The best brush calligraphy pens for beginners: everything you need to know about which calligraphy pens are best for beginners and why.
You want to get started with brush calligraphy. But after seeing what it feels like an infinite amount of calligraphy pen options, you are completely overwhelmed. I feel your pain! There are way too many options when it comes to calligraphy pens. If you are looking for the best brush calligraphy pens for beginners, you are in the right place.
Which calligraphy pens should I buy? Where can I buy them? I’m a total newbie, which pens do I need to start calligraphy?
If you have any of these questions, then I’m glad you are here. In this blog post, I’ll tell you precisely what calligraphy brush pens you need to start, and I’ll share with you the reasons why I recommend these brush calligraphy pens for beginners. I’ll also show you a couple of other options, so you are on the right track of starting your calligraphy journey. Even if the only thing you have at the moment is pen and paper, you can start learning calligraphy TODAY! In this blog post, I show you exactly how, plus I give you a FREE calligraphy practice sheet to help you get started right away.
THE BEST BRUSH CALLIGRAPHY PENS FOR BEGINNERS
After trying many brush calligraphy pens, there are a few I recommend for beginners. I’m basing this list on my personal experience using them.
First, I have to start with the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens. The Tombow Fudenosuke are must-have calligraphy pens for beginners. The Tombow Fudenosuke family has three members:
1. Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tip.
2. Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip.
3. Tombow Fudenosuke Twin Tip.
These are the pens that I used when I first started, and I recommend to anyone beginning this calligraphy journey. These calligraphy brush pens are fantastic even after the beginning stage. You will use them no matter your calligraphy expertise level. The cool thing is that they now come in a value pack so that you can try them all at once.
The Tombow Fudenosuke Hard nib is my favorite for calligraphy beginners. But I know everybody is different, so that’s why it’s good to have a couple more options.
But, how do you even pronounce that?
I’m sorry. I should’ve gotten that out of the way first. After many, many, many, many, (did I say many) attempts at getting this word right, I just gave up and started calling them “Fudes,” which is short, sweet, and easy. But if you must know, the correct pronunciation is “foo-den-OH-ski.”
- Their small, long lasting, flexible tip: This is the #1 reason why I recommend these pens for beginners. Using a brush pen with a smaller brush tip makes it easier to control the brush pen, which makes them great beginners to learn the pressure differences. No matter the amount of pressure you add to these pens, the tip won’t break. The stiff tip makes it easier to get thin lines.
- Water-based and pigmented black ink. Being water-based means that it’s easier to remove if it gets on your clothes. The pigmented black ink is permanent and bleed-proof.
- They are made of recycled polypropylene plastic. It’s one of the best eco-friendly brush calligraphy pens you can get. This characteristic is a plus for me!
- Odorless & Non-toxic.
- Affordable. You can get the set of hard and soft nib for about $6, and the set of 3 is about $8 on Amazon. Michaels and Hobby Lobby carry these pens also, and you can always use a coupon when buying from these craft stores.
The Tombow Fudenosuke hard tip was and still is my go-to brush pen. These pens can last a long time. I’ve had a few that didn’t have a long life, but for the most part, I’ve gotten good use from most of the ones I’ve had. I use this pen almost daily. Since I learned calligraphy, I must use it to write (almost) ALL the things. Even simple notes! My journal or planner entries will have some level of calligraphy or lettering done with the Tombow Fudenosuke Hard tip.
I also love the Tombow Fudenosuke soft nib and use it often depending on the project. People tend to go for one over the other when they are first learning calligraphy. That’s why it’s excellent this pen come in a pack.
The Tombow Fudenosuke Twin Tip has a small tip as well. It has a black nib in one end and a gray nib in the other — kind of like the best of both (gray and black) worlds. The brush tip on this pen (both sides) is like the Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip.
I honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with these pens. I’m basing this “con” on personal preference.
- They don’t come in different colors. The Tombow Fudenosuke only come in black. The twin tip gives you the option of gray. But that’s about it. There are no other colors (sad face). So the only thing that could make these pens better is if they came in colors.
UPDATE: AS OF SEPTEMBER 2018, THE TOMBOW FUDENOSUKE NOW COME IN COLORS!!!
- The Tombow Fudenosuke now come in 10 different colors. They have the same brush tip as the Tombow Fudenosuke hard tip, and they are just as amazing as the rest of the Tombow fudenosuke brush pens. You can read the full pen review I did in this blog post. I also made a Free Calligraphy practice worksheet you can use with your Tombow Fudenosuke Colors or any other brush pen with a small tip.
You can have access to this FREE worksheet by filling the form at the end of this blog post.
OTHER GREAT BRUSH CALLIGRAPHY PENS FOR BEGINNERS
If having color options is your thing, then don’t worry. The Pentel Touch Sign Pen, Fude Brush Tip has 12 different options for color. Their brush tip is like the Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Nib. They are also a great choice of calligraphy pen for beginners because of their small tip.
Now, make sure that when you are buying the Pentel Touch, you pay close attention to the package. It needs to say “Fude Brush Tip.” Pentel has another set of sign pens. The difference is that their tip is not flexible AT ALL! These pens are usually cheaper than the ones with a brush tip. I bought the wrong ones by mistake. I thought I had scored a great deal, but my happiness was over rather quickly. Once the pens arrived home, I discovered I bought the wrong ones. Don’t be like me, read the product description.
A COUPLE MORE OPTIONS TO CONSIDER…
Now, If you are bold and like to live life on the edge (okay, I’m a little dramatic here), then you could start learning calligraphy with brush pens that have a larger tip. I still recommend you get comfortable with the small tipped brush pens first. Yes, before you move to the larger tipped brush calligraphy pens. But in the end, it is entirely up to you.
As far as larger tip goes, my favorites are the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Tombow does it again with providing excellent brush calligraphy pens. (No, I’m not promoting or work for them. I just like their products. Although, it would be amazing to work for Tombow!) These pens come in 96 colors. The cool thing is that they are water based so you could use them to blend and create even more colors.
Tombow Dual Brush Pens are available individually, in packs of 10, or all 96! I recommend you get the packs if you can’t get the whole package of 96. You will invest more upfront, but it will save you money in the long run. They will be more cost-effective in packs, than buying them individually.
Another excellent option for larger tip brush pens is the Artline Stix Brush Pens. I discovered these pens after the Tombow Dual Brush Tip, but these are just as good. I love how juicy they are! The only difference with the Dual Brush is the width of the down strokes (usually thinner) and the upstrokes (not as small as the Dual Brush Pens).
Last, but not least.
Recently, Tombow decided to come up with a great idea. They put together a fantastic beginner lettering set. This set has everything you need to start hand lettering, in one place. This option is excellent if you don’t want to search for all these pen options separately.
The Beginner Lettering Set Includes:
- 1 Fudenosuke Hard Tip.
- 2 Dual Brush Pens.
- 1 MONO Twin Permanent Marker.
- 1 MONO drawing pencil.
- 1MONO eraser. (my favorite eraser).
- Bonus points – It includes a pamphlet with helpful tips to get started.
One thing to keep in mind: if you want to learn calligraphy, what matters the most is your willingness to practice. Having a lot of calligraphy tools and brush pens won’t make you better if you don’t do the work. All you need to start learning calligraphy is pen and paper. Yes, that’s all you need. In this blog post, show you how you can start making beautiful letters TODAY. In there, I show you the one technique you can start using right away to make calligraphy plus you can get access to my FREE calligraphy worksheet so you can get started right away.
The best brush calligraphy for beginners are the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush pens because of their small tip. Their small tip makes them easier to control, and it’s great to learn the pressure differences. On the other hand, if small brush tips are no your thing, I recommend the Tombow Dual Brush Pen or the Artline Stix Brush Pens.
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Thanks for reading today’s blog! I hope you find it helpful and it makes it a little easier for you to start your brush calligraphy journey.
Thank you for your helpful tips. I am just a beginner so I am in need of some pens.
You’re welcome, Jill! I’m glad this post was helpful 🙂