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Vendor Sporlight: Sakura

Reported by Amanda Talbert

I got different products from Sakura than the other reporters did. You’ve seen here, and probably even used at home, the fabulous Gelly Roll pens. We’ve reported about the Souffle pens and the glue pen. Now it’s time for some micron pens and travel paint.


I’ll start with the Sakura Pigma Sensei pens. These pens are designed for drawing Manga, and I have seen them used this way by some amazing Manga illustrators. Here is what comes with this set:

  • 0.3 mm ultra-fine tip
  • 0.4 mm durable plastic tip
  • 0.6 mm bullet fiber tip
  • 1.0 bold fiber tip
  • 0.7mm fixed sleeve, cushion point mechanical pencil
  • Sakura pencil on paper eraser

The pens are all Sakura’s trusted rich black ink. I found it gave me a very consistent line and fill that was a deep true black. When I am drawing or writing with black ink, I don’t want it to look gray or brown.


I really enjoyed the crisp and clean lines put down by these pens. I also found the drawing experience to be smooth and jump free. No spaces in my lines that I didn’t want. My only complaint is that these pens do cause a light amount of pilling on the paper. This drawing was done on smooth bristol paper which I find to be the most resistant to pilling but my pens were still picking up fuzz and pills from the paper. Also, I’d love to get a brush pen with this set for pen pressure line control.

Next I’d like to talk about the Koi Watercolor Picket Field Sketch Box. This is a travel-sized kit of watercolors meant to be used in a field kit for art on the go.


It comes with 12 half-pans of paint, a water brush, a sponge for cleaning the tip of your brush when changing colors, and a sectioned lid for color mixing.


The water brush also comes with a cap for the lower section so you can load water in advance and still carry it in two parts for fitting into the kit. A tip for using the kit from someone who always carries a water color kit with her: Carry a paper towel along for thorough cleaning of your brush and for drying off your pans at the end of use (you don’t want mold to grow on them between uses). I also leave excess mixed colors to dry in the lid, they can be used again later by wetting, just like the pans.


I used both the Pigma Sensei and the Koi Watercolors on this little ATC. The most important thing to point out is that the Pigma Sensei pens didn’t feather or smear on my watercolor paper, and they didn’t have any problem at all standing up to the water when painted over. This is one of the reasons I love Sakura pens. The paint in the half-pans is rich and the colors are true. The fine point on the water brush is very good for fine detail, but if you want any full area washes you will want to do that with a different brush.

The other two pen sets I received were used together on one project. The Sakura Sepia set comes with 4 pens in varying point types. I love the brush tip for sketching. All the things people love about Sakura micron pens can also be found in their Sepia set. Rich solid color that goes onto the paper smooth and waterproof. I also received the new Sakura Micron fine line pens in the 8 color set.


My sketching for this image was done with the Sepia set and then pen pressure control with the brush tip was perfect. I could sketch with this pen all day. I love sepia for drawing people. I used the colored Micron pens for all of the fill in on this image and the first image in this post. I love the micron pens. The only changes I would make, I’d love them to come in brush tip as well, and I wish this set had a yellow.

All in all, I already loved Sakura, and now I love them more. I can think of endless uses for drawing, labeling, and journaling with these pens. The watercolor kit will go in my travel bag and stay there. Have you tried any of the Sakura products we have used? Let us know what you think.

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3 Responses to Vendor Sporlight: Sakura

  1. Avatar
    Heather October 13, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    I am really loving that Koi watercolor kit. I must look for it when I am out and about!!!

  2. Avatar
    liannallama October 17, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    oh, I really love your art! Thanks for the critique!

  3. Avatar
    Jacquie Hart October 18, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    Now this is a wonderful idea and I understand that these paints are really a nice quality