Talens Ecoline Brush Pen

10 September, 2019.

I tried out a gray Ecoline watercolor brush pen that was given to me as a sample at the USk Symposium. Not bad. I kind of like it.

It’s watercolor, not permanent ink. The nib is “brush-like” – i.e., it’s shaped a bit like a pointed round brush and is kinda sorta flexible. Sorta. I’ve only got the one, so I don’t know if it will blend at all when combined with other markers. I did discover that it really doesn’t reactivate enough with a wet brush to create any sort of wash at all. Instead, it kind of softens some of the harder drawn edges.

Still, it seems like a handy marker to use for small sketches. These, for instance were all drawn on a single 9 x 12 inch page, so they are about the size of a playing card. The point was sharp enough to effectively control it for small fills and thin lines; fills were easily accomplished by using the flat of the brush.

I think I’d find it less desirable for larger sketches though. For one thing, the crudity of fills are somewhat charming in a smaller drawing, but I feel like that characteristic would just look sloppy in a bigger one. I’m also not sure what kind of life expectancy to anticipate. Many other similar markers were fine so long as they remained juicy. Once they begin to dry out they quickly become useless. I’m curious to see if this behaves similarly.


  1. miatagrrl · September 11

    I was disappointed by the Ecoline’s ability to wash, too, though a darker color might show more gradation in the wash. I’m currently messing around with the Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolor marker. I think everyone I know received Phthalo Blue in their goodie bag (did you?), which is kind of a weird color to use alone (I tried it as sky — quite dark), and since it’s the only one I have, I can’t test how well it mixes with other colors. Maybe I’ll take a cue from you and use it as shading in a line drawing.

    – Tina

    • azorch · September 11

      Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what I have in my goodie bag. I’ve been trying out tools, one at a time. Some of them I passed along as door prizes at our monthly sketch out. Others I’ve held onto. And still others I just simply haven’t gotten around to trying out yet. I have a love/hate relationship with markers. My very first freelance jobs were as a marker comp illustrator, so I have this picture in my mind of what markers are “supposed“ to be like. And as new versions have been developed – all far and away better than those first Magic Markers and Design Markers I used in the early 80s – I find I really love the idea. But the execution often leaves me disappointed.

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