Saturday, March 03, 2012


I'm moving this blog over HERE, so come on over!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Pentel Arts Sign Pen

Well hello there! It's been a while since I've posted - work and school starting up have really hindered my schedule (and unfortunately, my time to love on pens). Pentel recently sent me a five pack of the Sign Pens to review, and I was pretty excited about it.

At my job I am in charge of stationary and have been stocking Pentel Arts pens for a few weeks, always with a longing look.

Okay, to be honest, most of the pens in the pen aisle (and some pencils too) get longing looks from me, but that's neither here nor there.


So, the Sign Pens.  They sport a thick fiber tip which makes some seriously bold lines.  I received a black ink Sign Pen before I became a Pen-fessional, and it was promptly stolen by someone who shall remain nameless because of the thick lines you can make with these pens. This same person might have hovered around me when I opened this package from Pentel, and might have (I'm not confirming nor denying) actually clapped her hands with glee when she saw the multi-colored pen pack. The black pen mysteriously disappeared not long after they were set upon my desk, and for this review I had to go looking for it, which was nestled in someone's pen cup. Not that I am accusing, mind you, but the evidence speaks for itself.  (Note: the black pen has since vanished again during the writing of this review, so...)

Here's a writing sample of the pens:

While I wouldn't use these pens for every day writing because I like my lines crisp (and very, very thin), they were great for doodling and filling in color on doodles/drawings made with other pens. The colors are vibrant and pop off the page, although the yellow shows up much better in the photo above than it did on the page itself.  The ink flowed smoothly, with no gaps or skips as I drew with it.  It was easy to fill in with color, and tilting the pen as I held it allowed me to control how thick or thin the lines I made came out.

Some doodles:
(Doodle bugs. Get it?)

And a skull, because what's a review from me without a skull doodle:

I really enjoyed these pens. They were fun to doodle with and I would recommend them to anyone looking to put a little color in their life. They are much more "adult" than say, a package of Crayola markers, which are awesome, but who wants huge fat markers in their pen cup? Not I, friends. Not I.  Although they aren't refillable, they are reasonably priced for the quality you are getting.  They're available singly, in a two pack, in the five pack, and in a twelve pack . How cool is that?

Other tech specs:  The caps snapped down tight, which means you're not going to pick up this pen after not using it for a while (but why wouldn't you be using it?) only to find it dry and gone.  They are part of the Recycology line at Pentel, which means they are made of 80% recycled plastic and that's good for everyone. The ink is water based and dries super fast.

Final thoughts - really great color pens for anyone who is looking for an adult marker, either as a serious artist or someone who just likes to doodle (or write!) in bright, vibrant colors.

(Disclaimer: I am a Pen-fessional with Pentel of America, and I received these pens for free to review. My opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of any other entity. Your mileage may vary, but I am super picky about pens so if I like it, you probably will too.)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Review: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

When Pentel asked me if I wanted to review the Pocket Brush Pen, I couldn't say yes fast enough. I've seen a lot of tweets and reviews about this pen, and always wanted to try it, but I just never got around to picking one up, mostly because it's an artist's pen and drawing isn't my forte, despite being a master doodler. So I was pretty excited when it showed up in my mail box.

I'll admit I was actually shocked when I opened up the pen and the tip was a fine brush point, despite the word "brush" in the name. I'm not sure what I expected, but the fact that the end looked like a paint brush really made me dig this pen even more. I loaded the ink cartridge and held the pen upside down (per the instructions) and watched as the ink flowed into the bristles. That part was pretty cool, to be honest. The barrel is plastic, and it's a good size for holding in your hand in different positions. Also it's refillable, which is always a big plus in my book.

Okay, so then I got down to business and fiddled around with it. I basically just played around with the pen, doodling silly things and seeing how fine of a line I could make and then how thick of a line it would produce. The ink flowed really nicely, after a few test swipes in the margins of the paper. I drew with this on Doane Paper's Writing Pad (which honestly, is my favorite paper to write and doodle on). The ink didn't bleed through to the back of the page, and it didn't smear when I ran my hand over it right after writing. I really enjoyed how the lines came out based on how I held the pen and the pressure I used. For someone who doesn't seriously draw, this pen made me feel a bit like a real artist. I imagine it would also be useful for calligraphy work, something else I am not good at. (And I'm not going to post pictures of my attempt! Ha!)

Here's a sample of the lines this pen can do (with a steady hand):

And here's a couple of doodles I did with the pen:

I really enjoyed playing with this pen, and I can see why so many artists use it for their fine art needs. It's definitely worth a look, if you're an illustrator type looking for a pen that can do what a paint brush can do. Really nice lines with the ability to feather them off, and the ink flows well. I was impressed, and you can be sure I'll be filling up more pages with doodles now that I have this in my arsenal. No giveaway this time, I'm keeping this one for myself.

(Disclaimer: I was provided this pen for free from Pentel as a PEN-fessional. Your mileage may vary.)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Review: Pentel EnerGel X

Recently Pentel of America sent me a couple of their new EnerGel pens, the EnerGel X. As you know, I'm a big fan of the regular EnerGel pens so I was pretty excited to try these guys out and see how they measured up to their more expensive cousins.

The first thing I noticed was that the EnerGel X has a tinted barrel that matches the ink inside. While this isn't a big issue for me because I tend to use black ink exclusively, if you are a person who likes to have different colored inks available, this would be helpful for a quick grab. They're retractable, which is a huge plus in my book! They sport a nice, comfortable grip and they are super lightweight. Throw in the fact that they are refillable and you have yourself an all around good workhorse pen.

The real test for me, however, was how well they would write. I mean, of course! What good is a nice looking pen if it doesn't write well?? I'm happy to report that these pens were just as awesome as the EnerGel I've always loved. Crisp, thin lines with the 0.5mm tip, and nice fill in with the gel ink on the 0.7mm tip. The ink dried super fast - something I've come to expect from Pentel's excellent gel ink.

My final thoughts? These are some pretty good pens for being inexpensive. They write well enough to be your go to pen and still affordable enough that you don't cringe when (not if, but when) someone walks away with them. I know I'll be keeping them in my backpack when school starts up again.

(As a Pentel PEN-Fessional, I was provided these pens for free from Pentel of America to try out and talk about. Your mileage may vary.)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: Pentel Hybrid Technica

I've been away, having a bit of surgery on my noggin, but I'm back with some awesome new pens!

When I opened the envelope from Pentel and saw the Hybrid Technicas looking back up at me, I knew this was going to be good.

I've never owned a Hybrid Technica before, but I had heard a lot of good things about them. They're part of the Pentel Arts line (along with the Metallic Sliccis, and the Sunburst pen) and have acid free, archival ink perfect for doodling or serious art. I received all four available tip sizes - 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, and 0.6mm. They all sport a tungsten carbide roller tip, and the comfortable grip that is common with the Pentel line of pens.

I grabbed a piece of paper and did a few doodles here and there, and I was pretty impressed with the ink flow. The 0.6mm made bold, thick lines that were nicely filled in without any skipping or blotting up of the ink. In contrast, the 0.3mm tip made some sharp, crisp lines that were super thin and great for smaller detail work. (Hey, even doodles have some substance, once in a while!) I didn't see a marked difference between the 0.4mm and the 0.5mm line thickness, but the ink flow was super with both of them as well.

A writing sample:

They feel good in hand, not too heavy or bulky, but not super skinny like the Sliccis. The tip size is clearly marked on the cap top, so you're sure to grab the right size when you're reaching into your pen cup, however I noticed that it wasn't marked anywhere else on the pen. While this isn't problematic for me since I don't have more than one pen uncapped at once, it might pose a problem if you're the type to draw furiously with several pens ready for action at once. I'm pretty sure you'd be able to tell the 0.3 from the 0.6, but the 0.4 and the 0.5 might easily get mistaken for each other.

Of course, I'm not thrilled with the cap, and would love a retractable version of these pens. They're really great pens, even for just every day use. The 0.3mm tip wrote smoothly, which is a bonus if you're into very fine writing pens. Sometimes they can be scratchy when you write, almost like you're clawing the paper and that gets annoying pretty quickly. I didn't have any of those issues with any of these pens, and I'll be keeping them around for anything I might need a good pen for.

I recommend the Pentel Hybrid Technicas to anyone looking for a good workhorse pen that doesn't need it to be super fancy. Or retractable. Ha ha!

Here's a sketch I did using all four pens for different areas, on Doane Paper:

The 0.6mm was great for filling in the dark areas, while the 0.3 really let me get in there with some of the finer details like suture marks and around the teeth. Really pleased with how it turned out. The Hybrid Technicas definitely earned their place in my pen cup.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Review: Pentel Arts Slicci Metallic Gel Pens

Whew! It's been a while since I've had a chance to blog. I'm returning to school, with my trusty EnerGel and Jolt pencil, and boy has it eaten up my time! Right now it's the middle of the hottest summer ever here in Sin City, so crank up the air conditioning and grab a cool drink.

The last of my Big Box O' Pen Love is a handful of the Metallic Ink Sliccis. These pens are sharp, and the colors are just gorgeous. You may have seen Sliccis being used on Grey's Anatomy, but I bet they weren't the metallic ink ones that Pentel sent me!

These pens are part of Pentel's Recycology line. This means they are a minimum of 50% recycled material (save the consumable content and the refills). The Sliccis boast an 87% recycled plastic rate, which is pretty awesome. The tip is a 0.8mm needle tip that makes medium lines - a nice line that isn't too thick and isn't too thin. The acid free gel ink sparkles a bit on the paper, which is pretty cute if you're using these pens to embellish your scrap booking or even to sign a birthday card.

The colors are bright and vibrant, and the ink flowed super well. None of the pens skipped, or needed a few strokes to get going. The lines are filled in well and the sparkle in the ink is a nice touch. Although I usually prefer a much thinner line, I don't think it would do these pens justice to be regulated to super skinny lines, especially because of the sparklies in the gel ink.

The only problem that I personally had with these pens is how skinny they are. Granted, I love tiny things, so I really do love the look of these pens, the sad truth is that they are too small for me to write with comfortably. Granted, I don't have a lot of use for bright colors in my writing right now, so I wouldn't be using them for long periods of time, but they are really skinny pens, which makes them perfect for sliding into a back pocket or into your shirt pocket for a quick go to pen (if you're allowed to write in metallic ink!) because they aren't bulky like regular pens can be. My hands are just too big, despite my love for them.

I'd recommend these pens to anyone looking to jazz up their projects or just put a little splash of color into their writing. The Metallic Slicci comes in eight great colors: Red, Blue, Green, Bronze, Pink, Violet, Gold, and Silver. With that kind of selection, you're sure to find the color that goes with what you need! Check em out, you won't be sorry.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Pentel EnerGel NV Winners!

Thanks to everyone who commented!! I was surprised so many people came by and took a chance for TWO of these awesome Pentel EnerGel NV pens!

I counted up the comments and plugged them into the Random Number Generator, closed my eyes, and hit the button.

Our first winner is.... (drum roll please....)


She said:

H.D.R., you have won the purple 0.7mm and the black 0.7mm! Congratulations!

And now, our second winner is....


She said:

Mar, in addition to your 0.7mm green pen, you have your choice of 0.7mm in either Red or Blue, as the Purple was already won by H.D.R.

Our next winner is...


She said:

Voluptuary, as the third winner you will receive the 0.5mm Red pen - and once Mar has chosen her second color you will receive either the 0.7mm in either Blue or Red.

And finally, our last winner winner chicken dinner:


She said:

Andrea, you win the Blue and Black 0.5mm needle point pens!

Congratulations to the winners!! I hope you enjoy your new pens as much as I did in reviewing them. Please email me your mailing address at severuslupusATgmailDOTcom and I will send those out to you ASAP!

Thank you to everyone else who participated! Stay tuned, because I have one more review from the Big Box O' Pen Love for the Pentel PEN-Fessionals Team.

Big thanks to Pentel of America for the awesome pens!