My Top 5 Favorite Brush Pens for Calligraphy

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Having just taught a brush calligraphy class a few weeks ago, these brushes have been top of mind lately!  Three of the brushes are pens that have different colors of ink in them and 2 are used with dip ink or watercolors. Let’s dive it first with the one that I use in my brush calligraphy classes!

The one on the right with the blue and pink squares is the soft brush. The green square on the left is the hard brush.

The one on the right with the blue and pink squares is the soft brush. The green square on the left is the hard brush.

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen

The Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens are great for beginners. They come in both a soft and hard tip pen, I recommend both for advanced and beginner calligraphers. I am always looking to have a really thin upstroke and a thick downstroke. I’m so picky about my thin lines!! These pens are my go-to because you have so much control over those thin lines. I highly recommend them. The main difference between the soft and hard brush is the soft pen allows you to create a heavier downstroke.

Soft and Hard Tip Fudenosuke Brush Pens for Calligraphy and Art Drawings https://amzn.to/2WOMSjV 

I picked up all these dual brush pens on a recent trip to Japan! They will forever be so special to me!

I picked up all these dual brush pens on a recent trip to Japan! They will forever be so special to me!

Tombow Dual Brush Pen

Next up is another Tombow product, the Tombow Dual Brush Pen. These are really popular because of the large variety of colors they come in. One end of the pen is a large, very flexible brush and the opposite end is a fine tip pen. As popular as these are and I love all the colors, they aren’t my favorite to use on client work. I find it hard to get a really thin line consistently and the brush end tends to fray. I recently did an original calligraphy commission with them because we were going for really colorful lettering. It took me about twice as long because I’m so picky about consistent lines! While these are fun pens and great in certain situations, I actually don’t recommend them for beginners because the brush is so flexible and large.

Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers, 10-Pack.Brush and Fine Tip Markers https://amzn.to/2E0hIPk 

Pentel Arts Sign Pen Touch Fude Brush Tip

The final brush pen on my list is the Pentel Arts Sign Pen Touch Fude Brush Tip. I LOVE these pens!! The black version was one of my very first pens because you could find it at Michaels. I practiced with it everyday. These come in great colors similar to the Dual Brush Pen and are so fun. Twice though, I’ve bought the wrong Pentel Sign Pen and ended up with a fun color but not a flexible point. Twice, I’ve done it twice. Make sure you get the “Fude Brush Tip” Model #SES15C. I have an entire collection of colors of the wrong pens. Perfect for coloring. :) These brush pens are really similar to the hard version of the Tombow Fudenosuke.

Pentel Arts Sign Pen Touch Fude Brush Tip, 12 Assorted Colors https://amzn.to/2Voqgsy


You can’t find McCaffery’s at Amazon but all the colors are at Paper and Ink Arts!

You can’t find McCaffery’s at Amazon but all the colors are at Paper and Ink Arts!

Watercolor & Ink

The last 2 brushes I use with watercolors and also with Penman’s Ink. The watercolor palette I use is just a basic one! 

Artists Loft Fundamentals Watercolor Pan Set, 36 Colors https://amzn.to/2GfQhDg 

My favorite ink with a brush is McCaffery’s Ink. It’s very light and thin so you don’t need to dilute it. It comes out really smooth on the brush. And of course, it comes in a lot of colors (clearly a theme with me!)

https://www.paperinkarts.com/mcolor---red.html


These are all round watercolor brushes that I’ve purchased at Michaels Arts & Crafts.

These are all round watercolor brushes that I’ve purchased at Michaels Arts & Crafts.

Round Watercolor Brushes

The brushes I use are a round watercolor brush both size 0 and size 2. Similar to the Fudenosuke Hard and Soft brushes, the size 2 will give you a thicker down stroke and the size 0 will be thinner. They both do great thin lines for your upstrokes! Here’s an example:

Princeton Artist Brush Neptune Size 0 https://amzn.to/2GgRIBw 


Aquash Brushes come in packs of 3 or individually.

Aquash Brushes come in packs of 3 or individually.

Pentel Aquash Brush

Finally, the genius of the Pentel Aquash Brush! I MEAN YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TO CARRY WATER. It’s just right there with you! Feel like playing with brushes and colors? Boom, you’re good to go. (If you’re lazy and never empty the water like me.)  You can put ink directly in the holder too but I never have. I just keep water in there. I use the watercolor palette listed above with this brush. It’s so fun!! They have 3 different size brushes; small, medium, and large.

Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush Assorted Tips, Pack of 3 https://amzn.to/2WNdm5c 

If you have any questions about brushes, please send me a message! I’d love to hear what your favorite brushes are! Any that I don’t have listed?

The Pentel markers I’ve purchased…twice…incorrectly. But they’re pretty! :)

The Pentel markers I’ve purchased…twice…incorrectly. But they’re pretty! :)

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