The watercolour brush pens have marked a before and after in the world of water techniques. Since its appearance, they have been a more modern and cool alternative to the traditional godets or bars case. But do they really work as well as they say? Are they better than the traditional format? To find the answer, today we analyse one of the best kits: the Water Colour Brush Pens of Winsor & Newton of 6 units.
Watercolour brush pens Winsor & Newton, first impressions
Winsor & Newton appeared around 2014 and its use soon became popular. Even so, there is some controversy when it comes to talking about its quality, so we have decided to try them.
First, we have an excellent presentation. The metal box presents a very successful size: 17 centimetres wide, 11 long and 2.2 high. It fits in all types of bags -even pockets-, something that we must take into account if it will accompany us on our trips. It is also very light, resistant and pleasant to the touch.
The box has a hinged lid. Personally, it is a detail that we appreciate since loose tops usually end up losing. Inside, 6 watercolour markers with a modern design await us. The colours chosen for this kit are:
- Ivory black
- Cadmium yellow
- Yellow ochre
- Alizarin crimson
- Sap green
- Prussian blue
There are six basic colours, essential. If you need any more colours, you can choose the 12-colour kit. In this case, we would have two yellows and two green ones, although we miss grey tones.
We uncover the blue marker on both sides. At one end, one the smallest and most compact tip; in the other, a thicker and longer one. We test with the small one and we can see that it is a conventional felt tip. Its stroke is hard, but the pigment flows strongly. At the other end, the longer tip allows us to draw more loose lines, something necessary if we want to work with a brush.
At this point we realize that the pigment is not so strong and fades quickly from 2 centimeters. Although it will depend a lot on the use that you want to give it, it is something to keep in mind if you are thinking of buying these watercolour brush pens. On the other hand, this concentration of pigment is an advantage if we are going to do lettering, small touches or details. Even so, the margin for mixing collars is very limited in this Newton & Wilson kit.
The dissolution in water is not one of the strengths of these watercolour markers. Perhaps this is the great Achilles heel and where we have found the most criticism.
On the other hand, we do not just convince the touch of the pens. The feeling of holding a conventional marker is constant and, although the measurement is very accurate, gives an appearance of lower quality. The impression that covers the body seems to try to counteract it, but the effect is maintained.
The Winsor & Newton watercolour brush pens that we have analysed comply with their function in an acceptable way. Even yes, we cannot claim that its quality is better than the godet or conventional paint bar, rather the opposite. The pigment, although it is fluid and strong, does not dissolve or mix with the ease of traditional watercolours. This reduces many points, especially in the professional field.
On the other hand, if we stop comparing them with the traditional watercolours, we find certain advantages. Its mechanism is the most efficient, there is no danger of dripping and we do not need to clean them after each use. There are more than enough reasons if we look for versatile painting tools. In addition, Winsor & Newton has done a very good job with the choice of box sizes and the choice of the basic colour palette.
In short, we are facing a kit of medium-range watercolour brush pens with a rather high price: € 25. Many people end up using it as a lettering marker, since it combines the advantages of a marker and some fluidity to work with water. Therefore, it remains an acceptable kit, even recommended, for people looking for new creative projects.