Since the invention of brush pens came about, the risk of spilling my bucket of wash water has come to a good zero, and location didn't matter if I painted outdoors or indoors.
Brush pens have been around for some good 20 years I reckon (Anyone knows exactly when it was first out in stores?). I have no idea when it was exactly first available, but I received it as a gift in a set of soluble crayons with a weird plastic brush- "Pentel Aquash" when I was 10ish, from my Uncle who went to Japan for a business meeting in the 90s.
I didn't know what to do with it when I first got it because the package was all in Japanese. But as time went by, I started to appreciate "that little blue plastic brush" and I became a big fan of it. I now use the brush pen much more than my regular paint brushes unless I needed a bigger or more detailed wash.
Besides Pentel, another Japanese art materials giant - Kuretake, makes them too.
A while ago, I bought myself a Kuretake brush pen and upon using it, I thought I would want to pen my thoughts down on the differences between both.
Made with soft plastic and lightweight, it has an open-wide-end screwcap mechanism for water intake.
- Easy refill of water
- Effortless squeeze and easy control of flow of water
- Compact size with a well-sized water volume
- Soft bristles for easy control
- Brush bristles are softer and fray easily
Sturdier than Pentel, it has a unique suction mechanism for water intake.
- Sturdier plastic and well-refined body and brush bristles
- Slightly bigger water volume
- Looks well crafted
- Clip cap design
- Sturdier body meant it was harder to control the squeeze for an accurate output of water
- Longer body hence might not fit all pen cases
- The unique suction mechanism makes it water refills inconvenient, especially for artists on-the-go
- Slightly more expensive (According to prices in Tokyo)
Although I would wish for a sturdier brush for Pentel, I think the comfort of using it makes up for it! Definitely recommended for all on the go.