Brush pens come in a variety of sizes and flexibility levels for the nibs. Brush tips range from hard tips (not very flexible) to soft tip pens with very flexibility tips. Flexibility of a tip refers to how hard you have to press in the downstroke to get a thick downstroke. Size refers to how large the pen tip is which dictates the size of the lettering that you can create. There are many many different brush pen brands and below I have included a list of pens that are good to start with if you are learning brush pen lettering. I encourage you to experiment with different brands once you get confident in using these pens.
Tombow Fudenosuke - hard tip brush pens, small size
These pens are my favorite pens for beginners. The nib is roughly the same size as a standard pen or pencil so the size is something most people are familiar with. These pens have the least flexible tip out of the pens I have listed and I like these for beginners as it helps you practice how to regulate the pressure for thin and thick strokes. Starting off with a pen that is too flexible is a common mistake for beginners that leaves people frustrated with brush pen calligraphy. These pens come in a variety of colors and are widely available.
Sakua Pigma MB Brush Pen – medium flexibility tip brush pen, medium size
This pen is another great beginner friendly brush pen if you are looking for something that is larger than a Tombow fudenosuke pen but still a manageable size. The tip of this pen is more flexible than the fudenosuke pen and is a great pen to practice with before using the Tombow dual brush pen. This pen is only available in black.
Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pen – very flexible, large size
The tombow dual tip brush pens are incredibly popular (you see them all over Instagram) and come in over a 100 different colors. I love these pens for the large range of colors however they are tricky for beginners to use. The tips are very flexible and it can be frustrating for a beginner to use while you are still learning how to regulate the pressure to get the stroke variation. These pens are also very versatile because you can create ombre effects by blending different pens. You can also create a watercolor effect with these pens by adding water.
Crayola Broad Tip Markers
You might be surprised to see me list the Crayola markers as they do not have flexible tips like traditional brush pens. However, you can still get thin and thick stroke variation based on how you hold the marker. I love these markers because they are affordable, they have a large variety of colors available, and you can do calligraphy projects with kids with them!
There are a huge variety of brush pens available in the market and I highly encourage you to experiment once you get comfortable using the pens listed above! Here is a list of some other pens to consider:
1. Artline Stix Brush Pens
2. Karin Brush Pens
3. Pentel Arts Sign Pen Touch, Fude Brush Tip
4. Kuretake Fude Brush Pen, Fudebiyori Metallic
5. Kuretake Fudebiyori Brush Pen
Next week I will include some tips on how to get started with brush pen calligraphy and some common beginner questions! What are your favorite brush pens?