Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rikota Brush Markers Set Review

Thanks George for generously sending me these Rikota Brush Markers and Sterling protractor and 6" ruler. The latter two make a nice addition to my collection of straight edges and templates and are a nice reminder of a time when drafting products were actually manufactured in the USA. While the country of origin is not clearly indicated on the markers, it is a fairly safe bet that they were made in China or Taiwan like the rest of the stationery offerings at Barnes & Noble.
These marker sets can often be found in the artists' section of Barnes & Noble bookstores. I would regard them as a value-priced introducion to the creative potential of brush pens as sketching and coloring tools.
Color chart drawn on blank Rhodia paper.
Quick coloring test.

Their brush-shaped felt nibs are not particularly sturdy nor resilient. Three of them are already sporting frayed tips after very light use during these review tests. Line variation is accomplished mainly by rotating the rather rigid nib on the paper rather than changing the pressure on the brush nib.
Their pigment load is low to moderate, so a single brush stroke tends to look fairly light on bright white paper. For rendering darker hues and shadows, they layer and blend fairly well. Yet, I would not bet on the longevity of the work created with these markers. They are clearly meant for creating disposable art like notes, greeting cards, and perhaps some calligraphic marks while the brush nibs are still somewhat new.
This set of 12 Rikota Brush Markers would make a nice coloring present for a kid artist or provide a spot of fun for an adult artist stranded on a strange city away from his or her regular art supplies. For higher quality brush markers, I would recommend trying the Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens or the Tombow Mono Dual Brush-pens.

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