I can’t help but notice that these pens have been gaining so much popularity these days. I remember buying them for my Youtube projects but I can’t remember who recommended them. If you are on a tight budget, you might want to think twice about getting them since they are quite expensive. A set which includes 18 pcs. pens can cost up to 50-60€. (Surprisingly, they are significantly cheaper in the States! 10 pcs. pens can cost around $15).
So what exactly are these pens? The ink of these pens is water-based which means you can color them with water to get the watercolor effect. That is why these pens are also known as watercolor or aquarelle pens. They are double-ended with one brush tip on one side and fine nib on the other.
These pens are a nice alternative to create watercolor paintings. Of course you can leave your artwork as is, without adding water. Here are some drawings of mine where I used these pens to color:
“Brush lettering” has also been trending for years now and you can see a lot of artists use these pens to create beautiful wish cards, motivation posters and so on. To be honest I started to experiment brush lettering with these pens only now, after years of letting them collect dust in my drawer.
Here’s a Video where i showcase my brush lettering “skills”.
So let’s go in a bit deeper and talk about the pro’s.
There is a wide range of colors to choose from. So far there are 96 colors and they are probably not always available in your home country. I have the primary colors set in my possession as of now (I’m hoping to expand my collection).
The pens are really well made. They have hardly any surface deformities and you can really tell it is not some cheap plastic tube with ink. You can definitely tell if you have one in your hand. They are on a higher quality standard than most fibre-tip pens. Personally, i find the design and the color combination to be very appealing.
Let’s talk about the case. The case is designed so that when you lift the plastic cover and slide it backward, you can actually turn the cover to a stand! What a cleverly designed case! Kudos to Tombow for that. The caps are also stackable. Caps for both nibs are different in different shapes and sizes, but they are stackable both ways. I find this extremely helpful. Moreover, the bigger cap has a small nob to prevent the pens from rolling.
The 18 primary colors that I own are extremely vibrant. I love the color intensity of the ink of these pens. The best thing is that the color intensity doesn’t change when you color them with water. How’s that? Of course I can’t vouch for other colors that I do not own.
And now let’s talk about the con’s.
As I mentioned before, the pens are quite pricey. They can go up to 3-4€ per pen. That is definitely something to think over. As i do not use these pens a lot for my drawings, I’m quite happy with my first set. I do plan to buy secondary colors and pastel colors in the future though.
As far as I know, you can’t refill these pens. They don’t sell refill packs so once your pen has dried out, you might have to buy a new one.
They can’t guarantee the light fastness of the ink. For me it’s not a deal breaker, but I guess it is for some.
So that concludes my short review of these pens. Would I recommend these pens to you guys? If you intend to do brush lettering projects, yes go ahead. If you would like to paint small details with watercolor, these pens are also a nice alternative for your work. They are definitely a must-have for passionate art lovers. Otherwise, if you are a beginner or a young artist, you might want to look for cheaper alternatives. From there, slowly move on and add them to your collection.