Brush-lettering is written with (no points there if you guess it correctly) brush markers or paint brushes and paint. I find the results less refined than calligraphy, because of the thin hairlines that you can get with a pen nib. But learning calligraphy is a long arduous journey, and brush-lettering might break you in because brush-lettering and calligraphy both have similar way of writing: press down to get thicker lines when it is a downstroke, and lift up to get thinner lines when it is an upstroke.
Since brush-lettering uses the same movements as calligraphy, beginner calligraphy learners might want to start building muscle memory with brush-lettering.
I used three different brush markers for the first photo: a dual brush pen that has a real brush on one side (black), Zig Letter Pen Cocoiro (maroon) and Tombow Dual Brush Marker (blue). The above photo is are the pens I named, starting with Tombow on the top. You can see the different brushes each marker has.
The type brush is important when you just calligraphy. A harder brush tip, like Zig Cocoiro, makes it easier to control the movements. So I wouldn’t recommend using a real brush marker, as it is extremely flexible, which makes it harder to control the writing. Tombow Dual Brush Marker is really good for beginners, and most brush letterers use it.
If you don’t want to invest in brush markers, but want to make use of the items you already have at home, you can easily pick up brush-lettering with paintbrushes and paints. I don’t often use my paintbrushes for this, since I find brush markers more convenient- no messing around with paints, after all. But you can achieve the same effect with brushes. The theory is the same. Thick downstrokes, thin upstrokes.
I tried to show the different types of brushes and how they differ in the results. Filbert brushes may be easiest if you are beginning, because it has a shorter brush, and it picks up enough paint to make the results bold. A small round brush means tinier writing.
I would like to elaborate more on Tombow Dual Brush Markers. The above photo is made using Tombow. What I’m trying to show you is that you can blend the colors together so that the color of the words changes halfway. It is more obvious in the red-orange, dark blue-light blue, deep purple-light purple combination. The yellow didn’t really show up well. I have seen really good color-blending techniques with these markers, and they are beautiful! You will definitely want to change them out when you buy these markers.
I use Tombows for coloring as well. I did a mini comparison of Tombow coloring with different coloring mediums, check out the post here. While Tombow didn’t win in the end, I think it is good for those who only wanted to invest in one coloring tool. Not everyone wants five different kinds of markers, do they? 😉
For more techniques on picking up Brush Lettering, I’ll leave it up to the professionals, like PiecesCalligraphy. You can read up her posts on How to hold the brush calligraphy pen, or Improve your brush calligraphy. She is really good at brush lettering/calligraphy, and has plenty of useful posts on it on her blog.
I hope you find this post useful! 🙂
Have fun lettering! Thanks for reading!