|Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens. Grey on left, Sepia on right|
I duly purchased a set of the grey and a set of the four Sepia coloured pens on eBay.uk. Couldn't find the Grey set of Pitts in Australia, just the Sepia. Besides, it was cheaper to buy overseas than here as not many places stock them in this country. Our domestic postage charges are higher than those charged by other countries when sending parcels thousands of miles by air, to our shores. Madness!
Anyway, the Pitts arrived this morning and true to habit, I curled up in a chair, coffee beside me as was my test record journal with it's crappy 80 gsm paper - $2.95 at Aldi. (You get what you pay for but they claim it's acid free). Lighting was not brilliant, but the fire was warm and I was comfy.
Well, first major disappointment was that the Faber Castell Pitt definition of a brush tip doesn't match mine! These are a felt tipped set of markers. Granted it is a reasonably fine felt tip until it wears a bit anyway, but it is not a brush in any way, shape or form and it makes that hideous scratchy noise as it writes, like any other felt tipped pen. Puts your teeth on edge to use them, or maybe I'm just weird, but I do not like that sound. I was expecting all the same brush tips in the Grey set, and received no surprise there other than it having no brush-like qualities. As I laid down my test samples, I became very confused. I seemed to have two almost black pens the same shade, three medium grey pens ditto and two pale grey pens in a warm and a cool tone. Did I have a dud set? I peered at the barrel of the pen, trying to distinguish the white writing on the pale grey barrel. Couldn't read it. I looked at the top of the pen and it only had a 'B' for brush tip. I looked at the caps and the colour dots on the tops seemed to match my conclusions from my test page, being three shades and not six. Aah well, just my luck to bring them so far and not have a complete set of Greys. I thought them well named as they were the pits.
|Pen caps showing slight colour variation between the six shades of Grey.|
|There is a colour differentiation in some of the pen barrels.|
PROS: The Faber Castell Pitt Company claims they are "lightfast" and "fadeproof". Just what the distinction is between these two terms still has me scratching my head.
These pens are super waterproof immediately after laying down the colours. Sloshing on the water did not budge one hint of colour.
Ink flows very well. Dries immediately. No smudging.
Nice range of useful Grey shades.
There is no discernable chemical or any other type of odour.
CONS: Faber Castell Pitt need to use black printing on light coloured pens and white on dark shades to enable artists to quickly grab the correct pen they need. The colour dots on the caps might work in a studio situation where everything is in it's place in a nice storage case such as the bigger colour sets come in. It does not work for sketching plein air or anywhere other than under a strong daylight globe or bright sunshine.
They need to redefine their definition of a "Brush"! These are not brush tipped pens, they are felt tipped permanent markers.
|Pitt Artist Pens test page|
These pens are more suited to the illustrator and manga artist than to the pen and ink or pen and wash artist. If the line was finer, they would probably have a place in the kit of a line and wash artist too, as we like a permanent ink that will not discolour the watercolour washes, but the cluncky felt tip is not good for this purpose. I need to find a fine tipped set of permanent grey shades - still looking. They might also be interesting for filling in solid blocks of colour when Zentangling®, Zendoodling or just plain messing about with doodles.
At left is the page from my test journal, showing the Grey set of Pitt Artist Pens at the top and below them the Sepia set which I'll review later after I have given them a work out. My comments indicated my confusion over the colours as do the crosses out of my numbers. At that stage I could not find the colours written on the pen barrels in that light by my fire, on a sunny morning. I could barely distinguish the difference in some of the dot colours on the top of the caps and I hadn't noticed any difference in the barrel colours because I was fishing them out of their wallet one by one and replacing after testing. The vertical row of cross hatching on the extreme right of the page has been thoroughly wet with a flat watercolour brush, hence the cockling.
Click to enlarge the pics.