Review – Micron Rose, Brown, and Sepia Colors

So now we get to the final group of the Micron colors that came in the 8 pack of Micron colors. These are the weird or non-standard colors, in my opinion.

The first is Rose, which is a pink: they just call it Rose to make it fancy. It’s a very deep, pleasant, pink color, not like the very vibrant, in-your-face pinks that dominate what is considered pink these days. It doesn’t really approach purple, but it is darker than most roses I’ve ever seen. It’s surprisingly nature-y for a pink, though. It does have some problems with bleed-through on thin paper, but not a lot.

Next we have Brown, which I would call light brown. I would say it’s sort of a fertile, soft, earth color. Again, for a light color it’s fairly subdued, not like a Crayola pencil or anything. Again, it’s surprisingly real looking. It has no problems with bleed-through at all really, and goes well in a landscape.

Finally we have Sepia, which I call dark brown. It’s very mud-like. Another deep, saturated color. It can get very saturated though, and end up looking like black in the final product, so it does take careful application. It also tends to pool, resulting in spots of darker color. Some skill is required to get it to look right. Surprisingly, though, it has very little bleed-through even on thin paper.

micron color test 2.0

These ‘non-standard’ colors are very nice overall. If one is looking to do nature sketches, landscapes, etc. these are quite nice. They are very subdued and blend in nicely. I find them much more pleasant than the bright reds and blues of the other Microns. If you just want standard colors for organizing or technical things, these are not the pens you need.  However, if you’re drawing a lot of the outside, or in cool colors, these are fantastic.

Review – Micron Red, Blue, Purple, and Green colors

I have reviewed several Micron pens in the past. But in case you were wondering if they could add a little more color to your life, here are some Micron Colors in .05.

It is an eight-pen set of colors from Micron that I’m looking at. It includes black so that’s out. The first four colors I will look at are what I call the ‘standard’ colors. They are red, blue, green, and purple.

I have already talked about the blue and the red so I’ll cover those quickly first. These pens are larger than the ones I reviewed previously so the ink is a bit more saturated. They aren’t as glaringly red and blue as before, but they are still some of the brightest and most vibrant of their colors on the market, aside from the awful nano-liner. Getting this large also makes them more prone to bleed-through, of which there is a slight hint in the blue.

Next we have the purple, which, in the Micron style, is a very aggressive purple. It is very deep, and in low lighting could be mistaken for black. It is very highly saturated, and changes little to none when applying pressure for some time to just tapping it on the paper. Amazingly at this darkness it isn’t very prone to bleed-through.

Finally the green. This is, surprisingly, a fairly sedate green, falling in the middle of forest and lime. It is unmistakably green, but rather unremarkable. It doesn’t jump like the other inks in this set. It just sits there, making it rather like greens in real life which you have to look closely to appreciate. Again, surprisingly enough this color is the most prone to bleed-through in the entire set, even writing fairly fast it leaves dots on the other side of fairly thin paper.

micron color test 1.1

So overall the ‘standard’ colors in this Micron package are great. They’re not really the best for sketches of nature or the outside world, but for labeling and organizing they are great. For example, different color parts in a schematic. It’s nice to have colored pens around and these hold up the Micron standard. I can definitely find a use for them.

Review – Micron 02 Red and Blue Technical Pens

Image

I’ve talked about Microns in the past. They are basically THE technical pen. But those are just the black ones. Are the colors any good? Do they hold up to the standard and more importantly are the colors usable in any real way? How will these red and blue 02s stack up?

20130607-010852.jpg

The bodies are standard Micron bodies. Slick but still grippy. With hard to rub off, easy to read information in convenient places on them and a number on the lid. The color of the base of the pen where the cap clicks in and the ink on the top has been changed to the pen’s color for easy find-ability.

20130607-010919.jpg

The particular pen I’m using here is an 02, so it’s far from both the stiffest and weakest nibs, though it’s closer to the weaker side. It does bend a little while writing. It’s not large enough to provide much variation, either in line weight or color density. The ink is good, standard Pigma ink, archival, stands up to almost anything. It rarely bleeds and the nib seems to give off just the right amount of ink to have a fast dry time.

But on to the color. They are unmistakably blue and red. They are bright and vibrant, even on a fairly off-white paper, such as Moleskine notebooks and the like. It is brighter than any other pen or marker I have used previously. Almost unusably bright, unfortunately, as I can find no drawing scenario where it would be useful. They are good for organization, though, especially on the aforementioned off-white paper where they don’t look so jarring. They can make handy divider writings and are good for color coded text.

20130607-010911.jpg

Overall these are superb pens with little purpose. They work great, are incredibly sturdy and last quite a while, though I can find no way to work them into any drawing. Notes and technical sketches are the best place for these. Or, if you just want to have a nice pen in an interesting color.

Review – Higgins Black Waterproof India Drawing Ink

So a while back I reviewed Higgins black non-waterproof India ink for fountain pens. That’s a fine ink for fountain pens, but if one wants to do, say, an ink wash it doesn’t fare too well. There is a Higgins solution for this; Higgins black India drawing ink.

The ink comes in a tiny well with a small dropper. There is not nearly the same volume of ink, but the bottle takes up about the same amount of space.

20130411-232817.jpg

The ink itself is very black. Very, very black. It is waterproof and a little thin. It can be used to create a very dark line right out of the bottle, or diluted with water to make various shades of grey. Unlike the fountain pen ink, which turns a greenish color when diluted, the ink remains black or grey. It colors the water completely black no matter the solution, so measuring the amount of the mixture before hand is recommended.

Overall the ink is superb for what it is made for, which is brush inking and ink-washing. It is very dark and handles very well. It dilutes nicely to create shades, and covers well when it does. It does take a little practice to get good at using it but when you get the hang of it it works wonderfully.

Review – Faber Castell 24 Colour Pencils

Colored pencils have been around for a long time. And now most of them are very cheap and often associated with kids or school. However, if one does want to look into the more expensive world of colored pencils there are plenty to choose from. Let’s take a look at the Faber-Castell box of 24 Colour pencils.

closed

The pencils come in a nice, if easily dent-able metal case. Inside the case the pencils are stored in a row on a plastic tray. The pencils themselves are thicker than most pencils and nicely circular. They will sharpen in standard pencil sharpeners but be wary of the lead. On the side is a hard-to-read but nice logo and color information section. They are not slick and have a very matte finish that holds well in the hand. The color of this finish matches the color of the lead fairly well if not exactly.

The lead itself is hard and brittle. The colors are not nearly as vibrant as those of Crayola or other such colored pencils, giving them a much more realistic tone. The full range of colors is wonderful, with some very subtly different colors and some nice earth tones. The lead comes off well on paper and is quite opaque as most colored pencils are; they do not want to bleed or mix which is another reason why the full compliment of colors is nice. When drawing, it is best to watch how hard you push, as too hard can easily break the lead and not enough will lead to unsatisfactory coverage.

open

These colors are a huge upgrade from the standard “map colors” and such. Though they may be a bit pricy, they are great drawing implements. They seem to carry a certain prestige that transfers onto the paper (or other mediums). If you are will to spend the money I would certainly recommend these pencils. They are quite superb

Review – Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

So I do a lot of non-drafting type drawing, which I will admit is most of drawing. But in that type of drawing, lines are not the same length, they waver, get thicker and thinner and such. If you need to get a similar effect, Pentel has a pen for you.20121205-010917.jpg

 

The Pentel Pocket Brush Pen is quite a nice instrument with a very uninspired name (which is good for tracking it down). The body of the pen is medium length, slick and black. At the bottom of the cap in silver is an asian character that I don’t know the origin of and the word Pentel. They are both slightly engraved and hinder nothing. They are the only adornments on the pen. There is also a clip on the pen that serves its purpose well.

The brush itself is very nice, it is easy to keep at a point and is very responsive to pressure. The pen requires no squeezing or other methods to keep ink flowing so one always gets a nice full line.

20121205-010922.jpg

 

The ink itself is black but thin. It takes multiple coats to create a true black, otherwise one gets streaks, but these are only visible on close inspection and may be what you’re going for. The cartridges are also replaceable and fairly easy to find. The pen comes with two and one can buy packs of four.

In short the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen is just that, a pocket brush pen, and a very nice one at that. It does its job well and painlessly. It is one of the finer and cheaper brush pens I have encountered.

Review – Pigma Brush

Do you like the flowing lines and moderation of a brush, but want the simplicity of a pen? The makers of Micron have a solution. The Pigma brush.

20121102-235927.jpg

 

 

The ink is the same as the Micron ink. It is a very deep black that applies smoothly to the page and rarely bleeds. It is waterproof and fadeproof archival ink. It marks just as well or better than any pen around.

 

The body of the brush is the same as the Micron’s, as well. It is slick and glossy, but fortunately easy to hold, and never once felt like it was slipping in my hand. The cap locks in place firmly and snaps haphazardly onto the back. The clip attached to the cap works das designed. The writing on the body is easy to read and rub resistant, and the identification on the cap is easy to read.

20121102-235932.jpg

 

But now for what this item is about: the brush. The brush is fairly short, no longer than the nib of the regular Microns or most other pens. The brush at its finest is super thin, and goes up to an above average pen thickness. The line range is roughly equivalent to the Micron 005 to 05 and everywhere in between. The application is buttery smooth and never splutters or splatters. Even when the brush begins running out of ink you will only begin to get a grey line instead of a patchy one. And it takes a long time to get it to run out.20121102-235937.jpg

 

For fine detail work this item is perfect, it is a perfect addition to the Pigma family and suits the audience it was created for perfectly. But it is for a specific audience. Very large or multimedia projects will find the product ill suited to create most desired effects. But that does not diminish the fact that it is a very good pen.

Review – Higgins Fountain Pen India Ink

Higgins non-waterproof fountain pen India ink. I don’t really have more of an introduction than that. This’ll be pretty short because there isn’t much to say about ink. But there is still enough that it is warranted.

First off this ink is black, I mean really black, even when it is diluted by water it is still a solid grey, it doesn’t turn into a deep green or blue. It is not true India ink because it does wash off with water, but you’ll have to do some scrubbing. It is fairly thin because it is used for fountain pens, making it less suitable for most other uses. Applied over a large area it causes the paper to wrinkle, but not too severely. But because of this it is very smooth, and any line problems will stem from the pen. It shows through most papers and stains a lot of items. So one must be careful while using it.

20121024-000449.jpg

 

Over all the ink is nice, it works well for fountain pens and is okay for other tasks. It is water soluble so it can be cleaned up (if not easily) which is a huge bonus. But most importantly it is a true black.

Review – Testors Plastic Cement

Do you need to glue plastic pieces? Are you making models, collages, or sculptures? (Why do I always begin these with a question?) Then lets check out Testors plastic model cement.

20121017-204751.jpg

 

This review shall be short as glue is glue. It does what it says it does, binding most plastics, but it has problems with gloss and such as most glues do. It does not bond metal or most other substances, it is purely for plastic-to-plastic gluing. Although it will stick your fingers and paper with it, so be careful when using it. It takes several hours to fully set but hardens in about half a minute. The only real problem with using it is its terrible odor, but that is common to all plastic glues.

In short it is a very good glue, and that is why Testors is one of the most well-known brands in this line. There are better glues, and this is obviously not suited for every use, but that does not change how well it performs for the price. Just don’t get it on any paper products unless you want them to turn to very thin, stiff boards.

Review – Bienfang 12 Watercolor Brush Pens

If water color trays aren’t your style, there are of course other options. Like the Bienfang watercolor brush pens for example.

20121001-174311.jpg

The pens come in a dozen colors and with a blending pen. The colors are roughly two of the standard assortment: two greens, two yellows, two reds, two blues, an orange, a brown, a black and a purple. They vary in shades enough to make them unique from the standard assortment of bright crayola colors, but they still aren’t the most natural of colors.

20121001-174317.jpg

They come with the color separated from the brush like most brush pens. One must remove a ring to expose more thread that the cap can screw into to connect the two. The design is one of the best I’ve seen but leaves no room for more color. Once a pen is used fully there is no option but to discard it. The color must also drain into the brush before use and the body of the pen must be constantly squeezed to keep fresh color in the brush. But this is common on many cheaper brush pens and is no real problem.

20121001-174323.jpg

The brushes themselves are nice and tend to keep a point (once they are full of color). They do have a tendency to have a problem with the cap but that may just be me having a problem putting them back on. The color is applied in nice, smooth strokes if the brush is full and does layer and blend as expected. They are rather muted, though, and are hardly distinguishable from similar colors in the set until multiple coats are applied. Even then it is hard to tell the two reds or yellows apart. The color is also not true water color and is resistant when dry and stains clothes, so one should be careful when using it.

If one likes the watercolor esthetic but does not want the hassle of the tubes or trays, I’d say this is a good replacement. It does not, however, have all of the benefits of full water color. It is pleasant looking and nice to use but simply cannot capture the full water color appeal. I personally have found very little use for full water color and only a little more for this. I am not a fan of using either, but if you find that you are in need of a watercolor look, I would recommend a look.