|Item Weight||15 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||6.3 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches|
|Item model number||RB-6000AT/36V|
|Number of Items||1|
|Manufacturer Part Number||RB-6000AT/36V|
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Kuretake Fude Real Brush Pen, Clean Color, 36 Set (RB-6000AT/36V)
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- Fude Brush Pen
- ZIG Clean Color Real Brush
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Fine Calligraphy writing pen from Japanese stationary Brand, Kuretake (Zig). Kuretake Fude Brush Pen, Clean Color Real Brush, 36 colors set
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I'm a professional graphic artist, and almost all of my work is done digitally, so I only dabble in traditional mediums for fun. However, my kids and I love to make art together, so we have quite a collection of art supplies in the house. Most are student grade, but as my kids are getting older and learning to take care of their artists tools, I'm starting to add in a few higher grade supplies. These are one of those tools that I added in thinking I could use them with the kids.
I actually had these in my possession more than a year before fully realizing their potential. I bought them on a whim because they were on sale for a great price. Maybe it was one of those flash sales that Amazon has? I don't even recall what I was looking for at the time that caused these to pop up in my search, but they were only $22 at the time, which was a great price. As an impulse buy, I didn't read much of the description and only glanced at reviews. Overall positive reviews for a pack of 36 markers at only $22, SOLD. Had they been alcohol markers I'd have thought I'd won the lottery.
Even now, I would absolutely pay full price for them, realizing how much fun they are to use and how versatile they are. My kids and I have colored with them on occasion, using them just as regular markers. They blend well as-is without the addition of water, the colors are intense, and it was fun to use a marker with a real bristle brush tip rather than a felt tip. These are a great tool for learning how to maneuver and control a bristle brush tip, with the convenience of a pre-filled ink marker. I would highly recommend these to a budding lettering artist, or anyone interested in learning more precision brush control.
The colors are bold and saturated, and mostly true to the colored plastic cap on the bottom of the marker when used by themselves without water. Of course the colors will be lighter/brighter when blended out with water. I've since seen artists make their own paper sample to glue to the top caps, which I may do as well.
Out of the box:
My markers were all individually wrapped in shrink plastic, and packaged in a plastic box as shown on Amazon. I have since tossed my box and I wish I hadn't. As I said previously, it's been more than a year since I bought these. The box got tossed or lost along the way, and they have been stored upright in a section of our spinning art carousel. Only 2 of the 36 markers have become dry in that time, which could easily have been one of the kids not getting the cap on securely. I'm hoping that I can revive them by soaking in water for a few minutes, but I've not tried yet.
Unwrapping each marker is a bit of an ordeal. There is a perforated section in the wrapping on one side of the cap that make it marginally easier. If you don't care about leaving a scratch down the body of the markers, do yourself a favor and grab a razor blade to slice them all open quickly.
Jennifer McGuire tutorials:
I recently stumbled across a tutorial on YouTube by Jennifer McGuire, and she has 3 videos dedicated to this product. Her first video gives an overview of the pens, shows how you can use the brush tips to create wide or fine lines, similar to calligraphy. In her 2nd video she shows different ways you can blend the pens both with and without water. This video shows her painting on cards that she stamped in black pigment ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. Her 3rd video is a Q&A segment where she addresses some questions she received via her blog.
Seeing Jennifer blend the pens using a water brush was fascinating, and really excited me to give these markers a new try. I wanted to try out the markers exactly as Jennifer had used them, on a stamped and embossed image. However, we recently moved and I have no idea which box my rubber stamps are in. I did have a pad of inexpensive watercolor paper handy. I grabbed some cold press Strathmore watercolor paper, my Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens, a water brush pen, and sat down at the kitchen table like a little kid with a new box of crayons! I scribbled and doodled and blended on watercolor paper for only a few minutes. I was instantly hooked. I wanted more! But I'm not a very good freehand artist. Thankfully the recent boom in the adult coloring book craze makes free images easy to find.
My first attempt is the floral design attached (design by Marie Browning available at the Tombow website). I printed this coloring page on that same inexpensive Strathmore watercolor paper using my home office inkjet. My printer has dye based inks, so the black lines did bleed a little bit when adding water. If you have a pigment ink printer, there will be little or no bleeding. I'm not certain about a laser printer. Coloring/painting on an image printed or drawn with waterproof inks or pencil is ideal. For my subsequent attempts, I lowered the opacity of my coloring page images in Photoshop by about 50% so that my lines were light gray instead of black. There was significantly less line bleeding on these pictures, and an untrained eye probably wouldn't know the pictures were done over coloring pages.
The flowers with the dragonfly were colored and painted using strictly the Zig Clean Color brush pens and a water brush pen. My other 2 samples came from a website that has coloring pages for state birds. Random. These were the ones I printed on watercolor paper with gray instead of black. The red-breasted robin was painted using only the Zig Clean Color pens and traditional watercolor brushes. The red cardinal with dogwood branches was done with a combination of Zig Clean Color pens and also Koi brand watercolor cakes by Sakura, using both a water brush and traditional brushes.
Colors can be blended easily straight out of the pen, or with water. Using water, they actually blend quite a bit further than watercolors, as they are a water based ink and not paint. As with traditional watercolors, work with your lighter colors first. Allow wet areas to dry before coming back with more layers of color. These are water based inks and not true watercolors, so if you touch upon the edge of a darker or brighter color with water, bleeding will happen. Sometimes this creates surprisingly beautiful affects, but sometimes might not be the look you're going for, so take care in areas you'd like a sharp edge between colors.
The inks do blend well with traditional watercolor paints and I had no trouble using them together.
I recommend working in small areas at a time. The markers blend easily. When you work quickly, most or all of your maker brush strokes can be blended out. If you allow an area of pure marker ink to dry, your brush strokes will not be as easy to blend.
A lot of water can blend out a dark color to a light pastel. In an area you'd like to keep saturated or dark, just a little bit of water can smooth out marker brush strokes and give your project a more traditional watercolor look. I have also colored on a scrap of watercolor paper and used that as a paper palette to wet, mix, and draw out colors to the level that I want.
Layering colors hasn't been a problem if I allow wet areas to dry before adding more ink for a deeper saturation. The inks also mix well to create new colors, using basic color theory. These markers come in 80 colors and it certainly would be fun to have all of them, but not necessary. There are a lot of shades of gray and tan/brown/taupe in this set which makes toning down the brights and blending new colors easy. I'm happy with the 36 pack and have been able to blend colors to get the look I want. If I were to add colors to this set, I would have liked to swap out a couple of the neutral earth tones for another cooler shade of yellow, and another red in a warmer tone. The Carmine Red is very cool when blended out. The marker named brown is a very warm rusty color, so mixing brown and carmine red was key in coloring my red cardinal bird.
I've borrowed a color swatch image made by Melissa Miller of Mel's Card Corner to show the colors you get.
I don't mind my kids using these because the real brush tips seem pretty durable and return to their pointy shape easily. You can sample colors directly from one brush tip to another, which is really cool. You can even rinse the tips with water after blending colors to return the brush tips to white, then color on scrap paper to draw out the original color. Markers you can rinse with water?!? Fabulous.
So these are fun for crafting and smaller projects, or in conjunction with traditional watercolors. Even without water, the markers themselves are moderately wet compared to other makers, so only use them on heavier paper such as watercolor paper or card stock. Pilling, bleeding, and ripping is sure to happen on standard copy paper, or low end coloring books. They would probably work well on higher end coloring books that have a heavier paper, such as Johanna Basford's series. In any coloring book, I would test on a copyright page before diving in on a beloved illustration.
These are not going to replace traditional watercolors, but they are fun to experiment with and I think you can create some beautiful art with these. I don't know that I would attempt larger projects with these, simply due to the fact that they are a marker that are not refillable and eventually the ink will run out. Running out of a color in the middle of a project would be frustrating. You can buy the pens individually on certain websites to the tune of $3.50 to $5 per pen. I've yet to see them in any brick-and-mortar store, so you'll have to order them online.
As advertised they are a very soft flexible brush. They blend very well and they function well with just a bit of water on a brush.
When it comes to writing with the pens it takes a very very light hand to make a thin line unlike the brush tips on a prisamacolor pen that is a bit thicker and longer and can take more force to create thin lines.
I've added some pictures to show some things I did in five minutes to test quickly.
These are wonderful for making fine details on watercolor projects while still allowing for broad, saturated sweeps of colors when using a brush or water pen.
You will want to label them or create a color chart since the colors are shown in plastic and are misleading. I have attached a picture showing how I labeled mine using a hole punch and glossy accents as a glue. I just colored a swatch onto watercolor paper, feathered out the color with my water pen so that I could tell the range of the color when blended and punched it out with a standard hole punch when it was dry. Then I put a dab of glossy accents in the divet on the lid and now it carries its own color chart.
I also attached a few pictures to show the detail you can achieve with the pens. These are done on the the ADORNit coloring pages.