Tim Holtz Crazy Cat stamp, outlined in Fudegokochi

Kuretake Japanese Art Pens Review

Kuretake's Hikkei Double Ended Brush Pen and Fudegokochi Fine Point Brush Pens are Japanese professional pens with black archival ink, designed to be used for art, drawing, writing and calligraphy. Kuretake are the people who make Gansai Tambi watercolour paints and other very high quality art and design products.

Normally marketed towards artists who draw comics, cartoons and anime, these pens are versatile and flexible. The brush tips on both pens are springy and precise. They are extra fine if you mark with the very tip and wide if used on the side or pressed firmer. Only time will tell how well the tips last but so far the tips don't go furry and thick, meaning they'll stay beautiful and precise for a long time. I love drawing with them, so light and smooth to use! They glide over the page :)

Click here for the 'Pencils, Pens and Markers' category in the shop

photo of Kuretake brush pens

The black ink is a clean neutral grey base. Alot of black inks have a red, green or blue base, meaning when the black is thinned down, it has a coloured tint. This ink is totally grey, not even a hint of another colour when I was cleaning off my Crazy Cat stamp.

Kuretake Fudegokochi Drawing Pens Review withTim Holts Crazy Cat and Twisted stencil

The pencil drawing in the background of my play space was a sketch of Vincent van Gogh's Starry Starry Night... well, it started out as that then turned into just a few hills that the astromoner could climb to watch the various flying objects! lol Just noticed they're very feint in the photo so may not be visible on small devices but you can see the tent and mountaineer easily (top right) :) Here's my other one...

sketch that started out as Starry Starry Night drawn by Jenny

Anyway, back to the pens!

As a test, I drew a row of scribbly trees with the silver barrelled Hikkei to the right of the page. The 2 thick sweeps are drawn with the side of the pen. Below this I stippled with both the side and tip of the brush, then a few dashes... it can be extra extra fine if you go lightly :)

I then drew more trees with the Fudegokochi, both ends. I found the fine tip drew thinner than the Hikkei. Just realised I didn't draw with the side of this pen before taking the main photo but its about twice the thickness as the Hikkei's thick sweep as shown below.

closeup of the pen marks

Using the Tim Holtz layering stencil "Mini Twisted", I traced a couple of branches. The Hikkei was best for this as I could get the finer twists traced without filling in the space as much. See the yellow branch, its cleaner than the green.

closeup of the Twisted layering stencil lines

Adding colour with my Zig waterbrush and Gansai Tambi paints, I discovered the pens were permanent on paper (and wash off plastic using water). No amount of water made the lines bleed.

Quick link to all waterbrushes :)

Cooooool :) So got out my Crazy Cat stamps! Love these guys :) I used the Fudegokochi thick end and brushed over the stamp... it inks up rely well and washes off easily. Great for precision and selective area stamping. Normally I use my Tim markers, Distress inkpads and Archival inkpad for inking up stamps... using this pen for the image will stop me getting black ink everywhere its not wanted!

three little kittens without any mittens

I only inked up this kitten's head once but stamped the three times. You can see the nice cool grey outline better in this pic. Perfect when you want to ink up in grey not black. Just remember to stamp on scrap before your project to get the grey!

I've drawn on the last available page in my Strathmore "drawing paper" visual journal so the paper is absorbant (unlike mixed media, acrylic or mixed media paper) and water makes the paper pill (go fluffy) and swell. I'll draw and paint on anything though unless I'm working on a particular project (that requires a certain paper or object).

I love Strathmore's paper ... so here's another quick link, this time to Strathmore.

So my overall thought? Love them :) Thanks for reading my blog.

Have a happy day!

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