Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Brush Pen Review: Tombow Dual Brush

For many art students, the Tombow Dual Brush Pen is ubiquitous with inking assignments.  I was first introduced to this pen my sophomore year of College, in an Introduction to Design class at UNO.  I remember the tip being rubbery and juicy, ready to lay down fat lines with the slightest pressure, and I was eager to find out if my memories held up.

This post isn't the first time I've explored Tombow Dual Brushes!  Way back in November of 2013, Artsnacks sent one in my subscription box, I've briefly touched on them in a brushpen round up from 2011, and I know I have a set of the colored Dual Brushes (intended for illustration) hidden away somewhere waiting to be reviewed.  I guess I'll have to get on that now.

The Pen

These pens are pretty commonly available anywhere from specialized art supply stores to more general craft and hobby stores, and I would assume many comic artists are as familiar with these pens as they are with the popular Faber Castel Pitt Pens. 

The Tombow Dual Brush has two tips, but unlike what I remembered, the large brush nib is not particularly springy or juicy, and tends to get mush quickly.  The other nib is my old nemesis, the bullet nib, and not a particularly forgiving one at that.

Both caps on the Tombow Dual Brush are able to post, so there's no reason to lose your cap.

Brush Pen Comparison

The nib on a Tombow Dual Brush is pretty large compared to many other brushpens, so you'd think it'd be capable of laying down really thick bouncy lines. 

The Field Test

The Tombow Dual Brush pen isn't really capable of delicate linework, as the bullet nib has zero give, so if you want variation in your lineweight, you either have to use the somewhat mushy brush end, or double up on your linework.  Despite the large tip, the lineweights available in the Tombow Dual Brush are not particularly dynamic.

The Verdict

If you're limited to only being able to purchase your supplies in person, the Tombow Dual Brush isn't a bad choice if you're looking for inking supplies.  It's not waterproof, so even sweaty hands will cause smearing, as I learned in that Introduction to Design class I mentioned at the top of the post.  If you do have access to supplies online, I'd recommend skipping the Tombow Dual Brush for better brush pens like the Sailor Mitsuo Aida.