The 6 Best Calligraphy Brush Pens
When it comes to beautiful lettering, all you need is a tutorial or two, a few hours to practice, and a great pen. But which pen you get can determine how easy it will be to create those flowing letters you want. That's where the best calligraphy brush pens come in.
When choosing which one to buy, there are four main things to consider.
Tip size: Larger or smaller will impact how big your letters are.
Nib elasticity: How firm or soft a nib is somewhat a personal preference and dependent on your writing style but in general, firmer nibs tend to be easier to control and learn how to use. However, softer nibs create more dramatic lettering.
Color: How many colors do you need?
Type of nib: Felt tip or true brush. It's often recommended that beginners stick with felt tip brushes rather than a true brush with synthetic or real hair because felt tip brushes are much easier to control.
Other things that come into play include if it's likely to bleed through your notebook paper, if you need water-resistant ink to withstand coffee drips, and how much you want to spend.
Ultimately, how you'll be using your calligraphy brush pen will be the determining factor in which is best for you. Below, a roundup of the best choices for bullet journaling, creating decorative cards and signs, or just bringing back the art of the handwritten letter.
1. The Best Overall Calligraphy Brush Pen For Beginners
Pentel Fude Touch Felt Pen
The firmer than most felt tip, smooth and consistent writing, and the fact that it is unlikely to bleed with most papers make the Pentel Fude Touch brush pen a great choice for beginners looking to have a better-looking bullet journal, write a card, or just practice downstrokes.
With a few colors to choose from, it's a versatile, easy-to-use, fine-tipped pen that'll cover most uses. "Great for beginners or advanced calligraphers," one Amazon reviewer says, "I use mine at work all the time! Have had these for several months now and they still haven't run out. ... Will definitely purchase again." Add to that the great price, and you've got a winner.
2. The Best Brush Pen For Lettering Signs Or Cards
Tombow Dual Brush Pen
Tombow's dual-ended pens come in more than a hundred colors and has a larger nylon fiber brush tip, making it a great choice for lettering signs, cards, or anything else that needs to be read from a couple feet or more away. The more flexible tip creates a dramatic, watercolor effect that will make your letters look stunning, and the fine firm tip on the opposite end lets you add accents or just jot down a quick note.
The water-based ink is blendable, allowing for beautiful gradient effects, too. Amazon reviewers have given it a 4.2 overall rating but some noted that it was important to let the ink dry for a few seconds before touching it to avoid smudges.
3. The Best Brush Pen For A Notebook
Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen (2-Pack)
This pack of two with a soft and hard tip is ideal for journals because the felt brush tips are easy-to-use and the ink is color-fast in case of accidental water spills. The hard tip is fine enough to write down dates and times while the softer one is perfect for dramatic flourishes with thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes.
"They are my go-to for lettering in my bullet journal," one Amazon customer says. "It is very easy to get various line widths from these pens. Will be purchasing again soon since I misplaced my soft tip one again!" But for those who love a rainbow of colors, there aren't as many colors to choose from as with Tombow's dual-ended pens.
4. The Best Brush Pen For Doodlers
Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen
If you’re the type who mixes calligraphy with illustrations, consider the Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen. This pen is a true brush tip, rather than a felt brush tip, giving it a bit of a learning curve compared to some other options, but once you get the hang of it, customers have been thrilled with the results saying: "The flexibility of the nib is second to none as it has bristles which freely move under your control. It does take practice, but beautifully thin lines as well as gorgeously wide downstrokes are attainable with this pen."
Each package comes with two cartridges full of the fade- and water-resistant ink which dries down quickly. You won't find many colors to choose from but for a brush pen that's able to create beautiful thin and thick strokes for drawings, calligraphy, and more, this one got a 4.6 after more than 800 reviews.
5. The Best Brush Pen For Writing Letters Or Notes
Kuretake Zig Cocoiro Body With Fine Black Ink
If you need a fine tip to write beautiful text that is still easy to read, consider Kuretake's Cocoiro pens. The brush-tipped refills are firm with a little give making them great for notes and letters with flair. With multiple case colors to choose from, the pens themselves are easy to customize and a good-looking choice to carry around.
"This pen has changed my life. The way it writes it so satisfying. I truly think if I would have had it years ago my life would have been different. Much more productive and joyful," says one enthusiastic reviewer. While another says that, "I like that I can get very thin upstrokes and the contrast between the upstrokes and downstrokes are nice and noticeable." However, some reviewers noted that the ink could dry out quickly with regular use.
6. The Best Budget Calligraphy Brush Pen
Crayola Washable Super Tip Markers
Yes, that's right, you can use the same markers you used for coloring books as a kid for calligraphy by carefully applying pressure on the downstrokes and lifting up for the upstrokes. While the lettering might not be as dramatic as you'd get with some brush pens, these Crayolas will do the job with enough patience.
And with the price for a pack of 10 the same as you'd pay for just one of some other brushes, they're a great deal that has been recommended by many professional calligraphers including Etsy artist and YouTuber Lauren Liz. Designed with durability in mind (kids are not the gentlest users), you will get lots of wear out of them, and there are a ton of colors to choose from as well.
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