Sunday, November 08, 2015

Walmart Art Supply Review: Pilot Precise V5

A few days ago I mentioned in the Papermate Flair Ultrafine review that the Walmart I purchased all my Walmart Art Supply Review supplies did not have much in the way of finelining or technical pens in their tiny Scrapbooking section.  This bears repeating, because the Pilot V5 Rollerball pen was the first pen I picked up from their stationary section that I hoped might fit the 'inking' requirement I outlined in my post on Basic Comic Supplies.  Although when I was a wee preteen, I used ballpoint pens to ink my comic pages, I've since learned that ballpoint pens are awful for inking over  nonphoto blue or graphite, and I've recently learned that rollerball pens aren't so great for that either.

When I picked up the Pilot Precise V5 rollerball pen from the Luling Walmart, I was blissfully unaware of this, and I'd hoped that rollerballs, which tend to have a free flowing ink, wouldn't be nearly as difficult to ink with as ballpoint pens.

The Packaging

Like so many things at Walmart, these pens came blister packed, two in a package.  As a reviewer, I really prefer open stock, because commitment to products scares me.

The Stats:

  • Extra fine tip- .5 mm
  • Precise, clean line
  • Precision tip 
  • Smooth and Long Writing
  • Black Ink
  • Made by Pilot
  • Liquid Ink
  • Available in other colors and sizes
Pilot also promises:

At Pilot, we are proud of the quality of our pens.  If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the performance of this pen, return it, postage paid to Pilot Corporation of America, Customer Service Manager, 3855 Regent Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 224, and we will replace it free with a comparable product.

This doesn't sound like the best deal, as Pilot products in the US tend to be pretty cheapd purchasing an envelope and postage will probably cost as much as the defective pens did.  You're probably better off just returning it to your Walmart.

The package also includes a tip I didn't know, which I'll try out the next time I fly:  When using most liquid ink pens on an airplane, bbe sure to remove the cap with point upward to avoid problems that could occur due to cabin pressure.

The Pen

The Pilot Precise V5 features a plastic pen body with an ink viewing window on the side, a posting cap, and a metal clip.

It also includes a viewing window where you grip the pen, although I've always wondered why rollerball pens tend to include this window, as it doesn't really signify your ink levels.  If you have insight on this, please let me know via email!  Your response will be shared in that week's Saturday Mailbag.

The point looks fairly fine, although for many artists, .5 isn't that fine- .3 and below are what many consider 'fine'.

The Field Test

My preliminary test showed that the V5 is fine for doodling, with generous ink flow that isn't prone to splotching, but does take a moment to try.  Unfortunately, the waxiness of non photo blue pencils creates a resist with the liquid ink, and can clog up the rollerball, so this isn't a good pen for inking.

Immediate Water Application

Immediate water application causes the ink to run drastically, but the effect is almost like a watercolor marker or brushpen, and could be utilized for color application.

Makes a good pseudo inkwash- of course you apply more ink where you would like the shadows to be darker, quickly swipe with clean water.

V5 is at top of page.

Ink Sketches to Demonstrate Faux Inkwash Technique

Water was applied immediately after sketch was completed with a clean brush.  You could also use a waterbrush if you so desired.  For darker areas, I drew more lines, as it meant more ink would come into play when water was added.

Gesture sketches of my cat Bowie.

After 24 Hour Dry Time

Even after drying for 25 hours, water still activates the ink in the Pilot Precise V5, making this pen unsuitable for watercolor lineart.

But often pens that aren't watersafe ARE Copic-safe, so it's time to pull out the markers and find out!

Immediate Copic Application

Paper used:  Fluid Hot Press watercolor paper (smooth finish)

Application of Copic ink caused smearing.  It's pretty common for Copic to smear ink upon immediate application, even for Copic-proof products like Multiliners.

After 24 Hour Dry Time

Unfortunately, even allowing the V5 ink to dry 24 hours didn't stop Copic ink from smearing the liquid ink.

This pen is not suitable for inking pieces you intend to color with alcohol based markers.

The Verdict

The Pilot Precise V5 is great for doodling, and can be used to create spontaneous faux ink-wash effects in your sketchbook.  This is great for tonal studies, but not so great for inking watercolors or pieces you intend to render with alcohol based markers.  You cannot ink over non photo blue lead with this pen, and graphite will probably also cause skipping.