Brush lettering has become more and more popular in recent months. I’ve begun to notice many companies incorporating brush lettering in their magazine advertisements, shop windows and even in their logos. The free style of brush lettering script has made it a popular choice in new home designs and art prints everywhere (which of course, I love!). Now, if you were to try brush lettering at home, getting a brush pen is the first thing you’d want to do. However, the large variety of brush pens available for brush lettering can sometimes be very overwhelming for someone who has never tried it before. From my experience and many trials, I’ve narrowed it down to 3 brush pens that I love for brush lettering.
1. Daiso Flexi-Brush
This brush pen has synthetic hairs and is pre-filled with black ink. I bought mine at my local Daiso store, which sells a wide variety of Japanese home wares and stationery. I picked this up on a whim while browsing the store, and before I knew it, I had gone back and bought loads more! I have never tried the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen but I’ve heard that it is very similar.
- Can easily create thick and thin lines, similar to a #0 round watercolour brush. The thin lines I can create with this pen is one of the best reasons to repurchase it.
- The brush tip has great spring back and retains it’s shape
- Super affordable! I got 3 of these for $10 (NZD) at Daiso
- The ink runs out fairly quick in comparison to my other brush pens (e.g. Tombow Dual Brush, Copic Ciao or Faber-Castel PITT Artist Brush Pen)
- It is not refillable. It’s not a deal breaker, but I like being able to refill my pens since it’s so wasteful to go out and buy more! Nevertheless, I will still repurchase these
- The ink is a slightly muted black. I do prefer a darker black
2. Copic Ciao
This brush pen is also pre-filled, but with an alcohol based ink and it is two sided. One side has a brush and the other, a chisel tip which can be used for italic lettering. I’ve always heard this being compared to the Tombow Dual Brush, though for me, this wins hands down (Sorry Tombow!).
- The ink is super dark and black
- Can easily create a thin and thick line. I find it much more difficult to create a thin line with a Tombow Dual Brush
- It doesn’t fray! I’ve had mine for so long and it is still in a top notch condition
- It is refillable. You can buy separate ink bottles to refill these pens making it an economical choice
- The ink is alcohol based and bleeds through regular copy paper. I always have to stack a bunch of scrap paper underneath the sheet I am working on or the ink will go through to the next page or mark my table
- The smell of the alcohol based ink gives me a headache! I can never write for too long with these pens
- The felt nib does get misshaped if you use it a lot (as shown in the above photo), so you have to use to same side of the nib each time to get the same results.
3. Kuretake Zig Brush20
Technically, there’s two pens here, but I could not decide whether I preferred the detailer (small) or the medium tip of this water brush. These waterbrushes have nylon bristles and can be filled with water (to be used with watercolours/gouache) or inks.
- I can use any colour ink or paints with these pens. I don’t have to buy a separate pen to get another colour
- The bristles have great spring back and retains its shape well
- Great for travelling if you don’t want to carry a pot of water to use your paints
- The barrels come in bright colours. Obviously this doesn’t affect how the brush is used, but it’s a nice touch
- The bristles get stained. This doesn’t affect how the brush pen is used, so long as the water runs clear when you clean it.
- Hard to fill with water. I find the easiest way to fill it is to hold it nib up, squeeze the barrel, invert it into a cup of water, and repeat until it’s filled.
I hope that this post is useful to everyone out there who’s new to brush lettering. Everyone has different opinions on products, so it’s always best to try out a variety of pens until you find one that’s right for you.