How to use Tombow brush pens for hand lettering

‘Lettering’ is an umbrella term, used when talking about anything that involves the formation of letters!

However, there are a plethora of different types of lettering to learn about.

In this article, we will be focusing on hand lettering and the pens you can use to give the best results.

What is hand lettering?

Hand lettering is a specific kind of lettering that involves drawing letters by hand and not creating them digitally.

The letters in hand lettering are often decorative, and many people enjoy incorporating calligraphy styles or small doodles.

You will often find brush pen hand lettering used to address envelopes, create greetings cards, make motivational wall art, and much more.

At first, hand lettering can seem challenging and you may not know where to start.

However, one way to make it easier is by finding the best stationery for the job.

What do I need for hand lettering?

If you want to have a go at hand lettering, you need to have some essentials on hand to begin.

Here are some of our suggestions.

The perfect pen

With hand lettering, you can try with any pen you have. However, the best option available is to use a brush pen.

Brush pens are perfect for hand lettering as they provide users with the impressive pigment and style a paintbrush can, but without all the mess.

Here at The Pen Company, we highly recommend using Tombow brush pens or the Sailor 1911 brush pen.

The Tombow pens come in a wide variety of colours and pack sizes, so you are sure to find the perfect option for you.

If you’re looking to test a brush pen out, we’d definitely recommend you start with the Tombow ABT brush pens.

You can buy these pens either individually or in a pack. They come in a plethora of colours, including all shades of blue, pink, and orange!

The best thing about the Tombow brush pens set or individual brush pens is that these writing tools come with dual tips.

This means that you can create different visual effects with the thickness levels and really jazz up your letter art.


A pack of pens.

A Tombow ABT brush pen pack of six

The right paper

Although you can have a go at hand lettering on any kind of paper, it is much easier on smooth and high-quality paper.

By using smooth paper, the tips of the pens will work in a more controlled manner.

The Tombow ABT dual brush pen is known to work particularly well on Rhodia Dot Paper or HP Premium Choice LaserJet paper.

How to get started

A crucial point to remember is that you must be patient when learning something new.

Your letter art might not look like what you’ve seen online straight away, but by taking it slow and step-by-step, you can add your own unique touch while creating impressive art.

Here are some ways you can get started.

Learn the basics

It can be frustrating to discover that you need to hold your brush pen differently than you would a ballpoint or fountain pen.

Often, people hold their pen resting on the middle outside of their hand, as though it were pointing to nine or three on a clock!

This is because it allows you to create thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes with ease.

Pressure levels are key when it comes to hand lettering. When using a brush pen, different amounts of pressure will give you different widths of line.

Tombow has issued some advice on this:

‘’Downstrokes (from top to bottom) are drawn thick with a lot of pressure, while upstrokes (from bottom to top) are drawn thin with little pressure.’’’

Add some extras

Perhaps you are getting a little bored with your letter art and want to make it more exciting.

You could use some glue and glitter powders to add highlights to your work, or even use permanent markers in conjunction with your brush pens to add some background colour.

Practice makes perfect!

When you receive your brush pens, you will not immediately be able to create amazing hand lettering as a beginner, but don’t lose heart!

By taking time to learn, practice and combine all your skills, you will begin to develop your lettering techniques and will soon be producing art you’ll be proud of.

From a young age, Natalya has been interested in all kind of stationery. From owning an assortment of coloured pens and pencils to buying a new notebook to write in every week. Natalya loves working for The Pen Company as it aids her in continuing her stationery passion as an adult.

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  1. Pingback: Four hand lettering types for beginners - The Pen Company Blog

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