The Best Brush Pens for Beginners in Calligraphy

beginners guide to brush pens
16 Apr, 2020

Welcome to the 2nd of the series! So far you have learnt the basic rules of brush calligraphy, and now it’s a good time to learn about the brush pens.

A lot of people think you need fancy pens, or proper old school quill and ink in order to get started with calligraphy. The truth is, you can learn the rules using some basic cheap pens, and you can easily create the most beautiful pieces of calligraphy art. To make it easy, I have compiled a list of the best brush pens for beginners in calligraphy! All these pens are also fairly inexpensive which is a bonus. Let’s get started.


Cherry Pearl Creative - Brush Calligraphy Free Resources - worksheets
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Before we get started showing you all the awesome brush pens, I should probably explain to you what they even are. To put it simply, a brush pen is a pen with a tip as flexible as a paint brush. The flexible nib helps you make the thick and thin strokes needed in calligraphy (we will learn more about strokes in the next few posts). Brush pens are highly used as an alternative to the original dip-pen quills in traditional calligraphy, as well as brushes in Japan used to write Kanji with. Brush pens come in many different sizes and varieties, with the tips often varying in firmness. Some of the larger and softer brush pens are really sensitive to the type of paper you use them with, and can become easily frayed and damaged so they are best used in advanced calligraphy. Some brush pens even have an actual brush as a tip which is made up of lots of fibres. These do not behave the same as regular brush pens, so they are a whole new learning curve to master.


Now that you know what brush pens are, let’s dive into the best ones for beginners. There is one brand called Tombow that is widely known in the calligraphy community because they have a vast array of beautiful pens for beginners and advanced calligraphy and lettering.
Tombow Brush Pens - Cherry Pearl Creative

Small Tombow Pens

My favourites Tombow brush pens for beginners are the Tombow Fudenosuke pens. These pens come in Hard Tip (Black), Soft Tip (Black)and Twin Tip (Black & Grey). They are my first preference for beginners. The hard tip is not fragile enough to get ruined easy, so it’s great for beginners who haven’t got the muscle memory to swap between thick and thin strokes smoothly. They are around $6 and they will last a long time (unless your 3 year old takes the lid off and smooshes it into the wall, which will ruin any pen… I speak from experience!). If you want coloured best brush pens for beginners in calligraphy, I wholeheartedly recommend the Fudenosuke Coloured Pens. These pens are just like the hard tip black fudenosuke pen, but they come in 10 beautiful vibrant colours. They have small tips, are really easy to use, and all have water based ink. Water based ink is definitely the best for a beginner, because it makes it really easy to blend the colours together. This is done by using a blending pen or just by layering the colours together. These pens a perfect choice for those that are just starting out in calligraphy.

Tombow Dual Brush Pen

One of the most popular brush pens by Tombow are actually their larger ones, the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. These pens come in so, so SO many colours, including one with clear ink which is just used to blend the other colours together. They are quite beautiful and I have seen some lovely art made by these pens. However, they have a bit of a sensitive and softer nib, so it is a little more difficult to learn with these pens (but it is achievable!). Due to the softness, you need really smooth paper or else they tend to fray. Luckily, in the next post I teach you all about the best paper for brush pen calligraphy.

Pentel Brush Pens - Cherry Pearl Creative

Other Brush Pens

I may have a soft spot for my Tombow pens, but there are many other great brands with high quality brush pens for beginners. A few others that I love are the Pentel Sign Brush Marker Pens . I have found that they are virtually unable to fray! They come in black and a variety of colours, have a small soft nib and are very easy to use. Lastly, a great alternative to brush pens are actually the Crayola SuperTips, which actually don’t have a flexible nib at all. Instead, they have an angled nib, which is really easy to use! It ends up working in the same way – more pressure changes the angle, which creates thicker or thinner strokes. These pens are also really cheap! Big W have them priced as $10 for 20 colours. If your kids want to join in the fun with calligraphy, these are ideal. They help get used to alternating the pressure between thick and thin strokes without getting easily damaged.

My New Favourite Brush Pen

I wanted to mention a new type of brush pen that I have found recently and I am slightly obsessing over. It’s the Kuretake Fudegokochi. The name is a mouthful when you don’t speak Japanese – but if you get it make sure you grab the one with the “Extra Fine” tip, which is the one with the white body.

It’s a small, firm tip which makes it fairly easy to use when you’re a beginner. The tip creates a smaller and finer line than any of the other pens mentioned here so it’s great for the really elegant, sophisticated looking work. It is really juicy too, which looks gorgeous and makes it a really strong black.

Definitely a must have!

Kuretake Fugegokochi Brush Pen

So there you go! These are what I recommend as the best brush pens for beginners in calligraphy. They are accessible, inexpensive and easy to use. Once you get your pens sorted, you can draw up some guidelines and start practicing the basic strokes. If you don’t really want to spend hours and hours ruling up the pages just to start practicing, pop your details on this form to get the password for my resource hub! It’s updated often and gives you worksheets and alphabets to practice along with. This makes it really easy for you to begin your calligraphy journey!

Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to see what you create with these tips. If you share it on social media, make sure you tag me or use #cherrypearlpractice
Keep creating!

Calligraphy and Lettering Supplies: Brush Pens and More

Hey! I’m Pearl Prisk

I’m a passionate mother, worshipper and creative that would love to help you unleash your creativity to the world.

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