I am by no means a hand-lettering professional, nor do I claim to be very good at it. However, I do a lot of hand-lettering in my bullet journal—most people do. Hand-lettering is a beautiful, fun, and creative way to add some functional art to a bullet journal layout. This post will overview 10 of the most popular and trusted brush pens for handlettering.
These pens are in no particular order, and I have not personally tried every single one of these pens. This post may contain affiliate links
Tombow Dual Brush Pens are one of the top, most popular brush pens out there. They come in smaller packs of 4 all the way up to packs of 96 which include the stand. These pens not only have a brush pen side, but they have a fine tip side. They write smooth and come in beautiful colors.
Reviews ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.5
“They blend pretty well and get darker with more layers. You can blend them out with some water too, if needed! (so it’s not waterproof) And you can scribble some colors on plastic and pick them up with another marker for a more seamless blend!”
“They are incredibly pigmented, but easy to work with. I use them for handlettering and calligraphy, and they flow smoothly and are perfect for people starting to hand letter or just looking to draw with quality brush pens.”
“Best brush pens I’ve ever owned! I can’t wait to buy the whole set of all of the colors. They’re great for modern calligraphy, easy to hold, and vibrant colors.”
I absolutely love my Ecoline Brush pens, they look so amazing and write so smoothly. I splurged on these pens and bought every single one, and I do not regret it. These pens are so pigmented and look so beautiful. I highly recommend these pens for higher quality hand-lettering.
Reviews ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 5.0
“Beautiful colors! Like any brush pen, a little practice and play before doing ‘serious’ work will definitely help you get the feel of these. The color saturation varies greatly with the amount of pressure you use, so it’s very easy to get an ombre look with just a little practice.”
“I absolutely love these pens. Well worth the cost. The colors are vibrant, and the pens are ‘juicy.’ These brush tips give you the true thin and thick lines of modern brush calligraphy. As a newbie, these give me the very best results in my practice, outshining my practice with Tombow brush pens.”
“Very juicy, heavily pigmented brush markers….good for calligraphy and coloring…can bleed through lighter papers.”
Watercolor pens are of my favorite brush pens out there. I love Life of Color’s pens because they are super pigmented, work perfectly as brush pens or watercolor pens, blend well, and come with a water brush pen! I have used these pens for blending, lettering, and coloring.
Reviews ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.7
“These make watercolor painting so much easier; the brushes are great to draw with, and the tips are perfectly shaped for both painting and lettering. There’s also a cool blending brush that helps get a nice watercolor effect which I love.”
“The colors are so vibrant, and they all blend beautifully! I mostly do calligraphy (brush pen and dip pen) and I love that the bristles of these pens don’t fray when used on mixed media/watercolor paper.”
“Excellent markers, they make you feel like a true artist! Vibrant colors, easy to use, they glide and feel like paint brushes without the mess, would recommend to everyone!”
Faber-Castell is one of my favorite fineliner brands and I love the brush pens just as much. These brush pens take some getting used to as the tip is softer and longer than normal. However, they write beautifully and come in a ton of beautiful colors, I cannot wait to collect them all!
Reviews ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.1
“I am a big fan of the Faber-Castel PITT brushes and use them primarily for my handlettering craft. I own a numerous amount of different pens, along with other PITT sizes, and I am starting to find that the PITT brand seems to be one of my favorites.”
“With a super thin tip, and wider base, these are the perfect pens…you press lightly, and you can do very thin details, press a bit more and you’ll get wider lines. Because of this, all drawings just look more professional due to the variance in width in your lines as you work on your piece.”
“I had a hard time finding any marker that would not bead up excessively, had good colors, and did not smear before I could spray more lacquer over them to protect. These work well.”
I have been using these brush pens for a long time. I have never heard other people give them a review or using them, but I love them. Not only are they beautiful metallics, but they draw well and aren’t super expensive. That being said, the ink does not last as long as more pricey brush pens. Regardless, I recommend these pens!
Reviews ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.0
“These are a good value for what they are. I like the colors, and they are just metallic enough to add some pizzazz to my cards, etc. They are great alone and for highlighting letters that are not written with metallic pens.”
“Great product, works awesome. More than happy with it. Thanks so much!!”
“these write well on dark and light paper, and the tips don’t fray too easy which I like.”
I have not personally used any of the pens that follow. However, they come highly recommended, and are on my list of pens to try! Check out some of these reviews to learn more.
Reviews ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.2
“Now if you haven’t used these before, I would highly, highly recommend getting this pack of both the hard and soft nib! At first, I was leaning towards getting the hard nib pen, but after reading several reviews, the opinions on hard vs. soft were everywhere making me unsure whether or not I was getting the right product for what I needed.”
“love these pens!! I just recently got into brush calligraphy and heard this brand was the best. OMG, they are fantastic! They are easy to use (if you can get the hang of going light on the upstroke and harder on the downstroke!) They write well and they got here just when they said they would.”
“There honestly isn’t any competition when it comes to brush pens. These two Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens are all you need for calligraphy and illustration.”
These pens are must-haves! Most hand-letterers recommend these pens or actively use them. I have not personally used any Pentel pens, but I hear about them all the time and would love to try them sometime!
Reviews ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.5
“Absolutely LOVE these pens! They write so smooth, and the pigment is amazing. I’m just getting into brush lettering/ modern calligraphy, and these pens make practicing a breeze! Highly recommend.”
“f you’re into brush pen calligraphy, they’re good for small lettering. They’re comparable to the ((thicker tip)) Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens, they’re just less precise due to the fact that they release more ink.”
“These pens have flexible yet durable-feeling tips. Lots of juicy ink! Great for smaller brush lettering and illustrations. Makes a great range of thicknesses for a super fun drawing experience! A joy!”
I had never really heard of Prismacolor brush pens before researching brush pens. However, they highly recommend and sometimes find themselves in a top 5 list. I will definitely be trying out these pens!
Reviews ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.5
“I really like working with these markers. Fun, in a word. They blend well, and the brush tip feels so smooth against the paper. It also gives you great line diversity options.”
“Very nice quality and beautiful rich colors. You don’t need to press hard. But, do note that, depending on your paper, they do bleed through the paper.”
“These markers are high contrast, pigmented ink in a felt brush tip. They color like water paints, giving you control over the saturation of your lines. These are the best markers to use when you want a gradient effect in artwork. “
Zebra is a pen brand that is everywhere in bullet journaling and calligraphy. While I do not own these pens, I have tried them out, and they are wonderful! Highly recommend!
Reviews ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.3
“Just got these and love them. There is no English on them at all so I’ll have to learn which barrel color is which brush so I don’t have to keep removing the lids to figure it out. All pens write smoothly with no issues right out of the packaging.”
“My favorite thing about these pens is the opacity of the ink! The blacks are pitch black, and the grey is very opaque! My favorite out of the 4 has to be the fine tip pen and the usuzumi (grey) simply because they are incredibly smooth.”
“These are the best inking pens I have ever used, and I will never go back to any other pens after using these!!”
And this final brush pen is from a well-loved and trusted brand, Sharpie! While I do not own any Sharpie brush pens, I own a lot of Sharpies, and I love them! Considering how trustworthy Sharpies are, I am sure the brush pens are equally as good!
Reviews ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.1
“These are wonderful and bold, as Sharpies always are. However, if you want to use them for hand-lettering, be warned that the tips dry out surprisingly fast. After only a couple of uses, the lighter upstrokes are a bit spotty and ragged.”
“So glad I found these! I do a lot of calligraphy work and never knew sharpie made a brush pen.
For the price, they are absolutely worth it. The pens are extremely juicy and maintain a relatively fine point. I’ve used scores of brush pens, and I’d rate these up with Tombows for the quality — not necessarily in the fineness of the tip,”
“I love these markers. Although there are many types of markers to choose from, I particularly like drawing on glass with these.”
I highly recommend all of these hand-lettering brush pens to at least be tried! Not every pen is for everyone, but pick at least one and try them out!