My Favorite Brush Pens for Beginners

11 Brush Pens I'd Recommend

When I was getting started with calligraphy I was SO overwhelmed by all of the brush pens. I bought a lot of pens, ruined them, and found myself quite frustrated. Does this sound familiar? In my experience, the pen you start with can have a huge impact on whether or not you will feel successful as a beginner. That’s why I recommend these three pens for beginners AND talk a lot about starting with Crayola markers.

I have made it my personal goal to help you avoid all the frustration and overwhelm that I felt as a beginner calligrapher. So, here are eleven pens that I use the most frequently. I chose these pens because I love them, I use them regularly, and I feel they will benefit you. I’ll use this post to break down each pen and tell you why I love them and keep getting them back out!

Zig Clean Color.
Recommended Level: Beginner.
Comes in many colors.
Brush Tip Size: Medium.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Very Flexible, Bristle Tip.
I love these pens because they are flexible, colorful, and portable. Their small size makes them easy to bring in my purse for on-the-go letters. When I’ve worked with beginners, these have been an overwhelming crowd favorite. Don’t be afraid to give them a try!
Find more posts with this pen here and here. And my Pinterest board here.

Artline Stix.
Recommended Level: Beginner.
Color: Comes in many colors.
Brush Tip Size: Medium.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Barely Flexible, Felt Tip.
These pens are great for beginners because of their barely-flexible tip. They are firm and do not bend when you press on the tip, which can be really helpful for a beginner. They come in a lot of colors. They have lego connecting sides, which can make them awkward to hold at first, but I still love using them!
Find my Artline Stix Pinterest board here.

Pentel Fude Touch.
Recommended Level: Beginner.
Color: Comes in many colors.
Brush Tip Size: Small.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Slightly Flexible, Felt Tip.
Honestly, this is my favorite pen. I probably pick this pen up more than any other brush pen I own. That tells you something. I think it’s a perfect pen for beginners (which is why I recommend it with my brush calligraphy guide). It is small, portable, and the tip is the perfect amount of flexible.
Find my Pentel Fude Touch Pinterest board here.

Pentel Color Brush.
Recommended Level: Intermediate.
Color: Comes in many colors.
Brush Tip Size: Large.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Very Flexible, Bristle Tip.
I LOVE using this brush pen. It has a longer, flexible tip which is the reason I don’t necessarily recommend it for beginners. This pen is unique because you squeeze the ink through yourself. When you first get it, you will need to remove the red piece so that the ink will come through. I use this pen to write your names on the envelope when you order one of my books!
Find my Pentel Color Brush Pinterest board here.

Tombow Dual Brush.
Recommended Level: Intermediate/Advanced.
Color: Comes in many colors.
Brush Tip Size: Brush Tip Size: Large.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Very Flexible, Felt Tip.
These pens are colorful, vibrant, and a little bit frustrating for [most] beginners. These are some of the first pens that I tried and I had a very difficult time using them. I don’t tend to recommend these until you’ve got the basics down. They are very easy to fray and require the smoothest paper. I do love these pens, though, and hope that you will come to love them as well!
Find my Tombow Dual Brush Pinterest board here.

Tombow Fudenosuke, Soft Tip.
Recommended Level: Beginner.
Color: Currently only available in black (& it looks like colors are coming, yay!).
Brush Tip Size: Small.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Slightly Flexible, Felt Tip.
Another small, portable favorite of mine. This pen is great for beginners and is similar to the Pentel Fude Touch & Zebra Brush, Fine. See video proof right here. I love this pen (and the hard tip as well!). I have seen some evidence that more colors are coming soon – which is great because I would love this pen even more if color options were available!
Find my Tombow Fudenosuke, Soft Tip Pinterest board here.

Zebra Brush, Super Fine.
Recommended Level: Beginner.
Color: Black.
Brush Tip Size: Small.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Slightly Flexible, Felt Tip.
This pen has the smallest brush tip of all the pens in this list. If you are wanting to write small, then this pen would be perfect for you. It is usually sold in a pack of three with the super fine, fine, & medium. This pack is perfect for beginners because it allows you to see the size of pen that you like the best!

Zebra Brush, Fine.
Recommended Level: Beginner.
Color: Black.
Brush Tip Size: Small.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Slightly Flexible, Felt Tip.
This pen is comparable with the Pentel Fude Touch and Tombow Fudenosuke, Soft Tip. Video proof is right here. I love this pen because it has good ink flow. It’s small (about the size of a regular pen) and easy to take along with you anywhere.

Zebra Brush, Medium.
Recommended Level: Beginner.
Color: Black.
Brush Tip Size: Small/Medium.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Flexible, Felt Tip.
This brush pen has more of a smedium tip – not quite big enough to be considered a true medium, but it is definitely larger than most of the small tipped pens that I own. I would almost push this to an intermediate pen because of the flexibility of the tip. It’s a great pen to experiment with, but may not be the easiest to manage at first.

Tombow Fudenosuke, Twin Tip. (double sided)
Recommended Level: Beginner.
Color: Black on one side, gray on the other.
Brush Tip Size: Small.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Slightly Flexible, Felt Tip.
This pen is fun because it has two tips – one is gray and the other is black. I don’t have a lot of use for the gray side, but it does make it a little bit more fun to use. This pen is very similar to the other Tombow Fudenosuke’s in the way that it writes. If you like to use different shades of gray & black, then it would be perfect for you!

Crayola Marker.
Recommended Level: Beginner.
Color: Comes in many colors.
Brush Tip Size: Medium.
Brush Tip Flexibility: Not Flexible, Felt Tip.
These are my secret weapon. I had NO idea that I could create such thick/thin differences with my simple Crayola markers. Seriously, I wish I had known about them sooner. What I love about these is the fact that most of us already have them. This means we don’t need to go buy anything at the store – we can get started right away! They are similar to Artline Stix in brush tip size and flexibility. I highly recommend trying out your newfound calligraphy skills with your markers at home!
Find more posts about Crayola markers here and here. And my Pinterest board here.

If you are wondering which pen would be best for the style of calligraphy you want to create, head over to my Pinterest page where I have a board showcasing each of them in action.

Have you tried any of these pens before? Which ones are your favorites? Are there any important ones that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below or come chat on Instagram!

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