Best Brush Pens for Calligraphy in 2020

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It never ceases to amaze the amount of incredible art you can accomplish with just a few ideal brush pens.

Of course, regular brush pens may not do the trick. That’s why we’ve selected eight different options that are capable of delivering beautiful results on paper, canvas, sketchbooks, and many more surfaces.

During our reviews, we’ll analyze the pros and cons of each one of these pens. By the end, not only will we know which are the best picks, but also which set will be more suitable for our projects.

Without anything else to add, let’s dive into the colorful world of drawing pens!

5 Best Brush Pens for Calligraphy | Quick List

  • Tombow Dual Brush Pen
  • Sakura Pigma Assorted Pen
  • Crayola Ultra Clean Markers
  • LYRA Aqua Duo Brush Pen
  • Tombow TwinTone Markers

Different Types of Brush Pens

Due to the many brands currently in the market and the thousands of pens available, it could be tricky to narrow down the list.

However, you could follow a simple method of organizing the pens under two categories: based on nib/tip and based on ink flow. Here’s what you need to know.

Based on Nib/Tip

Normally, there are three types of brush tips: natural hair made from animal hair, synthetic bristle constructed out of nylon, and felt.

The first two options, natural hair and synthetic bristle are softer than felt. Both take a while to master, which is why they’re suitable for people with some experience.

Then, we have felt tips. These are firm and similar to marker tips, which offer good balance and control for the user. Because of that, tips made of felt are ideal for beginners.

Other features to consider are the tip’s elasticity, firmness, and size. Most commonly, you’ll find fine, medium, and broad tip sizes.

Based on Ink Flow

Good ink flow leads to consistent drawings because there won’t be any streaking or pooling that could ruin the results. Just like before, a brush marker offers three types of ink flow: wet, medium, or dry.

Markers with a wet flow are capable of creating rich lines almost immediately once the tip makes contact with the paper. Alternatively, brush pens with dry ink flow allow the tip to linger on the paper without leaving ink blobs behind.

As you consider markers based on the ink flow, make sure to keep in mind the importance of good pigmentation.

Pigmentation is essential if you want your art projects to look bold and noticeable.

Top Rated Brush Pens for Calligraphy

Looking for the most valuable calligraphy tools? Take a look at the top calligraphy brush pen sets currently available.

Runner-upTombow 56185 Watercolor Marker Tombow Dual Brush Pen
Top Pick Sakura Pigma Assorted Pen
Best Value Crayola Ultra Clean Markers
Best Value LYRA Aqua Duo Brush Pen
Best Value Tombow TwinTone Markers

1. Tombow Pen Dual Brush Markers (Bright)

Best Watercolor Marker

Let’s start these reviews with a set of bright colors, because who doesn’t like their art looking vibrant? This set offers nine colors, with an additional blender pen to create good-looking effects. Some of the colors included are pink, orange, green, purple, and red, to name a few.

Due to the dual-sided design, you get different tips on each end. On one side, you get a flexible nylon brush tip to create medium or bold strokes. The other side offers a fine tip that guarantees consistent lines. This particular nib is also good for adding detailed drawings to your art.

As mentioned above, the pack includes a colorless blender pen. This item is surprisingly efficient, as it softens and blends colors for beautiful watercolor effects.

Although the set doesn’t have dozens of markers like others would offer, the blender pen allows users to achieve great mixing. The water-based ink gives you the option to use two colors together only to add the colorless blender afterward and create new art.

Much to the user’s convenience, every part of the markers in this set seems to be durable. For example, the nylon brush is capable of retaining its point even after a long time of using it.

The tips self-clean, meaning there’s no need to do thorough maintenance once you finish with your projects.

Despite considering the brush flexibility among its strongest points, it could also have a negative impact on beginners. It takes some time to create the perfect thin strokes often seen in hand lettering and similar art projects. For that, you may need stiffer pens.


  • Colors included are vibrant & bright
  • Capable of offering variation in line widths
  • Comes with a blender pen
  • Fine & brush tips for more versatility
  • Self-cleaning tips after use


  • Mastering the brush flexibility takes some time

2. Sakura Pigma Assorted Colors Brush Pen

Sakura Pigma Assorted Brush Pen

The following set is ideal for artists that enjoy the beauty of calligraphy pens and manga drawing. With an 8-Pack of assorted colors, you’d be able to accomplish those and even more projects due to the precise tip and consistent ink flow.

In this set, you get colors like black, red, blue, green, brown, purple, orange, and pink. The tip, as mentioned above, is precise thanks to its ultra-fine design. Besides offering precise lines, the tips move smoothly over a variety of surfaces.

As for the ink, though most will appreciate its constant flow, its quality is perhaps the noteworthy fact. While using the markers, there are no smears, inconsistencies, or bleeding through the surface of any paper type.

Trustable ink leads to more confidence from beginning to the end of each one of your projects.

These markers offer a ton of benefits no one can dismiss. For starters, the pens are waterproof and fade-resistant, making the results look outstanding for a longer time. Plus, the pigment-based ink uses single color pigments dries to pH neutral.

Another benefit worth mentioning is how comfortable it feels using the markers. Their thin design is pleasant to hold, and the pens react quickly, depending on your needs. If you make changes in pressure or direction, those changes would be visible on the ink flow over the paper.

While anyone can use these markers, they’re better as an entry-level set. After weeks of using them, the brushes start to spread out noticeably, which isn’t ideal for professionals.

People that want to commit to art professionally will end up upgrading from these pens shortly after purchasing them.


  • Good-looking set of markers with assorted colors
  • Waterproof, fade-resistant & stable ink
  • No smears, bleed-through & no toxicity
  • Consistent ink flow for better results


  • Brushes start to spread out relatively quick after first use

3. Crayola Ultra Clean Washable Markers

Crayola Washable Markers

The convenience of these markers is one of the reasons why many people prefer it over other options. Not only is this set ideal for adults, but children as well. Kids get to use them as art and school supplies due to the pens’ capacity to complete art projects, classroom activities, and more.

This set offers 12 washable markers in assorted colors. Other than looking vibrant on the paper, the ink is easy to remove, making the set perfect for kids ages three and up.

Despite not having a dual-sided design, the broad tip guarantees proper ink flow to create bold strokes.

Another particular feature kids will enjoy is the design of the markers. Unlike most other pens that have a slim design, these are chunkier, which secures a proper grip. Of course, that may also mean it’d be harder to get toddlers to let go of the markers.

As seen in many Crayola markers over the years, these come with conical tips for more flexibility. With them, you’d be able to create thin lines while still having the option to go for thicker strokes. The colors included in this set are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, among many more.

Since the name of the set suggests the markers are washable, you may be wondering how much truth lies in that. After some tests, the ink does come out, although it may take more than one attempt in some cases. Ultimately, how fast the ink comes out depends on the surface and how dried it is.


  • Set of washable markers ideal for kids
  • Twelve vibrant colors included
  • Capable of doing fine & thick lines
  • Tube design ensures proper grip
  • Non-toxic


  • Sometimes it takes more than one attempt to wash the ink

4. LYRA Aqua Brush Duo Brush Pen Set

LYRA Aqua Brush Brush Pen

These pens come packaged in a beautiful case, offering a total of 24 colors with a brush-on effect for artists of all ages. The pens have two tips, one broad and another one fine on each side to offer versatility capable of completing a variety of projects.

One of the most interesting facts about these markers is their stability. Over the paper, the tips work flawlessly, delivering the consistency needed to create excellent strokes. Whether you’re using the fine or broad tip, the lines left on the surface look incredible.

The ink has water-based properties, which offers a ton of benefits, as we’ve learned so far. Some of the advantages you can expect are no toxicity, safety for children, and easy to remove if it becomes necessary.

Plus, the water-based ink serves the brand’s purpose for the markers, which is to allow a variety of brush-like techniques.

Overall, these brush markers offer deep rich colors and quality materials that hold their shape. These two features make it easy to draw different lines, especially straight.

The many options in colors available also help increase the number of projects you’d be able to complete.

For example, these pens are ideal for water coloring, brush lettering, planning, and many other tasks.

While the colors are great, the selection lacks some essential choices. Most prominently, there’s no purple offered. Additionally, the red looks a bit more of a pink tone than true red.

Still, those two nitpicks don’t diminish the value of the pens. These pens are capable of creating high-quality art children and adults can enjoy.


  • Efficient brush pens that provide a good-looking brush-on effect
  • Stable tips included for consistent drawing
  • Dual-sided design with fine & broad tips
  • Water-based ink
  • Ideal for artists, designers & more


  • No purple included
  • Red has a pink tone instead of true red

5. Tombow TwinTone Markers

Tombow TwinTone Markers

Although the dual-sided design isn’t anything new, this set of markers truly takes it to another level. For instance, the 0.3mm extra-fine tip is one of the thinnest out there, providing sharp, detailed lines for incredibly precise art like brush calligraphy.

At the other end, the 0.8mm broad bullet tip delivers bold lines for better visibility.

Additionally, the durability of the tips is yet another pleasant surprise. With durable fiber as the main material, they’re long-lasting and capable of maintaining good shape after each use. You’d be able to use this set of pens for decorating, color-coding, and many more tasks.

The theme of this set is twelve bright colors, including red, pink, green, blue, orange, and more. Other versions available are Pastel and Rainbow, with the first being more creamy while the latter offers more vivid colors. In this case, all of the colors look incredible to achieve eye-catching art.

Besides being safe for artists of all ages, the water-based ink included is quick-drying. Not only will your art look great on the paper after each stroke, but there are low risks of possible smudges.

On a variety of projects, these markers create legible pieces with outstanding color quality.

Another benefit of the water-based ink found in these markers is how reliable it can be. A rich ink that looks vibrant and not heavy, allowing it to sit over the paper without nasty saturation that could lead to bleeding through paper.

After ordering, make sure your order comes perfectly. Some of the markers, especially the bright green, may come already dried out. It’s an issue that most customers have reported.


  • Bright & beautiful colors included
  • Dual-sided design for more versatility
  • Ink is quick-drying & non-bleeding


Things to Consider Before Choosing

Before picking a set of calligraphy brush pens, make sure to consider the most important features only true brush pens of the highest quality can offer.

Tip Size

The size of the tip is one of the most important features, as it’ll determine the nature of the activities you’d be able to do with the marker. For instance, fine tips are ideal if you’re looking to buy pens for calligraphy. Of course, it all depends on the artist’s personal preferences.

Also, you can go for dual brush pen sets, which will offer two tips on each side for improved versatility.

Ink Flow

As mentioned earlier in the article, there are three types of ink flows, each one being suitable for specific art projects. If you want consistent drawings, then the wet ink flow type is the go-to choice, as it’ll reduce the risks of streaking and pooling.

Color Quality

The quality of the color is essential. It can be either watercolor, alcohol-based, and oil-based ink. Naturally, if you want the richest and most vibrant colors, you’ll have to pay particular attention to how well the colors look, if they’re bendable and whether or not it is a permanent marker.


What does elasticity mean? Well, an elastic brush tip is equal to a springy tip. It’s the amount of flexibility offered- the higher the flexibility, the more chances the tip has to return to its original shape after lifting it from the paper.

In some cases, the brush tip remains deformed even after removing the pressure.

Number of Pens

The number of markers per set can vary depending on the brand and its purpose. While some brands offer packages with bright and vibrant colors, others may offer more pastel-like options that’d fit better certain types of projects.

Plus, you can acquire either just a few markers or a bunch of them, which naturally impacts the price. Our pen reviews for drawing show a variety of options with a few to dozens of pens included.


Non-toxic markers are suitable for children and adults alike. It’s surprising how even the most popular brands create markers with low levels of toxicity, with Sharpies being one of them.

Always keep in mind to purchase products that are safe for people of all ages to prevent any negative reaction if the little ones get a hold of them.

Final Words

For traditional calligraphy, all we need are the right calligraphy papers and the right set of pens.

As seen during our reviews, the products listed in this article offer a ton of benefits with little disadvantages, making them long-term investments for every artist out there.

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