Review-Zebra Zensations Brush Pens #Zensations @ZebraPenUS #FountainPen

I'm an Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens and received a selection of their new Zensations products.  Their Zebra Zensations Brush Pens are a Fude-style, flexible plastic-nibbed pen with waterproof ink.  I've been using them a while now and decided it was high-time for a review.


Specs
Nib: Fude style flexible plastic nib
Point Sizes: Fine, Medium, Super Fine & Double Ended with both Fine & Medium
Ink: Black Pigment Ink,  Water Resistant, Acid Free, Archival, AP Non-Toxic (Note: I find the ink to be waterproof once it has dried for 1/2 hour or so. This may differ according to temperature or humidity)
Body: Plastic
Cap: Plastic
Clip: Plastic
Weight:.40 lbs
Dimensions: .60 x 2.80 x 7.50 in

Look & Feel
There are two styles of the Zensations Brush pen.  While both are Fude brush nib - a flexible, plastic tip, three are the standard brush pen in different nib sizes - Medium, Fine and Super-fine. The second style is a double-ended version with a Fine point on one end, and Medium on the other.  This is the pen that I find myself using the most because it is so easy to just flip it around for the different nib sizes.  Given that the flexible tips on all sizes allow you to vary the line size even more, this gives you a great range of line sizes.

One of the down sides to these pens - all Fude-style pens that I've used, not just the Zensations - is that the writing on them is usually in Japanese.  Since I have the memory of a gnat, I can never remember which pen is which size.  I use masking tape to label them, which solves that problem.

The blue is Super-Fine.
The gray is Fine.
The black is Medium.
The red is Double-Ended.


Performance
I find that I don't write too much with pens - I always get so involved in the mark-making and then I step back and discover I've misspelled half the words, lol.

The Zensations brush pens are stiff enough that you can write with them pretty much as you would with a regular pen.  But they are also flexible enough that if you vary the pressure you put on the tips, you can use them for calligraphy.  It's a little harder to do than with fiber-tipped pens so it takes more practice, but that's common to all Fude-style pens.


The same thing holds true with drawing.  You can use an even pressure and draw as though you were using a stiff tipped pen, but add a little extra pressure and you get different line widths.  That means you can do some of your shading at the same time you draw the line.  You just press down a little harder on the down-sweep and lighten up when you draw a line upwards.

The ink flows beautifully, making nice bold lines.  I find I have to remind myself that I can switch nib sizes because I can get such a variation of line width from each pen.




It's so easy to get those dramatic bold shaded lines with the medium nib pen.  I hope Zebra pen decides to do a large as well - that would really make for a quick, complete coverage in a larger area.


The ink is dark enough to hold its own when you use it on color, too.


The ink is labeled 'water-resistant'.  If you let it dry, and on some papers, it is pretty water-proof.  I woke up at 03:30 or so and realized I hadn't done a painting for my hubby's lunch bag.  Even though it isn't my best work, I thought it was a pretty good example for this review.

The watercolor postcards that I do these hubby's lunchbag paintings are rough, yet have a coating slick enough that you lift the paint very easily.  I find that even on these cards, if I let the ink dry for an hour or so, it doesn't smear unless I scrub it with a very wet brush. On some other watercolor papers, I can't get it to budge at all, once dry.

In this example, I wanted to get the painting done as quickly as possible, so I used the medium brush pen to draw the outline and all the darkest areas.  I went ahead and painted almost immediately.

I knew I would get some smearing, so I used it.  The purplish shading at the neck, and along the front edge of the bird are the noticeable places, but for the most part the lines stayed solid.  The background was added after I painted as soon as the paint was dry.



Overall
The Zebra Zensations Brush pens have a flexible, plastic nib.  There are three nib sizes - medium, fine and super-fine plus there is a double-ended pen with a medium nib on one end and a fine nib on the other.  All four pens give a solid, bold line and allow you to vary your line width with simple changes of pressure.

The ink is water-resistant.  Water-proof on some papers if you give it time to dry thoroughly.

Other drawings/paintings I've done with these pens.











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