Review: Kuretake Arts Fudepen Calligraphy Pocket Brush Pen

Intro:

For today’s review we’ll be looking at the Kuretake Arts Fudepen Calligraphy Pocket Brush Pen (that’s a long name!) or also known as 本格的な毛筆 携帯用筆ぺん. This brush pen is disposable, non-refillable and features a bristle-type tip. Brush pens with individual bristles as the tip are different from felt-tip brush pens as they are more flexible which allows for greater line variation. They also enable you to get that brush stroke look in your drawings rather than a solid marker-like line. You can create fine and broad lines in a single stroke!

An extremely fine bristle tip featured on the Kuretake Arts Fudepen Calligraphy Pocket Brush Pen. It uses a water-based black ink.
An extremely fine bristle tip.

Testing:

The photo below shows the various line widths you can get with this brush pen. It also demonstrates that the ink is not waterproof (right eye’s shadows were made using some water). The left eye’s shadows were done by an old, almost-dried up brush pen (the same one we’re reviewing). That goes to show even when majority of the ink has dried/run out, you can still use it for shading purposes.

In terms of using it for calligraphy – this pen is more suited for East-Asian calligraphy such as Chinese and Japanese. It is hard to control the extreme flexibility for English calligraphy.

 

A page showing the various line widths created using the Kuretake Arts Fudepen Calligraphy Pocket Brush Pen. A drawing of a pair of eyes to demonstrate that the ink is not waterproof.
Testing the Kuretake Arts Pocket Brush Pen

Since this pen is not refillable, eventually you will have to replace it. However, the old pen can still come in handy. You can create a dry-brush effect with the old pens, allowing you to shade with gray (as shown in the photo above on the left eye). The bristles will also wear out if you repeatedly rub them on a surface (below).

Worn-out bristles on an old brush pen.
Worn-out bristles

Pros:

  • Superb line variation (From razor thin lines to bold strokes)
  • Ink flows evenly = consistent lines
  • Flexible brush

Cons:

  • Water-based ink, so it is not waterproof
  • Non-refillable
  • Bristles get worn out over time
  • Hard to find but luckily Ebay has them and even in multiples of 5

Summary:

  • Great for line art, sketches, and comics
  • Not for English calligraphy as the brush is not stiff enough to produce smooth curves
  • Ideal for writing scripts (e.g. Japanese, Chinese)
  • Very fun to use
Retail packaging of Kuretake Arts Fudepen Calligraphy Pocket Brush Pen DJ261-1
Retail packaging of Kuretake Arts Fudepen Calligraphy Pocket Brush Pen DJ261-1
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