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Akashiya CA200/20V Sai Watercolor Brush Pen - 20 Color Set (1, DESIGN 1)
- Low Return Rate: 21% fewer returns than similar products
- Highly Rated: More than 90% 4 star and 5 star reviews
- Popular Item: Popular with customers shopping for "mermaid markers"
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- Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pen - 20 Color Set
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Akashiya Sai watercolor brush Pen is a perfect watercolor paint tool for drawing illustration, manga, Comics, and for coloring in adult coloring books. Also great for hand lettering, Japanese calligraphy, etc. Soft and flexible brush tip is carefully hand made by skilled craftsmen one by one. By adjusting the amount of pressure applied, you can draw fine line to bold stroke. High quality aqueous dye ink used for this art pens are all made at the head factory in Japan. It creates unique vibrant colors as you see in traditional Japanese art. This Japanese fude style brush colored Pen can create a beautiful range of shading and watercolor effect when blended with water. Just simply wet the brush tip with water to thin out the ink or use with a water brush to get a natural contrast and gradation. These soft brush paint pens work wonderfully with other drawing media such as pencils, water-resistant art markers or pens to color in the outlines for your Cartoon, manga art, etc. Colors also can be combined with other colors on a palette to create your own new colors. This set includes 20 Japanese traditional colored fude brush pens; rose red, vermillion, yellow, yellow green, green blue, indigo, ultramarine, purple, yellow ochre, brown, gray, black, pink, pale orange, Cerulean blue, Madder, magenta, burnt Umber, dark green and navy blue.
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Let's start with what these pens are:
- 20 colors, which is enough for basic coloring
- brush tip, where there are individual thistles, instead of the single, solid felt tips of some other brush pens
- Come in a nice package where the design makes sure you cap your pens tightly so that it can fit into the packaging
- Highly pigmented, bright colors that are very pleasing to the eye
I bought these with the plans to make cards and dabble in watercoloring as a frequent hobby, so I needed something that I could use with water brushes for blending and mixing and other watercolor techniques. It is here that I found some aspects of these pens that were less than satisfactory. If you go on Youtube and look at video comparisons between watercolor brush pens, you'll find that a lot of my complaints were things that tried and true artists don't like.
Things I didn't like:
- The activation via water. These pigments soak into the watercolor paper so quickly that I can ONLY use my water brush to activate the ink RIGHT AFTER I apply the ink color. If you wait more than literally three seconds to activate and spread the ink with water, you would see a distinct patch where you applied color initially. Reactivation is even worse; these colors don't reactivate and spread well. It tints the water a little bit but the vast majority of pigment has already been absorbed into the paper. This is a definite no-no for watercoloring more intricate, detail-oriented images, and in terms of quality, not a very good indicator. If you see from the flower image, the gray background I colored in isn't very well spread out because after applying the gray ink, I couldn't move it well with the water brush even when I applied water right after the pigment.
- The pigment BREAKS DOWN. It is not apparent in all of the pigments, but in one of my attached images, the blue ink I used clearly shows that the blue breaks down to a purple and a lighter blue shade. I only added water to this color when I wanted to spread it. While the effect is beautiful, this is NOT what you should expect from watercolor pens, because the color it is supposed to be isn't there.
- Limited colors. As I find myself getting more and more invested with watercoloring and card making, I have found myself needing more and more diversity in colors. Right now the Kuretake Clean Color brush pens are very popular, and before I didn't want to invest in those markers and instead bought these. Now I realize that the investment for those Kuretake pens are worth it, since these unfortunately are not doing a great job. Currently I have the 80-set ordered (they are miraculously cheaper on Amazon than the 60 or 36 packs of the SAME PENS, huh) and will review those once they've arrived to play with.
I've attached pictures of the swatches too. If you take a look at some of the colors, you can see what I mean by the spreading/activation that I mentioned in the bullet points above. For the swatches, I applied a block of color, then tried to spread it with my water brush. The gradation wasn't great, either.
I am not a painter - and especially don't consider myself a watercolor expert. I just like to play...mixing paints and other mediums into strange soups and concoctions. I don't really pay attention to what I'm doing - I feel like adding something, or playing with some supply, and I go for it. If I don't like it I can always scrape it off, sop it up, or paint over it. This no-fear method has been working exceptionally well for me - and these are among the supplies I reach for the most. This will sound really odd (not if you knew me lol), but last night I used these to make gray male hair for a Styrofoam mannequin male head I'm making. (It's part of an all-out Halloween display I'm making for my back deck.) I unrolled a bunch of cotton balls (all I had on hand), put them in a little cup like the ones you get when you order take out and get a sauce. I painted the top of this cotton pile with the gray watercolor brush pen...then dumped water into the little cup. I began using my pan watercolors and a brush to add more gray and black to the cotton-filled water...but I wasn't getting the dark color I really wanted. Back to coloring the wet cotton with these brush pens.
I left the cotton sitting in the blackish water for awhile, then carefully wrung out the excess water, spread out the cotton again, then left it sitting on parchment paper overnight so it could dry. It turned out wonderfully, thanks to these Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pens. I just started adding the hair to the head, but it really looks like my neighbor, which is who I'm modeling this guy after. Yes, my use is conventional - but I LOVE these, no matter the purpose!!
(I used the watercolor pens to add color to the textured flowers - done on a birch panel - in the first photo. The second and third photos depict a small portion of the cotton "hair".)