These are the best brush pens for beginners when learning brush lettering / calligraphy

Sep 19, 2023

If you’re here, I’m willing to bet you’re holding back on learning brush lettering because you don’t know what darn pens to use. You’re wondering what the best brush pens for beginners are.

Or maybe you’ve tried the ever so popular Tombow Dual Brush Pen and felt like an automatic failure, so you decided that you must just SUCK at brush lettering.

Read on my friend…(and don’t miss my recommendations below with links!)

The BEST brush pens for beginners

So you’re primed, ready and eager to dive into the beautiful world of brush lettering but have no idea where to start, specifically with what pen to use.

Brush pens are the perfect tools to start with, but choosing the right one can be overwhelming, especially with all of the pretty lettering videos out there using all different types of pens.

I’m here to lead you in the right direction! The best pens to start out with are pens that have a SMALL brush tip.

Why Choose Small-Tipped Brush Pens?

Brush pens come in various shapes and sizes, but as a beginner, opting for small-tipped brush pens is a wise decision for several reasons:

1. Better Control: Small-tipped brush pens provide you with greater control over your strokes. When you’re new to brush lettering and calligraphy, achieving precise and consistent lines can be challenging for various reasons. The smaller tip allows you to practice and refine your technique with more ease, helping you gain confidence and improve quicker. These are the best brush pens for beginners.

2. Easier to Handle: Large-tipped brush pens are long and usually more flexible which can feel bulky and unwieldy for beginners. Small-tipped brush pens are more manageable, allowing you to handle them comfortably and maintain a steady hand, which is crucial for creating smooth and controlled letter forms.

3. Ideal for Fine Details: Brush lettering often involves intricate details and flourishes. Small-tipped brush pens are perfect for adding those delicate finishing touches to your designs, enhancing the overall aesthetic of your work.

4. Minimized Ink Flow: Beginners tend to struggle with ink flow control, resulting in inconsistent lines and excessive bleeding. Small-tipped brush pens typically have a more controlled ink flow, reducing the likelihood of messy or unpredictable results.

5. Versatile for Different Styles: Small-tipped brush pens are versatile tools that can be used for various lettering styles, from modern calligraphy to traditional scripts. This versatility allows you to explore different techniques and find your unique style as you progress.

6. Budget-Friendly: When you’re just starting out, investing in a set of small-tipped brush pens won’t break the bank. These pens are generally more affordable than larger alternatives, making them a practical choice for beginners!


Here are my favorite small-tipped brush pens

1. Pentel Sign Touch Fude brush pen: My all time fave! I just love the feel of this brush pen when I’m lettering. It’s not too flexible and not too soft. The ink saturation is perfect, and the ink dries pretty quickly making it great for lefties like me so we don’t smear! But that’s also a good thing for righties 🙂 (Important note: There is also a version of the pentel pen which has a similar name but IS NOT a brush tip. It’s called the “Pentel Felt Tip Sign Pen”. So be sure to use the link above or click on the image of the pen below.)

2. Tombow Fudenosuke (Fude) brush pen: These are great as well but come in as my second favorite. There are two types. “Soft” tip and “Hard tip”

Soft tip: This one is more flexible and gives a bit thicker down stroke and upstroke compared to the “hard” tip.

Hard tip: This one is less flexible so it’s great for those with a “heavy hand” who like to press hard. With this one, you’ll get thinner down strokes and upstrokes compared to the “soft” tip. Most beginners prefer this one over the soft. Use this pen when you’re looking for an elegant outcome.


3. Uchida Le Pen Flex: These have a shorter tip than the other pens listed. The downstroke is comparable to the Tombow Soft Fude and the upstroke is about the same thickness as the Pentel. These come in fun pastel colors and the barrel itself is thinner than the other pens so it feels thinner in your hand.



4. Zebra brush pen  These again are very similar to the Pentel and Tombow. But the flexibility is somewhere in-between the Pentel and the Tombow fude hard tip. Making it great for beginners by giving lots of control. I definitely recommend!



Where can I find tutorials and lettering templates/worksheets that are perfect for beginners?

Well you’ve come to the right place my friend! Get started on your brush lettering journey (or get a much needed refresher) to get you moving in the right direction with my free Intro brush lettering course.


It comes with downloadable/printable worksheets that you can trace over top of. Also comes with video tutorials to follow along with.

Get started by signing up below


Let's do this brush pen thing!

Are you finally ready to crack the code and learn brush lettering from the ground up? Let’s do this!


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