The Pentel Pocket Brush Pen has been one of those tools that has been at my side consistently since I first bought it. Given the recent world-shattering news–okay, granted, it’s a rather small world– that sable hair brushes have now been banned from the US, artists are going to be taking extra special care of the brushes they have while looking for alternatives. I’ve found the Pentel Pocket Brush fills in nicely for inking. If you’re lamenting the demise of the sable brushes for watercolors…well, let me know when you find a good alternative.
It’s not exactly the same as a good Windsor Newton Series 7 or a Raphael, but what it does it does well. I know some artists have a hard time making the switch, mostly because of the little “tail” at the end of the brush. Granted, that does take some getting used to. But once you do, there is a joy unique to this brush as you watch it dance across the page. Enough practice and you can get some seriously tiny detail with it too. Again, if you can get used to it. I fully understand how some people might not get the hang of it, or want to. And it’s not the creamy smooth pull of a sable brush when the ink is right.
The pens come with cartridges, but honestly I’ve found it more cost-effective (BY FAR) to buy Rapidiograph Ultradraw ink and refill them. The ink is nice and black and doesn’t gum up the bristles. Never ever EVER use India ink in it. That will kill it. Trust me. Also, never leave it laying around when the cable guy comes over or it may get stolen. But that’s probably just that one time.
You can buy both the ink and the brush at the links below.