You’ve probably noticed by now that I love to do modern calligraphy with brush pens and markers, and I think they are fantastic for those just starting out – I share my recommendations for beginners here. Today, I’m sharing my personal favorite brush pens and markers. Some will be repeats of my beginner’s list – just goes to show that, while investing in more and different tools can be fun, you don’t need an extensive or expensive collection of pens and markers to perfect this craft. Let’s get to it!
I had to start this list out with the Tombow Fudenosuke, which I’ve talked about in several other posts. This pen comes in a hard tip and a soft tip version. When I was a new calligrapher, I strongly preferred the hard tip because it was easier for me, a newbie, to control. Nowadays, I tend to prefer the soft tip!
Next up is another Tombow product – the Dual Tip. This one is cool because, as the name implies, it’s a double-ended marker. One end is black and the other is gray. As you learned in my last post, I am a sucker for a good gray pen! These tips are smaller and more flexible than even the soft tip Fude.
Sakura Koi brush markers come in a wide range of colors and have a beautiful finish. I think they produce the best natural ombré effect on smooth paper – you can see it in the photo a bit. I really like the size and flex of the brush, and of the what I would consider “intermediate”-level brush markers, I find these the easiest to control. These are also the Goldilocks of markers in my opinion – not too thin, not too thick – they’re just right.
Ecoline Watercolor Brush Markers are the famous Ecoline watercolor inks in marker form. These are great for when you want to use paint but don’t have the time or space to break out the paints, brushes, etc. They’re super thick and juicy (yep, talking about markers here), so I like to use these if I’m making a card and need to write out one bold message, like “Happy Birthday”. I will suggest you only use these on heftier paper – as you can see in my example, these markers are so saturated that they bleed and pool on thin, smooth marker paper.