Review: Brush Pens Pt 2


Welcome to Part Two of my brush pen review. Next up are the last 3 pens from this stash I bought.

Platinum Souhitsu Fude Brush Pen CFSW-300 is the next contender. These guys all have similar names so make sure you follow the links to make life easier! This one is double ended, one black nib and one grey. I love that. Again it is a simple black plastic pen but this one has a sparkly barrel as well as the gold brush script. No pen clip on this one though!

Now I really like this one. It’s another felt tip but it has a really good point on it meaning you can get a lovely fine line, that also means that the difference between the finest line and the thickest line this pen offers is satisfyingly great despite the nib being small and short. Good flow of ink really smooth on the paper. On the right paper (a post about that coming up)

This pen, the Platinum Souhitsu Fude Brush Pen CFS-200 is very similar to the Zebra Fude Pen I mentioned in the first part of this review. It has a felt tip that is quite chunky as you can see from the picture above. It has a reasonable amount of flex but not as much as the double ended pen above so you get less definition between thin and think lines. The ink on this one does flow as smoothly as the Zebra Fude and so it drags a bit like it is drying out which isn’t ideal. If you like this chunky style tip I’d go for the Zebra Fude over this one and the difference in price is only pence.

Last in the pack is the Uni POSCA Marker Pen PCF-350 Brush. I really wanted to be able to do brush lettering on surfaces other than paper, mainly on top of Washi tape so I thought I’d try one of these pens. I’ve had lots of POSCA pens with felt nibs and fine nibs so I know I like the way the ink flows but this pen has a brush nib. Actual bristles, which none of the other pens here have. What that does mean is that it takes some practice to get used to the long brush and the way that moves. You have to take the time to get used to how you apply pressure to get the thick and thin brush strokes because the variety of widths you can get is huge but can be hard to master. It does exactly what I want it to and gives you the option of writing on basically any surface!

And that is it for this brush pen review. I have added links straight to the pens on the Cult Pens website now.

‘Thanks for reading!

Review: Brush Pens Pt1

Every now and again I buy a pen that surprises me, I wish it happened more often but I’m a fickle being. The greatest thing about buying (most) pens is that they don’t cost the Earth so if they aren’t perfect you aren’t too much out of pocket. I do LOVE stationery shops where you can test them first though. The fabulous CW Enterprise has a drawer full of well used pencils so you can try each one before you buy (more on that in another post).

This little pile of brush pens came from Cult Pens and came to less than £20. They are a bit more per pen than maybe a biro or a fine liner but you would expect that to be honest and you’ll notice several of them are Japanese so I imagine there’s an import cost included.

On to the pens!

First up is the Zebra Fude Brush Pen. A simple black plastic body with some gold script on the barrel.

Zebra Fude Brush Pen

The nib is a felt tip and it feels very much like a felt tip pen that you would use for colouring in. I don’t like the feel of it much. The nib is quite stiff and doesn’t have much give in it and the ink is a little dry. It doesn’t come out very black either. I wasn’t a fan of this one at all.

Platinum Fude Brush Pen

Next is the Platinum Fude Brush Pen. It’s a plastic disposable pen with no real weight to it. The barrel has beautiful gold Cherry Blossom branches on it as well as some Japanese script which does add to it even though it’s just a plastic pen. Also the lid has a clear and gold glitter pen clip. Nice!

The nib is a felt tip, loaded with ink, which I really like. I can’t stand it when the ink is a bit dry and it’s hard work to draw your loops and it drags across the paper. The nib has a good amount of flexibility as you can see from the video and pics but it took a little bit of getting used to in terms of pressure. It’s a nice little pen but the felt tip will wear quickly if you use it on the wrong paper.

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen Soft Nib

Next in line is the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen Soft Nib. This is my second one of these so that’s a good review already! The nib is a short felt tip with a lot of give but because it’s quite short it’s not too difficult to control like a long brush tip can sometimes be. Good flow of ink from this pen and it’s great for small work. I have written many a certificate with this pen.

Stay tuned for Part 2, I had so much to say I’ve split it into two posts.

Custom Brush Lettering

I’ve been taking part in a monthly late night opening of Loveone in Ipswich on the last Friday of every month. The shop is where our I Make Fun Stuff concession is located as well as the Subterranean Arts gallery and TRAM vinyl record shop.

This month our friends at Applaud coffee shop next door also joined in and served red lentil, chickpea and chilli soup with homemade flatbread. You’ll see a picture of that further down.

For these events I’ve been offering my services in brush lettering. To be honest it really scares me as I feel a lot of pressure to get it perfect and I’m still a rookie at this technique but I have tried to start saying yes to things that put me out of my comfort zone.

Brush Lettering

A little warm up to help the flow of the brush and loosen up my hand and wrist. Now I think about it I should really do some warm up exercises before I start these sessions. I may be less likely to make mistakes! Which was a bit of a problem last night and spelling mistakes! Oops!

brush lettering

Here you can see the delicious soup and flatbread from Applaud and another practice piece of brush lettering. I got a few commissions last night and a few the first time I did it so I’m going to keep doing it, keep practising and I’ll give you an update from the next one. The theme is Cosy!!

Foiled Brush Lettering

I’ve been working on a commission for a good friend recently which has been lots of fun as it’s been an opportunity to work on my brush lettering for clients rather than just for fun or using my own ideas. This is a process that crosses both analog creating and digital (which is not my forte) so I thought I’d give you an idea of how I go from idea to finished product.

brush lettering

The first thing I do is practise the letters and words I’m going to be drawing. I find some letters more difficult than others, especially “S” and “d” and I also like to try different styles.

I like to use the Kuretake Zig BrusH20 for brush lettering. This yellow one is the detailer brush. The watercolours are a cheap set I bought in the States by Artists Loft. It’s about $5 and is good to travel with or take on a drawing/painting trip because they’re super light and it doesn’t matter if they get bashed up a bit. I paint in black because that’s easiest to trace in Adobe Illustrator.

Brush Lettering in Adobe Illustrator

Once I’ve got the words right I scan them into Adobe Illustrator at the highest resolution I can and use the Image Trace function to, well, trace them. There is a great tutorial here that explains the process and the easiest way to do it. I often have to use the Pen Tool to adjust some of the errors that come form the Image Trace process and fiddle around to smooth out lines and delete anchors that are not needed. This is the most boring and laborious part for me as I’m not a fan of digital stuff really. 

I then have to take each word that I’ve refined and line them up on the appropriate page size. That sounds pretty easy but I’m still getting the hang of Adobe programs so it was definitely worth mentioning that I need to line everything up so it looks right on the page.

brush lettering

Luckily when that’s done it’s pretty straightforward as long as no changes need to be made.

BeSillyPost - 3

It’s important to make the black as black as possible so adjust your letters in Illustrator and turn your printer settings up to high quality to get the best print. To foil onto this it MUST be printed using a laser printer, it doesn’t work on inkjet. The foil sticks to the carbon and that’s why it needs to be as black as possible.

Foiled Brush Lettering

Next all there is to do is apply the foil to the print. I use a fancy laminator which is basically a normal office laminator but it has different heat settings. You place the print in a carrier sheet (which is like a laminating pouch that doesn’t stick together) cut the foil to size, place on top and run it through the laminator.

Foiled Brush Lettering

And there you have it! One quote hand lettered and foiled to create a unique and original art print.

I’m hoping to do more like this in the future so if you’re interested pop me an email or comment below!