It’s that time again, the time I review Micron colors. The three I have this time are the bright colors: orange, yellow, and fresh green.
Starting with the orange: It’s a very bright color, brighter than the fruit of the same name. It’s also a little bit on the light side, looking a bit washed out on the paper. It’s less pleasant than most of the other Micron colors. The pigment does apply evenly and there is no doubt it is orange, though.
On to the yellow, which is super saturated. It’s almost illegible on white paper, on off-white it’s not much better, even though it is still rather subdued and looks quite like the yellows presented in nature. In large patches it loses its illegibility and actually looks quite pleasant. It’s probably the closest to a natural yellow you’ll find in a pen.
Now the fresh green. This one looks like lime green. It is also super bright, and comes the closest to hurting my eyes of the bunch. The pigment tends to pool, creating some shading when drawing. This can be both advantageous and disadvantageous depending on the effect you’re going for. It is the most likely to bleed of any of the colors, but with this selection that isn’t too bad. I would also say this is the least realistic and useful of the bunch.
Overall, these three bright colors have some issues, but are fairly good. They write well and are entirely servicable, but finding jobs for them seems difficult to me. I’m not sure if they are the must-haves of the other Microns, but they are quite good.
So what’s something every artist needs but no one talks about? If you answered eraser, congratulations! You get a digital cookie. Now then, let’s talk about a good eraser, a General’s Jumbo Kneaded Rubber eraser.
Kneaded rubber erasers are really cool. They bend and twist into any shape you like, they don’t leave any shavings behind, and they can be used for a long time. They “clean” themselves a little when you knead them, allowing you to use them more regularly, and without smearing. They are rubber, so they come apart and back together. This particular brand comes in a nice square and works perfectly.
All-in-all, even though there’s little to say about them, they are amazingly handy tools to have around, and much superior to any other eraser you’ll find, though much more expensive.
Smooth writing is something quite a few people desire, for both writing and sketching. Fountain pens are some of the smoothest writers available, but they have some convenience issues. And regular ballpoints require too much force for some people to write smoothly. Pilot’s Precise line of liquid ink roller balls are meant to fill this gap in the pen market. This is the V7 black version.
The pen body itself is straight, nice on the fingers, not slippery, but polished. All necessary info is printed on a label on the side, along with an ink window so you can view your supply, of which there is a lot. There is quite an interesting, fountain-pen-like feed which is clearly visible under the grip. It keeps up well with the writing. From there, there are some strange ribs leading up to an extended point with a rolling ball.
The cap is simple: straight with a nice clip that works well and says “Pilot”, Though it does have some strange indents, it posts well.
The V7 point is 7mm, which is shocking, I know. It is very smooth. It dispenses ink handily and never skips unless it is dry from not putting the cap on. I also find it is less prone to get away from you as some of the other rollerball pens with fine points I’ve used are. The ink itself is quite black. It dries quickly but not immediately. It does get grey after some wetting or smearing, but this isn’t much of an issue.
So overall this is a great “take everywhere” pen, for both artists and writers. Though I would recommend it more to artists because of the nature of the tip and liquid ink. I find that in sketching it pays to move fast, while in writing it doesn’t. Either way it’s a comfortable pen that writes super smooth and lays down a nice line of fairly black ink. It’s worth a look at least.
So you want to ink a drawing you did, but you can’t find Microns, or any other technical pen. You certainly don’t want to use a ballpoint. What do you do? Well, the Sharpie retractable pen may be an answer. The black version, to be precise.
The pen itself is a shiny black that gets finger prints on it constantly, though it cleans easily. The body of the pen starts out wide and tapers toward the rear of the pen. Near the front is a rubberized grip section with some grippiness to it. Sharpie pen is written on the back near the clip in silver. The pen looks like it can be taken apart in several places, but it can’t.
The clip is metal, it’s rather stiff and doesn’t easily go into or out of a shirt pocket. The click mechanism in the back for retracting the pen feels solid, but the plunger is loose and feels a little flimsy.
As for the most important part: the tip. It’s a fine tip, with the standard very black Sharpie color. It puts down a fairly smooth line. I would compare it to a Micron 01 or that range, but it’s really slightly smaller. The tipping material is very stiff and doesn’t like to bend, which leads to less line variation but a longer usable life. It’s not a permanent pen, or at least permanent like the markers. It writes and sticks on most surfaces, but not on all, but it is very black on everything.
Overall is it going to replace a good technical pen? No, but it is very good for inking in a pinch or if you want a less-used line width in your art. It writes well, it looks good. The main problems for me stem from the fatness of the pen and the cheap-feeling mechanisms. Is it for you? Maybe. I’d recommend trying it out and maybe keeping a few around just in case.