It’s no secret that Faber-Castell is one of my favourite art supply brands and it’s because they consistently deliver quality across all of their lines of products. I first tried the Faber-Castell Artist PITT Big Brush pens in an Artsnacks box back in 2018 and immediately fell in love. While I am no stranger to the regular size of this product, the larger brush nib on this version has opened the door to more creative possibilities.
The opinions expressed in this blogpost are my own and I have not been paid to give a favourable review. I, like many of you, rely on the reviews and feedback of people I respect and trust and there is no value to me to provide a review that is misleading or coerced. Please do however feel free to try this product for yourself and form your own opinions, as every artist will have slightly different preferences.
Please also note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
- Available in 33* colors *as of this post
- Lightfast, acid-free and pH neutral
- Odourless India ink
- Flexible, shape-retaining brush nib
- Doesn’t bleed through pages
- Colours compatible with Faber-Castell Polychromos line
- 4 times more ink than the traditional Pitt® Artist Pen
This set of 15 does not contain all of the colours available in the Big Brush version of this product but it is a beautiful selection of hues to get you started. I was able to purchase this for an excellent price so there was a significant savings with this set as opposed to buying each one separately.
Realted: Faber-Castell Artist PITT Pen Review
The back side features a short description of the product in English only which isn’t typical for Faber-Castell. Their packaging tends to have a least three other languages included. The Big Brush pens themselves, however, do have the typical multilingual descriptions on the barrel. I love the beautiful slip case box that they come in and the design on the outside is beautiful! I had this product just out on display for a while just because it looks nice and matches my studio decor.
The pens are seated in a felt tray which adds to the premium feel of the product. It should be noted that if you purchase this product, this is actually a great place to keep them stored for as long as the box stays nice. The reason being is that it is recommended to store them horizontally, so why not just keep them in the box they came in!
As I mentioned earlier, the barrel of the pens include the multilingual feature descriptions along with company logo, product name, colour, colour number and product barcode. I remember when I first tried this product I thought the large size would feel awkward in hand, but I don’t find it bothersome at all.
Color accuracy vs the color barrel is great as with most of Faber-Castell’s products. There are the odd few that are way off but in this grouping the colours are true to what you see on the outside. The cap fits on the backend of the pen which is great for adding a little roll resistance if you’re working on an uneven surface. An unfortunate reality of this product is that unlike some of its competitors the ink is not refillable and the tips are not replaceable. I’m hoping that one day Faber-Castell will remedy this as they already are taking environmentally conscious steps with their wood-based products.
The nib on the this brush pen is an absolute dream! It holds its shape and is flexible enough for brush lettering. The size alone make it great for covering large surface areas compared to its smaller siblings. The company recommends use of this product on all types of papers and even canvas. As a mixed media artist I love that this product now allows me the versatility to use it in multiple types of projects as well as in large areas in my artwork.
Faber-Castell indicates that this product is highly lightfast, acid free and PH Neutral. Many of the hues rate two or three stars on the lightfast rating system that they use which indicates high or maximum lightfastness. It’s important to note that this is a big reason that I use this product in conjunction with coloured pencil. Many artists prefer other marker lines such a COPIC because of their high blend ability but the nature of the alcohol in those products make the colours somewhat unstable and susceptible to fading over time.
If you have used the regular sized version of the Artist PITT Pens before the feel is very much the same…but I would argue a bit better. The ink flows beautifully out of the brush tip nib and its sturdiness yet flexibility allows you to create confident, clean lines. My experience with this product is that it takes a long time and many uses before it begins to run out and until then you can expect consistent flow and saturation. The pigments themselves are rich and vibrant.
DETAILS & BLENDING
I typically like using these pens on hot press watercolour paper. It’s not necessary to pair them with this paper but I like how it soaks in and I find it lessens the stroke appearance. As I mentioned earlier these pens do not blend as seamlessly as COPIC markers for example but if you work fairly quickly and in a continuous strokes it is possible to minimize the stroke appearance. Often a couple of layers will also correct that however the colour can appear darker than intended when doing this.
It’s also possible to achieve some blending if you work wet into wet. This will discolour to the tip of the pen that is lighter in hue but can usually be wiped off relatively easily on a scrap piece of paper or tissue.
ADVANCED BLENDING & DETAILS
The white PITT Pen wasn’t part of this original set but because it exists and performs really well I wanted to include it in my demo drawing. The white pen works well for adding highlights as well as for some blending and special effect techniques. In this case I’m using the white not only to create the highlight on my tomatoes but also to create a pink hue on the inside of the cut tomato.
While it’s possible to create an entire piece of art just using the Big Brush pens you can only get so much detail with this tip. It does taper quite nicely, but for very fine details it’s not ideal. You’re better off going back to the standard size product for any small areas.
I went for a mix of realism and illustration in my drawing but it’s possible to get a range of finishes with this product. I like to use the high stroke visibility to my advantage at times as purposefully placed texture on certain areas of the drawing. The best way as with any product is to try it for yourself and experiment to see what is possible. Different papers will accept this medium differently as well so it’s important to do tests before you just dive in to create a piece.
This product may not be ideal for some but it performs exactly as I need it to in my artwork. It’s exceptional quality and archival properties also makes it an ideal medium to use in professional coloured pencil artwork.
PROS & CONS OVERVIEW
As with any product, there is always room for some improvement so let’s look at a quick recap:
– available in 33 colours
– waterproof, lightfast and archival
– high quality pigment and saturation
– formulated with odorless India ink so less issues with drying out like alcohol based markers
– doesn’t bleed through paper
– works well with Faber-Castell Gelatos for mixed media techniques
– able to cover a larger surface area than with regular smaller brush tip nibs
– does not blend as seemlessly as alcohol based markers
– not recyclable or refillable
– not available in the full range of PITT pen hues
– can be a bit expensive depending on your budget
For more information on Faber-Castell you can visit their website at: https://www.fabercastell.com