Posts Tagged ‘Pentel Pocket Brush Pen’


The Best On My Desk Winners For 2017


Whether penned on the back of an envelope, a scrap of napkin or in a classic journal, a list is my favorite organizational tool. The end of the year is the perfect time to make such a list, one that summarizes and compares my ever-changing pen, ink, and other tool preferences.

Rather than new faves, the focus for my 2017 list was which tools were used the most, those that rarely if ever left my desk. Products that arrived late in the year didn’t qualify even if they were noteworthy. The handsome journal from Central Crafts and two inks from Noodler’s will have to wait for the 2018 list.

(Links are to retailers and in some cases Amazon from which I receive a tiny commission should you make a purchase. Every little bit helps keep Inkophile alive!)

Tools for 2017


Pelikan M400 Fine – This pen has been in my collection for a number of years. The flow was increased by Chartpak to accommodate hand issues and proved to be a brilliant pen for my worst days.

Platinum Century Nice Pur Medium – Using different grip widths relaxes my hand while a smooth nib makes short work of any written task. The Plat provided provided both and was a good alternative to the Pel. Besides, what’s not to like about a clear barrel that shows off colorful ink?

Platinum #3776 Music Nib – Sometimes a wide nib gives me a little extra support when my hand is tired and at those times a music nib fits my needs very well. It also adds a little flair to the written word without catching on paper as an italic might and that makes writing more enjoyable.

Pilot Metropolitan Medium – When out and about, I carry a pen that can easily be replaced, but still writes well and looks sharp. The turquoise Met meets all those requirements.

TWSBI Diamond 580 Stub – This pen won the slot for a nib with line variation. It also added a pen to my rotation with a slightly wider grip circumference than the other pens. You already know what I think of a clear barrel and this design makes colorful ink sparkle.

Lamy Studio Fine – It is on the list but last due to its unpleasantly sharp cap and barrel edge. However, the nib and flow make using it worth the risk so long as I remember to grasp it gently. Unfortunately, this one has disappeared and missed the photo shoot. Phooey.


Waterman Florida Blue is mated to the Pel M400. The flow is perfect for the nib and though I may experiment with other inks, WFB always wins out.

Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan makes a luscious line with the #3776 and the shading can be quite dynamic.

Diamine Violet has been the choice of the TWSBI Diamond 580 stub and with good reason. Eye candy to be sure.

Platinum Mixable Aqua Blue suits the turquoise Met perfectly. My samples are now depleted, so it’s time for a full bottle. In the interim, Rohrer & Klingner Blu Mare will do.

Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu was my dark green ink which was well suited to a silver Met. It isn’t Montblanc Racing Green, but it does have excellent flow as well as other charming properties.

Platinum Classic Lavender Black is a newcomer that made a splash in the Platinum Century Nice Pur. Color and performance made this an excellent choice for my everyday ink.


Clairefontaine, Stillman & Birn, Staples Arc and anything made with Tomoe River paper. Enough said.

Watercolor Paint

Artist quality: Sennelier, Daniel Smith, American Journey, and Da Vinci are mainstays along with a couple of Winsor & Newton colors on occasion.

Student grade: Sennelier La Petit Aquarelle and Daler-Rowney Aquafine are about as good as student quality gets. They are not as saturated or lightfast as artist grade paints, but fine in a journal and are packaged conveniently for outdoor sketching. When I empty a palette of student paint, it gets refilled with artist quality paint.

Watercolor Paper

Arches 140# for paintings and Canson Watercolor 140# for color swatches. The best paper is 100% cotton. It will yield the truest colors and survive the longest. Arches is cotton and readily available. It is pricey but worth it.

Watercolor Brushes

SAA Gold Round #10 This was my favorite brush last year and easily got the most use.

Silver Brush Black Velvet Round #8

Escoda Versatil Rigger #2

Daniel Smith Platinum Angle 1/2″ (sable and taklon)

Isabey Petit Gris 6234 Quill Mop #0

Other writing and drawing tools

Pentel Pocket brush pen

Autopoint mechanical pencil

Pentel Sign Touch Pen

New Stuff

Noodler’s Legal Blue and Polar Purple

Romano Handmade Recycled Leather Wrap Large Journal (Paper is not friendly with all fountain pen inks. Handsome leather cover.)

What’s on your list? Use the comments to post your faves as well as most used tools for 2017. Or submit a link if you’ve already shared such a list elsewhere.


Sunday Reads: Best Pocket Pens, Mysterious Gold Object, And A Backstory


Lexington Gray has enjoyed a long term home in one of my Pentel Pocket Brush Pens. Very highly recommended for the calligrapher, artist, doodler in you…

Playtime in a Stillman & Birn Sketchbook


On My Desk 05-15-2016


The writing instruments on my desk needed a little exercise this morning.

Three inks are waiting for slots in my rotation: Pilot Blue-Black, Pelikan Violet and Diamine Vermillion. Pens to be determined. A turquoise or aqua ink will go in the Century Nice with its next fill. Diamine Marine has called dibs on a second Pilot Pocket Brush Pen though the Eco would show Marine to better advantage than the black barrel of the Pilot. It will all get sorted soon.


This One Puts The Competition To Shame


Admittedly a brush pen can lay down ink in a way that a fountain pen cannot, so don’t expect your trusty pen to produce such amazing shading. But you can expect better than average results with Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan ink.

The pen is a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen on Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook paper which is a warm white despite the gray look of the images. Every time I put this pen and ink combination together in my Doodle Journal the results are outstanding. Even without using a brush pen, Kiowa Pecan has made every pen it has graced look good. The only caveat is drying time, but just where the ink deposit is very thick. From a standard nib, it dries on par with comparable Noodler’s inks.

Other brown inks may get the fanfare, but Kiowa Pecan makes my top ten list ahead of all the others. Nathan really outdid himself on this creation. Yes, indeed.


A Journal, A Mop, And Lots Of Color


Who can resist brilliant color?

The samples were made with an Isabey 6234 Petit Gris #0 Quill Mop. (Thank you, Leigh!) It is a natural hair brush that holds a significant amount of liquid, putting any synthetic brush to shame. How does this relate to using watercolor in your journal?

A fountain pen or a brush pen with fountain pen ink writes and draws without pause. Just let those thoughts or doodles flow. Any fountain pen will do, but the Platinum #3776 Music Nib is my current favorite along with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Both are outstanding for swirls and loops and creating other enjoyable doodles. But I like to switch colors frequently and a brush with paint is better at this.

Winsor & Newton Scarlet Lake Watercolor

Watercolor is lovely, but brushes only hold so much liquid, especially small brushes that are made of synthetic hair. Natural hair holds a greater amount of paint so you can draw much longer without interruption. That’s a big advantage for doodles that have long lines like those calligraphic ones pictured. The disadvantage is that natural hair brushes can deposit too much paint. A light touch produces the thinnest line though a sharp point is essential, too.

So here is how it works with most brushes. Good quality synthetic will be stiffer and offer better control, but will hold less liquid. Good quality natural hair brushes like sable, kolinsky, and squirrel, will hold more paint, but are soft and require a more delicate touch.

Watercolor Brushes And My Journal

For a synthetic, the da Vinci Cosmotop Spin offers lots of control and is well made. Miller’s Golden Fleece is good even in larger sizes. Both have relatively sharp points, a must for a round brush. Simply Simmons is another line of brushes if budget is a consideration. It’s a step below the other two for quality, but not bad for the getting acquainted stage. When you move to better brushes, protect them by using the lesser quality ones to transfer and mix paint on your palette. That will save a lot of wear and tear on the pricey ones and play to the strength of the lesser ones.

The natural hair brushes used in my journal are from Daniel Smith, da Vinci, and Isabey. With a light touch, I can get a lot of line work from a sharp, round #5.

The Isabey Quill Mop is a different story. The amount of paint it will hold is amazing, but the line can be rather wide. Use less liquid and gently shape the nib to a point with your fingers for a finer line. It’s a beautiful brush that is best appreciated after getting handy with a more easily controlled watercolor brush.

If you like to paint with ink, a synthetic brush might be best since it will soak up less liquid and achieve better control. Do decant the ink and toss when finished. Pouring it back into the bottle risks contamination, but when your fountain pen will no longer fill from that bottle, a brush is a good way to use the last dregs.

Whether your choice is pen or brush, purchase a journal suited to mixed media or line drawing like the Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook in the photo. Even if you use brush pens, heavier paper will support your work better than paper designed for pens alone. If you happen to create something worth preserving, it will be on good quality paper that will last. Your heirs will thank you, posthumously of course.


Ink On Onion Skin Paper


Childhood memories of cigar smoke, stout black fountain pens and a massive wooden desk stalked me last night as I tested ink on a sheet of old-fashioned, crinkly, onion skin paper. It isn’t the best paper for fountain pens, but it is one of the most unique. My fat nibs are quite taken with it. Even the Sharpie thinks it’s good stuff.

Ink on Onion Skin Paper

At a mere 9#, this is the most lightweight paper on the market and fun for those who like to play with their pens or compose very long letters.  You can write pages and pages without going into debt for postage, perfect for correspondence to far lands. Bleed-through and show-through are significant with all writing instruments, so expect one-sided use.

What it lacks in economy, onion skin makes up for with another characteristic, a soft, swooshing sound as the nib dances over the paper. A pause in that sound reminds me that I am either thinking too much or not writing enough. So get back to work, eh?

The discontinued Fidelity onion skin I used has a watermark and is made of 25% cotton fiber. The sample shows how well it handles good flow, but it can make stingy pens skip, something easily solved with a more free-flowing ink. That new trio of pen, ink, and paper might even find its way into your regular rotation.

Fastening the paper onto a clipboard with lined paper beneath as a guide, keeps me on the straight and narrow. Without it, my writing takes an upward slant. Supposedly, that’s the sign of an optimist, but I prefer things level.

Whatever your pen preference, this type of paper is a kick to use. Current brands of onion skin are available at The Paper Mill Store and Staples.


Brush Pens Meet Fabriano and Stillman & Birn Journals


Brush pens release a significant amount of ink which makes them a challenge for writing, but great fun for lettering and drawing. Over the summer, I put several to work on some of my favorite paper with satisfying results.

Brush pen in a Stillman & Birn Epsilon Journal

In the past, J. Herbin Poussière de Lune and Lie de Thé worked well in my Pentel Pocket Brush Pens. To see whether there was any difference in performance, this time Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan and Lexington Gray went in the pens. Choosing compatible colors allows me to decorate my journal and stationery with a harmonious flair. Used singly either color is perfect for a monochromatic drawing. Brown is especially nice for a sepia toned, vintage look. Nothing amiss in these choices.

Sakura Pigma Brush Pens

Then at the beginning of September, I braved the local art store – braved as in perusing new products without devastating my budget. Still enjoying the brush pen theme, I bought three Sakura Pigma Brush Pens. They are not refillable, but the ink is waterproof so it has its uses. The fiber tip isn’t as supple as the Pentel bristle tip. Line variation is limited, but lettering is easier than with the Pentel. This is a good pen for doodling, embellishing plain lettering or decorating a margin. The palette is limited, but the rose is especially pretty. The black is less saturated and dense than the Pentel, but it dries more rapidly. It isn’t a true brush, but it is fun to use.

Fabriano Venezia Journal and Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Fabriano Venezia Journal

The Pentel pens with Noodler’s and the Sakura pens performed similarly on the three papers. Stillman & Birn Epsilon, Fabriano Venezia, and the Rhodia pad take ink differently, but there was no significant feathering and no bleed through. Lines were crisp even if my photos look otherwise. Oh, and that should be Pentel – not Pilot – in the written sample.

Brush Pen on Rhodia

I’m still exploring the possibilities, but wanted to share the recent results. Using fountain pen ink in the Pentel on S&B paper is just right. Now I’m off to have some fun with one of the little dears. The one with Kiowa Pecan is calling the most insistently…

Jet Pens stocks the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen as well as the Sakura Pigma Brush Pen. Stillman & Birn and Rhodia pads are available at a variety of retailers. Fabriano Venezia journals are less common, but there are a few sources in the U.S. as well as in the U.K.

A little more on brush pens.

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