10 OF THE BEST BRUSH PENS FOR CALLIGRAPHY BEGINNERS

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Looking for the best brush pen for calligraphy? 

Today you have such a wide choice of brush pens available, and finding the right one can be a bit overwhelming. 

I’ve been practicing brush lettering for years, and I had the opportunity to try out A LOT of different brush pens. 

So don’t worry, in this post, I am reviewing 10 of the best brush pens for calligraphy beginners.

Let’s have a quick look at the contents of this article – 

  • Understanding the different characteristics of brush pens
  • My top 10 picks for the best brush pens for beginners
  • Helpful FAQ – how to avoid fraying, best paper, etc.
  • Final words

By the end of this post, you won’t only know which brush pen you should get, but you will also have a much better understanding of the different characteristics and how they affect the way you write. 

Let’s dive right in!

I also made a YouTube video if you prefer to watch – 

The different characteristics of brush pens

All brush pens share the same essential feature– a flexible nib that allows you to create thin and thick strokes based on the amount of pressure you add to your motion.

That being said, brush pens can have several different characteristics that make them different from each other and essentially change the way your calligraphy looks.

This is why you will hear and see that people prefer to work with certain brush pens over others. 

To help you better understand these characteristics, I’ve decided to use four different points to review each of the pens on this list. 

The four characteristics are – 

  • Size of the nib – large, medium, and small.
The size of the nibs
  • Nib elasticity – how firm or soft a nib is. A brush pen can have a – soft, mid firm and firm nib.
The nib flexibility of brush pens
  • Ink flow – the amount of ink the brush dispenses. It can be – heavy, medium, and dry.
Different types of ink flow
  • Color choice – How many different colors can you pick. 
Different colors available for brush pens

To put these points in perspective – I enjoy writing with larger sized pens with heavier ink flow.

Another fellow brush calligrapher might enjoy working more with a smaller sized brush pen.

We all have different preferences, and we like different things.

Considering that, it’s quite difficult to single out a brush pen as the best one in general. 

If you are a complete beginner, you will have to try out a couple of different brush pens before you find the one you like the most.

Precisely why understanding these characteristics will allow you to make a better choice.

What I usually recommend to beginners is to start with one small and one large-sized brush pen.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let’s get started on our list!

Here are the best brush pens for calligraphy beginners –

Tombow Dual Brush Pen - sample calligraphy

Reviewing the characteristics

  • Size of the nib – Large, best for medium and larger sized brush calligraphy.
Brush pen nib size sample - Tombow Dual Brush Pen
  • Nib elasticity – Medium-firm felt brush tip.
nib elasticity sample - Tombow Dual Brush Pen
  • Ink flow – Medium, medium-wet ink flow.
ink flow sample - Tombow Dual Brush Pen
  • Color choice – The Tombow Dual Brush Pen comes in a whopping 108 different colors.
Tombow Dual Brush Pen color chart

Sample video –

Summary –

The popularity of the Tombow Dual Brush Pen is no coincidence.

The large mid-firm brush tip is fairly beginner-friendly and allows smooth thick, and thin transitions.

You have an insane amount of different colors available, and on top of that, the ink is water-based, which makes it 100% blendable with other colors.

This will allow you to create fantastic gradient effects and the tips self-clean after blending.

In the standard pack, you will also get a colorless brush pen made for blending.

To top everything off, the Tombow Dual Brush Pen has a second fine (and firm) tip on the other side.

It’s excellent for fixing details as well as a standalone tool (for lettering, faux calligraphy, etc.).

Pros –

  • Beginner-friendly – flexible tip allowing a variety of stroke thickness
  • Water-based ink – 100% blendable + self-cleaning tips
  • Second firm tip for corrections and as a standalone tool
  • A massive range of colors
  • Non-toxic (safe for children)

Cons –

  • The tips fray easily if the proper paper is not used (check the FAQ for that)
  • A bit pricey 
Ecoline Brush Pen - sample calligraphy

Reviewing the characteristics

  • Size of the nib – Large nib for large-sized brush calligraphy.
Brush pen nib size sample - Ecoline brush pen
  • Nib elasticity – Very soft & flexible, difficult to get consistent medium sized strokes.
nib elasticity sample - Ecoline brush pen
  • Ink flow – Extremely wet. It creates an intriguing ombre effect but also increases the chances of making smudges.
ink flow sample - Ecoline brush pen
  • Color choice – A selection of 60 vibrant and saturated watercolor based ink.
Top 5 brush pens for brush calligraphy beginners - Lettering Daily

Sample video – 

Summary –

The Ecoline is such a fun brush pen to work with and a personal favorite for me.

It features an extremely flexible brush tip that creates bold strokes with ease.

This means that you won’t be able to produce consistent medium sized strokes (like you can with the Tombows).

Along with the nib, these brush pens have one of the juiciest ink flow I’ve ever seen.

You’ll be able to create fantastic ombre effects, and since the ink is a liquid watercolor, these pens are blendable and you can rewet them.

The best part of the Ecoline brush pen is that you can refill them and keep using them over and over again, so you could say that these pens are environmentally friendly.

Ecoline has its line of watercolor inks that are just amazing, and in fact, I used it in combination with my other calligraphy tools.

All in all, super fun brush pen and highly recommend it to anyone getting into brush calligraphy!

Pros –

  • A wide choice of bright and vibrant colors
  • Blendable with other colors
  • The wet ink flow creates the “ombre” effect on your downstrokes
  • Second (secret) tip in case you ruin the first one.
  • Refillable with ink (environmentally friendly) 

Cons –

  • The very soft tip makes it more difficult to control at first
  • The price is slightly higher

Bonus tip for the Ecoline brush pen – secret tip hack!

One of the most significant downsides of nylon fiber (felt tip) brush nibs is that they tend to start fraying after extensive use or poor maintenance.

There is a really cool hack with the Ecoline brush pen in case your nib begins to fray!

Check out the video below for how to do it!

Sakura Koi Brush Pen - Sample calligraphy

Reviewing the characteristics

  • Size of the nib – Large, medium-large.
Brush pen nib size sample - Sakura Koi
  • Nib elasticity – Mid firm, firm elasticity.
nib elasticity sample - Sakura Koi
  • Ink flow – wet, medium wet.
ink flow sample - Sakura Koi brush pen
  • Color choice – It comes in 48 different colors.
Sakura Koi Brush pen color chart

Sample video – 

Summary –

The Sakura Koi brush pen features a mid-firm elastic brush tip that allows you to create bold and very bold brush strokes with a lot of control.

It springs back to its original shape very quickly, making the thick and thin transition easily.

Aside from the fantastic brush tip, I really love the vivid colors inside these brush pens.

It comes with a water-based ink solution that is fully blendable with the different colors.

One thing that made the Sakura Koi stand out from the crowd is its durability.

I’ve been using the same pen for the past couple of months, and I seriously couldn’t tell the difference between a brand new one and the one I have.

Pros –

  • The mid firm tip makes it easy to handle (especially for beginners)
  • Long-lasting ink
  • Wet ink flow creates the ombre effect
  • Water-based ink – fully blendable

Cons –

  • The tips fray easily if the proper paper is not used (check the FAQ for that)
Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen - sample calligraphy

Reviewing the characteristics

  • Size of the nib – Small tip.
Brush pen nib size sample - Pentel fude touch
  • Nib elasticity – Soft, it doesn’t require a lot of pressure.
nib elasticity sample - Pentel Fude touch
  • Ink flow – Medium-wet. It can also leave a dry texture with faster strokes.
ink flow sample - Pentel Sign Pen
  • Color choice – Only 12 different colors you can pick from. 
Top 5 brush pens for brush calligraphy beginners - Lettering Daily

Sample video – 

Summary –

An excellent smaller sized companion for brush calligraphy.

The Pentel Fude Touch Brush Pen is a popular choice in the calligraphy community.

The small tip makes it quite easy to control, and thus it’s very beginner-friendly.

That being said, it’s also great to start practicing the Copperplate script.

One of my favorite aspects of this brush pen is an extremely durable tip.

Although there is a specific type of paper I recommend for all brush pens (check the FAQ at the end), the Pentel doesn’t struggle on cheaper print paper as much as the larger sized brush pens do.

On top of that, this brush pen lasts pretty freaking looong!

Unfortunately, it offers only 12 colors, but it contains water-based ink so you can fully blend them with other colors.

Pros –

  • Very easy to handle for beginners
  • Blendable ink
  • A more robust nib that won’t fray easily 
  • The ability to create both wet (ombre) and dry strokes

Cons –

  • A small selection of colors
  • A bit more expensive than the others

NOTE – be careful to not confuse the Pentel Fude Touch pen with the Pentel Felt (fiber) Tip Sign pen – they look very similar and the Pentel Felt Tip Sign pen has a much lower price making it more appealing for purchase.

However, they don’t have a brush tip like the Pentel Arts Sign Pen.

Karin Brushmarker PRO - sample calligraphy

Reviewing the characteristics

  • Size of the nib – The nib size is large. 
Brush pen nib size sample - Karin Brushmarker PRO
  • Nib elasticity – Medium, leaning towards soft. You can create medium and very bold strokes.
Karin Brushmarker PRO - nib flexibility
  • Ink flow – It has a wet, and heavier ink flow. It leaves a nice and juicy mark on the downstrokes.
Karin Brushmarker PRO ink flow
  • Color choice – A selection of 60 nicely saturated and vibrant colors.
Karin Brushmarker PRO color chart

Sample video – 

Summary –

 I’ve only tried the Karin Brushmarkers recently, but I’ll say it right away – this is one of the best brush pens I’ve ever worked with!

The nib is quite responsive, and the elasticity has been adjusted in a way that you won’t struggle with thick and thin transitions.

However, the real winning feature of this pen is the “liquid ink” technology.

This means that you will get the same color intensity as the very last drop of ink.

The ink is also a non-toxic and intense dye that is fully blendable with all colors.

You can create all sorts of beautiful and colorful projects with this pen.

Taking that into consideration, along with the fact that it has a heavier ink flow, it is recommended that you use thicker (even watercolor) paper.

Pros –

  • The nib elasticity is nicely adjusted for smooth transitions
  • An extensive and vibrant color choice
  • Comes with “liquid ink” technology 
  • Fully blendable with other colors
  • The nylon brush tip is more resilient to fraying

Cons –

  • More expensive compared to others
  • Non-refillable 
  • Requires thicker paper (if you plan to blend colors)
Crayola Marker - sample calligraphy

Reviewing the characteristics

  • Size of the nib – Both smaller and larger. Depending on the angle and pressure you add. 
Brush pen nib size sample - Crayola Marker
  • Nib elasticity – The Crayola doesn’t have a flexible brush tip (like the other pens on this list).
nib elasticity sample - Crayola Marker
  • Ink flow – Medium-wet ink flow.
ink flow sample - crayola marker
  • Color choice – After extensive research, I couldn’t find out the total count of colors. I lost my count at 60. Jenny’s website can give you a more precise answer.
Crayola marker, various colors

Sample video – 

Summary –

There are just so many excellent features about the Crayola markers.

Out of all the things, I think the two main reasons I love these markers are – price/quality ratio and durability.

This is probably the cheapest item on this whole list, and after four years of working with them, I am still surprised at how good the Crayola markers actually are.

Sure, they are a bit tricky to get used to, mostly due to the fact that it has a broad, firm and pointed tip.

This will require you to adapt your hold, but once you get the gist – the sky’s the limit!

You see, you can’t just rely solely on pressure here, you gotta adjust the angle as well to get the most out of the Crayola markers.

Another cool thing from them being so cheap and durable is that you don’t have to strictly use a specific kind of paper like you have to with other brush pens.

Of course, for best results, I always recommend going with at least the HP Premium 32. 

However, the Crayola’s are quite adaptable.

All in all, excellent quality for the price, a great pen to practice with – highly recommended!

Pros –

  • Extremely cheap!
  • Durable (long-lasting)
  • Non-toxic ink (washable)
  • A variety of stroke thickness

Cons –

  • A bit of a learning curve (different than the regular brush pens)
Tombow Fudenosuke sample

Reviewing the characteristics

  • Size of the nib – Small nib, perfect for brush calligraphy beginners.
Brush pen nib size sample - Tombow Fudenosuke
  • Nib elasticity – Comes with both a soft and hard tip. 
nib elasticity sample - Tombow Fudenosuke 2
  • Ink flow –Medium, leaning towards dry.
ink flow sample - Tombow Fudenosuke
  • Color choice – As of recent, you can get the Fudenosuke in 10 different colors.
Top 5 brush pens for brush calligraphy beginners - Lettering Daily

Sample video – 

Summary –

The Tombow Fudenosuke is, without a doubt, one of the most favored brush pens out there.

It’s smaller size makes it perfect for people who are just getting started with brush calligraphy.

The nib is remarkable and creates an easy-going and enjoyable writing experience even for very beginners.

When you get the Fudenosuke, it usually comes with both a soft and hard tip.

I love this feature since writing with both of them is noticeably different.

I can’t say which one is better, as this is a matter of personal preference.

The Tombow Fudenosuke is, without a doubt, a more durable pen in comparison to its big brother – the Tombow Dual Brush Pen.

By this, I mean that the tip won’t fray as easily on cheaper paper, but I would still recommend you get some decent paper (check the FAQ).

Up until recently, you could get only the black Fudenosuke.

However, Tombow finally released a color version of the Fudenosuke pen.

If you are looking for an affordable, easy to handle and durable pen – the Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen is definitely the right choice!

Pros –

  • Great for calligraphy beginners
  • Perfect for different calligraphy styles (both traditional and modern calligraphy)
  • Affordable price
  • Water-based colors
  • Environmentally friendly – made from recycled plastic (part of it)
  • Durable – long lasting

Cons –

  • The color version comes only with the hard tip
  • The color version is a bit pricey
Zig Brushables - sample calligraphy

Reviewing the characteristics

  • Size of the nib – Large-sized brush tip (comes with two brush tips, one on each side).
Brush pen nib size sample - Zig Brushables
  • Nib elasticity – Mid firm elasticity.
nib elasticity sample - Zig Brushables
  • Ink flow – Wet, medium wet.
ink flow sample - Zig Brushables
  • Color choice – Comes in 24 different colors.
Zig Kuretake Brushables color chart

Sample video – 

Summary –

The Kuretake Zig Brushable features a larger sized brush felt nib on both ends.

The size of the nib is comparable to Tombow Dual Brush pens.

It could be just a personal preference, but I really enjoy the mid-firm elasticity of the nib.

It makes the transition much smoother, almost as the nib does most of the work for you.

On top of that, these brushes come with a dense ink flow that will easily create the ombre/gradient effect (if you use the right paper).

At the same time, with faster strokes, it will leave a dry brush texture – which is why I wrote it has a medium-wet ink flow.

Considering all the features that the Kuretake Brushables offers, it’s a great pen.

One major downside of this pen is the price.

I would recommend just getting a single pen rather than the whole pack. 

Pros –

  • The mid-firm elasticity increases the control
  • Double sided brush tip (with different colors)
  • You can create the gradient (ombre) effect on your downstrokes.

Cons –

  • Less ink in each of the sides (due to differnet colors)
  • The price is higher compared with others
Lyra brush pen - sample calligraphy

Reviewing the characteristics

  • Size of the nib – Medium-large.
Brush pen nib size sample - Lyra brush pen
  • Nib elasticity – Mid firm elasticity.
nib elasticity sample - Lyra brush pen
  • Ink flow –Medium ink flow.
ink flow sample - Lyra brush pen
  • Color choice – Lyra brush pens are available in 24 different colors.
Lyra brush pen color chart

Sample video – 

Summary –

I think that the best way to describe the Lyra brush pen is to say that it’s like the younger sibling of the Tombow Dual Brush Pen.

It features a felt brush tip, water-based ink, and a second firm (smaller) tip on the other end of the brush.

It has a slightly smaller brush tip and just a third of the color choice compared with the Tombows.

However, it’s nearly half the price of the Tombow Dual brush pen.

So, if you like the Tombows but you are on a budget, the Lyra brush pen is definitely a candidate to consider.

Pros –

  • Affordable
  • Water-based ink – blendable with other colors
  • Fairly easy to control 
  • Second firm tip on the other end

Cons –

  • Requires specific paper; otherwise, the tips fray easily
Pigma Sakura Professional brush pen - sample calligraphy

Reviewing the characteristics

  • Size of the nib – Comes in three sizes, small, medium, and large (I only have the small and medium).
Brush pen nib size sample - Sakura Pigma Professional
  • Nib elasticity – The tips are quite soft.
nib elasticity sample - Pigma professional 2
  • Ink flow –Medium ink flow.
ink flow sample - Pigma Professional
  • Color choice – This brush pen comes only in black.

Sample video – 

Summary –

The Sakura Pigma Brush Pen will give you a very smooth and pleasurable writing experience.

This brush pack comes with three different sizes – fine, medium, and bold.

However, you should be able to purchase them separately (I bought the fine and medium like that).

This brush pen features a decent brush tip that has a soft to mid-firm elasticity to it.

This means that you should keep a lighter hand when using it because otherwise, you won’t get those clean thick, and thin transitions that every brush calligrapher is after.

One feature that makes the Sakura Pigma stand out from the crowd is the archival pigment ink that is inside these pens.

According to Sakura, this ink is – Waterproof, Dries quickly (no smears), and does not feather nor bleed on most papers.

Despite this unique type of ink, I would still recommend using smoother types of paper for the sake of avoiding any fraying.

Pros –

  • The Archival Pigma Ink 
  • Three available sizes of the same pen
  • Extremely smooth 

Cons –

  • A bit pricey 
  • Comes only in black color

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers about brush pens.

Unfortunately, when you work with brush pens, you can’t just use any type of paper. I mean, you can, but then you risk of damaging the tips, and the ink won’t last as long. I wrote a whole separate article on this topic, but here I’ll share a quick answer. The best paper for felt tip brush pens is – bleed proof marker paper. A popular and more affordable alternative is the HP Premium 32. Here are a few quality paper choices for you brush pens (links to Amazon) – 

Definitely avoid cheap (and rough) print paper, especially if the ink bleeds through or feathers. 

The best way to avoid your brush tips from fraying is to use the proper paper (check the above-answered question). Another common issue for frayed tips is when people hold the pen too vertically and placing too much pressure on the tip. The excess pressure causes the tip to fray. It would be best if you held the brush pen at a softer angle, and in this tutorial that we have, you can find out more about it.

Generally speaking, the best way to store your brush pens is laying down flat. This way, the brush tip doesn’t dry out (if you stored them brush side up) or get over-saturated (if brush side down). Certain brush pens (like the Karin Brushmarkers) require them to be stored upright. Keep them laying down flat unless it’s advised differently by the manufacturer.

I have two fantastic and in-depth guides on both brush lettering and modern calligraphy. They are both packed with valuable information, specifically for beginners. On top of that, they come with worksheets that you can print out and start practicing right away.

Final words

There you have it, folks!

A list with the top 10 brush pens for brush calligraphy. 

I hope that this article managed to shed some light on the different brush pen characteristics and that it will help you find your new favorite brush pen. 

Remember what I said at the very beginning – the best brush pen doesn’t exist!

We all have different tastes and preferences, and to find the one that suits you best, you just need to try them out. 

What is your favorite brush pen? Do you think I should add/remove some brush pens to/from this list? 

Let me know by dropping a comment below! 

Also, is there a particular area you struggle with your lettering or calligraphy? Would you like to get some constructive feedback on your work?

If so, be sure to check out our official Facebook group!

It’s a place where you can – 

  • Share your work
  • Get constructive feedback
  • Network with fellow lettering & calligraphy artists
  • Ask specific questions about lettering & calligraphy
  • Much more!

Thank you for checking out my article, and until the next time –

Stay AWESOME!

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26 thoughts on “10 OF THE BEST BRUSH PENS FOR CALLIGRAPHY BEGINNERS”

  1. I love the ink that ecoline pens have and I am working on getting more comfortable with them! The colors are so vibrant and beautiful! There are a couple of things I wish were different…the pens are awkward to hold because they are very big around.

    1. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. They are super fun to work with, but at the same time, they aren’t really suitable for all types of brush calligraphy. This is exactly the awesome thing about having different sizes and characteristics. We can then combine the usage depending on our needs. I think it would be really cool to see a smaller sized ecoline. Imagine combining the small-sized precision of the fudenosuke with a nice juicy flow of the Ecoline. That pen would just fly! 😀

  2. Marker paper tends to be really thin right? So what if I wanted to do lettering for a card so would need a stiffer, thicker paper? What kind of paper is best for brush pens to keep them from fraying?

    1. Lettering Daily

      Hey Alison. If you want to work with thicker I’m afraid that fraying will be inevitable. Of course, they won’t fray immediately, and you can definitely slow down this process by trying to find the smoothes thick paper possible. Look for hot press paper rather than cold press. Also, try to be gentle and go slow. If done properly, you can also use brush pens on that kind of paper for a really long time.

  3. Marker paper tends to be really thin right? So what if I wanted to do lettering for a card so would need a stiffer, thicker paper? What kind of paper is best for brush pens then?

  4. GREAT article Max, thanks!!! Such detail & information about types of brush pen! I understand there’s a certain point you can’t include every pen in your list, but I agree with Kristi on the Kuretake Fudebiyori. Great pen at a fantastic price point – very affordable , excellent quality. Perfect size for smaller bullet journals (5½” x 8½”) too! I especially love your video on each pen, soooo helpful!??? I love the way you do your upstrokes & have been practicing mimicking that – seeing improvement immediately. I have the koi pens on my list to try next, am not familiar with those & greatly appreciate the introduction. Since using old timey metal nibs for 20 years befofe brush pens bscame a thing, I tend to prefer the firmer tips, so providing that information on each pen is awesome. Off topic I guess, but do you know what the pen names mean, if anything? I.E. “Fudebiyori” – fude/ fudenosuki appears to mean a small tip brush??? What does the “biyori,” part mean? Or are these just brand given names – drives me nuts ?Thanks again for a fantastic, useful & well thought out article! I will be & already am, referencing often.

    1. Lettering Daily

      WOW! What a wonderful comment! Thank you so much Jan, It really means a lot to hear that you liked this article. As for your question, I am not 100% sure. I know that the word ”Fude” means brush in Japanese, but I’m not sure what the other part means 😀 I’ll reach out to the company to ask them and then ill let you know! 😀

  5. Hi
    I’m interested to know the reason why none of the Copic brush markers feature on this list?
    Interested in buying one soon, thank you

    1. Lettering Daily

      Hey there, thanks for your comment. I didn’t include the Copic brush markers for a number of reasons. First of all, they are crazy expensive, they have alcohol-based ink and the tip is simply not suited for brush calligraphy. I’ve heard many good things about them from illustrators but never from calligraphers. It’s been many years since I’ve worked with them so maybe something has changed, but nonetheless I believe that there are far better choices out there. I hope this explains it! 🙂

  6. In a world where it seems we have a million pens to choose from, I appreciated this article and the in-depth look at these particular brush pens. Thanks for your excellent work.

    1. Lettering Daily

      Thank you, Janine! I took me quite a while to prepare everything and I’m really happy to hear that you found it useful 🙂

  7. Hi Max, an excellent article. Interestingly here in Australia we get the Pental Sign pen with a brush tip and it sells for the price as the normal sign pen. Just have to make sure you buy the glittery plastic ones. I was wondering if you had tried the Pilot Petit 3 Fude Pen. I find it very similar to the Pental Sign Brush pen with the advantage of being able to buy refills. I suppose the only thing is it is short and you need to put the lid on the other end to give it balance. It could be awkward for larger hands. Thanks for all your great articles

    1. Lettering Daily

      Hey Rachel, thank you for the kind words! I haven’t tried the Pilot Petit 3, but I will definitely now! I love pens that can be refilled and used over and over again. Also, putting the lid on the other end is a great tip! Thank you for that 🙂

  8. Hi Max, thanks so much for your thorough review. I’m a beginner and it’s been really helpful. I see the recommendations of all these brands so often on different forums but can’t really compare. I bought the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen and it’s been fantastic. It took a bit of getting used to but now I find it works well for my skill level. I’m looking forward to trying something with a softer tip to see how I go. Might try the Pentel Fude on the basis of your review.

    1. Lettering Daily

      Hey Victoria, thank you for your feedback! Definitely try it out, the more pens you try the more you will improve your dexterity and your calligraphy skills overall. One of my favorite things about calligraphy, in general, is to play with different and new writing tools. The Pentel Fude is a great pen and I think you will love it, just make sure you get the right one. I mentioned under the pros and cons of the pen in a small paragraph that there is a very similar-looking version of it. However, that one doesn’t have the brush tip, and it has a slightly cheaper price. Let me know if you need any help 🙂

    1. Lettering Daily

      Hey Dawn, unfortunately, felt tip brush pens won’t last too long on watercolor paper. Especially if it’s cold press – since it has more of a tooth (texture). That been said, the Karin Brushmarker seems to be a candidate that stands out here. It has an extremely wet ink flow and the tip is different than the others on the list. On top of that, the manufacturer recommends using watercolor paper if you plan to blend different colors. So I would recommend those pens, and honestly, I don’t think you will regret it – I just love them! 😀

      1. Thank you for your response and after looking them up they are pretty cool. I am just thinking though, I might need a marker that is not water based as my lettering may be over actual watercolor painting.

    2. Thanks for the response, I looked them up and they look very interesting. I am just wondering though, I may need something waterproof as I would be mostly be doing calligraphic writing or lettering of a quote on a watercolor painting.

      1. Lettering Daily

        No need for that, the important is that it’s not damaging the nib. Watercolor paper is necessary only if you are going to blend different colors, it’s quite difficult to do it on marker paper.

  9. Great article! I would also add Kuretake Fudebiyori brush pen to your list. It’s one of the best brush pens for a beginner. Really easy to control and available in good choice of colours. Also, I personally would never recommend Tombow ABT to a beginner. It’s a great brush pen for an advanced calligrapher but the way too flexible and long tip is really difficult for a beginner to control. I’ve seen students who were completely put off by brush pen lettering just because the only brush pen they tried was Tombow. As soon as I gave them a different pen, they managed to do it beautifully.

    1. Lettering Daily

      Hey Kristi, thank you so much for the comment. I really appreciate it! I love the Fudebiyori brush pens, and I was very close to adding them to the list but I felt they were to close to the Koi brush pen from Sakura. I understand your point of view on the Tombow’s but you have to consider that larger tip brush pens require a different hold as well as a different position of the arm. When you work with larger sized brush pens you must use a different motion, one that is based on whole arm movement. In comparison, working with a smaller brush pen, you rely more on wrist and forearm movements, and you use your finger to add pressure. This is why I wrote at the beginning of the article that I would recommend for beginners to get at least one larger and smaller sized brush pen. This way you can learn how to handle different tools and how to operate with them. Just because something is more challenging, you shouldn’t avoid it. I’ve seen both beginners struggling with it and excelling with larger sized brush pens. One of my first brush pens ever was a larger size and I learned the basics with it. Do you teach? Would love to find out more about it 🙂 Feel free to shoot me an email, would love to connect! Thanks again for stopping by and giving me your feedback – I really appreciate it!

      Best,
      Max.

      1. Morgen Machen

        Even though I think the consensus is always ‘see what works best for YOU’,.I really enjoyed having another opportunity to convince myself that I need even more brush markers even though I’m firmly into pointed pen, currently. I did also want to add that johnnealbookseller.com offers a brilliant sample pack, which consists of many of the markers you elaborated on (well, not Crayola) , I believe nine different pens, for a cost of about $31. I love the fudenosuke from Tombow because I use it for calligraphy practice occasionally, when it’s inconvenient to travel with a dip pen. I also love to use the ecoine when it’s inconvenient to travel with a pan of watercolor…and sO. Flippin. Juicy! However, I’m more convinced now that I ‘need’.the Karin brush marker pro, and Zig brushables.

        Thanks for another great article!

        1. Morgen Machen

          My apologies to anyone reading the other comment I posted; the text appears only as the lightest of grays until I hit ‘submit’, and there doesn’t appear to be a way to make a correction once posted. I’m typically very aware of my punctuation, spelling, grammar etc so this is q teeny bit horrifying for me . Most people will be able to overlook my errors but one that is very important to correct IA the site I mentioned, which should read : johnnealbookseller.com.

          Thanks, Max!

        2. Lettering Daily

          Hey Morgen, thank you for the kind comment! I love John Neal’s website, but unfortunately getting things shipped to Europe can be quite difficult and expensive. If you like the Ecoline brush pen, you will just love the Karin Brushmarker! It has a superb ink flow, and the whole writing experience with it is just great. It’s also a fantastic brush pen to create various gradients and colorful artworks. Thank you again for the comment as well as the recommendation 🙂 Cheers!

        3. Thanks so much for sharing the link to John Neal Books Morgen! Love the idea of a samp!e pack & this one is great to try different brands!

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