Pentel Pocket Brush for Calligraphy

Let’s continue review blitz week with a drawer-dweller I excavated in the name of Spring cleaning.


When I first though about getting a brush pen, I decided that I wanted one that could be flexy and soft. The reason those were my conditions was because of all the amazing Instagram videos I watched of people using brush pens for their calligraphy. I was drawn to how due to the softness of the bristles, the letters became so much more expressive. They absolutely swelled in width and really gave way to some cool design ideas in my brain. I went straight to JetPens, went to the brush pen section and got the best selling brush pen at the time. I was excited to get started in brush pen calligraphy and then it came.


From the moment I started writing with, I knew there was no way I could control it. The bristles were way too soft for a beginner like me, and I felt disappointed. I tried countless times to adjust my pressure and use that to form the letters I wanted, but every single time, the bristles just immediately gave out. Frustrated, I put this into my drawer and there it laid ever since. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks back that I got it out for my Rhodia Graph Pad paper review. I wanted to test the paper for feathering and a brush pen seemed like the best tool to do so. I still found it hard to control, but all the calligraphy drills and exercises I’ve been doing have payed off. The light touch that I’ve been trying to develop finally gave some semblance of comfort. However, I still have a long way to go until I can purposefully use this pen for any calligraphy whatsoever.


The design is simple and elegant. Completely utilitarian and no nonsense. The pen is made up of only 3 pieces. The body the brush section and the cap. On the cap, the only non branded embellishment is a kanji character in silver. On the opposite side, there is the Pentel branding in silver, making it glint off the black pen cap. The clip is functional and slightly springy, allowing for easy removal from a pen case or shirt pocket.


Now on to the bristles. While I previously mentioned that I had a lot of trouble handling this pen, this is not a bad pen. I would like to clarify that it is due to my lack of skill that I can’t utilize this brush pen to it’s full potential. There are many rave reviews on JetPens, most likely from people who can properly use it and they all feel that it is a good brush pen. All I can say is, if you’re looking for a hard and firm brush then this isn’t the pen for you. If you’re looking for an expressive, responsive and very consistent pen then look no further.


The pen comes with two standard black Pentel ink cartridges. The ink is very nice and deep black. However, I have noticed that it tends to feather on some papers. Keep in mind that with a bristles this soft, sometimes just the slightest amount of pressure can lay down a huge line. Other than that, it works perfectly with the pen and I can’t wait to experiment running some fountain pen ink through it.

Overall, I would recommend this pen to anyone who wants a soft and expressive brush pen. I would not recommend it to beginners like me looking into getting started with brush pen calligraphy. So I’m going to take the advice of some of my favorite calligraphers and start with something hard and firm and graduate slowly to this one. Thanks for reading and as always, write on, my friends.

Rhodia DotPad No.16

Bogged down by schoolwork, couldn’t finish the planned review on time, so I dug this one up from my overflowing drafts section for you to enjoy. Expect the Pilot Parallel review tomorrow around 6:00PM PST. As always, write on, my friends.


It wasn’t until after writing my first sentence onto a Rhodia DotPad that I realized exactly what the difference between paper and good paper is. When I first saw the price, my eyes bulged like a Looney Tunes character. Hesitation almost immediately set in, and I was deeply contemplating whether I could justify spending that much on a notebook. After much hemming and hawing, I convinced myself that I should at least try it out. 9 pads later, I can safely say that it’s my favorite paper to write on.

The smoothness is the first noticeable difference. When the nib glides over the page laying down the ink, it evokes a feeling of liveliness that I find lacking when using other paper. The bright white paper allows the vibrancy of different colored inks to really pop on the page. I initially thought that it was way too bright for my taste, but it seems like it’s something that you get used to as time goes on. The micro-perforations at the top allow for easy tearing which is convenient feature because I find myself filing notes under their respective topics and dealing with a lot of loose sheets of paper.


The DotPad was the first Rhodia pad I purchased. The reason was mainly because I was tired of lined and graph paper (you go through a lot as a high school student). I wanted to see whether I could utilize the “dot-grid” lining to try something different.


It took a little bit of warming up, but I started using it for all sorts of tasks. Anything from to-do lists, sketching, crafting lean canvases and writing down product ideas. The dots are light gray and are spaced out 5mm. They were unobtrusive, kept my writing straight and also helped easily create graphs and tables.


While being a light and relatively thin paper, the Rhodia DotPad manages to cope with a variety of different writing instruments. I tested out roller-balls, gel ink pens, fountain pens and a brush pen. The biggest drawback I experienced was the slightly higher drying time. Due to this paper being thin, ink takes a little longer time to properly dry. This might be a bigger deal to lefties, but I feel it’s not too important.

I recommend this paper to absolutely anyone who want to truly experience writing on good paper. One of the reason for Rhodia’s popularity in the pen community is its unbeatable price for performance. I have yet to find a cheaper paper that can perform at the level of a Rhodia notebook. Good paper is also an important aspect of the fountain pen writing experience.

Pilot Petit3 Brush Pen Review


Is is weird that this pen gave me flashbacks to high school? Well, something you might not know about me, is that in high school, my foreign language of choice was Japanese. My parents were bewildered by why I would choose Japanese, but being the loving, supporting people they are, they encouraged me to follow whatever inclinations were telling me to take Japanese. I never really discussed the real reason I chose to take Japanese, but now that high school is in the past, I can finally come clean. Continue reading