Pentel Aquash Water Brush Review

(This is a guest post by Nick Folz. You can find more of Nick and his work on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.)

As opposed to constantly asking for more brush and art posts I thought I would just crank one out about my new favorite tool: JetPens. Disclaimer - I am not using this pen as the recommended (with water), but I have not modified it in any way. Any who, lets dive in to the dirty details.

This is a product from Pentel. Those of you who are ArtSnacks subscribers should have received one in your April snack box, I bought mine at an art store for a cool $5. It is marketed by Pentel as a water brush to create washes over watercolor pencil work, but I load it up with ink and have found it to be the best brush in my arsenal. It is an empty plastic reservoir body with removable (twist threaded screw top) brush tip, a plastic cap fits snuggly over the plastic bristles. The model I have is the medium, and that size is perfect for my use. It can swing from barely visible fine lines to thick area fills. I guess I should mention that it is empty when purchased. I have mine filled with Liquitex carbon black ink, but have also used a variety of india inks that all behaved comparably.

The Good

-- The action on the brush tip is tight and predictable, with a ton of variance that makes it a joy to use.

-- Filling it is easy (so long as your ink has a dropper in the cap, most do.)

-- The ink reservoir has just the right amount of "give" that the brush doesn't run dry or flood the bristles.

-- If you are inking a large area you can give the barrel a squeeze to get more ink to the tip. -- Reservoir is big enough that you can draw everyday for a month and not run dry. (obviously has some variance to how much of your page gets inked.)

-- It is remarkable that at this price point to have such a high level tool.

The Bad

-- While it is portable, I would avoid tossing it into a bag or pocket unguarded. The cap only snaps on, and while it hasn't popped off on me yet, I still take precaution. (I have an old zippered eyeglass case I keep it and the ink in).

-- If you are a sticker for aesthetics, look elsewhere. It is plastic by function (so you can squeeze the barrel for more ink), so I have no idea how a higher end one would look or function.

I have been down nearly every brush road: Pilot pocket brushes, Faber-Castell art brush pens, Variety brush packs from big box stores and Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable to name a few. My favorites were the Series 7, but I hated having to get out all the accoutrements (ink well, cup of water, endless paper towels, etc.) every time I laid down some ink. I kept veering down the brush pen roads in an attempt to find a more portable option, but found they all lacked the snap of an actual brush and would run dry after a week of use. I bought the Pentel Aquash Water Brush on a whim and boy and I glad I did! I am very tempted to get four more to fill with different colors to have on hand, and at this price point I could do so without breaking a sweat (or the bank.)

They can be purchased at JetPens or your local art supply store.

Posted on June 25, 2015 and filed under Brush Pen, Pentel, Pen Reviews.