Review: Kuretake Clean Color Real Brush

This review is by Kalina Wilson, who can also be found at

The Kuretake Clean Color Real Brush has some of the same functionality as the Kuretake Blendable Brush Writer featured in my last review, but it's smaller and more affordable ($3, compared to the $7.50 Brush Writer).  So is it a good deal?


For me it isn't, though I have to respect it as a good tool that probably works very well for someone else.

Cleancolor6 The Clean Color brush has a nice brush tip, similar to the Brush Writer and other Kuretake "hair" brush pens, but a little smaller.

This bright yellow color is bold and slightly orange with no trace of brown or amber - a very nice color.


The body is more standard in size than the large Brush Writer, but  here's where we get to trouble - it doesn't allow you to squeeze to increase ink flow, which turns out to be a problem for me.  I want to be able to move fast and get a really wet line on demand, and the Clean Color brush just doesn't serve that function. I suspect it couldn't hold up to that use as well anyway, since it's a smaller, lighter pen that probably holds significantly less ink than the Brush Writer.

Cleancolor1 The other problem for me is color, despite how nice this bright yellow appears.  Like the Brush Writers, many very loud colors are available, which seems great until I think about actually sketching in those colors.  I gave it a try in combination with a dark line, but I feel like this would have been more fun if I'd just used watercolors.




It does merge very well with watercolors and with other water-soluble inks, just like the Brush Writers.  In the flower sketch, I used Diamine Red Dragon ink in a fountain pen with the Clean Color brush in yellow and a waterbrush to blend.



Cleancolor2Here's yet another experiment, this time using a waterproof line drawing and adding some colored pencil and graphite, trying to determine if it makes sense to use such a bright color as a base for other colors.  It didn't really ring my bell, though I can see how it might suit someone else's style.  It seems like a useful thing that this pen can cover areas of your page in a brilliant tone without leaving it particularly wet as it would have been if you were using watercolors.  I can imagine this brilliant yellow being useful to have in a pen while traveling in the Mediterranean.

The pen works well for what it does - it provides water-soluble ink that acts like watercolors in a convenient pen body with a good brush tip.  If you like to work with bright colors and like having those at hand while travelling, and prefer something small and disposable, these pens are great.  Otherwise, well, watercolors can do a similar job, and the Kuretake Brush Writer is another  pen option that gives you more control and more ink for a little more money.


Posted on April 20, 2011 and filed under Brush Pen, Geminica, Kuretake.