One of the most frequent questions I get asked is about the tools I use for hand lettering. “What brush did you use in that video?” “What ink is that?” Today, I want to highlight some of my very favorite hand lettering tools for you. One of my favorite sites for purchasing these supplies is through Jet Pens. They have a wonderful selection and ship really quickly! Check it out here.
Brush pens come in many different varieties, some with bristles in the brush tip and some with a flexible felt tip. I love the versatility of brush pens and often carry one in my purse! Some of my favorite brush pens include:
- Pentel Aquash Water Brush: This is one of my favorite brushes to use with watercolors or inks because the water is built right into the brush. You just add water to the barrel of the brush and as you squeeze the barrel, you can control how much water comes out of the the tip. This brush also comes in a variety of tip sizes depending on the scale of your project. When lettering on envelopes, I like to use the fine point brush best. This brush is made with synthetic bristles giving you more of an organic look. Remember that you will need to purchase ink or paint separatelyto use this brush.
- Pentel Art Brush Pen: This is verysimilar to the water brush mentioned above although the barrel comes pre-filled with ink. The tip is made of nylon synthetic bristles. These pens come in a variety of colors and are really fun to use!
- Tombow Fudenosuke Brush pen: This is a felt tipped brush pen giving you a bit of a different look from the bristle tipped pens. You may also find that you have more control with a felt tip pen. This pen also comes in hard and soft tip which will give you varying thicknesses on your downstrokes. I am partial to the hard tip but love using both. When using a pen like this, it is important to use proper technique so as not to fray the tip.
- Tombow Dual Brush Pen: These may be the most popular brush pens on the market. They come in many different colors and have a felt tip. They are called the dual brush because they have two ends: one with a flexible brush lettering tip and one with a sturdy bullet tip. The scale of this brush pen is a bit bigger than the Tombow Fudenosuke so generally I prefer to use the Fudenosuke but these are also fun.
Ink/Paint for use with water brushes
- Dr. Ph Martin’s Bleed Proof White: This is my favorite white ink to use with the Pentel Aquash Water Brush. For use with this brush pen, you must dilute this ink slightly with water as it is highly concentrated. One of the things I love about this ink is it is quite opaque making it easier to read with hand lettering. This ink also works very well with traditional nib calligraphy.
- Watercolors: Watercolors are really fun to use with the water brush for lettering but also for other art projects or painting. You can use either dry watercolors or tubes. I have used both and don’t have a strong preference. You can find dry watercolors here and tube watercolors here.
iPad Pro and Apple Pencil
Perhaps my favorite tool for hand lettering is the Apple Pencil. I will have an upcoming post entirely dedicated to using the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro but just had to mention how much I love this tool here! It is like a thousand pens/pencils/markers/brushes in one and I love how responsive it is on the iPad Pro.
It is also important to have a few good gel pens in your arsenal for hand lettering on a smaller scale.
- Pilot G-2 0.38 Pen: This is my absolute favorite everyday pen that I also frequently use for hand lettering. I love the super fine tip of this pen and always have multiple on hand.
- Sakura Gelly Roll Pen: My love for these pens dates back to my childhood when I collected them. These come in so many fun colors and are a great way to add some extra decoration to your hand lettering projects.
- Pencil and good eraser: a pencil is one of the most critical tools in my opinion for hand lettering. I almost always sketch things out with a pencil before inking it. I always end up more satisfied with the end product when I take an extra minute to do this. It really helps with spacing and avoiding mistakes. Any pencil will do! As far as erasers, I really love the kneaded erasers like this one!
- Sakura Pigma Micron Pen: These pens will always be a favorite. They have a small needle tip with ink that flows beautifully. I love using these for detail work in my hand lettering. They also come in a variety of tip sizes.
These are just a few of my favorite tools that I use when I am hand lettering. I would love to hear from you and what your go to tools are! Share in the comments below!