Some of the Best Brush Pens for Beginners

One of the most common questions I hear from people just beginning brush lettering and modern brush calligraphy is, "What are the best brush pens for beginners?"   

some of the best brush pens for beginners

Well, to a certain degree, that will depend upon each person, of course. But, some brush pens are just easier to use than others, and I sort of found this out the hard way.

So, I do have some opinions about brush pens for beginners, based on my own experiences. These pens aren't just for beginners, though!  They're some of my favorites in general, too.

Back when I started brush lettering, I just went to my local art store and bought a few different brands to try that I had seen people using online. 

If I were choosing pens today, though, I wouldn't necessarily choose those particular pens as first choices.  A few examples of the pens I would not start with  are the Tombow Dual Brush Pens, the Koi Coloring Brush Pens, and the Faber Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pens. 

Now, those pens are all fine pens, each with their own good qualities, but the tips on those are all medium to large and very flexible, and are somewhat difficult to control, for beginners. I was enjoying them at the time, but I think my progress would have been faster, had I chosen easier to use pens, at first.

some of the best brush pens for beginners

I have recommendations for both small and medium to large brush pens below.

best brush pens for beginners

Hopefully,  with some of these recommendations, I can save you some of the frustration that I experienced.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Small Brush Pens for Beginners:

I recommend learning brush lettering with a small pen that has a firmer tip. Not only are small brush pens great to learn with,they are perfect for longer quotes, bullet journals, planners, addressing envelopes, etc. These two have been my favorites, and they're the ones I use the most in my journals.

best brush pens for beginners

The black Fudenosukes come in both hard and soft tip, and the colors come only in hard tip.  I prefer the hard tip, as it's easier to control and gives thinner upstrokes than the soft tip.  It almost replicates a dip pen, because of the thin upstrokes,and I really love the look. It comes in many colors, including neon, and is easy to find. Wonderful for smaller lettering.

I've recently discovered this one, and I love it. It has a super fine, sturdy point, and it, too, is great for small lettering. The tip is very firm and easy to control.  One downside of this one is that it only comes in a few colors.  But it's a great little brush pen, and I recommend it.

You can see how similar the Tombow Fudenosuke and the Zebra Funwari are in the photo, below. The tips are almost the same size. I love both of them.  

Medium to Large Brush Pens for Beginners:

For projects that require larger letters than you can achieve with the small brush pens, the pens, below, would be nice choices.  They're great for beginners because of their firmer tips, which make them easier to use than some of the other larger pens, like the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. The Tombow Dual Brush Pens are very nice pens (and I have quite a stash of them), but the tips are very soft and flexible, which can be difficult for beginners.)

The tip on this one is semi-firm, and not too difficult to control.  I would call it a medium to large tip. (Not as large as the tip on the Tombow Dual Brush Pens.)  I really like the gorgeous colors and the quality.

This one is a large brush pen. The tip size is somewhat comparable to the Tombow Dual Brush Pens (which I love), but I find the Brushables to be slightly easier to use for beginners because of the slightly firmer tip. Another nice quality of this one is the ink is lightfast and archival. It has brush tips on both ends (different shades of the same color), rather than a fine point bullet tip at the opposite end. 

Best brush pens for beginners

 Although this is not a brush pen, of course, I feel the need to include this great classic marker, as you can achieve that nice thick/thin line variation with it. While it probably isn't best to learn brush lettering with a Crayola marker, a Crayola Broadline marker is a fun and inexpensive pen to use for larger brush lettering.  It's so easy to control. And, of course, you can't beat the price!  Using a Crayola marker for brush lettering is a little bit different than with a brush pen. You will need to rotate the Crayola a bit to the side to get the thick downstrokes, more than you would with a brush pen. But, they are so much fun to use, and the lettering quality with them is better than you might think!

I hope this has given you some direction in your search for your brush pen purchases. They are some of my favorites, both for the beginner and the more experienced alike. 

You  will have your own favorites, but these are some that I think most beginners will enjoy and find a little less frustrating than some others.

Have you tried some of these?

Linking to:

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  1. First of all, your brush lettering is beautiful! Thank you for your honest recommendations for pens that you have found success with! Smiles, Linda at Paper Seedlings

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! I'm glad it helped!

  2. What a great resource here! I purchased a few brush markers not too long ago. Haven't had time to sit, and play with them yet, but looking forward to it.


    1. Thanks, Alexandra! I hope you have fun with it. It's so relaxing.

  3. Thanks Pam, I am sure many budding creation makers will love reading this, so we will feature it on the next Blogger's Pit Stop.

    1. Thank you, Kathleen! I appreciate the feature so much!

  4. Thanks for sharing these tips and brands for beginning lettering, Pam! It's very helpful to know that you shouldn't start off with the 'best' when you are a beginner. :-) Happy to be featuring you tomorrow at Tuesday Turn About! Pinned!

    1. These are all actually very excellent quality (well, the Crayola markers less so, at least for brush lettering!) But, they are all easier to control than some other pens. I was thinking it could save people some money, because maybe they won't be going out and buying SO MANY pens, like I did! LOL Thanks so much for the feature!! I appreciate it so much!!

  5. Beautiful lettering Pam, and helpful advices for beginners. Thanks for sharing at the FWF party.

    1. Thank you so much, and thank you for hosting the party so that we can all share there.

  6. Nice lettering!! These are so fun to use and I love all the assorted colors. Thanks so much for linking up with me at the Unlimited Link Party 30. Pinned!

    1. Thank you so much, Dee! And, thank you for hosting the party.

  7. Thanks for your post on Grammy's Grid. I enjoy the Tombow. I agree with you in I wish that I had been exposed to the smaller pens first as I think it would have made learning brush lettering easier.

    1. Hi Lisa, I'm with you -- I love the Tombows (big and small!) I enjoy the larger ones a lot, but I wish I had started with the smaller ones!

  8. Pens are great fun :)

    1. They really are. I have a little bit of an obsession with them, I think. But, it's fun!

  9. CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at my Unlimited Link Party 31!

    1. Oh, thank you so much Dee!! I appreciate it!


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