I love India ink…in fact, I love it so much that I even have a dip pen and a jar of ink, which I sometimes use for journaling in my art journal. Â I love India ink because it is waterproof and permanent, and it works great for writing over (or under) layers when I’m doing mixed-media work. Â But I only have black ink, and I love color. Â So imagine how excited I was to learn that the Pitt Artist Pens from Faber-Castell are made with India ink!!
At CHA, Faber-Castell introduced a whole “new” line of products, called the “Mix & Match” line. Â I put “new” in quotes, because many of the products in the line aren’t actually new products (line the Pitt pens)…they are simply re-packaged for this line. Â This line is being marketed to crafters, scrapbookers and mixed media artists (as opposed to professional artists) and includes a whole line of products which are color-coordinated and are made to work together. Â (Check out Faber-Castell’s Design Memory Craft blog for tons of ideas on how all of these products work together!) You’ll be seeing all of the products in the line reviewed here on Craft Test Dummies in the coming weeks…but today, we’re going to talk about the Pitt Artist Pens.
The regular sized neutral-colored Pitt Artist Pens come in a variety of nibs, while the colored pens have a versatile, reversible brush nib. Â (Yes, that’s right – I said reversible! Â When you wear out the nib, you simply pull it out, turn it around, and push it back in – and you have a fresh new nib to work with!) Â There is also a new Big Brush pen that has a larger brush nib and holds 4 times as much ink as the smaller pens, according to their website. (The Big Brush pen’s nib is not reversible.)
The tops of the markers are colored to match the marker itself, and I honestly don’t really know what the “B” is for – perhaps for “brush” to identify the nib? Â I couldn’t find this information on the website.
Here is the brush nib – you can see that they are very similar, just different sizes in the two pens.
Per the website, all of these pens are waterproof when dry, odorless, acid-free, and won’t bleed through paper. Â Sounds good, right? Â Let’s get started, then…of course, I started with swatches.
You can see that the color is nice and bright, on all but the colored or dark cardstock, and that even on the mulberry paper, the color did not bleed. Â Interestingly, the red marker turned yellow on the black cardstock, and the blue marker left a sort of red color on the black cardstock. Â You can see that the color is transparent, so you are able to use it over a patterned paper or stamped image, and still see what’s underneath. Â The ink dried fairly quickly on everything except the glossy paper – it did take a good minute or so to dry on it. Â Also, I tried lifting the swatches to check for bleed-through, and only the mulberry paper, tissue paper, and vintage sheet music showed just the slightest bit of bleed-through on the cardstock under the swatches. Â I was impressed!
I wanted to see what kinds of other surfaces the markers would work well on. Â I tried coloring a metal embellishment, but the ink rubbed right off, no matter how long I tried to let it dry, so that won’t work. Â But check out these other embellishments I was able to color.
The markers did a fantastic job coloring both the wooden button and the velvet butterfly! Â The Big Brush markers have also been marketed as being great for using on stamps. Â I wanted to give this a try, so I inked up a background stamp using two different shades of blue.
I was impressed with the results! Â I was a little worried the ink would dry before I was able to get the stamp down on the paper, but it didn’t. Â I loved the result of using the two different colors. Â And THEN…this is what I *love* about India ink…I used my Distress Inks over the stamped background, dripped water over it to created a water-drop background, and the stamped image never faded, blurred, smudged or budged! Â Add the custom-colored embellishments, and you can easily create a card, tag, scrapbook page – whatever your heart desires!
Next I wanted to see how the smaller Pitt Artist Pens did when coloring in a stamped image.
I found them to work great for either small areas or larger areas, with the pointed brush nib being quite versatile. Â I used the same technique as on the previous background on this ATC card, and again the ink stayed put, with no bleeding when the water was applied.
Now, I’ve also used the regular Pitt Artist Pens to try some journaling in my art journal, and I’ve been quite pleased with how easy they are to simply write with. Â I’ve blurred this image (obviously, because the writing itself is personal)…but I did want to share it so that you could see that in spite of it having a brush nib, it truly is versatile enough to be able to use for actual journaling! Â The journaling was done on watercolor paper, on a page that had been spritzed with Glimmer Mist.
I wanted to just show you, side by side, on a plain sheet of paper, some lines I drew with the two different pens, so that you can get a feel for the versatility of the brush nibs.
Let’s talk about price. Â The Big Brush Pens can be purchased many different ways…as a single pen, with a MSRP of $5.25 each; in a 3-pack for a MSRP of $14.95; in a 4-pack for a MSRP of $19.90; and then in 12-pack, 24-pack, 48-pack, and several other sizes on up. Â However, I’ve discovered that you can also get them from www.DickBlick.com for MUCH less than the MSRP!! Â The regular Pitt Artist Pens, in the 4-pack shown above, have a MSRP of $11.95. Â They can also be purchased in a 12-count set for $39.95, 24 for $$82.50, or 48 for $164.95.
So they are not inexpensive, by any means. Â And I certainly have not been using them long enough to testify as to how long they last. Â They are not refillable. Â Perhaps someone who has been using these pens for a while could chime in about how long the ink lasts. Â I do know that there are many mixed media artists who swear by these pens and who whole-heartedly endorse them.
All in all, I am really enjoying the pens. Â I love the different ways you can use them, and I especially love how I can use them in mixed media work without having to worry about them interacting with water-based products such as gel mediums or Mod-Podge (both of which I use a lot). Â I do plan to add some more to my small collection when I can.
Disclosure: Samples were provided for review purposes
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