product Reviews Written by betolung

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Great waterproof pen...
July 2, 2015
Verified Purchase
Great waterproof pen for writing and sketching. Easy choice for a sketching kit given its performance and reliability. Its ink is waterproof so it plays nice with watercolors and other water-based media in a journal/sketchbook. Had been aching to try them since I saw them in European websites but were not readily available in the USA, so I am quite pleased that they are now available through JetPens.
The Akashiya Sai Watercolor...
July 2, 2015
Verified Purchase
The Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pen set travels well and can be used anywhere just do not expect it to handle or completely replace an actual watercolor tube or pan set. I would recommend it for children, budding artists, and weekend hobbyists. The Akashiya Sai brush pens are always ready to be used with no prep required before coloring an inked sketch, so they are pretty mess-free. Naturally you can also use them for painting directly without any outlining tool underneath. They produce a fair amount of organic strokes with varying thicknesses and dry brush effects. My younger students enjoyed coloring with them during my day art camps. For them, the Akashiya Sai brush pens were more like markers that gave them just a taste for the line variation possible with watercolor brushes and waterbrushes. I have had a light blue brush in my tool box for years and it still works. I use it sparingly, mostly to test if a black sketching pen is waterproof or not. If the black ink smears or bleeds into the light blue wash, I know not to use them on mixed media applications. Thus properly capped, the pens can last for extended periods of time without drying. The colors are pretty bright and saturated as they come undiluted out of the nylon brush tip. They dissolve fairly quickly when rubbed with a loaded waterbrush and you can get some line variation by changing the pressure on the brush tip as you draw and color with them. The wash effect seemed more difficult to control than with actual watercolors, and the end result can be uneven and a bit more unpredictable. If you let the ink dry on the paper without blending, it looks very much like marker inks. It is possible to get paler washes by picking it up from wet color previously applied to the watercolor paper. Another method would be to spritz some water on a plastic palette and dip the Akashiya Sai brush pen tip in it to create a color wash. As the brush tip reloads with fresh ink the strokes will gradually get darker. The rigid pens have a rather slow ink flow to reload the nylon brush filaments in the tip, so you get a dry brush effect if your drawing stroke is too fast. While personally I like to work fast and would prefer a faster ink flow, the slower ink flow of these brush pens prevents waste and allows more control for beginners and younger users. They allow users to "paint" anywhere and anytime without cumbersome set up and minimal clean up time. I do not hesitate to allow my 7 year old nephew or younger students to borrow my brush pen set for card-making or coloring during free-draw time.
The soft 2B lead pencil...
April 29, 2015
Verified Purchase
The soft 2B lead pencil glided smoothly on this piece of cardstock, erased cleanly without leaving any residue, and yielded nice dark tones with little pressure. For me this is a perfect sketching pencil given its balance of darkness and smudge-resistance. If you are not ready to invest on the top of the line (the legendary Hi-Uni), the 9000 makes for a pretty good introductory choice. I seldom come across a Mitsubishi graphite product that I do not like, and I am quite happy to report that the Mitsubishi 9000 pencils did not disappoint. I would not hesitate to get one of each grade if you wanted the full tonal range of the 10 available pencils (4H through 4B). I am quite content with the performance and darkness of the 2B and 4B pencils for quick sketching and shading. Both pencils sharpened easily with my Uni KH-20 crank pencil sharpener to a standard long taper.
Their graphite leads...
April 29, 2015
Verified Purchase
Their graphite leads are perfectly centered, and the 4B lead is noticeably wider than the the 2B lead. It is pretty common for the softer grade pencils to be made with thicker leads to ensure strong functional points. I wonder what mysterious "Elaborate Process" was used in their manufacture, for they are certainly fine sketching pencils. The 4B pencil also yielded pretty bold dark marks using a light touch and can be moved effortlessly across the paper surface pretty quickly. Being left handed, I appreciate the smudge-resistance typical of Japanese pencils like the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni and the Tombow Mono. The Mitsubishi 9000 pencils are also fairly smudge-resistant. I would not hesitate to get one of each grade if you wanted the full tonal range of the 10 available pencils (4H through 4B). I am quite content with the performance and darkness of the 2B and 4B pencils for quick sketching and shading. Both pencils sharpened easily with my Uni KH-20 crank pencil sharpener to a standard long taper.
Pretty good value for...
April 29, 2015
Verified Purchase
Pretty good value for a bold inking tool. The medium horse and goat hair brush yielded pretty broad tapering strokes. The Encre the Chine dried quickly and had a matte finish with a little sheen. While a brush pen might be cleaner and more convenient to use with little prep time required, doodling with the Menso brush and bottle of ink feels like a nice analog break from the digital tools that clutter modern life. It takes a bit of getting used to, but line thickness can be adjusted by balancing the speed and pressure of your brush strokes. The medium brush head allows for pretty quick coverage of the letter size sheet of card stock. The medium brush head allows for pretty quick coverage of the letter size sheet of card stock. I think this Menso brushes would make a fun addition to your manga making kit.
Really fun tool for inking...
April 29, 2015
Verified Purchase
Really fun tool for inking and drawing with India ink. Kolinsky hairs are quite responsive and allow you to easily control the width of your strokes with slight pressure changes of your drawing hand. Would make a fun addition to your manga or comic inking kit once you are ready to tackle inking tasks with bottled ink and a real pointed brush. If all you care about is its performance, you should know that this brush would give you the greatest control over your mark making and allow you to make the finest brush strokes. It can make a variety of brush strokes and line thicknesses. You can get pretty thin lines with a light touch, and fairly bold strokes by pressing down on the brush head.I think this Menso brushes would make a fun addition to your manga making kit. It was pretty easy to draw and sketch with the Kolisnky brush in particular given its flexibility, resilience, and ink load capacity.
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Now since I really like...
March 10, 2015
Verified Purchase
Now since I really like using Sakura Pigma Sensei and Micron pens, I was pretty sure that I would love these Sakura Kakikata Felt Tip Pens even before I got them. They are just a tad more slender than my usual pigment pens, and the most effective way to tell the nib sizes apart is by the color coding of their pen caps. You can get some line width variation by tilting the conical bullet nib on the paper. Its pigmented black ink flows smoothly from the juicy nib, and the pen is quite suitable for quick sketching and inking tasks. I tested them during my cartoon drawing class, and found them pretty responsive and reliable. The pigment black ink did not bleed through the paper and dried waterproof pretty quickly. I used the broad nib pen for making name tents with bubble letters for each student, and none of them smeared or bled into the light color areas when they colored them with markers and water-based paints. Used a few watercolor markers to test the water resistance of the Kakikata pens on card stock. For all intents and purposes, all four pens nib sizes dried fast and were fairly waterproof. Just noticed very faint smudging with the extra broad nib strokes. The fresh ink drawings made with the Kakikata pens can be promptly colored with artist watercolors applied with a waterbrush without any noticeable smudges.
If you like drawing with black markers and plan to color them with water media, you should definitely try these drawing pens. I plan to stock up on them once I figure out how long my initial set lasts. Highly recommended.
1 person found this helpful
So what do you get for...
March 10, 2015
Verified Purchase
So what do you get for the artist that has everything? Simple answer: a really nice E+M Extension Maximo Artbox Zebrano Pencil Holder that I have been eyeing for some time. Made in Germany. Most artists' first choice of sketching and drawing tool is the humble graphite pencil. As they get shorter with use, pencil stubs can be difficult to hold and sharpen further. If you invest in premium pencils, you would also want to effectively use most of their graphite lead. When a wooden pencil's length gets under 3" or 4" from sharpening it, your grip and control over your mark-making gets compromised. A good pencil holder can securely grip your pencil stubs and give you back those missing inches of barrel length for a comfortable and balanced feeling in your hand while drawing and sketching. The variegated zebrano wood gives this extender a distinct and elegant look that sets it apart from your average pencil extender. Given the natural variability of the light and dark streak patterns in the source wood, I expect that no two holder barrels are exactly alike. Thus if having a unique sketching tool appeals to your sense of individuality, this might just be the right pencil holder for you. From experience, I have found that the extenders with metal screw-style collars have a more reliable grip on the pencils than the classic sliding ring and clutch style peanpole extenders. While it might not have all the functionality of its Staedtler counterpart, the Extension Maximo Artbox pencil holder makes a bold statement on a well-equipped elegant desk or contemporary drafting board. Just make sure to place it in a proper ledge or tray since it is bound to roll away on inclined surfaces. The E+M Extension Maximo Artbox Zebrano Pencil Holder is a great looking pencil accessory that I would recommend for studio use exclusively, for it is much too precious to risk losing it on a sketchcrawl or field trip. I am quite confident that the special artists in your gift list would treasure it for years to come.
I like that the Cubix...
March 4, 2015
Verified Purchase
I like that the Cubix pen case opens flat and that its loops and pockets keep everything neatly organized. If you carry just a handful of tools in single layers, they are all easy to spot and use anywhere on the go. The case sides are two layers of nylon stitched together and offer some cushioning for the protection of your sketching pens. The Cubix case securely holds all its contents within a large zippered chamber or its front zippered pocket, no chance of items falling off. If you like to haul your entire collection of favorite pens to the field, you should know that you can easily stuff up to 15 assorted pens within (even the full length Platinum Carbon Desk fountain pen fits inside). Even at full capacity, it remains fairly slim when viewed from the side. Once securely closed, I shook it vigorously and everything inside pretty much remained in place. With its compact dimensions, it easily fits in any sketching bag or purse. I have been hauling it and tossing it around fully loaded in my messenger bag front pocket, and it has kept all my sketching tools within easy reach in the exact same order I left them. Thus it is a pretty a good choice for carrying your basic drawing supplies everywhere and daily use.
2 people found this helpful
This is my favorite colored...
February 17, 2015
Verified Purchase
This is my favorite colored lead for doodling and sketching notes in my cartooning classes. The violet is vibrant and easy to see, and the 0.7 mm lead is the most break-resistant from all the colored leads that I have tried. It is erasable. The lead is not lightfast, so I use it mainly in sketchbook journals rather than pieces that will be on display constantly. The violet lead wears down quickly, so keep an eye on how many spare leads you have left in your tube or order them in pairs.
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