This review is by Kalina Wilson, who can also be found at geminica.com.
I became interested in Copic's wine colored pens when Urban Sketcher Correspondent Matthew Brehm joined the Portland Urban Sketchers for a sketchcrawl and made this beautiful and very long drawing. The purple segment really stands out to my eyes, and it was made with the Copic Multiliner in wine.
The Brush Pen in wine is much darker than the Multiliner - no matter how much I layered the Multiliner's strokes, the ink never got as dark as is generated in one quick stroke by the Brush Pen though it did layer nicely.
Copic's brush pens aren't actual brushes. Like the popular Faber-Pitt Artist Brush Pens and most other brush pen options out there, they have a molded tip that mimics brush behavior by allowing a lot of line variation. In some ways this style of pen is easier to use than an actual brush with a bunch of separate hairs that can get damaged or in disarray. I find it easier with Copic's faux brushes to keep the line at a medium weight without unintentionally turning the brush the wrong way and ending up with a really thick line where I didn't want one.
However, there are some big drawbacks to these brush-mimic tips as well. You can see in the sample above that using the full potential width of the brush resulted in a strange uneven shape at the end of the stroke. You don't get that problem with the brush pens that have actual bristles (such as the Pentel Pocket Brush and the Kuretake Hair Brush). Also, it was a challenge to get a fine line with the Copic brush.
I love that Copic is so focused on making permanent tools. Since I can order wine ink refills online and the brush tips and Multiliner tips are available at my local art store ($2.50), both the brush pen and the multiliner pen with their sleek silver bodies could potentially stay in my collection forever.
But will they?
The Multiliner will. It's got good waterproof ink, it's a lovely color that can layer to a darker tone, a good line, replaceable nib. I'll use this pen again, and look forward to experimenting to adding watercolors in tones to complement the wine color.
As for the brush pen, I'm not so sure. Actual hair brush pens make a nicer line, and the Kuretake can be refilled with any fountain pen ink. The Copic's advantage then becomes that their ink is waterproof and replacement nibs are cheaper. Here's a drawing using the Copic brush pen with watercolors - I have no other purple ink that could take watercolors without running.
I also tried using the multiliner and the brush together in one drawing. It would work better if I could get a finer minimum line width with the brush.
This was supposed to be Benedict Cumberbatch, star of Steven Moffat's new BBC Sherlock Holmes remake, Sherlock. Note how it's very clear whether each line was made with the brush pen or the multiliner! Ah well, I'll keep the Multiliner in my travel bag but the Brush Pen will probably get relegated to the "occasional use" pile, only because there are some phenomenal brush options out there if you go through the bother to track them down.
Thanks to Copic for generously providing these sample products!