Friday, July 3, 2009

Art Shop Experiments: bienfang watercolor brush pen review

I have decided to create a new section in my blogs. Art Shop Experiments!!
These posts will share my experiments with products I have just bought at the art store.
Art materials are really expensive and I think it will be useful to everyone to know what works and what is totally a waste of money. I hope you will share with your opinions and your experience on each product.

So let's get started
This week, I tested the Bienfang watercolor brush pens.
I already own a water brush pen and I love it... so I taught putting colors into them will be great too.
So I bought 3 Bienfag watercolor brush pens ( at the price of 3.95$ each). I bought the 3 primary colors thinking that I could recreate all the colors with just these three like with usual watercolors.

Here is the results of my test

At first, I had the remove a small white plastic ring form the pen and pierce a whole in the watercolor reservoir. This was quite easy but them it took forever for my brush to fill with color.
Actually, nothing was happening so a pressed the reservoir and try to push the ink out. It finally came out with it started to drip a bit. I wiped the excess watercolor on a paper and then I was ready to draw something. The brush pen gives a great variety of line weight. You can achieve a very very fine line with them. It really has the flexibility of a good brush. The color are nice and vibrant but the watercolor dried very fast and I could mix the color as much as I wanted. As you can see on my test, I only achieved to created the basic secondary colors.

I'm still not convince buy the Bienfang watercolor brush pen. I think they can be practical but if I need to buy 20 pens to achieve all the colors I want and need... they will become very expensive and not very portable. I think I still prefer my watercolor travel kit for sketches outside of the house.
To me, the Bienfang watercolor brush pens feel more like color inks than watercolors. They don't make the paper wrinkle and I think they can become handy with illustrations on molyskine paper. No wrinkle, vibrant colors... could make great results

So based on these results I give the Bienfang watercolor brush pen a 3/5


Carla Sonheim said...

Great cat, though! I love the limited color palette... wonderful!!

Anonymous said...

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dannii said...

I just bought the 8 set of pens(before reading this) I've come to the conclusion you need to wet the paper first for them to work ike watercolors n blend. However i agree theyd be good for inking if you dont want to wet the papper. One thing that confuses me is one of my pens came empty, clear, but with nothing in it, i think its for water but im not sure and I dont know how i would fill it.

Anonymous said...

surely the clear pen is the one intended for blending...

xeep said...

Great idea to review art materials. In my country ( Panamá) the set of 9 is only $3.98, so I bought it at start experimenting. I havent get used to it yet, mostly because I keep thinking the ink is way too thick for watercolor, and I havent figured out a way to blend colors as if it was real watercolor.

But I agree, it's a 3/5, because the brush has an AWESOME fiber you can play with to creat from very thick lines to hair fine lines.

Love your review.

Melanie said...

I know someone who uses these brush pens for his art and does amazing things with them (see his stuff: ... He swears by them!

D.A.Rath said...

First, I think you're supposed to either wet the paper, possibly even take up a little water into the bristles themselves to dilute the pigment, and yes, that clear brush is for loading with water for blending. As every artist knows though, there are no ABSOLUTE rules!
Second, Gotta agree with Carla S. - the cat is awesome, just for the style and character it has, and working with the limited spectrum has really brought out and accentuated it.

Anonymous said...

The clear pen is a blending pen/tool.