Have you been searching for the best brush pen to use as a beginner? Learning how to handletter can be difficult and having the wrong pen can make it even harder! I have compiled a list of my absolute favorite brush pens for beginners to help you in your journey!
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Now, I want to add a disclaimer first. Things like where you live, what stores are local to you and whether or not you’re able to purchase things on Amazon can make a difference when it comes to shopping for brush pens. I know that not everything I use may be easy for you to find. So I’m going to break down my favorite brush pens for beginner by size. I’ll give you a few different (great!) options in each category, so that you can see which one is available for you personally.
Please don’t think that I’m saying you need all of these brush pens. They are all great and I’d recommend any for beginners. But by giving you a few options, my hope is that you will be able to find something that works great for you at an affordable price!
Alright, so let’s get into my favorite brush pens for beginner calligraphy and handlettering!
About Small Brush Pens:
Small brush pens are great for beginners learning how to hand letter because the tip can be a little bit easier to control than a large brush pen. They are flexible, but don’t necessarily flop around as much as a larger brush pen may. Also, with the easy flexibility, it can help you to get the feel for what kind of pressure you need to apply to get thick strokes. Even with just a bit of pressure, the tip of small brush pens will typically bend to create that large downstroke, so this can be really helpful in seeing just how your slight hand movements and pressure can change your lettering.
While small brush pens aren’t typically my main go-to for brush lettering, I do think that they offer some great benefits for beginners learning how to use a brush pen!
Best Small Brush Pens for Beginner Calligraphy and Handlettering:
Pentel Touch Brush Pen (click here to shop | click here for video review)
The Pentel Touch is a great option for beginners because it’s so easy to find, it lasts a really long time and come in a variety of colors! The Pentel touch is a favorite of a lot of people and I think one big reason why is because they don’t seem to fray very easily. Fraying can be a frustrating thing with brush pens, but this small Pentel Touch brush tip seems to hold up very well! I have actually never had one of these brush pens dry out EXCEPT for when I left a cap off.
Overall, if you’re looking for a durable, small sized brush pen that can help you learn brush lettering, this might be a great option for you!
Zebra Brush Pen Pack (click here to shop)
Let me be up front about this one… I LOVE this Zebra brush pen sampler pack. It’s inexpensive, it comes in multiple great sizes to test out and the pens are great quality. If you have never tried a small sized brush pen, this is a great one to test because you can get a feel for whether you like a slightly softer small brush tip or a more firm and crisp small brush tip. I have tried a variety of Zebra brand pens and have been a fan of so many of them.
Zebra Funwari Brush Pen: click here to shop | click here for video review
The Zebra Funwari brush pen is similar to the Pentel Touch in that it comes with multiple great colors. In my opinion, it starts out a bit more firm, but it doesn’t take this brush pen long to soften a bit and create a little bit thicker of downstrokes.
Zig Cocoiro (click here to shop | click here for video review)
This brush pen is one of the only refillable brush pens that I have tried. The body is one piece and then the inner part, that includes the brush tip and the ink, is interchangeable. This means that you can have multiple different colors of brush pens with only one body of the pen.
The brush tip of this one is super firm. It’s also pretty skinny. And you’d think that it would just crush under the pressure of a firm hand (like mine) that is trying to create thick downstrokes. But I have not found that to be the case. I have replaced the inner part one time over my course of using it.
About Medium Brush Pens
This is my sweet spot when it comes to my own handlettering. I love a big brush pen, but it can make it a bit harder to letter more than a word or two at a time. But small/fudenosuke sized brush pens just don’t always lend themselves to my style of handlettering. So for me, the good lettering comes with this medium in-between size brush pen!
I think they’re the perfect combination of super flexible and bouncy (like a larger brush pen) and easy to control (like a small brush pen). You will probably see me use the brush pens on this list most often if you watch my Youtube channel or follow me on Instagram.
Best Medium Brush Pens for Beginner Calligraphy and Handlettering:
Caran d’Ache Fibralo (click here to shop | click here for video review)
This brush pen is my go-to for bouncy lettering! It is really flexible, but the tip is pretty short, which feels a bit easier to control to me. It has a unique set of colors, which is great, but also I would love some pastels!
Stabilo Pen 68 Brush Pen (click here to shop | click here for video demo)
This brush pen is pretty new to me, but it quickly became a favorite. It reminds me a bit of the Fibralo, but the color variety is really bold. The short, flexible tip makes lettering with a heavy hand great!
Sharpie Stained (click here to shop | click here for video review)
This is my beloved brush pen! It’s SO SO hard to pick just one. But I think if I had to pick one favorite brush pen, this would be it.
Now listen, it has its downsides! It’s SUPER juicy… like so much that it can look a bit bubbly as it dries. I can also imagine it would be really hard to use as a lefty. There is also not a great color variety and some of the colors they do have, look a little bright on paper. (They are meant to be used on fabric)
But the size, shape and durability of the brush tip just can’t be beat. I love them so much. So much that I am willing to buy an entire pack when I really only want the black. They are an unlikely favorite, since they aren’t really meant for handlettering. Sharpie even came out with a handlettering brush pen, but it sadly does not compare to the Sharpie stained.
Best Large Brush Pens for Beginner Calligraphy and Handlettering:
Karin Brushmarker Pro (click here to shop | click here for video review)
For those looking for a brush pen that is similar to the Sharpie stained, but with a variety of different colors, this may be the one for you. Now, I don’t think it’s the twin of the Sharpie stained at all. The brush tip is much larger and feels a lot different to me.
But, it is similar in that it is very juicy and very durable. The added bonus is that the colors are amazing! There are so many options and you can make so many color combinations with them. The tips are incredibly sturdy and this is one brush pen that I don’t mind using on a textured paper. I personally like Mixed Media paper, but some will use watercolor paper with great results. It does depend a bit on the type of lettering you’re doing, if you’re adding water to your lettering or if you’re blending different colors together. But the durability of the Karin Brushmarker Pro allows you a lot of different options!
Zig Fudebiyori (click here to shop | click here for video review)
The Zig Fudebiyori is just a classic, quality brush pen. The tip is a great size, it has great flexibility and it bounces well.
Winsor & Newton Watercolour Brush Marker (click here to shop | click here for video review)
This brush pen has been a favorite of mine for a long time! It’s a great introduction to a larger style brush pen for beginners because the tip is a big more thick at the base, which I think helps you to be able to control it a bit more. A long, skinny brush tip can flop from side to side with pressure, but the design of the Winsor and Newton Watercolor Brush Marker seem to prevent that a bit for me.
I personally don’t like to use mine on watercolor paper unless they are already frayed. However, since they are watercolor markers, they do dry beautifully on watercolor paper.
Koi Coloring Brush Marker (click here to shop | click here for video review)
This is another classic brush pen that’s maybe a bit softer. If you do not find yourself to have a heavy hand, this may be one that you enjoy. A lighter amount of pressure works well with this brush pen.
Crayola Broad Line Markers & Crayola Supertips Markers
These markers are great for beginners if you can find them available at a low price. I know that sometimes people rave over these for handlettering, but it isn’t necessarily that they are the most amazing quality of marker for handlettering.
The amazing part is the price! And that so many of us have grown up using these and probably already have them in their art stash. If not, a quick order from Target or Amazon can get us a pack in just a few dollars. So if you are wanting to test out handlettering but not wanting to spend a ton of money, then you might want to give these a try!
Broad Line: click here to shop | click here for video review
Supertips: click here to shop | click here for video review
If you’re a beginner wanting to learn how to handletter, make sure to check out some of these amazing resources below!