There is such a wide variety of calligraphy pens in a typical craft store that choosing a starting point can be quite overwhelming. In this blog I am going to give some examples of different brush pens and their unique qualities to help narrow the options for you, but first; I am going to quickly mention ”calligraphy essentials” for starting! You can always stock up on pens here and there, however it is not necessary to go all out and buy the fanciest name brand pens on the market to start practicing. (Or even to create some great calligraphy pieces!) I recommend purchasing some HP Premium32 laserjet paper, a penicl, an eraser, a ruler, and one (or more if you’d like) brush pen(s) of your choice. The HP Premium 21 laserjet paper is best for brush pens that can be frayed easily when working, a pencil for sketching your ideas, an eraser when those ideas get a little messy, a ruler for measuring the letters and making sure everything is aligned, and a brush pen for tracing your original sketch!
Now, I am going to start with some small nib brush pens that really make it easier to begin. The Tombow Fudenosuke pens and the Pentel Sign Pen. The Tombow Fudenosuke offers two different types of nibs: hard and soft tip. The main difference is that the soft tip is more flexible when applying pressure on the downstrokes and the hard tip is a little more firm. Due to the firmness of the hard tip, it doesn't give as broad of a stroke. These are both great to start with, because they are relatively inexpensive on Amazon and you can start with small letters. The Pentel Sign Pen can be found at Michaels, Amazon, or even Walmart. They work just as well as the Tombow Fudenosuke and offer a wide variety of colors. They have a soft nib and are fun to work with.
Next I'm going to go over some medium and large brush tips. The only medium size brush pens I’ve used are Ecoline and they are my favorite to work with! They are so fun to work with, they are extremely flexible and the colors look beautiful when applying more pressure. They really give a great ombré effect to almost any piece. Below are some examples of what I mean.
The green calligraphy in each of these photos was done with an Ecoline brush.
Ecoline brush pens can be purchased individually or in a pack. I have seen these at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and even Joann’s.
The large brush pens that I’ve worked with are Tombow Dual Brush pens, Artist Loft, and Maker’s Touch. The Tombow dual Brush pens have great flexibility, can be blended very easily because they are water based, and have tons of colors. These also have a felt tip pen side that you can use to add small details or doodles to your pieces. You can purchase one individual pen or you can purchase a multi-pack that sometimes includes a colorless brush pen specifically for blending colors. The only downside to using Tombow Dual Brush pens is that they fray very easily when used on paper that is not extremely smooth, so I would not recommend using on watercolor paper or anything that feels too rouhgh. Artist‘s Loft and Master’s Touch are each sold at Michaels and Hobby Lobby, respectively, and they are the store brand version of Tombow Dual Brush Pens. They are great for starting out, because they are not as expensive, however they will not have as great quality if you want to blend or do more versatile things with your calligraphy.
Above are some photos comparing the calligraphy of each pen.
Above are the Ecoline, Tombow, and Maker’s Touch brushes.
Above are the other sides of the Maker’s Touch and Tombow pens.
Thank you all for following along! Please join me next week as I go over some fun and simple backgrounds that can be made for Different calligraphy pieces!