Brush Pen Breakdown


With the current popularity of brush lettering and the variety of pens available, it helps to know which pen is best for you or your current project. While some calligraphers use actual brushes to create their lovely letters, many choose brush pens for envelopes, practice, and even final projects. They are also perfect to carry for sketching or writing on the go. For this article, we’ll give you a little bit of information about each pen we carry as well as a sample of quick strokes created by the pen.

20151015_112108~2The brush pens carried at Paper and Ink Arts with tips that are most similar to real brushes are the Pentel Color Brush Pens. These pens have previously been available in a wide array of colors, but Pentel has now discontinued all but black. (We still have some colors left in inventory, though!) Because of the great flexibility of the brush, the strokes produced can have less uniform edges. They are great for a less formal style, but they can also be wonderful for more traditional hands. The tip size allows for medium-large sized letters. Further, you can choose regular or pigment ink in the black. The pigment ink is permanent and waterproof.

20151015_114505~2Pentel also makes the Pocket Brush. This is a cartridge pen that also has a brush tip, but the bristles are a bit more stiff than the color brush. The ink is permanent, and the cartridges can be purchased separately. This is a fun pen that is equally good for lettering and sketching.

20151014_134736~2The Aquash waterbrush is also made by Pentel. The tip on this pen is very similar to the Color Brush. Though the empty waterbrush is often filled with water and used with watercolors, this pen can also be filled with ink for lettering. To ensure a good flow, you would want the ink to be of a thinner consistency. You can also buy this pen already filled with light black pigment ink.

20151015_112125~2Finally, Pentel has a fiber-tipped brush pen as well. The Sign Pen with brush tip (also called the Pentel Touch Pen) has become quite popular. Though the tip doesn’t look at all like a brush, it has outstanding flexibility that allows for great thicks and thins. It’s ideal for smaller lettering and is now available in twelve colors.

20151015_114430~2Also fantastic for smaller-medium sized lettering are the Faber-Castell PItt Brush Pens. These tips are slightly larger than than the Pentel Sign pen, and they can actually be flipped once you wear out the original side. Simply pull out the entire tip (using a paper towel to do so is highly suggested), flip it around, and reinsert it. It’s like having a new pen! The extensive color line makes these pens a great choice for a variety of projects or for envelopes.

20151014_134844~2Faber-Castell also makes the Pitt Big Brush Pens. These are similar to the regular Pitt Brushes, but they are much larger in size, making them a terrific choice for larger brush lettering. As with the smaller sizes, the wide color range is fabulous!





Sakura has just released the Professional Brush pens in three sizes. Currently, the only color available is black, but you can always find use for a black brush pen! In small, medium, and large, you can choose the best one for your current project or buy all three to have in your toolbox. The large size is one of the juiciest brush pens available. It provides a large amount of ink with each stroke. Loaded with the same ink as the popular Micron pens, these are permanent and waterproof.


20151014_134651~2Sakura also offers the Koi Coloring pens(available now by phone; coming to the website soon!) that are most ideal for watercolor looks. These pens combined with an Aquash brush can be used to create beautiful flowers and watercolor style lettering. They come in a nice color range and can be blended as well.



20151014_135228~2Winsor and Newton has also just released a watercolor marker. It is dual-ended, with one tip being a brush and the other being a bullet tip. We have twelve basic colors, but the line does include many others. As with the Koi markers, an Aquash brush is an excellent companion for these pens. Use the water to lighten your shade, blend colors together, and otherwise achieve a lovely watercolor effect.

20151015_112238~2Kuretake Zig has several brush pens in their line. Perhaps the most popular are the Brushables. Each medium sized tip (3/8″long to be exact) pen is dual-ended, offering two shades of a color. The ink is permanent, and the wide color range makes these a popular choice for envelopes and projects.

Extra Fine Flex Tip

Zig also offers the Cocoiro pens with the choice for an actual brush tip in black or an extra fine flex tip that many customers use like a brush (available in several colors). These fit perfectly in your pocket, purse, or bag so that you always have a pen on hand for quick brush lettering. The small sized flexible tip allows you to create stellar envelope designs!

20151015_112223~2If you want your writing to sparkle, Zig Wink of Stella brush pens are the choice for you. Heavily loaded with glitter, every stroke shines brightly. Use them for lettering or for accents.



20151014_134711~220151014_134814~2If you like shine without the sparkle, Zig also offers the Fudebiyori metallic brush pens(available now by phone; coming to the website soon!). These pens are fantastic for holiday envelopes or any other smaller scale project where a metallic brush lettering look is needed. Ink is water-based pigment and is lightfast. Zig also has a gold brush pen that has a tip that is more similar to a real brush. It is a greener gold and writes well on light and dark paper.


20151014_134520~2Another great brush pen that is relatively new to the market is the Posca brush pen. Loaded with water based pigment ink, these brush pens will write on a wide variety of surfaces. They are the best choice for writing on mirrors as is so often requested for weddings.



With so many choices, you are sure to be able to find the right pen for your brush lettering projects!

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