When you start to venture into the market for art pens it can seem overwhelming the number of brands there are to choose from. This is further complicated by the fact that most artists will have a favourite and different parties will recommend different things.
My first contact with Sakura products was through the Pigma Micron range of fine liners when doing some research for an article on Zentangle and Zentangle Inspired Art. The creators of the Zentangle method explicitly recommend the Pigma Micron range for Zentangling because of the quality of the ink and of its free flow from the nib.
I have to say I was surprised. I already owned a set of other coloured fine liners and I thought I’ll just use those. But I found several things right from the get go. Firstly, the nib was nowhere near fine enough to get the really fine lines that I wanted or for really crisp cross- hatching. Secondly, the sketchbook I was using (not of a very high quality, and not one stocked by us) obviously didn’t have an amazing quality of paper. The other fine liners bled instantly and were absolutely no use.
So I thought, let’s see what all the fuss is about.
I have to tell you, no word of a lie, I haven’t stopped raving about these pens since. I started off with three, a 005, a 4 and an 8 to give myself a range of sizes (the pens come in sizes 005 to 08). Not only was there absolutely no ink bleed, even in exactly the same notebook, but the quality of the line, the flow of the ink and the density of the colour was unbelievable and more than lived up to the hype I had heard.
But these are just one facet of the incredibly wide range of quality products that Sakura produce.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ones we stock for you….
As I’ve said above, the Pigma Micron are an absolutely superb set of fine liner pigment pens, and no customer who I have recommended them to has ever come back unsatisfied. In fact they have often come back for more in a very short space of time.
It is over 30 years since Sakura invented and patented the PIGMA® ink. Based on pigments rather than dyes this archival quality ink is rightly renowned amongst artists, writers and illustrators. Also ideal for technical drawing the Pigma Micron is the first disposable technical pen to use this type of ink, truly making it a one off.
The range comes in six sizes: 005= 0.20 mm, 01 = 0.25 mm, 02 = 0.30 mm, 03 = 0.35 mm, 05 = 0.45 mm, and 08 = 0.50 mm. To see the full range of colours which Sakura produce see Micron Pen Color Chart. Here at Trinity Arts we stock the black, red, sepia and green ranges, as well as sets of three and six in the black pens.
Sakura Color Products invented and patented PIGMA ink over 30 years ago with its unique pigment rather than dye formulation. Pigment molecules are 100 times larger and more chemically complex than dye molecules, which makes them less susceptible to UV rays, chemical degradation, pollution from contact with oils and other chemicals, etc. This makes Pigma ink inherently longer lasting than dye-based inks. The quality has made it the standard for reliable, permanent high quality archival ink. This produces a depth of colour especially in the black pens which is quite astonishing and makes them perfect for working with watercolours as once then ink is dry it will not run. Learn more about Pigma Inks.
Also in the Pigma range are the graphic pens. These pens were designed to meet the specific needs of illustrators, cartoonists, and manga artists with distinctive nibs to broaden the variety of possible illustration techniques.
The Pigma Graphic uses the same high quality archival ink as the Micron range and comes in three line-widths of 1mm bullet, 2mm chisel, and 3mm chisel which we stock in black.
The Identi-pen is a multipurpose permanent marker. It has a dual point with a fine plastic point for details and a tough fibre point end for broader lines and heavy use.
Sakura produces eight colours in this pen and we stock the black, green and red. The pens is permanent on most non- porous surfaces and can be used on leather, wood, CDs, plastic and photographs. Identi-pen can be used on non- porous surfaces but can be removed from these with an alcohol based cleaner.
Pen- Touch are a valve type paint marker which can be used on a wide variety of surfaces including card, plastic, wood, glass, porcelain, paper and metal.
Here at Trinity Arts we stock Pen-touch paint markers in white, black, gold, silver, and copper. The pens show up best on non- absorbent surfaces, like coated paper and are great for cards and invitations of for scrap- booking and journaling.
The archival quality paint is both water and fade resistant and chemically stable. The pens come in three point sizes, 0.7mm, 1.0mm and 2.0mm.
This variation on the Pen-touch is designed to help the user create beautiful decorative text. They use the same archival quality paint as the Pen-Touch and can be used on most surfaces including glass, wood, porcelain, plastic, paper and metal. We stock the pens in gold and silver.
Koi Colouring Brush Pens
The Koi colouring brush pens come in a range of intense colours and have an excellent flow of ink from the brush tip which can hep you to create delicate artworks using coloured markers.
These dye-based Colouring Brush pens have a durable, flexible nylon nib which can be used to create varying brush strokes. The water- based dye is odourless and easy to blend and layer. The blender pen can be used to create washes and gradations of colour. These markers produce the best results when used on a heavy weight, plate-finish paper (smooth but not coated).
You can download the Koi Coloring Brush color chart to see the range of colours available. For best results, use on a heavy weight, plate-finish paper (smooth but not coated)
Gelly- Roll Metallic
Sakura also produce a range of Gel- pens which we stock three of. The first is the Gelly- Roll metallic range. The 1.0 mm roller ball nib (0.4 mm line) delivers a smooth flow of metallic pearlescent colours. If you are in any doubt of Sakura’s credentials in this area they also invented and patented Gel – ink introducing it to the pen market. The Sakura gel pen ink is also archival quality and will not bleed or feather and will write on light and dark, glossy and matte surfaces.
Stardust Glitter Pens
Very similar to the Metallic range are the Stardust Glitter pens. Also a roller ball with a pigment- based archival quality ink the added glitter gives a slightly different effect. These pens work best however on light coloured or matte paper surfaces. Its technical specifications include a 1.0mm ball with a 0.5mm line, a patented pigment based sparkle ink but although the ink itself is of archival quality the sparkle may lift over time.
Gelly Roll Stardust Color Reference Chart. ( Click here! )
Glaze® 3-D Glossy Ink
The Glaze® pens offer a 3-D ink in a range of glossy, vibrant colours. They leave a raised ink line for giving depth and texture to your designs. The pens can be used on non-porous surfaces such as plastics, coated papers, acetate, vellums and glass. The ink is water resistant and can be used to achieve the effect of stained class, batik, heat embossing and professional printing.
It is best to write slowly with these pens so that you achieve a thick flow of ink. You should also allow time for it to dry fully, around ten minutes should be sufficient. The best raised effect is achieved on non- porous, clean, smooth matte surfaces. Due to the nature and thickness of the ink this pen is suited to projects where its use is concentrated and limited. It is not really ideal for lengthy handwriting.
The roller nib has a 0.8mm ball producing a 0.70mm bold line width. For colour availability see the Glaze color chart.
As you can see the Sakura pen range can provide the necessary materials for a wide range of projects. Why not pop in and try whichever suits your needs best. I feel confident you won’t regret it.