I honestly think Faber-Castell PITT artist brush pens should be in any person’s pen arsenal. They’re relatively cheap, useful, and easy to use.
I think these pens are just great for beginners and experts with brush pens alike. The tips are just like a felt tip marker, except shaped like a brush. Because they’re synthetic, I believe they’re much easier to control than natural hairs. However, they do tend to get “mushy” after a lot of use. The cool part about PITT artist brush pens, though, is that the tips are reversible: all you have to do is use a pair of tweezers and very gently tug the tip out, and reverse it. Then you have a brand new tip you can use until your pen runs dry!The pens are a good weight in your hand: not too heavy and not too light. They’re all plastic, but they definitely do not feel like they’re going to shatter if you’re the kind of person who squeezes their pens with a death grip. One thing I love about these pens is that the body of the marker matches the color of the ink inside. As well, the top of the caps are labeled with the type of nib inside (the black pens come in nine nibs). You really don’t know how useful this is until you have more than one floating around in a pen cup. It’s very easy to just grab and go.Well, but how does the nib perform? You can actually get surprisingly good line variation with these nibs, especially if you use them at an angle. Obviously a newer nib will write better than an older, mushier one, but even if the nib is old it will still write quite well, if with not so much line variation. If you write with them like any normal pen, it’s kind of like using a flex nib: more pressure on downstrokes will give you thicker lines, while lighter pressure on upstrokes will give you thinner lines. I think if you’re someone who’s just getting started with something like calligraphy, one of these pens would be great for practice and learning how to control the pressure you apply. A technique I have seen people on Instagram use is by holding the pen at an angle, with the side of the nib directly making contact with the paper. You can get very thin hairlines and very thick downstrokes. The only way to get here, of course, is with practice! And the synthetic nib is very forgiving, and it’s a lot easier to mess up and replace a $2 pen nib than a $50-100 pen, or a $20 brush. I don’t think it’s going to be exactly like an extremely high quality, natural hair brush, but it’ll do really well if you’re someone who needs a brush pen on the go.
Here’s a writing sample:
I purchased my pens from FLAX in San Francisco. You can browse the entire line of pens on Dick Blick: there are 58 colors, so you’ll hopefully never worry that a color won’t match whatever project you’re working on! There are also jumbo-sized pens available.