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!

 

 

 

They see me foiling, they hating

Last week’s post was about how I was missing in action. Well it wasn’t just me, my ability to create products seemed to be missing in action for a long time as well. My day job as a lecturer can be very full on, mentally more than physically I should add! So I often come home, eat tea, watch something on the TV and fall asleep on the sofa, with no time or energy to come up with new ideas or new products.

Luckily, because I was practising my brush lettering a lot I did actually have some ideas that I could make into products ahead of our craft market on 26th June. I was anxious that I hadn’t made anything new for ages and customers would be bored of me having the same old things for sale.

When I looked in the files of lettering that I had scanned into my computer I had a few pieces that I could get copied onto cards. It’s not a fancy process at all. I have a little stash of textile foil which you heat transfer onto a screen printable glue. Well this foil also sticks to the toner from photocopiers or printers if you heat it onto it! So I toddled off to Staples and got three new phrases printed onto cards, foiled them when I got home and here are the results…

you got this card

hello card

thank you card

 

What do you think? Should I do more like this?

Buy them on my Etsy page

Review – Zig Brush H20 Waterbrushes

I regularly mention my favourite pens and products on this blog and you’ve probably noticed the same things popping up over and over again in my pics. But so far I haven’t actually reviewed something and since I am using these Zig Brush H20 Waterbrushes  so much at the moment I thought I’d share with you why I like them.

IMG_8877  Zig BrusH20 WaterbrushI use these Zig Brush H20 Waterbrushes mainly for brush lettering, or brush script, call it what you will. I’d seen a couple of students at work using them but I’ll be honest I didn’t really buy into them, I was being a snob really and didn’t like that they were made of plastic and I thought they looked a bit cheap.

Then I got one in a Scrawlrbox and gave it a go. How wrong I had been! I should have known I would like the brush because I prefer synthetic bristles. I just find them much smoother than natural ones and I am all about the smooooooth, and that easy motion across the paper is just what you need when doing brush lettering.

Zig BrusH20 Waterbrush

So for a start, the bristles are great, they do get stained from the paint but they’re really easy to clean so it is just a stain rather than the bristles retaining colour and being tricky to clean up. They also don’t seem to degrade much, I’ve been using the green medium brush for months and haven’t noticed any obvious wear and tear.

Zig BrusH20 Waterbrush
Speaking of easy to clean, this is where these Zig Brush H20 waterbrushes come in to their own in terms of being super handy and the feature that gives them their name! You can fill the barrel with clean water and then you don’t need to keep a jam jar of water close to hand to rinse it off when changing colours. You just give it a squeeze and it drips water straight onto your palette. It also means you can clean it by just squeezing water out and rubbing the brush on a tissue or piece of kitchen towel.

IMG_8879

To fill these little chaps up you just unscrew the barrel, dip it in water and squeeze to fill it up. Screw the brush end back on and away you go! These are great for working on the go, if you enjoy working at any given moment or if you’re a scrapbooker, you keep a journal or planner or you’re at school. college or uni.

I have the Zig Brush H20 Waterbrushes  in the Detailer, Medium and Large sizes. They also do a Broad version which I don’t have. All of them are great and I would recommend getting a variety of sizes if you can. I like choice and if you’ve seen the pictures of my pen collection you’ll know that already!

You can get them at KuretakeCult Pens, Tiger Pens, Jackson’s and a variety of other places, I’ve purchased things from all these places and would recommend them all so take your pick!