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If you are new to hand lettering then you are in the right place. In this article we are going to talk all about the 7 best brush pens for beginners and help you get started on your brush lettering journey.
In a hurry? Check out our top pick:
At a glance – 7 Best brush pens for beginners:
- Tombow Fudenosuke
- Zebra Fude Sign Brush Pen/ Zensations
- Pentel Touch Sign Brush Pen
- Zebra Funwari Brush Pen
- Kuretake Zig Fudebiyori
- Zebra Mildliner Brush Pen
- Tombow Dual Brush Pen
What is the best brush pen for beginners?
The best brush pen for beginners is the Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen which is a small brush pen that is easy to control. This is essential for beginners who are just learning how to write the basic strokes and the alphabet.
The Tombow Fudenosuke usually comes in a 2-pack or a 3-pack and includes a hard tip and a soft tip version.
Hard tip: The hard tip is more firm and comes in 10 primary colors and 6 neon colors. If you are comparing the size to other brush pens the size of the hard tip is a super fine size.
Soft tip: The soft tip is more flexible allowing you to create a thicker downstroke. The size of the soft tip is fine and it is only available in Black.
Best Small Brush Pens for Beginners
Although the Tombow Fudenosuke is my number 1 pick there are a number of other small brush pens that would be good for beginners learning brush lettering.
Zebra Fude Sign Brush Pen
Zebra Fude Sign Brush Pen (aka Zebra Zensations or Zebra Disposable Brush pen) is another great small brush pen.
3 Sizes: This brush pen comes in 3 different sizes: super fine, fine and medium. There is also a dual brush version that has a fine brush tip on one side and a medium brush tip on the other.
1 Color: This brush only comes in black so if you love color then consider one of the other small brush pen options.
Here is a picture comparing the brush tip sizes between the Tombow Fudenosuke and the Zebra Fude Sign Pen/Zensations .
Pentel Touch Sign Brush Pen
If you want more color options then consider the Pentel Touch Sign brush pen. It comes in 24 different colors and features a fine brush tip.
Zebra Funwari Brush Pen
Zebra also makes the Funwari brush pen which comes in 8 different colors. It features a super fine brush tip.
Here is an image featuring the 6 color pack of the Zebra Funwari brush pen.
Best Large Brush Pens for Beginners
For beginners I definitely recommend starting with one of the small brush pens, but if you have used a small brush and want to branch out to a larger brush pen then consider these 3 large brush pen options.
Large Brush pens are more flexible and require more control: Just remember that bigger brush pens are generally more flexible and harder to control than a small brush pen. Large brush pens allow you to create thicker downstrokes and you can get more of a contrast between your thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes. I have found that it is usually harder to create the thin upstroke using a large brush pen because it requires more control.
Kuretake Zig Fudebiyori
The Kuretake Zig Fudebiyori is made from water based ink and features a large brush tip. It comes in 48 different colors including black.
Zebra Mildliner Brush Pen
The Zebra Mildliner Brush Pen is a dual sided pen that features a large brush tip on one side and a fine bullet tip on the other. This is a good option for bullet journaling where you want the option of both the brush tip and the bullet tip. It comes in 15 different colors, but there is no black version. You can read our full review of the Zebra MIldliner brush pen.
Tombow Dual Brush Pen
The Tombow Dual Brush pen is a dual tip marker that features a large brush tip and a small bullet tip. It is made from water based ink and has good blendability. It comes in 108 different color options so there are lots of colors to choose from. You can get the complete set or purchase them in packs of 10. You can read our full review of the Tombow Dual Brush pen.
Note: I include the Tombow Dual Brush Pen on this list because there is a wide range of color options and it is great for watercolor projects, but the large brush tip is more flexible which makes it harder for beginner’s to control. As a beginner make sure you start with one of the small brush pen options first and then as you get more comfortable the Tombow Dual Brush pen would be a good second brush pen.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What are the best cheap brush pens?
If you are on a tight budget then consider practicing with a Crayola marker first before investing in a more expensive brush pen. As a beginner you need to start first with learning your basic brush strokes and how to use those strokes to form the letters of the alphabet.
You can easily start practicing with a crayola marker first and as you get more comfortable and decide that you really like brush lettering you will be more prepared to invest in a brush pen.
You can also easily get the look of brush lettering using faux calligraphy which involves first writing out the word and then adding additional lines to thicken the part of the letter that would be considered the “downstroke”.
What is the best brand of brush pens?
There are a lot of different brands out there that sell brush pens. The brands that I recommend to start with are:
- Kuretake Zig
What kind of paper do you use for brush pens?
One problem that can happen with your brush pen is your tip can fray. To avoid fraying make sure you use the right kind of paper for your brush pens.
Avoid using normal copy printer paper because it has a rough texture to it. Instead try the HP Premium 32 paper which is more smooth and better for your brush pens. This paper is great for everyday practice.
If you want something thicker to use for end result products then try Bristol paper.
3 Tips on How to Use a Brush Pen for Beginners:
Hold your pen at a 45 degree angle
When you hold your brush pen make sure you are holding it at about a 45 degree angle. The body of the pen should rest at the web space between your thumb and 1st finger. When you are too upright with your pen it can damage the brush tip. Also having the pen at an angle helps with creating the thick downstrokes.
Learn your basic strokes first
When learning a new skill for the first time we always have to start with the building blocks. In brush lettering those building blocks are called the basic strokes. The basic strokes are the foundation for your alphabet. Here is an example of the basic strokes using the Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen.
Watch the video below to learn the basic strokes of brush lettering.
No one wants to hear that they should practice, but honestly if you don’t practice there is no way that you will ever get really good at something.
It’s easy to get a little envious of all the great artists you see on instagram, but they have been doing it for years. Remember don’t compare someone else’s middle to your beginner.
Free practice sheets: Practice sheets are a great way to practice your hand lettering. Here is a good place to find free brush lettering practice sheets for both small brush and large brush pens.
Where can I learn hand lettering?
One of my favorite platforms to learn on is Skillshare. It is like Netflix for hobbyists. Skillshare features a lot of classes on different topics including hand lettering.
Using a hand lettering workbook is a great way to learn how to hand letter. Here are two I recommend from Amazon.
Youtube is a great free resource for learning brush lettering. Here are 3 of my favorite Youtube channels on hand lettering.