Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens VS Karin Brushmarker Pro

Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens VS Karin Brushmarker Pro by Winterbird

Karin Brushmarker Pro is a recent and popular addition to the Brush Lettering world. I decided to test these markers up against the Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens with whom they share a lot of features. The result surprised me, let’s take a look!

Why Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens VS Karin Brushmarker Pro?

Let me first explain why I chose to do the comparison with these two different markers because there are so many brush pens to choose from.

I recently tried the Karin Brushmarker Pro for the first time, and was amazed by its flow of ink. This means that it makes an excellent tool for blending, and when it comes to brush pen juiciness nothing has been able to compare to the Ecoline Brush Pens from Royal Talens. It looks like they now have a challenger, and that’s why it is time to compare the two!

 
 
 
 
 
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In case you missed it, this is a video of my first try of the Karin Brushmarker Pro. You can see for yourself how well the ink flows and blends.

This is one of my videos using the Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens.

Colors and Availability

The first thing we will look into is how easy or hard it is to come by the brush pens and how many colors they have available.

Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
  • 60 available colors and blending pen – and in several different smaller packages.
  • Available worldwide via major art supply stores around the world and online.
Karin Brushmarker Pro
  • 60 available colors and blending pen – and in several different smaller packages.
  • Available worldwide via eshop.karin.com, Amazon.de, and a small number of online stores. (Please let me know if you know about places that sell Karin markers).

Both Karin and Royal Talens brush pens come with a great range of 60 colors and blending pens, which should cover just about any colors you could possibly need. You should be able to order directly from their own online shops, but if you want to purchase in a local art supply store (currently) you may likely only find the Ecoline Brush Pens.

First impression

I chose three similar colors from the two brush pen sets to do this test. For Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens the colors are 201, 337 and 506. For Karin Brushmarker Pro the colors are 166, 375 and 207.

Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens VS Karin Brushmarker Pro by Winterbird
Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
  • Single large sized brush tip.
  • Round, relatively thick pens.
  • Both the pen cap and the pen itself are colored to match the ink, making it easy to quickly recap all the pens you’ve used in a session.
  • Pen cap can sit nicely onto the back of the pen while in use.
Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens VS Karin Brushmarker Pro by Winterbird
Karin Brushmarker Pro
  • Single medium/large sized brush tip.
  • Round pens with wider caps and pen clips which help to stop your pens from rolling off the table.
  • Only the pen cap is colored to match the ink (the see-thru pen is helpful only to a degree since the ink itself does not always look the same as it does on paper).
  • Pen cap can sit nicely on the back of the pen while in use.

These brush pens are very similar at first sight, however, there are some important differences. The differences in pen tip size will certainly have an impact on what you are lettering. The Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens have better color markings on their pens which can help with a quick clean up. Lastly, the Karin Brushmarker Pro comes with pen clips which can be quite useful to keep the pens from rolling.

In use

Now let’s put the pens to paper and look at the differences and similarities.

Sample basic strokes with Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
Sample basic hello with Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
  • Wider brush tip and therefore wider strokes.
  • Feels smooth when pressed against the paper and with a soft bending tip.
  • The ink leaves an ombre effect, where you get a slightly higher concentration of color when you apply more pressure to the pen compared to where you have less pressure.
  • The ink dries impressively fast for being as liquidy and smooth as it is.
Sample basic strokes with Karin Brushmarker Pro
Sample basic hello with Karin Brushmarker Pro
Karin Brushmarker Pro
  • Slightly less wide brush tip and therefore slightly less wide strokes. Note: You actually can make a wider stroke with the Karin Brushmarker Pro, but the “natural” downstroke is slightly smaller on Karin Brushmarker Pro compared to Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens. 
  • Feels smooth when pressed against paper, however, the tip is more firm and therefore has less bend than the Ecoline Brush Pen.
  • The ink is very even and there is almost no ombre effect.
  • You need to allow the ink a good amount of time to dry before you do something extra like adding shade or other effects to your lettering.

If you love the ombre effect from the Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens then you will probably be disappointed with the Karin Brushmarker Pro. However, if you aren’t looking for an ombre effect, then you might have found a new favorite pen with the Karin Brushmarker Pro!

Blending

Strokes are one thing, but what about blending? Let’s find out right away.

In the sample below, I performed two tests to figure out how well these pens handle blending. In both of these tests, I applied the second (and third) stroke immediately after the first one to get the best effect. For this test, I used regular smooth paper.

  • In the first test I drew one pink, yellow and blue stroke right next to each other, just close enough for them to touch and for the color to bleed.
  • In the second test I began with one blue stroke (from top to bottom), then I drew a horizontal pink stroke straight across the blue one (from right to left).
Sample blending basic strokes with Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
  • Test one shows a little bleed of colors at the top and almost no bleed towards the end of the stroke. This has to do with the Ecoline’s ombre effect and the extra concentration of ink in the top making it mix better at first.
  • Test two shows the mix of color as we intersected another stroke/color (see the color variation on the left and right side).
Sample blending basic strokes with Karin Brushmarker Pro
Karin Brushmarker Pro
  • Test one shows an even bleed of color all the way through the stroke.
  • Test two shows the mix of color as we intersected another stroke/color (see the color variation on the left and right side).

On regular, smooth paper the Karin Brushmarker Pro comes out better when it comes to blending. Ecoline dries fast and the ombre effect works as a disadvantage for some types of blending. 

Blending with Watercolor Paper

To give the Ecoline Brush Pens a fair test up against the Karin Brushmarker Pro we need to use Watercolor Paper, which will slow down the drying time and allows better blending for any pen. Please be warned that watercolor paper is far from smooth and might damage your pens. 

  • In the first test I have made one pink, yellow and blue stroke right next to each other, just close enough for them to touch and for the color to bleed.
  • In the second test I made a short pink stroke at the top, followed by a yellow and then a blue stroke at the bottom. Then I used the yellow pen to smoothen the transition between the different colors and making the gradient of orange and greens as you can see below. This is essentially a “manually” mix of color.
Sample blending basic strokes with Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
  • Similar to last time, test one shows a lot of bleed of colors at the top and almost no bleed towards the end of the stroke. The contrast is now more visible. This is happening due to Ecoline’s ombre effect and the extra concentration of ink in the top making it mix better at first.
  • In test two, the “manual” mix of colors we can see how the colors blended nicely making additional colors (orange and green tones).
  • The ink dried a little slower than previously since I used watercolor paper, but it still did not take long for it to dry.
Sample blending basic strokes with Karin Brushmarker Pro
Karin Brushmarker Pro
  • As shown in the original blending tests, test one results in an even bleed of color all the way through the stroke. This time you can see also the pink-orange blend came out smoother.
  • Test two, the “manual” mix of color comes out slightly smoother looking than the Ecoline blend.
  • The ink took a really long time to dry on watercolor paper. I tried using a dryer but it still took a good amount of time for it to be dry enough for my hand to not smudge or smoosh the ink around.

Karin Brushmarker Pro blends more evenly and smoothly than Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens, but it comes at a price by needing a good amount of time to dry.

Galaxy Lettering

The final test is to make a finished – shaded and decorated – lettering piece. I choose to make a Galaxy Lettering piece because it combines a lot of popular lettering effects. For both pieces, I used Tombow Fudenosuke for shading and Sakura Gelly Roll for highlights.

 
 
 
 
 
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Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
  • Fast drying ink means little to no issue with smudging while adding shade and highlights/decorations.
  • When using the white gel pen on top of the lettering it only absorbed a little bit in the existing ink.
Karin Brushmarker Pro
  • I tried giving this three times as long time to dry. Unfortunately, despite giving the ink three times as long to dry, I still encountered smudging issues when adding the shades and highlights.
  • The white gel pen on top of the lettering was absorbed a lot in the existing ink, making my decoration difficult to see.

If you want to add anything to your lettering – shading, highlights or other decorative elements – you will most likely have an easier time with Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens.

Conclusion

Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens
  • 60 colors.
  • Thicker pens.
  • Wider downstroke width.
  • Smooth feel towards the paper and soft bending brush tip.
  • Fast drying ink.
  • Creates ombre effect.
  • Blends and bleeds well before drying.
  • Easy to work with shading and highlights or effects afterward because it dries well.
Karin Brushmarker Pro
  • 60 colors.
  • Pen clips good for preventing the pens from rolling off your desk.
  • Medium downstroke width.
  • Smooth feel towards the paper and a little firm bending brush tip.
  • Slow drying ink.
  • Evenly distributes color.
  • Extraordinary blending and bleeding abilities.
  • Challenging to add shading and highlights or effects afterward because it takes a long time to dry and absorbs new layers of ink.

Overall, choosing between Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens or Karin Brushmarker Pro is very much a matter of personal taste and preference. Both pens are really juicy but where the Ecoline’s create beautiful ombre effects, the Karin pens create a more even and defined color.

If you are looking for blending you should probably go for Karin Brushmarker Pro which can provide smoother blends. Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens will be the easier choice if you are going to add a lot of effects after you lettered, since you will have fewer issues with smudging and new layers of ink getting absorbed away.

Either way, these are both great pens and worth trying out. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Do you have some pens you’d be interested in having me review or compare? Let me know below, or contact me.

5 thoughts on “Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens VS Karin Brushmarker Pro

  1. Febronia says:

    Wow Ida! This is a very comprehensive review for both of the pens! Which is very helpful for people to consider which one to buy and how to work with the pen itself! Always love your review!! Keep it coming! 🙂

  2. Naina says:

    Waaoowww. What a detailed comparison Ida and on point. I recently tried Karin markers. They blend so well ! Thanks for your review and your time for this . Sending hugs ????
    Naina ♥️

    • Winterbird says:

      So happy you like it, Naina! Sending big hugs right back at you, dear ❤️ Yes, I love how they blend it really is amazing, but it takes so long to dry. You are most welcome.

  3. _L says:

    Worth noting: Ecolines are refillable (You can get bottles of ink and pour it into the marker no problem). Karin Brushmarkers are not.

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