I am back today with an Arrtx Acrylic Paint pen review. I’ve been wanting to try these for a while and have finally gotten around to reviewing them for you. As you know, I am.a die hard Archer and Olive Acrylograph user so I was ready to push these aside. Over on my YouTube channel, I have the full video review, otherwise, read about my experience below.
I bought these with my own money, and as always, I try to present a fair, unbiased opinion. But, being human, I obviously have an opinion, so you will find that at the end!
Arrtx Acrylic Paint Pen Review General Specifics
The Arrtx acrylic paint pens are available on Amazon and I paid $35.00 CAD for them. They come in a set of 24 and 32 and are double sided – they have a bullet tip and a brush tip. There is a great variety of colours (more on that below), and are very vivid and opaque, even on black and craft paper. They come in a box which is great for storing, since they have to be stored horizontally. This is common with acrylic paint pens. They do mention that it is a water based, non-toxic, odourless, and fade resistant (although not in those words specifically), ink that dries quickly and doesn’t smudge.
The barrel on the pen is round and the lids have little notches to prevent them from rolling off the table. They do have colour collars around the pens which are mostly helpful. They are labelled with a number, as opposed to a colour name, and come with a swatch sheet that labels the number to a colour name.
One of my favourite parts of paint pens is the ability to layer them. So if you colour a flower, for example, you can go over top and add details with a different colour. I didn’t find these pens to work as well for that. Firstly, the ink takes a while to dry and since it is water-based, the second pen picked up a lot of the base colour. I did use a lighter colour on top of a darker colour, and the opacity wasn’t the greatest. Other brands do really well with that.
When I hear water-based, you know I am going to experiment with watercolour. In this specific circumstance, the ink does dry very quickly if you don’t add a lot of water. I used my palette paper to mix water and I had to add a lot of water to get a good blend. When adding water on the page, you have to move FAST! It looks so pretty and I love the texture (very smooth, not chalky at all), but trying to move that fast was very stressful, lol!. I used mixed media paper for this testing since I didn’t think this would hold up well in 160GSM.
Final test as part of my Arrtx Acrylic paint pen review was blending, Two colours together, directly on a page wasn’t great. I think if you’re doing small details and again, move FAST, it should be good. Blending them wasn’t my most favourite thing to do.
Pros and Cons and In-Between
These are characteristics that are neither good nor bad, but rather nice to haves, or personal preferences.
- They don’t directly say fade resistant, rather that it’s permanent and will last a long time. I haven’t tested this out yet so I can’t confirm that.
- The brush tip is very soft so may be harder to control if you are a beginner (specifically hand lettering which was my first thought when I saw the brush tip).
- It has a chalky feel to it when dry, so it may leave a residue on your pens (fairly common with some paint pens).
- The packaging says it dries quickly. I disagree. It takes a while to dry since the ink is so thick. But, taking a longer time to dry completely isn’t a negative in my mind since thats what paint based products do. (It soaks into the page very quickly but a thin layer on top takes a little longer to dry.)
- There is some ghosting and warping on a 160GSM notebook page, so if you are using this on thinner notebook paper, it may bleed through.
- Limited range of orange – I am noticing this more and more with even Tombow and, as I’ve been using orange more in my work, this is really irritating me. So although this is a con for me, the average person may not be as bothered as I am by it so it’s a neutral.
- Super vivid colours in a great colour range.
- Reasonable price for 32 pens – just over a dollar per pen.
- Brush tip is great and fun to use.
- NO SHAKING!!! This is probably my favourite pro!!
- Packaging is nice and fairly compact.
- There are lots of brown and neutral colours which is really cool and you don’t see a lot.
- The colour of the pen is very obvious on the barrel.
- The bulleted tip isn’t consistent across pens – so some pens have better ink flow versus other pens, the bulleted tip is more scratchy.
- Although the colour is on the barrel of the pen, it doesn’t always match to the actual ink colour. Some pens are spot on, others are way off.
- Layering the colours is a bit messy (transfer and re-activating the dried ink), and opacity isn’t that great. (See my last post for how I like to use them.)
- Not great at blending – at least not directly on a page.
- Too many blues where there are a couple of blues that look almost identical
Artx Acrylic Paint Pen Review – Final Thoughts
I went into this not wanting to like these pens. BUT! I’m leaving this review LOVING these pens and I can’t wait to use them in a project. They are super fun – I love the functionality of the brush tip. I’m probably not going to use the bullet tip, for the cons mentioned above. And my most favourite pro – NO SHAKING!!!!! I can’t get over that and I’m curious what the formula looks like. Maybe that will be my new schtick – cutting open pens (I type this with a horrified expression on my face, lol)!
As excited as I am about these, I may not use them directly in my bullet journal. The ghosting and warping are soft nos for me. But I am excited to use them in mixed media art and my art journal. I am working on some patterns and prints, and excited to see how these will look.
Have you tried these? Let me know in the comments what you think. Let me know if there are any other products I should try!
Thank you for your time today, and I will see you in the next one!