I find a brush pen a very useful part of my sketching setup. A few little touches here and there, after drawing the picture in ink, can really give a sketch some depth.
I’m looking for several attributes in a brush pen. It needs to have good dark ink that will dry fairly quickly and then be fade and water resistant. The Pentel Brush Pen’s ink meets these criteria and comes in cartridge form so is easy to top up if you run dry when out and about.
A good brush pen should have a clip and you should be able to post the cap. I’m going to be using it outside and I’d rather not lose the cap on the ground or have the pen roll off somewhere. This pen caps quite securely and the clip is reasonably strong and functional.
It should be light and a medium kind of size, so it sits comfortable in the hand. I have big hands so what suits me might differ to what’s best for you but this pen is very light and just about big enough for me.
Most importantly, a good brush pen should have a good brush tip. It needs to put down just the right amount of ink: too much and you can’t get a textured brush effect; too little and it won’t fill in areas properly. The Pentel Brush Pen gets this right. It also needs to hold its shape and, unfortunately, this is what let this pen down. After not all that much use, and no mistreatment at all, the tip separated out into strands, making it almost impossible to use. I know lots of people swear by their Pentel Brush Pens so I guess I just got unlucky with mine, but based on my experience I can’t recommend it. Out of the pens I’ve tried the best one I’ve found is the Platinum Fude Brush Pen.
I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult Pens’ support of the site. These are my own honest opinions.