To begin with what are brush pens and how are they different than normal brushes?
Regular brushes allow you to mix your own inks and paints which gives you more control over color and consistency where as brush pens come with a set ink in the pen. However, with brush pens you also don’t have the excess factor of dealing with a separate well of ink.
There are many different factors that play a role in how the brush feels when writing. To begin with the material the pen is made with is a key factor in determining the durability and firmness of the point of the brush. The three main types you may come across are natural hair bristles, synthetic, and felt. Hair bristles tends to be the softest of the three and felt the hardest.
The benefits of a soft tip is that it gives the brush more range and ability in line variation while a hard tip is more rigid and will require more pressure to accomplish a similar effect. This being said, a soft brush is much more difficult to control and will seem nearly impossible when first beginning. Trust me I tried when I first began. Therefore, when first starting out a harder brush tip is recommended.
Whether you want to study calligraphy or you just want to be able to put a cool title on the top of your letter, finding the perfect pen is the first and most crucial step.
After months of searching for the best brush pens, the list I am left with of my preferred brush pens are as follows:
- Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen – Hard
- Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen – Soft
- Tombow Dual Brush Pen
- Platinum Japanese Chinese Calligraphy Fude Brush Pen(fine point / soft brush)
- Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen
- Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush (not exactly a brush pen)
These pens listed are also in order of the easiest to use to the most difficult. Tombow fuenosuke brush pen set of two is the option I’d highly recomend for beginners and those with experience alike. They are a small tip with alot of control as well as ability.
When lettering something slightly bigger such as an address or a title, I suggest the Platinum Japanese Chinese Calligraphy Fude Brush Pen. It is very easy to learn and has great possibility. No matter which brush I try I always seem to return to this one.
The next step up in difficulty would be the pentel arts pocket brush pen, the fibers of the brush are slightly less tight which can give an interesting effect, however, it also makes normal calligraphy more difficult to achieve especially if you don’t know what you are doing.
Last on the list isn’t exactly a brush pen but it is highly recommendable if you desire to learn calligraphy and how to master a brush pen. The pentel arts aquash water brush comes in different sizes and with different tips which can help you learn how to handle a brush. In addition, it requires water colors which is much less messy and pricey in comparison to inks.