The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Brush Pens

I want to start off by saying BRUSH PENS ROCK. Pointed-pen calligraphy and watercolor brush lettering seem to get all the attention, but brush pens might be my favorite tool to work with. Why? Easy to travel with, easy clean up, bold strokes, quick drying- need I say more? There is a huge range of brush pens, so before I share my faves, I want us to learn a bit about the different types available!


-Made from animal hair
-Soft and flexible tip
-Harder to control but responds better to hand movements

-Made from nylon
-Soft and flexible tip
-Harder to control but responds better to hand movements

-More like your classic marker feel (think Crayola)
-Firmer tip
-Offers more control (doesn't give away your shaky hand!)

**I recommend starting with felt tipped pens.**

WHAT TO BUY should now be your new best friend (and no, I am not getting paid for this). I highly recommend grabbing the JetPens Brush Pen Sampler and the JetPens Brush Pen Sampler 2. This will give you a great mix of natural, synthetic, and felt-tipped to try out and find what you like.

My personal faves are the Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pen and the Zebra Disposable Brush Pen- Super Fine.


A common misconception with lettering is that the reason yours doesn't look so hot is because there is some magic tool out there that will make it awesome. NOT TRUE!!

Lettering is less about the tool and more about knowing your tool well. After trying the different brush pens, I would pick one type to really focus on and commit to. Practice up and down strokes, go through the alphabet, or write your name a million times until you figure out every strength and quirk about that tool. Once you master one tool, you'll find it easier to move on to the next.

What are your favorite tools? What are obstacles that stand in your way of lettering like a pro? What other questions about lettering do you want me to answer? Leave a comment below!