Review – Sharpie Pen Colors

I have reviewed the Sharpie pen before. And the ink in that pen was a bit of a muted black. Now it’s time to look at some more of the Sharpie pen color palette: the blue, red, green, purple, and orange pens.

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Colors not exact representations.

Starting off with the blue, which is a typical blue, if a bit washed-out looking. It is a subdued blue that would be appropriate in most work environments. They say that all of the colors are water-proof and smear resistant. I will say that is mostly true unless under extreme circumstances, but don’t expect them to be as all-around useful as their marker cousins. They also dry fairly fast and are supposed to be non-toxic, but I’m not checking that.

Now to the red, which is the most disappointing of the bunch. It is faded and looks almost pinkish. It’s hard to tell it’s really a red and it certainly lacks the intensity most look for in a red ink. That being said, it is subdued and will work better in a work or school environment where one would want a less aggressive color.

The green is, say it with me, subdued. It is undeniably green, and being as laid back as it is almost intensifies it. It’s the hardest to read out of the bunch and is almost eye hurting after a while. Strangely it is almost identical to Micron green.

The purple is flat, but deep. It is easily the darkest and most readable of the bunch. It is also fairly close to a Micron purple and provides a nice, neutral color, that is still quite different.

Now finally the orange. The orange is the only intense color out of the bunch, and even then for orange it is fairly flat. It does jump off the page and provide the kick one would expect from a nice orange. I’d say it’s probably the best color of the bunch.

So there are a few colors. Aside from looking almost identical to Micron colors I’d say they’re good. I haven’t the foggiest as to why that is but it is a bonus in my book. Anyway, if you like Sharpie pens, and want some nice, pleasant colors for work or some such, I’d take a closer look at these. And due to their subtlety they also look much more natural in drawings than standard, intense colors.

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Review – Sharpie Liquid Pencil Black

Want the bold line of a pen, but the correct-ability of a pencil? Well, good for you! Erasable pens have moved up leaps and bounds, and Sharpie has one, called the erasable pencil.

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The barrel of the pen is a clear plastic with the branding on it. The grip is a light rubber, but it is more smooth than grippy. The tip is a cone that leads to the tip which is retraceable with a click mechanism. The entire back third of the pen(cil) is the click mechanism, with an eraser and flimsily little clip. Sharpie is written on the clip, but small and indented. The mechanism is cheap, it simply sits on the back and doesn’t fit into place on the back, it wobbles and bounces while one is writing. It makes the pen feel unnecessarily cheap and plastic-y.

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The ink is black, but it is a bit thin and grey, though not nearly as grey as say, a pencil. There is nothing else particularly spectacular about it. It is fairly permanent, but it is less fade- and water-resistant than most inks, because of course it can be erased. And it can be erased. Depending on the thickness of the line it goes away completely, or to such a faint line that it is unnoticeable. It is truly a liquid pencil.

So it doesn’t exactly have the boldness of a pen, but it is more bold than a pencil, and it is erasable like one too. So if you were looking for a happy medium between the two, then look no farther. But if cheap-feeling construction and not-so-bold lines put you off, then I’d suggest looking elsewhere.

Review – Zebra F-301 Ballpoint

Sometimes even the most pretentious artists or religious fountain pen users have to use a ballpoint pen. Now they could just use a ballpoint insert in a more expensive pen, but they might not want to do that. They also might not want to use a Bic ballpoint. So now we enter the level of not entirely expensive or cheap ballpoint pens. The first being the Zebra F-301 ballpoint pen.

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The pen is made of stainless steel with a round barrel with the model number on it. The (grip) section is a checkered plastic that is grippy and between comfortable and uncomfortable. It really does nothing for me. The cone near the tip is nothing spectacular. The clips is a simple stainless steel, with a plastic back and a metal button. The button does not lock down when depressed so it does shake when one is writing. Otherwise, the body is very study and light. Denting is hard; scratching is fairly easy, though.

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The point is very fine. It writes smoothly and the ink is standard ballpoint black. It is slightly grey and skippy unless one pushes down hard. It is not waterproof, but it doesn’t smudge after drying. I will say that the pen I have used is more prone to globs of ink off the tip than almost any other pen I’ve used.

So overall the additional expense of this pen (which isn’t very much, but still…) over a regular ballpoint is obviously its design. It will hold up better and is much more pleasant to hold than any other cheap ballpoint. The writing experience is about the same, which, to be fair, doesn’t get much better with the more expensive pens. It really is just a matter of taste and how much you want to spend on this one.

Review – Bic Disposable Fountain Pen Black

If you’re an artist or would like to become one you’ve probably heard that ballpoints are not a good art instrument. While this is not the case, there certainly are better ones. Fountain pens are generally accepted to give a better writing performance than ballpoints. And the Bic disposable fountain pen seeks to combine the smoothness of one with the convenience of the other.

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The body of the pen is a smooth torpedo in the classic fountain pen shape, though a little smaller. The cap has an easy-to-use clip attached solidly to the top that is both sturdy and tight. There is a partial ink window and logos along the otherwise silver-colored barrel, nothing else. Taking off the cap and looking at the (grip) section, the feed(er) is viewable though a clear tube. The section is much thicker than a ballpoint and easy to grip, though it may become slippery and has no lip at the end. The nib (tip) is steel and ground to a medium point. It is unspectacular looking.

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As for writing, it is very good. Most of the money you pay likely went into the nib and it shows. The pen writes smooth and effortlessly for the most part, but can be prone to feedback. The flow of the ink is good and it keeps up well. Speaking of the ink, it is surprisingly black, and unsurprisingly not waterproof. This ink will feather easily and take a moment to dry. I also don’t recommend using cheap paper, as the ink will bleed thorough, though not as bad as many bottled inks. There is a massive supply of the ink, though, so you won’t have to worry about this pen breaking your wallet particularly.

For a cheap pen ($2-4 a pen), this is a very nice one with a lot of okay ink. It writes well and draws the same. If you’re looking to experiment with fountain pens in your art or writing, and would prefer a slightly larger pen, this is certainly one to look up.