Best Brush Pens for Calligraphy in 2020

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.

PRODUCT DETAILS  
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.

 Pros 

  • 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

 Cons 

  • 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.

 Pros 

  • 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

 Cons 

  • 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.

 Pros 

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

 Cons 

  • 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.

 Pros 

  • 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

 Cons 

  • 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.

 Pros 

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

 Cons 

6. Pentel Brush Sign Pen 10 PCs

What these markers lack in presentation, they compensate for it with a remarkable performance. As you use them to write on paper, the tips of each pen smoothly glide while delivering precise lines. Yes, these aren’t professional-level tools, but they can still accomplish a lot.

The set offers a total of 10 markers with vibrant colors for eye-catching artworks. While writing, the ink flows out satisfactorily, preventing missed spots that inconsistent markers could provide. After many tests, the ink still hasn’t bled through the paper, which is another plus.

Due to the constant ink flow, you can use the markers for many activities. Although these aren’t the typical dual-sided pens, they’re still capable of delivering thin and thick lines. It all depends on the amount of pressure and technique used over the paper.

There are a few interesting observations about the ink. First, there are no toxic chemicals involved, making the markers safe for everyone. Secondly, the ink won’t dry quickly, meaning that you’d have to be cautious while drawing. Otherwise, even the thinnest line could create a mess.

The ideal application for these markers would be non-calligraphy lettering. People won’t recommend it for regular writing because quickly taking notes makes the pens feel scratchy against the paper. Also, the ink may be unevenly light and dark.

Unfortunately, the ink does seem to run out pretty fast. It’s easily the only noticeable issue while using these markers, as everything else is near perfect. For the price and quality, this set can overshine the most renowned brands out there, and rightfully so.

 Pros 

  • Set of beautiful markers for vibrant artwork
  • Flexible tips that glide over the paper smoothly
  • Non-toxic & safe for everyone to use
  • Delivers thin & thick lines over different surfaces

 Cons 

  • Ink of these markers runs out quick

7. Sakura XBR-12SA Koi Brush Pen Set

Although less popular than other brands, Sakura remains one of the few reliable art suppliers that don’t disappoint. In this case, we’re taking a look at the brand’s 12-Pack of assorted color brush pens, which perform fairly similar to an artist’s brush.

Among the many advantages of these pens, we have a resistant tip that springs back to its predetermined shape as soon as you lift it off the paper.  Besides being resistant, the tip is efficient, providing consistent ink flow to guarantee the best results.

The water-based solvent included is also a plus. It’s odorless, as well as highly capable of creating smooth blending between different colors. Plus, the solvent layers the colors to deliver beautiful effects.

Sadly, the color quality isn’t the best. Specifically, the red color doesn’t look as vibrant as you’d expect. Instead, it may seem like a shade of brown instead of bright red.

Another issue is the peach color, which is so light that it’s barely visible on the paper. It works best as a highlighter rather than an additional color suitable for art projects.

 Pros 

  • Resistant tips that spring back to original position
  • Many colors offered
  • Water-based solvent is non-toxic & odorless
  • Affordable price

 Cons 

  • Quality of the colors is far from good

8. XWU Colored Watercolor Brush Pens Set

As you may know, projects like rock painting require skills, but most importantly, the right set of markers. In that sense, this package offers 20 colored pens and one water coloring brush that offer the precision needed for those type of art pieces.

Besides rock painting, these markers are suitable for scrapbooks, posters, and art on windows.

Particularly, the pens are good due to the decent quality of the ink. On the paper, it’ll flow continuously, providing consistent drawing without missed spots. Additionally, there’s no fading, smearing that could damage your drawings, as the ink will resist against that as well as against water.

The oil-based ink, apart from being highly resistant, is capable of creating appealing drawings. With the high-contrast colors offered, you’d be able to create opaque and glossy lines that stand out on most surfaces, be it dark, light, or reflective.

Also, the ink is non-toxic and odorless. Not only will it be pleasant to use the markers for hours, but there won’t be unpleasant smells either. This particular advantage makes the pens suitable picks for classrooms and small offices.

The tip of the markers does provide other advantages that most artists will like. Most noticeably, the possibility to achieve thin strokes for detailed artworks. Plus, it takes a lot of effort for the tips to receive any damage at all.

Now, it’d be wrong to classify these markers as professional tools. They mostly serve as entry-level to amateur use. The ink, although good, is far from perfect. Lastly, the color quality isn’t as top-notch as seen in other sets of markers reviewed here.

 Pros 

  • Good for rock painting, scrapbooks, & window art
  • Quick-drying ink resists fading, smearing, & water
  • Colors stand out over dark surfaces
  • Fine tip for precise drawings

 Cons 

  • Ink & color quality is far from the best

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.

Elasticity

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

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.


People Also ASK (FAQ)

 

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.

Tanish

Hello World! Tanish here, a student of Fine Arts. Drawing was my passion from an early age but I also love to do some DIY projects to spend my leisure. Even I work as a writer, to share my knowledge about the ins and outs of drawing and the art industry itself. As an artist, I always wanna share my experiences with you all.

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