The best modern brush calligraphy products to use as a beginner

Updated: Jan 6

A frequent question that self taught beginner calligraphers have asked is, "What is the best pen to begin learning calligraphy with?" The answer is simple. It's really up to your preferences, goals, and expectations of what you believe quality calligraphy writing looks like. I definitely won't leave you hanging, though! I will share my top four pen preferences, and also explain why I don't prefer the typical Tombow Dual Brush Pen recommendation as my #1 choice. But, first, it's important to explore, or rather briefly touch upon, the different types of calligraphy that exist.

First, there are three worldwide regions and scripts with different tools. The regional differences in calligraphic writing are: Western, Eastern, and Arabic. Western would include any Latin based languages including English, Spanish or any of the Romance languages. Eastern scripts include Asian language calligraphy, such as Japanese or Chinese, among others. Finally, Arabic or Islamic calligraphy, that is also referred to as Nashk, is used in Persian (Farsi), Turkish, and Urdu culture. Please keep in mind, this is not fully culturally inclusive and is not an exhaustive list.

For the purpose of this article, I would like to divide the types of western calligraphy into three categories:

(1) Pointed-pen calligraphy,

(2) Modern brush calligraphy, and

(3) Hand lettering.

Pointed pen calligraphy uses a very specific tool, called a pointed pen or a dip pen. These pens include, a nib holder, a nib, and ink for dipping.

Modern brush calligraphy uses a brush pen as the tool, or sometimes even a quality paint brush. Paint brush styles that are able to be used for brush calligraphy include: riggers as well as round brushes with a pointed tip.

Finally, hand lettering is more free form, and you can use various tools and styles to hand letter.

We haven't even scratched the surface with all of the styles, let alone types of calligraphic fonts, and we still have yet to explore where to even begin! So, where should you even start?! There are so many options and so many shops and stores nowadays, so I will help guide you as a former beginner myself. I really struggled a lot in the beginning, and I don't want you to have to go through the same hassle or waste any time at all on the wrong tools.

To start, I highly suggest you begin with (2) modern brush calligraphy. This style is very common, you can buy one utensil and can be up and running in no time, without as much of an investment or learning curve as pointed pen. Hand lettering is also wide and vast and without much structure, so I don't suggest you begin there either.

And finally, what you have been waiting for, my absolute favorite tools for modern brush calligraphy for beginners are:

4. The Tombow Dual Brush Pen

3. The Pentel Touch Sign Brush Pen

2. The Tombow Fuedenosuke Brush Pen, any tip

1. The Starlight Paperie Pen Set!

And why, you might ask?

The Tombow Dual Brush Pen - this pen has a very large brush on one end used for calligraphy and comes in various beautiful colors.

The Pentel Touch Sign Brush Pen is a favorite choice that I absolutely adore, because of it's medium size, smooth writing, and ease of use for beginners.

The Tombow Fuedenosuke Brush Pen is another great choice because it can have your calligraphy looking professional faster with just the right amount of pressure on the up strokes and downstrokes, and I also really like this one for it's control and smaller size.

The Starlight Paperie Pen Set is the best, because you have three various options to experiment with, and is a really great deal!

Of course, we would greatly appreciate you purchasing through our store (and by us, I mean me, Kara, just one lone business lady haha). But, if you don't, I hope you found this article to be super helpful as you begin your exciting journey!

Dual brush pen and journal

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