Waterproof-ness of Black Pens - Questions answered!

I had a great question about the last blog post - which of these pens are waterproof? So I ended up doing a little test and wanted to share the results. I wanted to test a couple of surfaces, first a regular porous paper surface, Bristol finish cardstock. I wrote Dry and Wet with each pen and let them sit for about 20 minutes to make sure that they were properly dry. (I think any pen would smear if you immediately brush a liquid over it right after writing.) I then took a water brush and gave a generous application of water over the word "WET."

I was pretty pleased with the results. The Pitt Pen did the best, with the Pocket Brush pen coming in a close second. You can barely tell they were brushed with water. The Fude Ball pen did pretty good on this paper as well. The Pentel Stylo was not waterproof as you can see by the smudging. The Hybrid Technica didn't fair as badly, but still was a little smudgy.

The other surface I tried was over a base of acrylic paint. I wanted to test a non-porous surface that we use so often in our art journals.

Again, I let it dry about 20 minutes to make sure it set. I think I got the same results, although the ones that smeared, smeared a lot worse. Which makes sense, with the surface being non-porous. Best option is the Pitt Pen again, with the Pocket Brush coming in right after it. The Fude  Ball pen was a little big smudgy, while the Stylo and the Hybrid Technica probably wouldn't be an option for mixed media/over paint work. Unless it's a final coat and won't be sealed with varnish or mediums.

So based on the pens that Artistcellar sells, my first choices for waterproof-ness would be the Pitt Pens and the Pocket Brush Pens, depending on what and how you want to write. The Fude Ball Pen is good for a bold black line on top of anything, as long as you're not going to brush a liquid over it. I would stick with the Stylo and Hybrid Technica pens for journaling and ink sketches and drawing, on dry media.

I want to leave you with an art journal page I recently made using the Pocket Brush pen. I started out with a felt tip marker, but the point was gunking up because it's over a Gelato background. I pulled out the Pocket Brush Pen and after a small learning curve (tip pressure and angle) was able to letter this beautifully and quickly! Enjoy!



Lisa Cousineau
Lisa Cousineau


1 Response


June 19, 2015

Another wonderful post, love this one too. It really helps me to decide where to put my resources :) Thanks so much!~kim

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