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The Calligraphy Brush Made Of Goat’s And Wolf’s Hairs Performs A Graceful Dance

A calligraphy brush looks simple, but once the Chinese brush or Japanese brush starts to move its tip, its expression reaches beyond the limits of the paper.

The play of the calligrapher with the calligraphy brush is often compared to the dance of a ballerina. Just like a ballerina moves the body to perform the choreography, the calligrapher maneuvers the calligraphy brush to shape infinity of calligraphic forms.

The calligraphy brush goes up, goes down, it bends; with more pressure it spreads, with less it regains its shape, and for each movement the calligrapher has to have the calligraphy brush under control and be able to return to a straightened brush tip. For this the artist needs a supple and resilient brush, as only such a tool can respond quickly and unfailingly to the subtle commands of her/his hand, and perform a flawless dance of interplaying brush movements.

Select the right brush for your practice of Japanese calligraphy

A calligraphy brush may have two or more layers, but for the sake of simplicity, we analyze the standard calligraphy brush with two layers: An inner core of shorter hairs, which form the belly of the brush, and an outer layer of longer hairs that make the tip of the brush.

A good Chinese calligraphy brush or Japanese brush should have four qualities:

SHARPNESS — The brush should have a fine tip and come easily to a point.

STRUCTURE — The longest hairs that make the tip of the brush should all have the same length and stay evenly together. No individual hairs should stick out.

RESILIENCE — The brush tip will only be able to react immediately to the pressure exerted by the calligrapher when there is a correct balance between supple and firmer hairs.

ROUNDNESS — The body of the brush should be full and round.

Chinese and Japanese use different types of animal hairs to make calligraphy brushes, mainly goat’s hair and wolf’s hair.

The goat’s hair calligraphy brush

The goat’s hair brushes are white-haired brushes made from the hair of sheep, goats, cats or even deer. They are very absorbent and supple, and produce rounded forms and saturated fleshy brushstrokes.

This calligraphy brush is particularly suitable for the hidden brush tip technique, which requires many subtle bending movements of the brush tip.

The white-haired calligraphy brush is excellent for standard script, current and cursive script.

The wolf’s hair calligraphy brush

The wolf’s hair brushes are brown-haired brushes made from the hair of marten, horses, weasel or rabbits. This calligraphy brush is stiff and resilient and brushes sharp bony strokes. It is suitable for the direct attack technique of Japanese calligraphy that forms strokes with sharp beginnings and endings.

I use the brown hair brushes when writing smaller characters or when the aesthetics demands it. For instance, the long-haired horsehair calligraphy brush produces the flying white effect easily. In this technique the stiff horsehair splits easily and leaves white spaces in the brushstroke. Although the brush is a very helpful tool for achieving this effect, only a master calligrapher will be able to raise the brush in such a way that brings a pleasing result and prevent the brushstroke from looking harsh and broken.

The mixed hair calligraphy brush

The mixed hair or combination brushes are a special category. They are used very much in sumi painting. These calligraphy brushes are made from different types of animal hair, and combine brown and white hairs. The stiff brown hairs from the inner core of the brush are used for their resilient quality, while the outer white hairs ensure the suppleness of the brush tip.

I like to use a mixed hair calligraphy brush made from horse and goat’s hair to write the ancient seal script. This script has rounded forms but at the same time it needs a brush with a stiffer core to simulate the hardness of a knife that engraves a character in stone or bone.

For beginners I recommend a Chinese brush or Japanese calligraphy brush of goat or sheep’s hair of about 1.7″ or 4.5 cm in length.

The technique that you learn will determine if you begin with a hard or soft calligraphy brush. My advice is that you start with the hidden brush tip technique and a soft brush. At the beginning it is more difficult to handle it, but you will get a very solid basis that will allow you to work with any calligraphy brush.

How to take care of the calligraphy brush

A new brush is stiff because its hairs are covered with a layer of diluted glue to protect them from possible damage. Before you begin to use a new calligraphy brush you have to wash the glue away.

Put your hand under the flowing tap water and form a well with your palm. Place the brush tuft in this well and rotate it in the water that collects in your hand gently and without pressure. Do not put the brush directly under the tap water as you could damage the hairs. Soon you will notice that the tuft hairs start to loosen. Continue soaking and rotating the calligraphy brush until all hairs are fully loosened. Some calligraphers or sumi painters open the calligraphy brush only one third or two thirds. This depends on the type of hairs and the technique you use.

Do not leave the brush in a jar with water, because the weight of the calligraphy brush can break or damage the tip of the brush.

Take good care of your calligraphy brush, because the hairs are very delicate. After each session you should rinse your brush under tap water in the same way as when you open a new brush.

Pay attention to the ink, which remains in the belly of the calligraphy brush, press it out with soft movements from the belly of the brush towards the tip until there is no ink left in it. Then squeeze the brush gently and bring it to a pointed shape. Hang it with the tip down and let it dry well.

A calligraphy brush wears out when using it

When the brush has become less resilient and the brush tip has an irregular form, then it is time to get a new one. I do not throw old calligraphy brushes away. I bury them or keep them in a special box where they can rest out of respect for what they have done for me and the time we shared. The great Chinese painter Chang Dai-chien showed real love for his old brushes. He had a small tombstone in the garden in front of his art studio to memorialize his deceased paint brushes!

Buying a calligraphy brush

Click here for high-quality Chinese sumi painting brushes and calligraphy brushes.

At this reliable company you might find what you are looking for as they have an outstanding collection of mainly Chinese combined brushes and hard calligraphy brushes.

Chinese Calligraphy Brush Set

Buying A Japanese Kumano Brush

The city of Kumano in Japan, called the Capital Of Brushes, is worldwide renowned for the supreme quality of its brushes. Kumano brushes stand for high grade, top quality brushes, made with care and traditional Japanese craftsmanship. Some of the leading brands for Kumano brushes are for example, Shōgetsudō, Chōeidō, Hiroshima Artist Brush and Bunkōdō. If you buy one of these brushes and take care of them, they will last for a very long time.

If you are looking for high quality Japanese calligraphy brushes, please check out my selection of premium quality Kumano brushes.

Related pages

| Japanese calligraphy supplies | The ink stick | The ink stone |
| The rice paper | Chinese watercolors |

| Japanese calligraphy home | Shodo Art Gallery | Buddhist Art Scrolls |
| Kanji Art Gallery | About the artist | Sutra copying |
| Kanji symbols | Inspirational kanji t-shirts | Martial arts t-shirts |

15 Best Calligraphy Brushes for Procreate Lettering

Calligraphy is a beautiful art form whose history stretches back to Ancient China and has been used for centuries by many different types of people. While calligraphy has had a renaissance, it continues to be a beautiful style of writing used in wedding or event invitations, and using the Procreate app makes creating logos, branding, or any other project using calligraphy a dream.

That’s why we are here featuring the Best Calligraphy Brushes for Procreate. So grab that Pencil (from Apple, of course), and read on!

15 Best Calligraphy Lettering Brushes for Procreate

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Best Lettering & Calligraphy Brushes for Procreate

The Ultimate Lettering and Calligraphy Procreate Kit

(Editor’s Choice)

The Ultimate Lettering and Calligraphy Procreate Kit is a complete mixed media lettering toolkit with 150+ pens, brushes, textures, practice sheets, guides, and more, by calligrapher and lettering artist Molly Suber Thorpe.

This mixed media lettering kit is designed to give you not only professional results, but the educational tools you need to become a pro. The 150+ lettering brushes were meticulously crafted to emulate not only the look of analog tools but the feel of them as well, and the in-depth practice sheets and quick guides were included to take your lettering to the next level.

There is something for every lettering style in this collection, with all the tools you need for complete compositions at your fingertips. Fancy calligraphy flourishing? Watercolor script lettering? Sign painting styles? This is the pack for you. Make beautiful invitations, stationery, art prints, products, logo designs, and more!

This kit is for all skill levels – beginner through professional! Practice sheets and quick guides will help beginners get started, while experienced lettering artists will discover pens they can use immediately for professional results. This kit is also perfect for ink-on-paper lettering artists looking to seamlessly transition to the iPad.

This kit is an exclusive collaboration between Molly Suber Thorpe and Design Cuts. You won’t find this pack anywhere else!

Included in this set.

14 lettering brush sets totaling over 200 brushes:

  • Pointed Calligraphy Pens
  • Lettering Markers
  • Watercolor Pens
  • Chalk Writers
  • Flat Tip Pens
  • Letter Inkers
  • Monoline Pens
  • 3D Pens
  • Novelty Pens
  • Pencils & Erasers
  • Textures
  • Backgrounds
  • Letter Guides
  • Bonus set! Shape Frame Stamps

10 practice files and guides will teach you how to draw various lettering styles and make the most of this powerful pack:

  • 3 Pointed Pen Calligraphy Practice Files (including a guide on how to use pointed calligraphy pens!)
  • 2 Marker Brush Lettering Practice Files
  • 2 Monoline Script Practice Files
  • 1 Letter Inkers Quick Guide & Practice File
  • 1 Watercolor Pens Quick Guide
  • Bonus! 1 Background Texture Preview Guide

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The Ultimate Calligraphy Composition Maker Procreate Brush Pack

The Calligraphy Composition Maker Procreate Brush Pack is a powerful kit containing everything you need to practice your calligraphy technique and design hand-lettered layouts like a pro on your iPad.

With the 65 stamp and pattern brushes, you will be able to create endless calligraphy styles and experiment with new techniques. There are brushes designed to help you with Copperplate calligraphy, modern calligraphy, and experimental hand lettering, too.

You also get a layered Procreate file of calligraphy practice sheets, which includes 3 calligraphy styles and a sheet of flourish drills to get you started. You can use this however you like: trace the letters and flourishes to learn new styles, or use them for inspiration in your own work.

And for your reference, I’ve also made you a layered Procreate file with previews of each and every brush, so you can quickly browse the collection and quickly find the one you need.

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50 Procreate Calligraphy Brushes

Packed with 50 fine calligraphy brushes, the kit from friday supply brushes gives you everything you need. An absolute must-have for any calligrapher who uses Procreate, the kit will give you the tools you need to create amazing, wonderful, authentic results. Regardless if you’re a beginner or have been using calligraphy professionally for years, the 50 Procreate Calligraphy Brushes kit will help you become better at calligraphy from the moment you install it.

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My Lovely Calligraphy

A beautiful script font made with many swashes, the My Lovely Calligraphy by garisman includes a fill set of swash heart lowercase letters, numerals, and punctuation. The font also includes OpenType Ligatures and an option for Stylistic sets until 10 which is perfect for all kinds of projects ranging from invitations and monograms to weddings, branding, label, fashion, and more.

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Bold Calligraphy for Procreate

Created by Friday supply brushes, the Bold Calligraphy for Procreate kit is bold, real and 100% authentic. A unique, artistic, and of course, bold Procreate brush set for any artist looking to create something extraordinary. The 28 brushes found in the kit aren’t like others you might find, the brushes are very real, present, and give the user an authentic feeling when being used, not like other calligraphy sets that have clean and smooth brushes. If you’re looking to add something special to your work, then the Bold Calligraphy for Procreate kit is a great choice.

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The Brush Calligraphy Procreate Pack

Containing 15 custom made brushes, The Brush Calligraphy Procreate Pack comes with textures that allow you to create a wide array of different calligraphy styles. You don’t have to be a professional to use these brushes, even if you’re a total beginner, the settings have been tweaked to make sure that you have a smooth experience every time. By changing the pressure of your strokes, you can create thin or thick lines with most of the brushes and if your work contains multiple words, try using two or more brushes to bring a new level of stunning to your work.

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Procreate Calligraphy Toolkit

A wonderful set of Procreate brushes, paper scans, and pre-made Procreate scenes await you in the Procreate Calligraphy Toolkit by Friday Supply. The tools provided are meant to help you show off your calligraphy artwork in a natural environment. Along with 34 calligraphy brushes, you can create social media or pictures for your website to show your artwork on real paper. The pre-made scenes for Procreate are perfect so you can start immediately. They are also great for learning how to make scenes using one of the over 100 paper scans included in the toolkit. If you’re looking for the perfect toolkit that has everything you need, you’ve just found it.

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Procreate Calligraphy Queen Vol. 01

With twenty assorted brushes, the Procreate Calligraphy Queen Vol. 01 brush pack is a set of high-res Procreate brushes that are a perfect choice for anyone who creates digital calligraphy professionally. The brush pack includes watercolor brush pens, paper textured brushes, acrylic pens, plus diluted calligraphy brushes to give your work a realistic look. With the wide range of brushes that the pack includes, you can easily create professional-quality digital calligraphy work every time.

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Calligraphy Nibs Procreate Brush Pack

Perfect for anyone who is desperately seeking a Procreate brush that emulates a pointed calligraphy pen realistically and makes stroke contrast and flourishes easy, you may want to check out the Calligraphy Nibs Procreate Brush Pack by Molly Suber Thorpe. Personally used by the creator, the 7 calligraphy brushes include – Fine Point Calligraphy Pen – Smooth Stroke, Fine Point Calligraphy Pen – Scratchy Nib, Fine Point Calligraphy Pen – Paper Bleed, Thick Nib Calligraphy Pen – Smooth Stroke, Thick Nib Calligraphy Pen – Scratchy Nib, Thick Nib Calligraphy Pen – Paper Bleed, Monoline Dip Calligraphy Pen. The kit also includes a PDF guide to help with brush installation. With brushes that the creator still uses, the Calligraphy Nibs Procreate Brush Pack is worth checking out,

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Slovenia | Calligraphy Font

Created by garisman, the Slovenia typeface is a calligraphy font that is perfect for logos, stationery, social media posts, labels, photography, invitations, wedding designs, and much more. With a full set of uppercase and lowercase letters, plus numerals, punctuation, and multilingual symbols, the Slovenia font is a great choice for any project that could use a touch of luxury.

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Procreate Fine Calligraphy Brushes

Assembled with 14 fine lettering brushes, the Procreate Fine Calligraphy Brushes set provides you with a unique and exquisite set of tools that you can use for your next lettering project. Each brush is smooth, easy to handles, and sensitive. These brushes have been specifically made for neat and tidy hand lettering. Two of the brushes in the set, specifically numbers 13 and 14, have reverse pressure sensitivity. This means that the more pressure you use, the thinner the line will be. This can be a great way to create an extraordinary look in your artwork.

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Watercolor Calligraphy Procreate Brush Pack

37 brushes and backgrounds help you create realistic watercolor calligraphy on your iPad. The Watercolor Calligraphy Procreate Brush Pack, created by Molly Suber Thorpe, takes the guesswork out of doing watercolor lettering on Procreate. Whether you creating delicate illustrations, flourished calligraphy styles, or free-flowing brush scripts, the Watercolor brush pack has everything you need.

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Procreate Calligraphy Brushes

While the Procreate Calligraphy Brushes kit only comes with two brushes, the possibilities of what you can do with those brushes and the super affordable price make this a must buy. The kit, created by Ale Estrada, contains a calligraphy brush as well as a thin line calligraphy brush contained in a zip file that you can add to your Procreate app and start creating beautiful calligraphy right away. The results that these brushes can produce are perfect for projects like invitations, wedding announcements, logos, branding, and much more,

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Calligraphy Procreate Brush Set

The Calligraphy Procreate Brush Set from Hewitt Avenue provides anyone obsessed with calligraphy the perfect set for the Procreate app on their iPad. Each brush in the set was chosen specifically for the calligrapher who is just beginning their journey. The four brushes include an ink bleed brush that mimics the more traditional style of calligraphy, a thin calligraphy brush, that has a smooth texture as well as fewer variations between thick and thin lines. The set also includes a thick calligraphy brush and a Hewitt Avenue brush that is a perfect brush for modern calligraphy and lettering. All in all, if you’re just starting to learn about calligraphy, you cannot do much better than this set.

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Calligraffiti Procreate Brushes

25 brushes for Procreate, as well as a guide template so you can create calligrams included in the Calligraffiti Procreate Brushes kit by Jake Rainis Calligraphy also comes with 6 unique chiseled brushes, each at varied angles. as well as having a textured version, which is solid and pressurized. The set compiles six grunge brushes, four unique chiseled brushes for calligrams plus a circular calligram template and a square grid brush. While the brush kit focuses on blackletter calligraphy, if you’re a calligraphy artist who is looking to add something new to your work, the Calligraffiti Procreate Brushes are ones to consider.

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Texture Calligraphy Set for Procreate

20 high-quality Procreate brushes provide you with professional modern calligraphy brushes with a textured feeling. Created by Liquid Amethyst, the brushes have all been optimized so that they work with the Apple Pencil so that your lettering designs look smooth and professional. With the features that each brush comes with, you don’t need to be an expert, the kit is perfect for beginners. Each of the twenty brushes has been created with a smooth streamline and carefully assorted features.

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Calligraphy, Grids & more for Procreate

A total of 58 custom brushes can be useful for helping you create digital lettering and seeking to solve different textures and effects. The Calligraphy, Grids & more for Procreate by Daniel Hosoya’s Shop comes with 9 grids, 23 texture brushes so you can decorate the composition, and also comes with 26 lettering brushes. All of these brushes have been specifically designed to provide you with realistic strokes as well as simulates numerous popular professional lettering tools.

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Best Calligraphy Brushes for Procreate

Calligraphy is a beautiful art form that has been used and celebrated for thousands of years. With smooth and even textured strokes on your Procreate app, you can create beautiful work each time. With our list of the best calligraphy brushes for Procreate, we fully believe that if you have not started trying calligraphy art yet, the choices on our list may just change your mind.

11 Best Calligraphy Brush Pens for Beginners

For creating a beautiful script, it is not necessary to be an expert calligrapher. All you need to do is have control over calligraphy brush pens. There is a huge variety of brush pens available in the market. At times, it becomes a bit challenging and overwhelming to choose the right brush pen for lettering and calligraphy.

That is why I have curated this post just to let you know about the best brush pens for beginners, so read the post till the end as there is much more to discover!

What Characteristics should the Best Calligraphy Brush Pen Have?

The brush pens with a flexible or tapered tip that you may use in calligraphy for thin and thick strokes are known as calligraphy brush pens. There are various characteristics of a brush pen that you must consider while choosing the pen. The first characteristic is the type of pen tip. There are mainly three types of tips – felt tip, synthetic bristle tip, and natural hair tip.

If you are a beginner in calligraphy, felt tips are the best option for you. It is a firm tip that may provide you with more control over writing letters. Moreover, it produces predictable brushstrokes as well. The other two types of tips also work well, but they are softer than the felt tip.

They are good to be used for subtle hand movements. Hence, it needs much practice to use both natural hair and synthetic bristle brush tips. 

The size and thickness of the tip are also important to determine at the time of choosing a brush pen. The size of the brush tip may vary from fine to medium and broad size. If you want to draw some bold brush strokes, go for a broad size tip.

However, if you are interested in adding a detailed look to your piece of art, you can choose a fine tip. Other essential characteristics of a brush pen include elasticity, ink flow, and pigmentation. With that being said, we can conclude that it is the characteristics that make each brush pen different and can change the entire look of calligraphy.

Today’s post is all about the best calligraphy brush pens. In my entire calligraphy career, I tried a lot of brush pens for brush lettering. Today, I am sharing a few of the best brush pens. Yeah, the following is a list of top brush pens that beginners can use for calligraphy or dramatic lettering.

So, if you are a beginner and want to know which brush pen may be the best for you, dive into this post and explore the best brush pens!

The Best Brush Pens Perfect for Beginners

If you are a newbie in the field of calligraphy, you must choose such brush pens that have a firm tip and may allow more control over your calligraphy artwork. The following points explain the best brush pens that are perfect for beginners.

1. Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pens

One of the best brush pens that beginners may use to step into the field of calligraphy is the Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pens. Available in a variety of rich and solid ink colors with a line size of 18 millimeters, the Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pens have a simple plastic body as a regular sign pen has. It is a thin pen, so if you want a pen for minor details or brush pen stroke, it is an ideal choice. In other words, it is a combination of an art pen and a marker.

The outer covering of the pen matches the color of the ink. So, it will be quite easy for you to check the color of the pen that you want for calligraphy.

Let me tell you another unique characteristic of these pens! The Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pens are so smooth in writing because of the soft tip. Hence they are perfect for long writing sessions. They really feel buttery in writing. I have never used a brush pen that feels so buttery and smooth like the Pentel Fude touch sign pens. This is something unique about these pens that makes them enjoyable to use.

Pros:

+ It has a solid plastic body

+ Suitable to write for long hours

+ These brush pens are available in 12 rich colors

+ Each pen has a secure cap

+ Comes with a soft tip

Cons:

-The ink of these pens does not dry quickly

Check Price on Amazon!

2. Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens 

If you are a newbie to brush calligraphy, then Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen is also good to use. It comes with a small nib that can make writing letters quite easy for you. These brush pens are available in pigmented blue and black colors. They are flexible and can bounce back very fast, hence perfect for thin and thick strokes. With a smooth writing action, these pens are quite easy and enjoyable to use.

If you want to try different drawing and lettering techniques, the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens are the best choice due to their flexible brush tips.

The tip of these pens comes with three options: soft tip, twin tip, and hard tip. It is better that you start with the soft and hard tip combo pack. In this way, by using both tips, you will get to know which pen you are comfortable with.

Pros:

+ Flexible soft and hard tips

+ It can create medium to fine strokes

+ Perfect for thick and thin strokes

+ The Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens are suitable for art drawings and calligraphy

+ These pens are easy to control, hence perfect for beginners

Cons:

-These pens are not refillable

-Most users claim that the colors of these pens are not saturated

Check Price on Amazon!

3. Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens

The Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens are also excellent calligraphy pens for beginners. This set comes with 10 pens with a massive range of 60 watercolor-based inks – a perfect choice if you want bright and vibrant colors.

The pens are very flexible, soft, blendable with other colors, and come with a large nib. The ink flow of these pens is extremely wet, so if you want to make smudges or add some ombre effects out of these pens, it will be a great idea.

Another characteristic that can make Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pens unique is that you can refill the ink of these pens. Hence you can use them repeatedly. Moreover, there is a secret tip that comes with each pen in case the first tip is damaged. In short, it is a great brush pen that is fun to be used due to its flexible brush tip. 

Pros:

+ Soft and flexible nib

+ Suitable for large-sized brush calligraphy

+ A huge selection of bright colors

+ Extremely wet ink flow

+ Suitable for beginners

Cons:

– As it has a very soft wand flexible tip, at times, it becomes difficult to control the pen in the hands

– This set of pens is a little bit pricey

Check Price on Amazon!

4. Tombow Dual Brush Pen

One of the best calligraphy brush pens for newbies is the Tombow Dual Brush Pen. With a large medium to firm brush nib, this pen is perfect to be used for thick and thin transitions. Available in 108 different colors, the Tombow Dual Brush Pen has a medium wet ink flow, which makes it blendable with other colors.

Not only this, but it is a great beginner-friendly pen excellent for adding details to your calligraphy piece of art.  It may also allow you to create smooth gradient effects. 

Most artists prefer to use the Tombow Dual Brush Pen due to its flexible nib, a wide range of colors, and its non-toxic ability; hence it is safe for the children. 

Pros:

+ This is an amazing palette of 10 art markers

+ All pens come with a flexible as well as self-cleaning tip

+ It may allow you to add a variety of strokes in your drawing

+ The marker set comes in a wide range of colors

+ Water-based inks and blendable colors

Cons:

– The Tombow Dual Brush Pen is an expensive option

Check Price on Amazon!

5. The Pigma Professional Brush Pen

Here comes another pen in my list of the best calligraphy brush pens for beginners. It is an amazing pen I highly recommend for beginners. Why? Because it comes with a nice, short, and flexible tip, hence it is quite easy to hold the pen. It is a great permanent and waterproof pen if you are in the learning stage of calligraphy.

Moreover, if you are not fond of using colors in your calligraphy artwork, the Pigma Professional Brush Pen is the best choice for you because it comes in only black color. So, if the color of your choice is black, black, and just black, this pen is the best fit for you!

The Pigma Professional Brush Pen comes in three sizes: fine, medium, and bold. So, whether you want to add details in lettering or you want large and thick stokes, you must use this calligraphy brush pen. This brush pen is also good to be used if you are okay with using permanent archival markers. It is available at an affordable rate, hence suitable for budget-friendly artists.

Pros:

+ It is a beginner-friendly pen

+ Comes with a flexible nib

+ This pen comes in three sizes, bold, medium, and fine

+ Suitable for those who do not mind writing in only black color

+ This pen is good for a variety of calligraphy projects

Cons:

– As it comes in only black color, so it is not suitable for the artists who want to add a variety of colors in their calligraphy

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6. Artline ETX Stix Brush Connecting Pens 

Do you want to be creative in calligraphy by letting your imaginations draw what you see? Try using the Artline ETX Stix Brush Connecting Pens!

Another great option to consider for calligraphy is the Artline ETX Stix Brush Connecting Pens. A pack of 16 pens with different colors, including black, these brush pens are odorless, non-toxic, and easy to hold as well.

A large number of calligraphy artists, whether they are beginners or experts in the field, highly recommend Artline ETX Stix Brush Connecting Pens. Each pen of this set comes with a flexible brush tip by which you can create thick and thin strokes. Moreover, it is suitable for both upstrokes and downstrokes.

Pros:

+ These pens are not only beginner-friendly but children-friendly as well (non-toxic and odorless)

+ Good to be used for calligraphy, illustration, and doodling

+ Suitable for both upstrokes and downstrokes

Cons:

– The price of this pen is slightly higher

Check Price on Amazon!

7. Sakura Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pen Set

If you want to create bold brush strokes with an ombre effect in your calligraphy artwork, then Sakura Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pen Set is the best fit for you. Available in 48 bright and vivid colors, these pens come with a fantastic flexible nib that may allow you to create thick and thin strokes very easily and quickly.

What makes these pens better than other brush pens is the water-based ink solution that is accompanied by the brush set. This ink solution makes Sakura Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pen Set blendable with a wide variety of colors. 

Each pen comes with a large nib with firm elasticity, hence makes the pen easy to handle, especially for beginners. The ink flow of these pens is wet.

And one more thing: these brush pens are quite durable, so you can use them for a long period of time. All these characteristics make Sakura Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pens one of the best calligraphy brush pens for beginners. 

Pros:

+ Long-lasting pens

+ Each pen has a mid-firm tip, which makes it beginner-friendly

+ The pen set comes with a water-based ink solution that is fully blendable

+ Suitable for creating bold yet colorful brush strokes 

+ These pens comes in a huge variety of color options

Cons:

– These pens are a bit more expensive than other calligraphy brush pens

Check Price on Amazon!

8. Kuretake ZIG FUDEBIYORI Brush Pens

Another set of brush pens that you may use for calligraphy, if you are a beginner, is Kuretake ZIG FUDEBIYORI Brush Pens. These pens come with a flexible hard tip that makes them quite easy to control, especially for beginners.

Available in 12 different colors, it is a perfect option whether you want to add details in lettering or you want to add some larger spaces. Each pen in this set has a water-based dry ink, which makes the pens great not only for calligraphy but for illustrations, sketching, and watercolor paintings as well.

Moreover, you can easily create upstroke and downstroke transitions with the help of these amazing brush pens. Trust me; you will fall in love with Kuretake ZIG FUDEBIYORI Brush Pens!

Pros:

+ Professional quality

+ It comes with a durable and flexible brush tip

+ All brush pens are made in Japan

+ A rich selection of 12 colors

+ Suitable for calligraphy, watercolor paintings, and sketching

Cons:

– Several users claim that it is out of stock most of the times

Check Price on Amazon!

9. Pentel Pigment & Standard Brush Pens

Do you want to create strong and dry brush strokes in your piece of art? Are you fond of creating crisp lines into your calligraphy artwork? It is time to use Pentel Pigment & Standard Brush Pens. Available in several tip sizes and bristle densities, these brush pens use a water-based ink that is extremely wet and dark.

But once you write anything with these brush pens, the ink will dry up very fast. If you want to lower the amount of ink from the brush bristles for creating light effects, you can wipe the tip of the pen with a paper towel.

Another best thing about Pentel Pigment & Standard Brush Pens? If the ink of these calligraphy pens is finished, no worries, as you can refill the pens. In this way, you can use the Pentel Pigment & Standard Brush Pens for an extended period of time without worrying about running out of ink. 

Pros:

+ Each pen comes with diverse tip sizes

+ Dark and wet tips

+ Great for creating dark and dry brush strokes

+ You can use the pens for calligraphy as well as other drawings

+ There is an option to refill the pens

Cons:

– Limited color options

Check Price on Jetpens!

10. Crayola Washable Markers

Here comes another amazing calligraphy pen, and it is Crayola Washable Markers. The most important characteristics of these brush pens are: they come with both a small and large nib with a medium to wet ink flow. Each set comes with 12 colorful and bright colors, hence suitable for creating colorful calligraphy.

Pros:

+ Available in 12 different colors

+ Durable 

+ The quality of these markers is quite high

Cons:

– These pens are not much flexible as compared to other brush pens 

Check the price on Amazon!

11. Karin Brush Marker Pro Colors Set 

Karin Brush Marker Pro Colors is one of the best beginner-friendly calligraphy brush pens. A large nib, medium nib elasticity, heavy and wet ink flow, and the availability in 60 bright and vibrant colors – all these characteristics make Karin Brush Marker Pro Colors Set unique from other brush pens. 

As the ink flow of these brush pens is wet and heavy, so if you want to create a beautiful juicy mark on your calligraphy lettering, these brush pens Karin are the best option. If we talk about the nib elasticity, these brush pens have medium elasticity, hence perfect for creating bold strokes. Moreover, the Karin Brush Marker Pro Colors are also suitable for adding thick and thin strokes to your writing.

The biggest plus point of Karin Brush Marker Pro Colors Set? It is a liquid ink technology! With liquid ink technology, you can get the same level of color intensity until the last drop. The Karin Brush Marker Pro Colors are one of the best brush pens for calligraphy!

Pros:

+ The ink of these pens is non-toxic, which makes them suitable for children as well

+ The Karin brush markers are available in a diverse range of colors

+ Liquid ink technology

+ Suitable for thick and thin strokes

+ Each pen has medium nib elasticity, which makes it perfect for bold lettering

+ You can create colorful calligraphy projects using Karin Brush Marker Pro Colors Set

Cons:

– These brush pens are non-refillable

– For blending of colors, you need to use thick paper

Check Price on Amazon!

That’s all about it!

Conclusion

So, these are the best brush pens that you may use for calligraphy as well as lettering. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to art. It is difficult to select one single brush pen for calligraphy. That is why, to make a better choice, it is essential to understand the characteristics of a pen.

If you want your calligraphy artwork to be bold as well as noticeable, you must consider the pigmentation of the brush that you are going to choose. Other characteristics or factors that must be considered while choosing a calligraphy brush pen is the ink flow (dry, medium, and heavy), elasticity (soft, mid firm, and firm), size of the nib (small, medium, and large), type of tip, firmness, and color choice.

I hope that by reading this post, you have come to know which brush pen may be the best fit for your artistic needs and what characteristics of a brush pen must be kept in view.

Have you used the brush pens mentioned in the above list? If yes, how was your experience? If there is another brush pen that you want me to test, please let me in the comment section. Happy Calligraphy!

Creating a Brush Lettering Brush in Proceate

Friends, as many of you know, I am pretty much obsessed with lettering digitally on my iPad Pro. I, like most other lettering artists, use the app Procreate, and today I want to show you how you can create your own Procreate brush that will act just like your favorite real-life brush pens!

Before I get started with the tutorial, let me address a few FAQ about digital lettering.

1. Do you have to have an iPad Pro?

The short answer is YES. Although you can technically do some things on a Surface or through another program, if you want to do the kind of digital lettering you see your favorite artists and designers doing, you need the right tools. I have heard that the Wacom tablet has some similar capabilities, but from everything I hear, if you’re going to invest in that, you might as well invest in this instead.

2. Can’t you get Procreate on other versions of the iPad?

Yes. The problem is that the other important piece of the puzzle is the Apple Pencil. It responds to pressure, like your normal brush pens do, and that makes it unlike a regular stylus. While you can technically load Procreate on other Apple devices, it doesn’t work right for our purposes without the Apple Pencil, which is only compatible {sadly} with the iPad Pro.

3. What apps do I need?

Procreate. It’s incredibly inexpensive for all the features it gives you. You’ll love it.

4. What size iPad Pro do I need?

It doesn’t matter. I have the big one because this is my business. If it’s just a hobby and money is tight, go small, it’ll still work just the same.

Now, let’s move on to creating your brush!

Creating a Brush Calligraphy Brush

Step 1: Select the brush icon and choose the “+” in the top right corner.

This is the drop down menu that will appear. The brush will show up in whatever section you were in when you tapped the plus sign, so consider that before you select it.

Step 2: Give your brush a name.

I called mine “Brush Calligraphy,” but you could also use “Brush Pen,” or anything else you like. Call it “Fred,” if you really want to, it’s your app. Just choose something that will remind you what it is. To change the name, just tap on the existing words, “Untitled Brush,” erase them, and type in your own.

Step 3: Choose a shape and grain source.

When you tap the empty box under “shape source,” it will give you options for where to import the shape from. Choose “Pro Library.”

To achieve the calligraphy look, you’ll want to scroll down through the options and select “Oval.” For future reference, though, there are a ton of shapes to choose from! The circles are great for a monoline style brush and some of the others make some really cool visual effects. For the moment, though, choose Oval, and you’ll be taken back to the window where you select the shape and grain sources. 

For the grain source, you’ll want to scroll down and choose the black square labeled “Blank.” This simply means there will be no texture to your brush, just a solid filled-in line. Again, there are some really fun options for other types of brushes, but to get the look of a normal brush pen, choose the blank option.

Now, your menu should look exactly like this:

Now, we have to tweak the other settings to make it behave like a brush pen! We’re going to start from the left across the bottom menu and work our way to the right until we’ve set everything just the way we want it.

Step 4: Adjust the Stroke settings.

Honestly, I have very little idea what the stroke plot settings actually mean but I figured out by trial and error how to set them to get the look I wanted. I set the spacing at 3.8% {anywhere between 3.5 and 4 should work!}, the streamline at about 50%, and the jitter to 0. 

The taper settings affect whether or not your line tapers off at the beginnings and ends of each stroke you make. I chose to have no tapering at the start of the lines and the max amount of taper at the ends. Opacity controls whether or not the tapered line fades, and size controls how much it tapers off. Feel free to play around with the sliders to see how you like the look personally, but if you want it to look just like mine, you’ll want to set the first one to none and the others to max.

When you’re done, the first group of settings should look like this:

Step 5: Adjust the shape settings.

I set these to none and 0 and kept both toggles off. These basically control brushes where there are random flicks or groupings of shapes, like the preset brushes for splatter spray paint, snow, and water splashes. Since we are working with just one solid line, these are not necessary.

Step 6: Adjust the grain behavior settings.

For our purposes, we want our movement set to “rolling” and our scale pretty close to 100% {mine is around 98}. We want no zoom and no rotation. Switch the “filtered” toggle on. The settings in this section should look like this image:

Step 7: Adjust the dynamics.

Switch on the “Glazed” setting, and slide Flow to Max. Otherwise, everything in this section should be zero or off. Quite frankly, I have almost no idea what any of these settings mean or do, so I looked at some of the other brushes I like to figure out how to set them.

Step 8: Adjust the Pencil settings.

The Pressure settings are a huge deal for us, since we want our Apple Pencil to respond to our changes in pressure the same way a brush pen would react on paper. I set Opacity to 0%, because I don’t want my line to fade in darkness/saturation at all when I change the pressure. I also slid Softness to zero, because I don’t want that to change at all either. What we DO want to change is the size of the line. This is what gives us the brush calligraphy look of a thicker line with a pressurized down stroke and a thinner line with a lighter up stroke. My setting is about 85%. You can certainly play around with sliding this up and down to see how it looks. Around 85% is my personal favorite look as far as the contrast between hard and light pressure goes.

Angle is another very important setting as far as how your pen behaves. I like to keep this around 10%. Opacity and size in this section should be zero.

Step 9: Adjust your General settings.

This is the final group of settings, because you have already set the sources. First, you’ll want to turn on the “Orient to iPad Screen” option. Leave the other option off. The size limits will affect how small and how large your brush can become when you use the slider on your main screen. I keep my minimum around 0.5% and my max around 80%. The opacity controls set how saturated and opaque your stroke can become when you use the slider on the main screen. My minimum is around 3%, max is 100%.

Once you’ve adjusted all of these settings, you should have an awesome brush that mimics the behavior of some of your favorite real-life brush pens! If you want something a little different, play around with the various sliders and you’ll see through trial and error how they affect the look of your brush strokes. Once you get the hang of it, you can have fun creating other types and styles of brushes too!

This brush is my absolute go-to anytime I do hand lettering. The look of it varies depending on how I set the size when I’m working, so I can get the appearance of a fudenosuke pen as well as a larger tip like the Dual Brush Pens. Here are a few samples of designs I’ve created using my custom brush. This first one uses a monoline brush for the print and my brush for the script.

For this design, I used my custom brush for everything except the mug and “or.”

Whaddya think? I hope this is helpful to you in creating a brush that will make all your digital lettering dreams come true! Let me know how it worked out in the One Artsy Mama Facebook group, and let me know what other types of tutorials you’d like to see.

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Best Water Brush For Beginners, Calligraphy, & Professionals [2020]

Whether you check out the creative streams on Twitch, follow the immensely popular #watercolorsketch hash tag on Instagram, or watched any YouTube tutorials on watercoloring, chances are that you may have seen some watercolorists using a water brush.

While relatively new in the world of art supplies, especially when compared to your standard watercolor brush that has been around for ages, water brushes not only give you an incredible amount of portability (key for painting watercolors en plein air) but they are quickly finding their way into studios and backpacks everywhere.

We compared and reviewed 9 different water brushes and found that the Caran d’Arche Aquarelle Brush to be simply one of the best water brushes on the market.

It’s smart rubber push button not only regulates water flow (which is a common challenge faced when using these types of brushes), but it was able to produce stunning results.  The Caran d’Arche Aquarelle Brush was able to pull out a range of colors and had a synthetic bristled tip that sprung back to a point with great reliability.

As great as the Caran d’Arche Aquarelle brush was, we would be remiss if we didn’t also acknowledge the stellar performance of all the other great water brushes listed in this article.

While we will deep dive into the reviews in just a quick minute, here’s a comparison of the water brushes we looked at:

Comparing The Best Water Brushes

Name Bristle Type Price Variety Pack Tips Refill Type Capacity
Caran d’Arche Aquarelle Brush Synthetic $$$ Y Round (S,M,L) Pump/Syringe 20ml
Sakura Koi Water Brush Synthetic $ N Round (S,M,L) Reservoir tank 4ml, 9ml
Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush Synthetic $$$ Y Round (S/F, M, L), Flat Reservoir tank 6ml
Derwent Water Brush Synthetic $$ Y Round (S,M), Chisel Reservoir tank ~6ml
Kuretake Water Brush Synthetic $$ Y Round (S,M,L) Reservoir tank ~9ml
ProArtistSupply AQUAnaut Synthetic $ Y Round (S,M,L) Separate Tool 8ml
Holbein Water Brush Synthetic $$$ Y Round (M,L) Reservoir tank ~8ml
Yasutomo Water Brush Synthetic $$ N Round (M) Reservoir tank 7ml (5.5ml for mini)
Piston Water Brush Synthetic + Animal $$$$ Y Round (S,M,L – Animal + Synthetic), 2 Pocket Brushes Syringe ~6ml

The Best Water Brushes

Review of The Best Water Brushes

1. Caran d’Arche Aquarelle Brush Review

There is a whole lot to love about this water brush by Caran d’Arche.

Known for their stellar watercolor pencils, Caran d’Arche sets the standard when it comes to water brushes.

One of the biggest hurdles that comes to using water brushes is control over the flow of water.

As you will quickly see in our compilation of reviews, many of the brands we reviewed just simply have a barrel design.

While some watercolorists would argue that the barrel design (that can be pressed to emit more water) is fine for most purposes, when it comes to making a watercolor painting, even just a little bit extra water can really change the dynamic of a piece…

…and it’s this reason why we loved the Caran d’Arche Aquarelle Brush so much.

It simply puts you, the watercolorist, in complete and total control over the flow of water.

Beyond the water flow regulator, the Caran d’Arche is absolutely perfect for travel.

With the incredibly easy to use pump style (syringe) system, you can fill up your brush and head out the door:

The total reservoir size is an impressive 20ml – making it less likely you will need to refill during the course of your painting.

Like most water brushes, the Caran d’Arche brushes come with synthetic bristle tips which perform as expected.

However, it’s worth noting that the fine tip brush included is more akin to a marker rather than a brush.

This is great as it gives you additional stroke variety to employ in your next piece.

Pros
  • Mess-free pump style refill
  • Button to regulate water flow
  • Variety of tips
  • Clip on cap for organization
Cons
  • Slightly expensive compared to alternatives

Overall, the Caran d’Arche Aquarelle Brush is everything you need and could possibly want in a water brush.

BUY NOW

2. Sakura Koi Water Brush Review

Of all the water brushes featured on this list, the Sakura Koi Water Brush is undoubtedly one of the most popular brands – with perhaps the Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush as the only exception.

Whether you watch art tutorials on YouTube or even sign up for some private online art classes, chances are that you probably have seen the Sakura Koi at work.

So why is the Sakura Koi so popular?

First off, the price.

Ringing up at a fraction of the cost as the Caran d’Arche and others reviewed, the Sakura Koi water brushes typically cost less than $10 bucks.

This makes it incredibly affordable for beginners to get their feet wet so to speak with water brushes without having to lay out too much money.

Now, there are inevitably a few catches to the Sakura Koi’s:

First up, reservoir size:

Unlike other water brushes that may have a reservoir up to 20ml, the Sakura Koi only offers either 4ml or 9ml capacity.

While definitely not a deal breaker for some, the small design naturally will require more frequent refills.

This could in turn result in a natural break in work flow a bit too frequently for some watercolorists (of course you could purchase a few of these and have them on hand).

The second issue with these:

Tip variety.

Unlike several of the brands reviewed, the Sakura’s are sold separately.

While it gives you more versatility to pick and choose what you want, if you do want additional brush types, you will need to purchase them together (which we fully recommend).

Having a variety of brush types will not only give you a whole lot more range in your artwork, but will help strengthen your experience as a watercolorist.

Sakura does offer their brushes in the following sizes:

  • 4ml reservoir – Small, Medium, Large
  • 9ml reservoir – Small, Medium, Large

Now as far as travel factor, the Sakura’s do travel nicely as the barrel does separate from the brush and has its own individual plug.

This ensures no leakage in your purse or backpack ultimately making it great for plein air watercolorists.

While these brushes are great for beginners, they do tend to grow on you as you reach more intermediate and professional levels.

Lastly, if you plan on doing calligraphy work with these brushes, you can simply pour in some ink into the barrel and use this as well!

Pros
  • Beginner friendly design
  • Affordable
  • Capable of producing amazing results
  • Separate reservoir tank
Cons
  • Must be purchased individually
  • Smaller barrel reservoir than most

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3. Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush Review

Whether you are looking for a water brush that works well for calligraphy or are looking to upgrade an existing water brush, the Pentel Arts Water Brushes are extremely versatile.

Not only do they feature the widest variety pack of any of the options listed, but they have a slightly larger reservoir at 6ml.

While still not matching the Caran d’Arche in reservoir size (20ml), the Pentel brushes still can keep you going for quite some time before you will need to stop and refill.

As we eluded to earlier, the tips offered with this brush are simply amazing.

When you pick up the set, you get the following:

  • Fine (Round)
  • Medium (Round)
  • Large (Round)
  • Flat

While the first three round types are standard in most water brush sets, the flat brush also included will make this perfect for those looking to write calligraphy or create jarring effects in their paintings.

Like the Sakura Koi’s the Pentel’s can be purchased individually (which makes it really beginner friendly), or as a set (a much better deal).

While the barrel design can be susceptible to leakage in that it doesn’t have a restrictor valve like the Caran d’Arche, most watercolorists do find that the barrel itself does a great job at regulating water flow.

With plenty of practice, a simple light squeeze of the barrel should allow you to get the right amount of water to the paint and paper.

Lastly, the versatility of the Pentel’s are nearly unmatched.

If you want to try your hand at acrylic or ink, the open barrel design allows you to test out different mediums.

While ink may be susceptible to staining the interior of the barrel, you will be happy to know that the Pentel’s are dishwasher safe – making cleanup a breeze!

Pros
  • Great for calligraphy
  • Upgrade for beginners
  • Excellent tip variety
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Compatible with ink and acrylic mediums
  • Barrel prevents rolling
  • Travel friendly
Cons
  • Moderate price tag
  • No restrictor valve

BUY NOW

4. Derwent Waterbrush Review

Makers of the amazing watercolor pencils, Derwent puts together a fine collection of water brushes.

Coming both individually and as a set, Derwent offers their water brushes with the following tip types:

  • Small (round)
  • Medium (round)
  • Chisel

The versatility of these nearly matches that of the Pentel Aquash brushes. With the ability to be used for watercolor, calligraphy, and ink mediums.

You can expect a steady flow of the water (or ink) from the Derewent’s that produce controlled and predictable results.

Also similar to both the Pentel and Sakura lines of brushes, Derwent has also employed the barrel design that will need to be gently squeezed in order to express the water.

But another nice feature of the Derwent water brush is the anti-roll design.

All too often art supply companies completely miss the mark on how artists actually use their supplies.

Whether it’s through watercolor markers or water brushes, you will commonly see barrels with a flush cylindrical surface.

But why does this matter?

Well if you are painting ‘en plein air’ or simply at your local coffee house, an uneven table, surface, etc. will make your brush simply roll off the edge.

It’s not only distracting, but could lead to either damage of an exposed bristle tip or worse, losing the brush accidentally.

Needless to say, the Derwent’s anti-roll design is a wholly underrated aspect that simply doesn’t get enough acknowledgement found in other reviews.

Lastly, the bristle performance on these water brushes are terrific and should create stunning gradients when pulling out the pigment in watercolors.

Their ability rivals that of other water brushes we reviewed.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Anti-roll design
  • Moderately-sized reservoir
Cons

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5. Kuretake Fude Water Brush Pen

Hailing from the land of the rising sun, these Japanese manufactured water brushes are remarkable to say the least.

Seasoned artists may instantly recognize the Kuretake name as they have been experts in calligraphy-based writing tools for over 100 years.

Like the Caran d’Arche, Kuretake offers up their collection of water brushes in 3 varieties:

  • Small (round)
  • Medium (round)
  • Large (round)

While absolutely stunning performance for a watercolor painting (likely the majority of our readers), the calligraphists will want to take notice of this brush.

While the Kuretake’s use a synthetic bristle brush, the rich history in calligraphy that this company offers translate to a well performing water brush.

Expect to have ample spring and absorbency in the bristles that will ultimately deliver expected performance time and time again.

Now for the watercolorists out there, if you have experience with the Pentel’s we mentioned, you will find very similar properties with these Kuretake.

Most notably it will have the same squeeze barrel design for expressing water.

But what’s a big difference between the two is the rate of which water leaves the barrel.

With Pentel’s they tend to expel a bit quicker than Kuretake.

What doe this all mean?

In short, a bit more control is delivered with the Kuretake’s when painting detailed work.

However, if you are doing large washes, the Kuretake’s may be a bit tougher to use.

So, you will have to evaluate your own art preference before deciding on one water brush over another.

Pros
  • Perfect for calligraphy
  • Restricted water flow for greater control
  • Ample brush variety
  • Extremely affordable
Cons
  • Suited for smaller scale paintings

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6. AQUAnaut Water Brush

Featuring a small, medium, and large round bristle tip set, this AQUAnaut water brush goes toe-to-toe with some of the other great brushes featured on this list.

But unlike other brushes that require you to fill them up through a suction or pump type of design, the AQUAnauts come with their own separate syringe.

While some watercolorists may be turned off to the idea of a product needing a separate tool to fill their water brush (and this is completely understandable), we think that this is a pretty intuitive idea that might be found in more water brushes in the future.

The syringe can be especially useful if you decide to do your artwork with ink or other messy mediums.

If at a restaurant or even on a trail at your local state park, the syringe can ensure there is no waste of water or ink.

Which could be great for some reading this.

But what really counts is the performance of the brush itself.

With three synthetic varieties, you can not only get a wide range of strokes, but will be able to create artwork in a controlled manner.

The restriction of the water flow through the bristles is great…especially given the price.

For under $10 bucks you can’t really go wrong with this set.

Pros
  • Syringe for easy refills
  • 3 brushes included
  • Larger reservoir
  • Perfect for ink use
Cons
  • Water flow regulation may be difficult

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7. Holbein Art Water Brush

Like Kuretake, Holbein is a Japanese based art supply company that has been around for several years.

While not nearly as popular as some of the other water brushes on our list, their name has been respected on forums WetCanvas and ArtistsForum alike.

The Holbein water brushes cover just the basics when it comes to variety.

Within the package you will find two brushes (M, L). One is great for larger areas of your painting (L) where you will be doing more of your general washes and large color blocks while the other (M) will be suited for the more detailed work.

Each of the barrels twist apart when you need to refill. While not nearly as convenient as the Caran d’Arche’s pump design nor the Sakura Koi’s larger reservoir tank, for a water brush it’s acceptable.

But one accessory that many watercolorists will like is the inclusion of a sponge. Instead of having to pay for your own watercolor sponge, Holbein smartly includes one into the package.

This not only can be used to clean out the tips of your brushes that may be loaded with a pigment, but watercolorists can use this to create really unique effects in their works.

Overall the Holbein’s are a nice duo of water brushes that will be perfect for beginners.

Pros
  • Great for beginners
  • Sponge included
  • Larger reservoir for less refills
Cons
  • Limited brush variety
  • Unable to purchase individually

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8. Yasutomo Water Brush

Yasutomo has been an art supply company since the mid 1950s and largely specializes in a various Sumi-E (ink wash painting) related tools.

Their water brush seen here is a natural extension to this unique and Japanese painting style. While one may infer that Yasutomo is straight from Japan like many of the other brands mentioned in this article, that assumption would be misplaced (they are based in California).

Offering up a water brush in 4 different varieties (each sold individually), you can find the following:

Of the 4 brushes all but the mini holds 7ml of water within the barrel reservoir (mini holds 5.5ml).

A gentle press on the barrel will allow the water to flow from the reservoir to the synthetic bristles.

Expect to have a relatively good spring in the bristles with very little in the way of bleeding.

Compared to most water brushes, these ones tend to be geared towards the more intermediate to professional level artists.

When using the Yasutomo’s you can expect to be able to pull out the pigment relatively easy with increased water flow.

Not only will this make for perfect looking gradients, but the synthetic bristles on the tip should do a great job of retaining their shape with time.

While not nearly the cheapest water brush on our list (that’s reserved for the Sakura Koi’s), many watercolorists loved these brushes simply due to the flow control.

Pros
  • Excellent flow control
  • Wide range of bristle types
  • Generous reservoirs
  • Establish and trusted brand
Cons
  • A bit pricey compared to others

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9. Blue Heron Arts Water Brush

The last water brush on our list will be the Blue Heron’s.

Unlike every other brush mentioned so far, the Blue Heron’s are the only ones that feature an actual animal fiber (weasel, sheep, and rabbit).

When compared to the synthetic fibers, animal based fibers have the tendency to retain water at a much higher rate.

This is especially important for watercolors as you will be able to have much greater control over washes and detailed work as opposed to a synthetic fiber.

But there’s a kicker:

While animal fibers have a certain amount of ‘spring’ to them, especially some of the nicer kolinsky sable hair brushes we recently reviewed, poor quality animal fibers can also wear incredibly bad when compared to a synthetic fiber and may need frequent replacement.

Fiber aside, the reservoir chamber on the Blue Heron’s very closely resemble the same piston/syringe design found in the Caran d’Arche making the refill process easy.

When it comes to variety, the Blue Heron’s offer 7 different variants of the round brush:

  • Small, Medium, Large (Animal fiber)
  • Medium, Large (Synthetic fiber)
  • 2 Pocket brushes (Animal and Synthetic fibers)

While the round brushes at small, medium, and large are pretty standard, the plein air artists are going to love the pocket brushes.

At about half the size of most brushes, these brushes will be the ultimate in portability and convenience.

Perfect if an idea pops into your head while out on a trail or perhaps at work, the pocket brush can be incredibly nice to have.

Pros
  • Has real animal fibers
  • 7 brushes included
  • Pocket brush for portability
Cons
  • Artists report leaky barrels
  • Expensive

BUY NOW

How To Use A Water Brush

While getting used to a water brush can take a bit of practice for some, after a few hours of painting, it will quickly become second nature.

Water brushes are straight forward in their use.

Here’s a great tutorial from Jennifer Coyle demonstrating the Pentel Aquash:

When looking at the options, you will quickly see they come in two main form factors:

One with a press release restrictor valve like the Caran d’Arche.  With this type of brush you press the button on the side of the barrel to begin the flow of water from the reservoir tank.

The other option is the barrel press design (found in all others we mentioned) where you firmly squeeze the barrel of the brush to begin the flow of water.

No matter the type of brush you go with, the painting process remains the same.

You will simply bring the water to the bristles and then load up your brush as you normally would when using a watercolor brush.

For attaining lighter hues, simply expel additional water from the barrel.

Once you are done with a color, instead of dipping the bristles into a jar of water, with a water brush pen you can simply ‘paint out’ the colors onto a paper towel or sponge.

Paper To Use With Your Water Brush

When it comes to using your water brush, you will always want to use a quality watercolor paper.

Watercolor paper, unlike standard paper, is designed completely differently and will have much better absorbency properties.

This not only ensures that your artwork doesn’t warp or wrinkle, but also give you greater control and texture for the water brush to latch onto.

If you are looking for recommendations on a particular watercolor paper, you can check out our recent article where we compared the best watercolor papers around.

Secondly, given that water brushes are more portable in nature, a watercolor sketchbook may be of greater interest.

If you are looking for a recommendation there, you can check out our full reviews of watercolor sketchbooks.

It Only Gets Better After Practice (Part 1) — Smashing Magazine

Quick summary ↬

The resurgence of hand lettering, calligraphy, signage, penmanship, or really anything that is graphic and handmade is increasingly difficult to ignore. Along with letters drawn in any of the categories just mentioned, drawing, sketching, sketchnoting, and any hybrid style (combinations of the above) have also been gaining attention among designers, illustrators, and other professionals.
A quick look around social media or simply googling lettering will quickly show impressive and notable work. Last year I deliberately started practicing brush lettering, meaning I had a dedicated time to practice exercises, write out words and practice letterforms.

The resurgence of hand lettering, calligraphy, signage, penmanship, or really anything that is graphic and handmade is increasingly difficult to ignore. Along with letters drawn in any of the categories just mentioned, drawing, sketching, sketchnoting, and any hybrid style (combinations of the above) have also been gaining attention among designers, illustrators, and other professionals. A quick look around social media or simply googling lettering will quickly show impressive and notable work.

Last year I deliberately started practicing brush lettering, meaning I had a dedicated time to practice exercises, write out words and practice letterforms. In the process, I learned a few things I would like to share. These tips are not just about how to write messages or repeating letters over and over. Instead, I have become familiar with methods and approaches that have helped me in my journey to improve my lettering work.

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

This is the first part of two articles which aim to provide you with a good foundation of why lettering is more than just drawing pretty letters and explains the principles behind the practice. I believe that knowing why we do things is important because it helps us create a mindful practice. With that in mind, we will start with a little background, context, and supplies. In the second part of this article, we will move on towards practical advice, how-to videos, and freebies. If you would like to see my work and how I have progressed, please visit my Instagram page or go to my blog.

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More Than Just Pretty Drawings Of Letters

As I mentioned before, hand lettering, calligraphy, signage, and penmanship, have experienced a resurgence among designers, as well as non-designers. These graphic forms of expression have one common element: they are activities performed manually through observation and, often, repetition. The acts of drawing, doodling, illustrating, and by extension, drawing or illustrating letters, and writing are considered extremely beneficial to increase memory, retention, and to improve eye-hand coordination.

An ink pot with calligraphy pen and nib (Image credit) (Large preview)

Recent studies (one referenced in Science Daily and the others referenced in The New York Times) claim there is evidence that the act of drawing itself helps to boost memory and learning. These new findings are important as they show the act of drawing itself is what matters — not what is being drawn. Thus, one could infer that drawing letters would contribute to the benefits gathered by simply engaging in the act of creating them. It has also been noted that taking notes with the keyboard is not as beneficial in the learning process and retention as taking notes by hand.

A Little Bit Of Context

The popularity boom that lettering has experienced in recent years, is in contrast with the national decline in cursive handwriting since the 1970’s in the United States. Just in 2008, Vitaly Friedman, founding editor of Smashing Magazine, published an article titled Beautiful Handwriting, Lettering, and Calligraphy, in which he stated the following:

“Handwriting seems to have lost some of its attraction over the last years. Nobody writes beautiful handwritten letters, and uses digital means of communication with smileys, abbreviations and standard lettering instead. And that’s a pity. Since handwriting is unique, it has a tremendous expressive power a standard lettering isn’t able to achieve.”

This article published in The Washington Post titled “Cursive Handwriting Is Disappearing From Public Schools” by T. Ress Shapiro in 2013 echoes Friedman’s sentiment and explains how handwriting was disappearing from the school curriculum in the United States mainly due to two factors:

  • Technology has been slowly replacing handwriting.
  • Common Core Standards do not require students to learn cursive handwriting. It leaves it as a decision to be made by local school officials.

The “Spencerian Penmanship Theory Book” by Platt Rogers Spencer (Large preview)

In contrast, the Spencerian Penmanship Theory book, a book that focuses on teaching both the theory and practical lessons of handwriting, states in its Introductory Remarks:

“Writing is a secondary power of speech, and they who cannot write are in part dumb.”

Because there is still much debate going on regarding teaching or not teaching handwriting, at least in the United States, we may have young designers who have not learned specifics of writing by hand. In turn, these designers who may become interested in lettering as an extension of typography, will find themselves looking for ways to learn to do lettering. However, even those of us who learned handwriting and also find typography intriguing, find ourselves fascinated by lettering. Thus, I decided to learn and practice.

My Journey As A Learner

Engaging in deliberate practice was not new to me. Back in January 2010, I committed to do something creative every day inspired by Jad Limaco’s article Design Something Every Day. Because Instagram had not been released yet — it was released in October 2010 — I documented all the work in a blog and on Twitter.

A little over a year ago, I started practicing lettering and sometimes penmanship deliberately each day. If you ask me why, I could offer several reasons. Among those reasons: drawing letters has been something I practiced since I was young. Another: I am fascinated (ahem, “obsessed” would be the best term) with typographic forms and letters. I was one of those kids who could write their name on long stretches of notebook paper in three or four different styles. One of my hobbies was to try to imitate my father’s signature because it was not only beautiful but also complicated.

Though my affinity for letterforms has been a long-standing affair, as soon as I started to post my work on Instagram, it was clear that I did not have a full grasp of the basic concepts as I once thought. That said, Instagram is very encouraging and, while it may sound silly and childish, the likes are a good encouragement to keep going.

As they say, practice makes progress. Here are examples of my lettering in chronological order of my progress:

May 2015, September 2015, April 2016, June 2-16 (Large preview)An example of my lettering done for Smashing Magazine’s monthly wallpaper series. Anyone can submit, anytime. (Large preview)

The Rise Of Brush Lettering

As we discussed, teaching cursive has been in decline in the education system. I believe that it is precisely due to the lack of exposure in the formative school years, that lettering, calligraphy, and penmanship in general has grown among designers. For instance, on any social media outlet: Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram, one can find evidence of its popularity. Instagram has become the preferred online space to share work for calligraphers and letterers. Using any of the terms on the list below would prompt various examples.

Hashtags (each is a link to a page featuring the results of the hashtag search)

Rather than delving into a historical and background account of brush lettering and its relationship to its first cousins, calligraphy, penmanship, and signage, I thought we would discuss the tools, paper, the lessons I have learned, and my favorite letterers and calligraphers. However, before we do that, let’s go over some terms and parameters so that we are all on the same page.

Defining The Terms

Because the terms “calligraphy”, “lettering”, and “typography” are often used interchangeably, I think it would be beneficial to define each of these. For the most part, people are not obsessively trying to correct each other. Nonetheless, understanding the differences and similarities is very helpful.

Calligraphy

Calligraphy is the art of writing beautiful letters. Laura Lavender, in her book Creative Lettering and Beyond, explains the following:

“The word ‘calligraphy’ comes from the Greek words kallos, ‘beauty’, and graph, ‘writing’.”

Thus, calligraphy is an art, but it is the art of writing out the words. It has a close relationship to penmanship. The dictionary defines penmanship as the art or skill of writing by hand; a person’s handwriting. Calligraphy, on the other hand, is the art of producing decorative handwriting or lettering with a pen or brush. There are rules to follow and alphabets, called hands in calligraphy, to learn: Neuland, Roman Capitals, Italic, Foundational, Uncial, Carolingian, Gothic, and Versals. (Each term is linked to a Google Image search for your benefit). However, here are examples of some of the calligraphic hands:

Italic Hand

Italic hand by Christian Bélanger (Large preview)

Gothic Hand

Gothic hand by Christian Bélanger (Large preview)

Uncial Hand

Uncial Calligraphy hand by Mercedes Bugarin (Large preview)

Neuland Hand

Neuland hand by EstherGordo (Large preview)

When you practice one of these alphabets, or a calligraphic hand, it is crucial that you do them correctly. There are many technical nuances in the construction of any calligraphic alphabet to be mindful of. To me, calligraphy is the equivalent of classical ballet. Learn it well and you are versed in the principles and theory that open the key to more expressive styles. Not every letterer is a calligrapher but every calligrapher can be and is a letterer.

Lettering

Mary Kate McDevitt, in her book Hand Lettering Ledger, defines lettering as the art of drawing letters. Lettering is the customization of letters. In other words, lettering allows the designer and artist to create a style that was not there before or to embellish an existing letterform beyond its original form. You can see many examples of lettering by doing an image search on Google or just by clicking here.

A great example of lettering by Jason Roeder, used with permission. (Large preview)

Typographic Design

In the book Typographic Design: Form and Communication, Rob Carter states that typography and writing are magic because they create a “record of the spoken language.” Before the computer, letters (typography) were set to specific types or molds and arranged in the printing press. The letters were carved out of wood or metal and moved to create words, sentences, paragraphs, and pages. These letters needed to be functional, meaning that, because the letters belonged to a family, they needed to share many elements to look like they belong.

Type design (Image credit) (Large preview)

In this aspect, typeface design is similar to calligraphy. The letters in each font as in calligraphy had to look alike. Robert Bringhurst, in his book The Elements of Typographic Style, states that letters need to be “set with affection, intelligence, knowledge, and skill.”

And Finally, Brush Lettering

Now that we have these terms defined, let’s focus on brush lettering. You may be wondering why I make a point to differentiate between lettering (drawing letters) and brush lettering as if they are not the same. Well, they are not the same. In my case, specifically, I don’t tend to create illustrative letters. Perhaps I am a little too impatient for it. I admire and respect those who create illustrative lettering, like the work of Jason Roeder.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

As its name says, brush lettering is lettering done with a brush. Though it has been around for a long time, it is still often seen as a very modern style of writing based on calligraphy. The brush width is not as important as the angle you hold it. You can use a flat, angled brush, or a pointed brush. Though, something to keep in mind: the size or width of the brush determines the size of the lettering.

What Do You Need To Get Started?

Let’s talk about some of my favorite tools and supplies to start lettering.

Pens

The best pen to use is the one you have. Believe this. The specific pen helps, but it is your ability to use the pen correctly and your understanding of the basic principles of forming a letter that ultimately will make you a good letterer (brush or otherwise). That said, there are many pens out there. Some are inexpensive while others are very expensive. The best advice I can give you is to try as many pens as you are able. One thing to remember is, the larger the size of the tip of the brush pen, the larger the letters will be. Below are some of the best pens to get started with.

Crayola broad Tip Markers

Crayola markers broad tips are a great way to get used to changing the pressure of the marker on the page. Also, they are very inexpensive. (Large preview)

At the beginning, it was easier for me to use Crayola markers than other brush pens. Why would I use these markers if I wanted to practice brush lettering? Here are a few reasons:

Here is an example of what lettering looks like with Crayola markers.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Crayola Brush Pens

Crayola brush pens are also a great way to get started. Their brush tip is large, but it is good to write larger letters at the beginning. (Large preview)

Once I began getting used to the techniques, I decided to try these brush pens. They are very inexpensive and last for a while. The tip is very sturdy, so it is hard to fray, but one has to be careful when and how to apply the pressure. The brush tip is very flexible; thus it may be hard to make the transition between the sturdiness of the Crayola broad tip markers and their brush pens. However, the good news is that replacing them will not be painful as they are inexpensive. I find the color in them to be very rich, vibrant, and it runs very well.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Tombow Fudenosuke Soft and Hard Tips

Tombow Fudenosuke Soft and Hard tip brush pens are also a favorite to start with for lettering. (Large preview)

These are the pens I have been using in all the videos for this article (you will be able to see them in part 2). These are a great next step from the Crayola markers or pen brushes. Tombow Fudensouke pens have a tip that feels like a brush but is actually plastic. The soft pen tip is very flexible, which allows you to experiment with the pressure and bending the tip. Since the tip is not a brush and there are not brush hairs to speak of, the tips will not fray. The hard tip is very firm and it really helps you to be conscious of how much pressure you need to apply on each stroke to get the thick and thins on paper. These are more expensive than the Crayola markers but, you can get them in sets. Plus, they last a long time.

Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pens

Tombow Dual Brush pens (Large preview)

Many brush letterers consider these pens the top of the line. Their tip is large compared to the Fudenosuke pens above, so these brush pens are more appropriate when lettering at a larger scale. They are very smooth and work best when used with marker paper or soft paper. However, I like texture, and sometimes I use them on paper with some teeth in it. This is where you need to be careful, because that can fray the tip of the brush.

You can buy these pens individually or in sets at several art supply stores.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Pentel Art Aquash Brush Pens

Pentel aqua brushes have a synthetic brush tip. I prefer to use the fine tip. (Large preview)

These are my favorite brush pens. I even make excuses to use them. The brush tip is very smooth and glides on the paper even when the paper has some texture. Here are some advantages to these brush pens:

  • The body or barrel can be filled with water, ink, or simply liquid watercolors. If filling with ink or liquid watercolor, I found that using a dropper works best to fill the barrel. The liquid tends to create a bubble that you will need to burst, or you will be a mess of ink or color! I use a dropper and a paper towel to burst the bubble on the opening. Though this process can be slow, the good news is that the ink or liquid watercolor tends to last a long time. When filled with water, the brush pen will likely be used with watercolors. Thus, it runs out of water a little faster. However, if I want to take my supplies with me when traveling (and I do take my supplies with me everywhere), these are great if using watercolors as there is no need to change the water regularly.
  • These brush pens can be bought separately or in a set of three: fine, medium, and large. I rarely use the medium and large, but it is more cost effective to buy them as a set. I find that the fine tip allows me to do different sizes in my lettering depending on how I hold the brush and how much I bend it.

Pen filled with ink (Lettering by Alma Hoffmann: Large preview)Pen filled with liquid watercolor (Lettering by Alma Hoffmann: Large preview)

Pentel Arts Sign Pen with Brush Tip

These brush pens are also one of my favorites. The tip is plastic and flexible like the Fudenosuke Soft above, but they come in sets of color and can be used for small to medium lettering. The color is very crisp, and it looks like watercolor depending on the paper you are using. You can also buy them in sets of six and twelve.

Pentel Sign pens are great for smaller letters. Lettering by Alma Hoffmann: Large preview)

Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pen

(Large preview)

My best friend gave me these watercolor brush pens as Christmas gift and I must say they are divine. They have a very delicate tip so I don’t use them to practice with. I use them to do final pieces or nice lettering for someone. The color is beautiful, really beautiful, and the tip just glides on the paper. These brush pens are a must have if you want a piece with a more delicate and polished finish.

There are of course more brush pens available at different online stores. JetPens, for instance, offers two sets of brush pens; an assortment of different pens to try. This deal may be a good option before you commit to a brand or if you just want to explore.

One thing to remember about the brush pens: the size of the tip determines the size of the letters you will write. Keep that in mind when choosing pens for your work. I know I keep reminding you of this, but it is important.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Prismacolor Premier Illustration Brush Tip Art Markers

(Large preview)

These brush pens are both firm and flexible. They allow me to create drastic thick and thin strokes, making for a beautiful contrast effect. They are small, thin, and light to hold. However, they do not last as long as other brands.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Kuretake Zig Letter Pen CocoIro LP

This is my newest pen, and I love it. I can write really small and delicately and the tip is firm but not so hard that it has no flexibility. The pen is sold in parts: the body and the fill and you can buy the refill in a variety of colors. See how small I can write with it in these images below.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large Preview)

There are of course more brush pens available. However, the list offered to you here is a good place to start. When I started, I had no idea which pens were best, and the Crayola markers were my favorite for a long time. Now, I switch it around depending on the type of work I am doing. If you feel like you need to have one pen to start with, I would recommend the Tombow Fudenosuke soft and hard tip brush pens.

Let’s now discuss the second most important supply: paper.

Paper

There are many brush letterers and brush calligraphers, and each one of them will have a list of which papers are best. What I am listing here are the ones I have used and like.

Laser Paper

I started out practicing on laser paper. It is an inexpensive way to get started, and some of it is thick enough to hold the moisture. Lindsey Bugbee from The Postman’s Knock recommends using Georgia Pacific 20lb on one of her blog posts. I have found that laser paper, both in 24lb and 32lb weights, is very nice and the brushes handle it very well. Please note that if you use your brush pens on laser paper, your pens will eventually fray. For practice purposes, laser paper is good but use the least expensive brushes on it. Also, remember that the cheapest writing tool you can practice with is a pencil.

If you plan to keep your practice sheets, it is best to use archival quality paper. For final pieces, it is best to find paper that is not only archival but also smooth. The smooth type of paper will be very gentle on your brush pen markers. Amanda Arneilla has a great post on her site about paper that you may want to check out!

Rhodia

Many brush letterers and brush calligraphers prefer Rhodia pads. I have a pad with a quad-grid, and I love its texture. It’s very smooth, and the brush pen glides on it. The only drawback is that it can be a tad expensive, or not as cost effective as others.

Drawing Paper

A few years ago, I took calligraphy classes and my teacher, Clint Voris, had me practice on a large (11” x 14”) drawing paper pad. The brand he recommended was Strathmore. The ink did not bleed through the paper, and I have found that some drawing papers, as long as they are smooth, can work well for brush pens. However, I would use the plastic and synthetic brush tips with this paper. As the Tombow markers are delicate, I would only use them on either the Rhodia pads or smooth laser paper.

Canson Mixed Media paper


This is my favorite paper as I do a lot of watercolor lettering and it comes in pads and large rolls. However, for some reason, the paper in the roll is lighter than in the pads. Regardless, it is very thick and holds a lot of moisture. Since this paper is intended for both dry and wet media, it works very well with the plastic and synthetic brushes due to its soft texture. The stroke you make with the brush will reflect that (see picture below). I don’t mind a little bit of texture; in fact, I find it gives the lettering a very rich feel. This pad is also great if you are experimenting with watercolor lettering or watercolor backgrounds.

These pads are not expensive and for practicing purposes, and I use both sides. The best news? If your practice turns out well, you may be able to sell it, as this is good paper!

As with the Canson and Strathmore, I don’t use the Tombow dual brush pens on this paper. Even the soft texture of this paper would fray the Tombow brushes a little. However, if you do like some texture, you can use the frayed brush tips to give you that feel of texture. Below are two example of lettering done on this paper.

(Large preview)(Large preview)

Printmaking Paper

Since I teach design at a university, I have access to lots and lots of discarded pieces of printmaking paper. You may find this paper strange because it has a lot of texture. That is true, but it also holds a lot of moisture. Sometimes I use my brush pens, such as the Crayola brush pens, on it, and I get great results. The texture of the paper makes it even better for my purposes. I love to see how the ink and the watercolor interact with it. See this image below.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Once I began getting used to the techniques, I decided to try these brush pens. They are very inexpensive and last for a while. The tip is very sturdy, so it is hard to fray, but one has to be careful when and how to apply the pressure. The brush tip is very flexible; thus it may be hard to make the transition between the sturdiness of the Crayola broad tip markers and their brush pens. However, the good news is that replacing them will not be painful as they are inexpensive. I find the color in them to be very rich, vibrant, and it runs very well.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Tombow Fudenosuke Soft and Hard Tips

Tombow Fudenosuke Soft and Hard tip brush pens are also a favorite to start with for lettering. (Large preview)

These are the pens I have been using in all the videos for this article (you will be able to see them in part 2). These are a great next step from the Crayola markers or pen brushes. Tombow Fudensouke pens have a tip that feels like a brush but is actually plastic. The soft pen tip is very flexible, which allows you to experiment with the pressure and bending the tip. Since the tip is not a brush and there are not brush hairs to speak of, the tips will not fray. The hard tip is very firm and it really helps you to be conscious of how much pressure you need to apply on each stroke to get the thick and thins on paper. These are more expensive than the Crayola markers but, you can get them in sets. Plus, they last a long time.

Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pens

Tombow Dual Brush pens (Large preview)

Many brush letterers consider these pens the top of the line. Their tip is large compared to the Fudenosuke pens above, so these brush pens are more appropriate when lettering at a larger scale. They are very smooth and work best when used with marker paper or soft paper. However, I like texture, and sometimes I use them on paper with some teeth in it. This is where you need to be careful, because that can fray the tip of the brush.

You can buy these pens individually or in sets at several art supply stores.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Pentel Art Aquash Brush Pens

Pentel aqua brushes have a synthetic brush tip. I prefer to use the fine tip. (Large preview)

These are my favorite brush pens. I even make excuses to use them. The brush tip is very smooth and glides on the paper even when the paper has some texture. Here are some advantages to these brush pens:

  • The body or barrel can be filled with water, ink, or simply liquid watercolors. If filling with ink or liquid watercolor, I found that using a dropper works best to fill the barrel. The liquid tends to create a bubble that you will need to burst, or you will be a mess of ink or color! I use a dropper and a paper towel to burst the bubble on the opening. Though this process can be slow, the good news is that the ink or liquid watercolor tends to last a long time. When filled with water, the brush pen will likely be used with watercolors. Thus, it runs out of water a little faster. However, if I want to take my supplies with me when traveling (and I do take my supplies with me everywhere), these are great if using watercolors as there is no need to change the water regularly.
  • These brush pens can be bought separately or in a set of three: fine, medium, and large. I rarely use the medium and large, but it is more cost effective to buy them as a set. I find that the fine tip allows me to do different sizes in my lettering depending on how I hold the brush and how much I bend it.

Pen filled with ink (Lettering by Alma Hoffmann: Large preview)Pen filled with liquid watercolor (Lettering by Alma Hoffmann: Large preview)

Pentel Arts Sign Pen with Brush Tip

These brush pens are also one of my favorites. The tip is plastic and flexible like the Fudenosuke Soft above, but they come in sets of color and can be used for small to medium lettering. The color is very crisp, and it looks like watercolor depending on the paper you are using. You can also buy them in sets of six and twelve.

Pentel Sign pens are great for smaller letters. Lettering by Alma Hoffmann: Large preview)

Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pen

(Large preview)

My best friend gave me these watercolor brush pens as Christmas gift and I must say they are divine. They have a very delicate tip so I don’t use them to practice with. I use them to do final pieces or nice lettering for someone. The color is beautiful, really beautiful, and the tip just glides on the paper. These brush pens are a must have if you want a piece with a more delicate and polished finish.

There are of course more brush pens available at different online stores. JetPens, for instance, offers two sets of brush pens; an assortment of different pens to try. This deal may be a good option before you commit to a brand or if you just want to explore.

One thing to remember about the brush pens: the size of the tip determines the size of the letters you will write. Keep that in mind when choosing pens for your work. I know I keep reminding you of this, but it is important.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Prismacolor Premier Illustration Brush Tip Art Markers

(Large preview)

These brush pens are both firm and flexible. They allow me to create drastic thick and thin strokes, making for a beautiful contrast effect. They are small, thin, and light to hold. However, they do not last as long as other brands.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Kuretake Zig Letter Pen CocoIro LP

This is my newest pen, and I love it. I can write really small and delicately and the tip is firm but not so hard that it has no flexibility. The pen is sold in parts: the body and the fill and you can buy the refill in a variety of colors. See how small I can write with it in these images below.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large Preview)

There are of course more brush pens available. However, the list offered to you here is a good place to start. When I started, I had no idea which pens were best, and the Crayola markers were my favorite for a long time. Now, I switch it around depending on the type of work I am doing. If you feel like you need to have one pen to start with, I would recommend the Tombow Fudenosuke soft and hard tip brush pens.

Let’s now discuss the second most important supply: paper.

Paper

There are many brush letterers and brush calligraphers, and each one of them will have a list of which papers are best. What I am listing here are the ones I have used and like.

Laser Paper

I started out practicing on laser paper. It is an inexpensive way to get started, and some of it is thick enough to hold the moisture. Lindsey Bugbee from The Postman’s Knock recommends using Georgia Pacific 20lb on one of her blog posts. I have found that laser paper, both in 24lb and 32lb weights, is very nice and the brushes handle it very well. Please note that if you use your brush pens on laser paper, your pens will eventually fray. For practice purposes, laser paper is good but use the least expensive brushes on it. Also, remember that the cheapest writing tool you can practice with is a pencil.

If you plan to keep your practice sheets, it is best to use archival quality paper. For final pieces, it is best to find paper that is not only archival but also smooth. The smooth type of paper will be very gentle on your brush pen markers. Amanda Arneilla has a great post on her site about paper that you may want to check out!

Rhodia

Many brush letterers and brush calligraphers prefer Rhodia pads. I have a pad with a quad-grid, and I love its texture. It’s very smooth, and the brush pen glides on it. The only drawback is that it can be a tad expensive, or not as cost effective as others.

Drawing Paper

A few years ago, I took calligraphy classes and my teacher, Clint Voris, had me practice on a large (11” x 14”) drawing paper pad. The brand he recommended was Strathmore. The ink did not bleed through the paper, and I have found that some drawing papers, as long as they are smooth, can work well for brush pens. However, I would use the plastic and synthetic brush tips with this paper. As the Tombow markers are delicate, I would only use them on either the Rhodia pads or smooth laser paper.

Canson Mixed Media paper


This is my favorite paper as I do a lot of watercolor lettering and it comes in pads and large rolls. However, for some reason, the paper in the roll is lighter than in the pads. Regardless, it is very thick and holds a lot of moisture. Since this paper is intended for both dry and wet media, it works very well with the plastic and synthetic brushes due to its soft texture. The stroke you make with the brush will reflect that (see picture below). I don’t mind a little bit of texture; in fact, I find it gives the lettering a very rich feel. This pad is also great if you are experimenting with watercolor lettering or watercolor backgrounds.

These pads are not expensive and for practicing purposes, and I use both sides. The best news? If your practice turns out well, you may be able to sell it, as this is good paper!

As with the Canson and Strathmore, I don’t use the Tombow dual brush pens on this paper. Even the soft texture of this paper would fray the Tombow brushes a little. However, if you do like some texture, you can use the frayed brush tips to give you that feel of texture. Below are two example of lettering done on this paper.

(Large preview)(Large preview)

Printmaking Paper

Since I teach design at a university, I have access to lots and lots of discarded pieces of printmaking paper. You may find this paper strange because it has a lot of texture. That is true, but it also holds a lot of moisture. Sometimes I use my brush pens, such as the Crayola brush pens, on it, and I get great results. The texture of the paper makes it even better for my purposes. I love to see how the ink and the watercolor interact with it. See this image below.

Lettering by Alma Hoffmann (Large preview)

Other Items You Will Need But Probably Have Around

Pencil

I can’t stress how crucial it is to plan out your letters before marking the paper with ink. Once there is ink, well, it will not be erased. Plus, sketching out or planning where you want your letters will help you get better at understanding proportions: how large the letters should be in relation to the size of the sheet you are using. If you use soft pencils, you can practice creating thick and thin strokes in your letters. Any soft pencil will do but among some brush letterers the Palomino Blackwing Pencils are a favorite.

Ruler

I will be honest and confess that I dislike drawing straight lines because, for some reason, they always end up in a slight diagonal. But, better some lines than none, right? As you get better, your sense for letter placement will improve, and you will rely less on the ruler. But please, at least use one to create a few guidelines to start. I will say that if you practice on a grid or lined paper, you will get used to writing on a line. After a while, even when no line exists, you may notice that you are able to write fairly straight.

Eraser

There is no explanation needed except that make sure to use plastic erasers. They are usually white and are not abrasive on the paper. These erasers are so good that they fade dried watercolor.

Closing Thoughts

We have discussed brush lettering, its definition, its context, and the supplies you will need to get started. In the second part of this article, we will discuss the practice itself. Plus, there will be some videos and freebies. Stay tuned!

(il, aa)

Best Calligraphy Apps for iPhone and iPad in 2021

Calligraphy is an art of decorative handwriting or lettering done with a pen or a brush. Mostly, an artist showcases his talent on a canvas. With evolving technology, especially with iPhone and iPad, the same experience and output can achieve quickly without using a canvas. There are best calligraphy apps for iPhone and iPad that reduces the burden of having different physical brushes, colors, and a canvas.

1. Paper by WeTransfer

This app is ideal for people that have recently started learning calligraphy and need to do fundamental practicing. It has five options, pen, pencil, brush, and two others to try your hands on calligraphy. You can also change the color of your art and even save it to share with others. As it is more of a basic app, it doesn’t have too many fancy features.

Being user-friendly and straightforward doesn’t mean it isn’t worth. The Pro version of the app is paid, and with that, there are many useful tools that professionals can use.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iTouch
Price: Free with In-App purchase to unlock Pro version
Download

2. Tayasui Sketches

As the name explains, it is an app for sketching drawings, pictures, and much more. With different types of pens and pen brushes, you can try your hands on this app for calligraphy as well. The app offers layering, export as PNG, export as PSD, smudge tool, ruler, and much more.

The app is free, but some impressive features need money. Paid tools include layers, Stylus pressure support, Olivia’s Coloring Book, and a few others. All in all, this app is definitely worth giving a try.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
Price: Free with optional In-App purchase
Download

3. Procreate

Procreate is an Apple Design Award-winning app along with winning the title of App Store Essential. It has features that can suit beginner or a world-renowned artist. It provides sketching, drawing, calligraphy, abstract painting, and much more at your fingertips.

Given the features it boasts, it is exclusively available for iPad; an iPhone and iPod touch do not have those capabilities that the app offers.

Talking about the iPad compatibility, the app is optimized specifically for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. It surely gives an out of the world experience while calligraphing on the digital canvas of this app.

Compatibility: iPad only
Price: $9.99
Download

4. Calligraphy Penmanship

As the name suggests, this app is exclusively made for calligraphers to showcase their talent using their iPhone and iPad screen. The app supports finger touch but works best with the Apple Pencil, as it can sense the pressure and design the stroke accordingly.

There are different kinds of brushes, and you can select the thickness of each one to get the perfect stroke.

Also, you can also customize the color to suit your mood. Lastly, the app is free for 3-days from the day you open the app. After that, you need to purchase its paid version to use it further.

Compatibility: iPad only
Price: Free for three days and then $2.99 for the full version
Download

5. Inspire Pro

Divided into 15 sets, there are 150 different brushes to choose from. Top of that, you can use all these brushes as wet, dry, or as an eraser. There are more than 20 different customization for brush stroke that makes your calligraphy experience delightful.

The best part is that the brush strokes are recorded as a video which you can use to showcase on your social media.

These features are just the highlight of the app, and it has a lot more than this. The app isn’t free, but given the features it offers, the price is entirely justified. Lastly, the app is compatible only with iPad.

Compatibility: iPad only
Price: $9.99
Download

6. Amaziograph

Amaziograph is more of an art drawing app and not just for calligraphy. But with different brushes along with customization option like stroke width, opacity, and softness; it can be efficiently used for calligraphy. Apart from this, it can support canvas size up to 4096*4096, which helps you print your art in different sizes.

The app allows you to export your drawing in JPG and PNG format along with a particular Amaziograph format that you can share with other fellow users of this app. Lastly, the app costs only a dollar, which makes it perfect for newbies.

Compatibility: iPad only
Price: $0.99
Download

7. Calligraphy HD

Calligraphy HD is a simple, easy to use, and minimalist app with enough features to get you started with calligraphy. It has four different brushes, and you can customize their thickness to suit your preference. Besides that, you can also have one wet brush to try your hands on it. Also, you can select different colors as per your need.

The app is free, but if you need to unlock more tools, you may consider unlocking the full version by paying a few dollars.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
Price: Free with In-App purchase to unlock the full version
Download

8. Sketch Club

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, Sketch Club has everything to make you fall in love with it. It supports layers with configurable blending options, layer filters, PSD file support, and much more. The app also has support for Apple Pencil, and even third-party Bluetooth stylus. With all these features, calligraphy art will give you an experience like never before.

These are a handful of features out of the massive list of features that Sketch Club offers. Like the one above, this too isn’t free. Comparatively, it is quite economical from the one above.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
Price: $2.99
Download

That’s all, mate!

Signing off…

Calligraphy can be learned over time, and it needs a lot of practice along with a mountain of patience. Above all, it is an art that cannot be learned thoroughly; it is more of a thought process that the artist needs to put down on the canvas. With that said, It’s time for goodbye, and we will be back again with another excellent post.

You may also like to refer:

Which app did you like the most out of the list? Share your feedback with us in the comments.

Brushes for Chinese painting and calligraphy

Since ancient times, the greatest value for a master, creator, and even for a simple craftsman has been his tool. For a violinist, a violin, for a carver, a jigsaw, and for an artist, a brush. Ancient Chinese painting and calligraphy is distinguished by its variety and special oriental refinement of lines. It is precisely with a bizarre interweaving of the simplest lines that the masterpieces of Chinese painting were created in antiquity and are now being created. One of the main components for creating a painting in the Chinese style, in addition to skills and talent, is the brush .

Brush for painting and calligraphy from wool of a goat and a wolf, No. 01. Universal.

Also in ancient times in China the most valuable attributes of a painter, calligrapher, scientist were considered to be a brush, paper, ink and ink. They were called that way: “The Four Jewels of a Scientist” or “Four Jewels of the Study” Without these objects, not a single educated person of those times could take place. Each artist and calligrapher approached the choice of these writing instruments with special trepidation and attention, because the final result of work and creativity largely depended on them.

Brush number 28. Mini “Gray tail”. From Anhui province. Due to the elasticity of the pile and the ability to gather in a thin tip, this brush is mainly used by lovers of the gunbi style.

And if during the ancient Chinese dynasties it was not so easy to buy brushes, now it will not be difficult for you – in our online store you can always buy professional brushes, calligraphy brushes and painting brushes. Our store offers a large selection of brushes for your creativity.To buy brushes for Chinese painting, you need to have at least a little knowledge of what the correct brush should be.

The choice of a brush for traditional Chinese painting is an important and responsible occupation, because the literacy of this choice determines how accurately you can embody the artistic idea.

Brush No. 44, for gunbi, from mouse wool. Contour brush for gunbi

In ancient China, making brushes was as painstaking and complex as calligraphy – a brush was created in seventy stages, was expensive, so not everyone could buy brushes.A traditional brush should be very resilient with a neat, sharp tip. The hairs should not be tousled, and the brush itself should be rounded. The specificity of manufacturing is so unique that even in our time it is impossible to mechanize this process completely – to give the product a complete look, the bundle is rotated in the mouth with the tongue to give roundness and elasticity.

Brush No. 45 from wolf hair. Goonby contour brush. Suitable for novice artists.

Correct Chinese brushes are made only from natural bristles.Previously, they were made from the wool of a hare, a column and a goat, they adhere to these traditions today. Natural brushes hold mascara well and absorb liquid. For each type of painting and style of calligraphic writing, certain brushes are intended, there are more than two hundred of them; often they are marked so that it is clear what exactly this or that is intended for.

Brush for painting and calligraphy from goat hair, No. 33. Suitable for drawing backgrounds and large shapes

The classification of brushes for painting and calligraphy is not limited to the creative style.All brushes also differ in size (small, medium, large and very large), hardness (hard, soft, combined) and bristle length (short, medium and long). Knowing exactly what types of work the brushes will be used for, you can easily buy them from us of a wide variety of types: for example, soft brushes made from goat or sheep wool, and sometimes from rabbit fur, are used to depict flowers, animals and leaves.

If you plan to draw small details, then it is better to buy artistic brushes of increased rigidity – from the hair of horses, bears and badgers.Such brushes have always been used in Chinese gunbi painting. Combined brushes combine the advantages of both of these types. Of course, the artist’s arsenal should have different tools. Therefore, our store offers to buy a set of brushes for skilled painters and only those who are learning this art.

Brush for painting and calligraphy from goat and rabbit bristle, no. 27. Allows it to work out details and write fine lines. But when you press, you can write a line wider, and when you turn the brush, a curl.

Professional brushes require proper care – after each use they must be thoroughly rinsed and dried. Moreover, when drying, the brushes must be kept in a suspended state until completely dry, and only then, if necessary, put on a cap for transportation in order to avoid deformation of the beam.

35 stunning brushes for Procreate

Install the most advanced brushes for Procreate to get the most out of the application.There are a huge number of brushes that perfectly complement the application and make it indispensable for both professionals and amateurs. This article presents the best of the best brushes for Procreate. Some of these brushes are completely free. All you need is to download and install the brushes you like.

It’s a huge mistake to think that Procreate is a regular drawing app because it can turn your iPad into a drawing tablet that can be pulled from a PC.Also, Procreate provides many options for working with design projects.

It is simply unrealistic to count the number of existing brushes. You can download and install any of them. But choosing the right brush will help improve image quality and effectively make your project stand out from others.

1. Sargent’s Oils – Procreate Brushes

(Image credit: Sadie Liu)

Cost: $ 6

Download here

These brushes will help you achieve the mastery of the realist artist John Sindger.Real brushes and canvas were used to create the set. The resulting smears were scanned in high resolution and processed in the software. In the product description, you will find the characteristics of each of the 12 brushes, as well as instructions for their use.

2.12 dry marker brushes

(Image credit: Latin Vibes on Creative Market)

Cost: $ 10.

Download here

Who doesn’t like using brushes that create natural dry marker strokes? Especially if it’s a collection of brushes from Latin Vibes, where you have 12 different markers to choose from.This is an example of how brushes of the same texture can be used in completely different styles.

3. Procreate Watercolor Kit

(Image credit: Drifter Studio Printshop)

Cost: $ 14.

Download here

This set of brushes provides all the possibilities for creating realistic watercolor paintings. The set consists of 12 brushes that reproduce watercolor strokes as faithfully as possible. And in order for your digital drawings to reach the “Professional” level, the set is supplemented with training videos and mockups.

4. Procreate Smudge Brushes

(Image credit: MiksKS)

Cost: $ 9.

Download here

Brushes tested and developed for use with Procreate’s Blend tool. The set consists of 18 brushes for creating mixing effects and a variety of textures. It should be mentioned that the brushes were created and tested using the Apple Pencil, so there is no guarantee that they will give the same result with another pen.

5. 68 Gouache Shader Brushes | Procreate

Cost: 19 dollars

Download here

Includes a total of 68 gouache brushes for Procreate. In just a few minutes you get the effect of painting with gouache paints. You no longer need to waste time looking for a brush that matches the texture and masking it with gouache. The best results can be achieved with iPad and Apple Pencil. Gouache brushes are great for any project, and look especially good in the design of posters, books, and vector illustrations.

6. Neon Procreate Brush Kit

Cost: 6 dollars

https://creativemarket.com/mila.garret/21-Neon-Procreate-Brush-Kit Download here

Milo Garrent’s Brush Set is indispensable for creating realistic neon lettering. The set contains everything you need for brilliant lettering. More specifically, you get 12 neon lettering brushes, plus an effects brush and three bonus light pens to bring your photos to life. In addition, the set includes 19 ready-to-use background images.

7. Texturrific BUNDLE for Procreate

Cost: 18 dollars

Download here

It is a pleasure to use these brushes, you will not even have the desire to pick up a real pen and a sheet of paper. The set contains three sets: 30 basic textured brushes, 14 liners and 14 pastel brushes. All 58 brushes are fully responsive to pen pressure and are created from a large number of textures rendered and then scanned in high resolution.

8. Procreate Lettering & Paint Brushes

Cost: from 9 dollars

Download here

This set consists of 21 high-quality brushes from StudioBurg, which are ideal for drawing illustrations and creating designs with lettering elements. You can use different brush styles. In addition to ordinary paint brushes, there are also brushes that simulate a pencil and a pen.

9. Flat Brushes

Cost: 5 dollars

Download here

Everyone has their favorite writing brush set that you use the most.It was this collection that was inspired by the good old art of Ian Bernard. Brushes range from solid to textured, giving you tons of creative possibilities.

10. Comic Ink Brush Set

Cost: How much you want

Download here

Nothing better than that for a budding comic book illustrator. The brush designer dedicated this set to the American illustrator and comic book artist Will Elder.Which helped in the launch of the comic magazine “MAD” in the distant 50s. This is a great addition in the form of ink and special effects brushes.

11. Pencil and Charcoal Procreate Brushes

Cost: from 7 dollars

Download here

Swiss designer Kim (aka MiksKS) has developed a whole bunch of brush sets and other useful resources. One such set is her collection of pencil and charcoal brushes.These brushes allow you to easily create sketches with a client or simply capture a moment in a coffee shop without using paper.

12. Dearest Dotty

Cost: Free

Download here

There are more than enough free brushes available on designer Missy Meyer’s site. Dearest Dotty is a godsend for creating graphic handwritten drawings. The brushes feature flexibility and a unique retro vibe that makes your lettering unique.

13. Flora: Vegetation brushes

Cost: How much you want

Download here

Vegetation brushes make life easier for concept artists, allowing you to quickly render a scene and skillfully convey the effect of painting. Matthew Baldwin filmed every style and touch of concept art.

14. Gouache Paintbox for Procreate 4

Cost: from 12 dollars

Download here

There are many interesting sets on Lisa Bardot’s website, but the set of gouache brushes is absolutely unique.This is an opportunity to reach the level of magical illustration from Disney, as Mary Blair once painted. Add personality and depth to your graphic characters with Gouache Paintbox.

15. Brushes and foil textures

Cost: from 14 dollars

Download here

Are you designing for event flyers? Wedding invitations? Summit Avenue provides a set of 12 confetti brushes and 24 brushes with foil texture and glitter.These brushes will make your designs shine.

16. Procreate Paint Box

Cost: from 12 dollars

Download here

Ben Lewy’s

Painting Kit features an excellent selection of brushes, from wet pencil to bristle. One of the best watercolor brushes in this set is the Gwosh brush. Lewy recently added four pastel brushes from the Pastellesque set to the set.

17. Nitty Gritty

Cost: from 3 dollars

Download here

Nitty Gritty Texture Brushes are brilliant for adding grain and aging to your designs.

18. Bistro Marker

Cost: Free

Download here

As you can see from her Instagram account, Leftyscript brushes can create really beautiful illustrations that speak for themselves. Bistro Marker is a nice free bonus that allows you to perfectly draw handwritten fonts and make awesome lettering.

19. Splash Vol. 1

(Image credit: Matthew Baldwin)

Cost: Free (donations are welcome and will be an investment to develop new brushes)

Download here

Artist Matthew Baldwin says these brushes will splatter paint all around, so keep your waffle towel ready.This impressive set of 48 watercolor brushes offers much more sophisticated effects than the standard Procreate watercolor brushes.

20. Vintage Engraving

Cost: 7 dollars

Download here

Another set of brushes from MilksKS. These brushes are designed to create vintage black and white engraving that will make your illustrations and design projects stand out. With these brushes, you’ll get the perfect classic hatch pattern.You can also add a scuffed effect or make your strokes super crisp.

21. Shape and Ornament Brushes

Cost: $ 19.99

Download here

Hand Drawn Ornaments Procreate Brush Kit by calligrapher Nicole Mouloni includes over 100 digital calligraphy brushes. They are great for designs with swirls and repeating patterns.

22. iPad Lettering Set

Cost: Free

Download here

How can you do without three indispensable brushes for creating traditional, angular and rounded calligraphic lines.Simplicity is the highest level of art.

23. Brush Tiger, Lion, Leopard and Jaguar

Cost: from 5 dollars

Download here

Studio FabianFischer’s

Brushpack consists of the four textured Procreate brushes shown above. All lettering brushes are pressure sensitive to create realistic curves.

24. Thin Ink

Cost: from AUD $

Download here

The Thin Ink brush is very popular with designers who create sinuous and ornamented illustrations.Easy to draw, thin and gracefully wide lines will become a self-sufficient element of your design. Also, with the help of this brush, you can add a beautiful stroke in a matter of seconds.

25. Chalk Letterer Box

Cost: from 15 dollars

Download here

Forget getting your hands dirty, Guerilla Craft brushes let you create digital chalk drawings in the comfort of your clean iPad. You will have wet chalk, smoky, round, flat, grainy, and many other types of brushes.They are all cool, so you will have a torment of choice.

26. Fat Ink

Cost: 3 dollars

Download here

The Thin ink brush is cool and all, but what if you need a thick brush to make the lettering really eye-catching? Sarahtypes has developed a super-smooth brush that plays in the contrast of thin and bold lines.

27. Midcentury Illustrators Kit

Cost: 12 dollars

Download here

Create full-fledged retro images with Lisa Bardot’s premium brush set.These 12 brushes are designed to take you effortlessly into 60s graphics, texture-rich commercial design style.

28. Matty B’s Hatch Effects

Cost: How much you want

Download here

This fantastic range of brushes from MattyB has everything you need to create professional illustrations. Lines, dots, sloppy strokes, marks, whatever you want – this set is there!

29.Lettering Brush Pack

Cost: from 15 dollars

Download here

A selection of 14 custom brushes from Ryan Hamrick to help you create top-quality, professional calligraphy work on your iPad. This is a superb selection of his most used brushes that make the impossible possible.

30. Nikko’s Brushes

Cost: Free

Download here

Highly respected Procreate artist Nikolai Lokertsen has released a selection of his favorite custom brushes.Check out his website to see what he has accomplished using such a limited set of tools. It’s just phenomenal!

31. Blackletter

Cost: 8 dollars

Download here

This brush set was created by Boston calligrapher Jake Rainis. In order to develop his own set of brushes, the artist says, he had to install and test almost all existing brushes on the Internet.

32. The Parchment Pen

Cost: 3 dollars

Download here

This pressure-sensitive brush simulates an eighteenth century nib. It is great for calligraphy and black and gray line art.

33. Whiskers

Cost: Free (donations are welcome)

Download here

From the Inky Hand website you can download a fantastic brush that creates a unique scratched lettering effect.The brush is great for creating a rough sketch or for adding originality to a drawing.

34. Sketch and Ink

Cost: 10 dollars

Download here

An excellent set of 9 brushes for sketching. Brushes come in a variety of shapes and effects, most of which mimic an ink pen, but there is also a whiteboard marker and pen.

35. Watercolor Brushes

Cost: from 18 dollars

Download here

This is an expanded selection of 50 watercolor brushes from graphic designer PicByKate.The brushes have recently been updated to work in Procreate 4. These are very custom brushes with different textures, bleed effects, smudges and many other manifestations of watercolors.

Read also:

11 Inspiring Graphic Design Trends for 2021 by 99designs

5 UI / UX Trends of 2021 Putting User Experience First

15 Free iPhone 12 Mockups for Your Next Design Project

Source

Recording 35 awesome brushes for Procreate first appeared by Sey-Hai.

90,000 Best Calligraphy Apps for iPhone and iPad in 2021

Calligraphy is the art of decorative writing or writing, done with a pen or brush. Most often, an artist demonstrates his talent on canvas. With the advancement of technology, especially with the iPhone and iPad, the same experience and results can be quickly achieved without using a canvas. There are the best calligraphy apps for iPhone and iPad that reduce the strain on different physical brushes, colors, and canvas.

1. Adobe Illustrator Draw

Another one from Adobe on the list of the best calligraphy apps for iPhone and iPad. It really can be called one of the best on the list. This is because it has everything you need to write your thoughts in the most creative way. Layers, brushes, dry and wet brushes, smears and more. The app is almost perfect for everyone. Never miss your paper canvas again.

Like the above from Adobe, this is free too, but there is an optional in-app purchase you might consider for additional storage if you’re using Adobe Creative Cloud.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: Free with additional in-app purchase.

Download

2. Adobe Photoshop sketch

When it comes to software and application development, Adobe Photoshop requires no introduction. This sketching app from the company has everything you could possibly need. With 24 built-in brushes, you get the one that suits your imagination.In addition, resizable canvases can support print sizes up to 8K.

If 24 brushes aren’t enough for you, you can import thousands of others from Photoshop into Sketch. Of the many features, grids come in handy to help you align your drawings the way you want. The app is perfect for both beginners and professionals.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: Free with additional in-app purchase.

Download

3. WeTransfer paper

This app is ideal for people who have recently started learning calligraphy and need fundamental practice. It has five options: pen, pencil, brush and two more to try your hand at calligraphy. You can also change the color of your drawing and even save it to share with others. Since it is more of a basic application, there are not many fancy features.

Simplicity and ease of use doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. The Pro version of the app is paid, and thanks to this, there are many useful tools that professionals can use.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iTouch

Price: Free with in-app purchase to unlock Pro

Download

4. Sketches of Taiasui

As the name suggests, this is an application for drawing pictures, images and more.With different types of pens and nib brushes, you can also try your hand at this calligraphy app. The app offers overlays, PNG export, PSD export, smear tool, ruler and more.

The app is free, but some impressive features cost money. Paid tools include layers, stylus pressure support, Olivia’s Coloring Book, and a few others. All in all, this app is definitely worth a try.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: Free with additional in-app purchase.

Download

5. Create offspring

Procreate is an Apple Design Award and App Store Essential award winning app. It has features that will suit both the novice and the world renowned artist. It brings sketching, drawing, calligraphy, abstract painting and more at your fingertips.

Given the features it boasts, it is available exclusively for iPad; iPhone and iPod touch do not have the same capabilities that the app offers.

In terms of iPad compatibility, the app has been optimized specifically for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. It will definitely give an extraordinary experience in digital canvas calligraphy of this app.

Compatibility: iPad

only

Price: $ 9.99

Download

6. Handwriting calligraphy.

As the name suggests, this app is exclusively for calligraphers to showcase their talent on iPhone and iPad screens.The app supports touching with your fingers, but works best with the Apple Pencil as it senses pressure and adjusts the stroke accordingly.

There are different types of brushes and you can choose the thickness of each to get the perfect stroke.

In addition, you can also customize the color to suit your mood. Finally, the app is free for 3 days from the day you open it. After that, you need to purchase its paid version in order to use it in the future.

Compatibility: iPad

only

Price: free for three days, then $ 2.99 for the full version.

Download

7. Inspire Pro

Divided into 15 sets, there are 150 different brushes to choose from. Alternatively, you can use all of these brushes as wet, dry, or as an eraser. There are over 20 different brush stroke settings to make your calligraphy amazing.

The best part is that brush strokes are recorded as video that you can use to share on social media.

These features are just the highlight of the app, and there is much more to it. The app is not free, but considering the features it offers, the price is fully justified. Finally, the app is only compatible with iPad.

Compatibility: iPad

only

Price: $ 9.99

Download

8.Amaziograph

Amaziograph is more of a drawing app, not just calligraphy. But with different brushes along with customization options like stroke width, opacity and softness; it can be used effectively for calligraphy. Moreover, it can support canvas size up to 4096 * 4096, which allows you to print images in different sizes.

The app allows you to export your drawing in JPG and PNG format along with a specific Amaziograph format that you can share with other users of this app.Finally, the app only costs a dollar, making it ideal for beginners.

Compatibility: iPad

only

Price: $ 0.99

Download

9. Calligraphy HD

Calligraphy HD is a simple, user-friendly and minimalistic application with enough features to get you started with calligraphy. It has four different brushes and you can adjust the thickness to suit your preference.Alternatively, you can also try one wet brush. Moreover, you can choose different colors according to your needs.

The app is free, but if you need to unlock more tools, you might want to consider unlocking the full version by paying a few dollars.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: Free with in-app purchase to unlock the full version.

Download

10. Sketch Club

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, Sketch Club has everything to make you fall in love. It supports layers with custom blending options, layer filters, support for PSD files, and more. The app also supports Apple Pencil and even a third-party Bluetooth stylus. With all these features, the art of calligraphy will give you an unforgettable experience.

These are just a few of the huge list of features that Sketch Club has to offer.Like the previous one, this is also not free. Comparatively, it is quite economical compared to the above.

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Price: $ 2.99

Download

That’s it, buddy!

Please wait …

Calligraphy can be learned over time, and it takes a lot of practice and a lot of patience. First of all, it is an art that cannot be learned thoroughly; it is rather a thought process that the artist must express on canvas.With that said, it’s time to say goodbye and we’ll be back again with another great post.

You can also refer to:

  • Best Doodle Apps for iPhone and iPad
  • PicSketch iPhone / iPad app creates beautiful, realistic pencil sketches from photos
  • Best iPad Apps for Artists
  • Best iPad and iPhone stylus

Which app from the list did you like the most? Share your opinion with us in the comments.


90,000 Japanese calligraphy and certain terms

10/05/2014

Many elements of modern and traditional Japanese culture are permeating the Western world more and more. In many gift shops you can buy a standard calligraphy kit, where you can find the supplies you need to write. Let’s start with the names of the calligraphy tools that are in the kit.

The standard set includes:

– Sitadziki mat for the backing;

– Metal paper clip buntin;

– Small and large fude brushes;

– Ink tray and tools for crushing ink – suzuri;

– Solid ink for ink – sumi;

– A small jug for mizusashi water.

Unusual names for ordinary things

The most famous calligraphers are considered the nobleman Hayanari, the emperor of Japan in the 8th century AD. Saga and monk Kukai. They laid the foundations of modern calligraphy, they are called Sampitsu, which can be translated as “three best brushes”. This unusual term is very common when studying the theory of Japanese calligraphy. The Japanese divide writing into two fundamental styles of writing: the feminine style, which is dominated by italics, and the masculine style, which is more academic.The feminine style is called onnade, the masculine is called otokode. The very word calligraphy and the Japanese name for this art sound in the language of the land of the Rising Sun as “shodo”.

In the theory of Japanese calligraphy, the term “sanseki” is also often found – three tracks. This term refers to the legacy of three famous artists and poets of the 9-10th century AD. Tofu, Sukemasa and Yukinari. They continued the Sampitsu tradition and brought even more sensuality to traditional writing. The lightness of strokes and greater emphasis on artistic diversity in writing inherent in Chinese calligraphy diluted the calligraphy of calligraphy in the 12th and 13th centuries AD.NS. after the glorification of the Chinese monks, the manner of writing Japanese characters used by the monks is called bokuseki.

There are two types of paper used for traditional writing. Inexpensive hand-made washi paper is the most commonly sold paper. The very expensive specialty hansi paper is much less common. Hansi sheets are very thin, made from special rice straw, which has very thin and strong fibers. Hanshi is used for tracing hieroglyphs and subsequent display at exhibitions, washi can be used for correspondence.A modern calligraphy kit contains all the art supplies you need to write, but you need to buy the paper yourself.

“Signs inscribed in heaven.” News from specialized international exhibitions and conferences.

The exhibition of calligraphy works by the contemporary artist of the People’s Republic of China Li Zuo “Signs inscribed in Heaven” will begin its work today at the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.

The beauty of calligraphy lies in the harmony of verified brush strokes that fit on the paper. The restrained blackness of the ink contrasts with the bright red prints of the seals – an indispensable attribute of the work of calligraphy. The prints on Li Zuo’s works are made in the xiaozhuan style (small seals).

Li Zuo is not just a calligrapher, but an ever-seeking artist. It is not difficult to trace the dynamics, development, life and peculiar breathing in his author’s handwriting. He successfully combines teaching, as well as the creation of magnificent calligraphic canvases in his activities.

Li Zuo was born in 1957 in Beijing. Graduated from the Russian Language Department of Beijing Normal University in 1983. For over 20 years he taught Russian at the Beijing University of Railways. During his work, he translated a number of Russian and Soviet poets into Chinese. The author’s translations were not only published in literary magazines, but were also awarded at the all-Chinese competition for translations from Russian into Chinese. Since 2009, he has been a senior lecturer at the Department of Linguistics and Oriental Studies of the Faculty of International Relations of the Belarusian State University, where, in addition to the language, he teaches the basics of calligraphy to future Sinologists.

Li Zuo was interested in traditional art from childhood and studied with a calligraphy teacher for many years. He was twice awarded a gold medal at the All-China Calligraphy Competition, and four times became its silver medalist. Over the past few years, four exhibitions of the master have already taken place in Minsk, and in 2012, Li Zuo’s works were shown at the Moscow World Exhibition of Calligraphy.

“Today I have the honor to present my new calligraphic works at the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus in Minsk.I am really happy, because thanks to this exhibition, the most ancient and at the same time very modern Chinese art of calligraphy coexists with the best artistic masterpieces of Belarus. Many thanks to everyone who helped and supported me! ” – says Li Zuo, teacher of the Chinese language at the Faculty of International Relations of the Belarusian State University.

The exhibition will run until March 27, 2013.

Source: interfax.by

art brushes set for oil paints and gouache, round and flat models

Drawing is a rather interesting and exciting hobby, but if you want to achieve really serious success in it, you cannot neglect any details.

For children’s creativity, parents usually choose paints first of all, but brushes have a huge influence on the quality of implementation of creative ideas.

Types and their purpose

Brushes are very different, but the kid will hardly need professional models at the training stage.It is worth paying attention to artistic brushes of a relatively small size – these are sold in any store of goods for creativity. All parts of the brush are of great importance, but the characteristics of the hair bundle are of fundamental importance, with the help of which the paint is applied to the painted surface.

Size and shape are the most important, because small brushes are much easier to draw on fine details, and large ones are better for shading large areas.

The stencil brush is distinguished even by such details as the absence of sharp ends in hairs – they are flat and blunt, due to which the painting of figures through the stencil turns out to be faster and more uniform. For direct application of paint to a drawing, sometimes, by analogy with brushes, even sponges are used.

An important role is also given to the choice of a specific material for the hair bundle – the convenience of working with a specific type of paint, as well as the durability of the product, depends on this.For serious artistic needs, it is better to purchase more than one brush, and not even a couple, but a whole set.

The base of the brush may seem primitive, but it also affects how good the tool is. It must reliably connect the handle and the hair bundle to each other – the life of the brush depends on this. The seam on the surface of the plinth can make the drawing process less convenient, so it is better not to have it.

Even the handle has certain requirements. First of all, its surface should be smooth – this will allow you not to rub or scratch your hand even with a huge amount of time devoted to your favorite pastime. In addition, the length of the handle is selected in such a way that it is most convenient to hold the tool in the hands for its future owner.

What paints are used for?

You can choose different parameters of the hair bundle at your own discretion, however, professional artists have long worked out general recommendations for choosing a brush for each type of paint, due to which the palette is better revealed and details are more clearly drawn.

For example, for oil paints, brushes made of natural pig bristles, which can absorb paint, are preferred. Mongoose hair is also acceptable, except in the toughest varieties.

Badger hair is often used as a material in our country. Synthetics are traditionally considered a lower quality substitute for natural raw materials, but a nylon-based brush is one of the rare exceptions to the rule that allows you to paint with oil without losing quality.

For water-based paints, the selection of a brush will be easier, but here you need to take into account some peculiarities.For example, squirrel wool is great for painting with watercolors, but synthetics will not work (but it is considered an ideal choice for painting with acrylics).

Badger brushes are often recommended for gouache. In general, Russian children most often paint with squirrels, ponies, pigs, or ubiquitous synthetics with brushes.

Material of manufacture

Materials differ in paint absorption and hardness, which cannot but affect the final result.Today, there are no less than a dozen different materials, and almost every variety has its own advantages:

  • The most versatile option is a column brush, which is widely used by professionals in their field, but such a product is rarely bought for children – it is too expensive.
  • Squirrel wool is the best option for painting with watercolors, and therefore is one of the leaders in the field of children’s creativity.
  • Pony is another animal that produces an inexpensive coat that is good for drawing. In general, this material is also quite versatile, but compared to the speaker, it is somewhat inferior in quality.
  • Nothing better has been invented for oil paint than pig bristles.
  • Badger wool is considered a good option for almost all types of paint, provided that it has a fairly liquid consistency.
  • Sable wool is quite versatile and suitable for all types of paints, but it is not used for drawing small details, and such a tool is very expensive.
  • Artificial materials are not very popular among professionals and are used to a greater extent for acrylic-based paints, but nylon brushes are out of this range, since they allow you to paint in oils.
  • Unusual options, such as rubber or silicone brushes, can give a completely new, unlike anything else effect, which is actively used by contemporary artists, but can only interfere with the child’s learning to draw.

Dimensions

If parents are going to buy a small child, who is just taking the first steps in drawing, just one brush, it is better to stop at an average in shape and size from a universal material such as pony wool.

However, for serious painting you need brushes with different sizes. When composing your own set, you need to remember that you will have to draw both small details and large monochromatic ones, so the minimum set should include at least one large and one small brush.

Serious art teachers usually tell their students right away which theme tools they should acquire to achieve the expected result.They usually call brushes numbers – for example, “round number 3”. In theory, this means that you need any brush with a rounded hair bundle with a diameter of 3 millimeters, unless the teacher has named a specific name along with the brand.

In the case when the shape of the brush differs from that for which the concept of diameter is appropriate, the number most often indicates the width of the hair bundle.

It should be borne in mind that numbering is actively used not only in the colloquial speech of people close to painting, but also by the manufacturers of brushes themselves, and this is where the catch lies.Although it is not difficult to measure the number of millimeters, in different collections of the same manufacturer, measurement standards may differ.

Form

The skill of the artist is not to paint the whole world around with the same brush, but to be able to choose the most suitable tool for conveying each individual object.This is another reason why it takes more than one brush to achieve success in painting, but a whole set.

Professional artists use the basic types of hair bundle shapes as follows:

  • The round brush is the most common option that many parents purchase for their children as well. Such a tool is optimal for painting small details with bright color – for the so-called “bit” drawing.For the technique of painting with gouache, such a tool can safely be considered the main one.
  • Flat brushes are distinguished by a slightly flattened hair bundle, due to which they resemble a tongue in their appearance. This arrangement of the bristles makes the entire bunch more elastic, simplifying long tangential movements, so this variety is also used very often – for example, for painting large objects in a painting.
  • Brushes called “flutes” are also very thin, but at the same time they are much wider, somewhat reminiscent of a comb and a paintbrush.Their use is limited to large-scale painting, they are painted mainly using watercolors and gouache.
  • Font and line brushes are distinguished by an extremely small area of ​​the hair bundle, reduced to the size of a small round dot, and the difference between them is that the bristles of the first variety are much longer. This design helps to draw fine lines and draw exquisite patterns, and is also most suitable for teaching calligraphy.
  • Fan brushes could be attributed to flat, if not for one “but”: their bristles are arranged in a fan shape, that is, the common end of the hair bundle does not look like a straight line, but as a roundness, in which the surface of the canvas is guaranteed to touch only center, and flanks – only with stronger pressure.Such a trick is used by those artists who seek to reduce the contrast between the details of the drawing and provide a smoother color transition.

Other characteristics

Among other small characteristics that affect the final result, first of all, it is worth highlighting hardness.

It is better to give preference to softer materials , because elastic bristles better feel the smallest changes in hand position and allow you to draw the smallest details.

Stiff bristles, when pressed firmly, can even slightly spoil the paper on which the drawing will appear, and although some modern artists use this as another artistic technique, children are unlikely to need this feature.

Since we are talking specifically about children’s creativity, you should not ignore the strength of the product: a low-quality product can quickly break in half, and the bristles can easily be pulled out of the base.A child’s tool must be willing to endure this kind of challenge, or at least be cheap enough so that a potential replacement does not look like a problem to the parent’s wallet.

Which one is better to choose?

If the child has already achieved relative success in drawing, it is better to entrust the choice of professional tools to the child himself, because only he knows what he needs.

But most parents, when buying brushes, do it for children who still do not know how to draw, so you have to make the choice yourself.Considering that adults themselves are often not directly related to painting, the task only becomes more complicated.

The minimum set for painting should consist of at least two brushes, one of which will be small for drawing outlines and small details, and the other large for sketching surfaces.

If there are only two brushes, then it is better to choose the same material, ideally universal, suitable for different colors.In the case of teaching children, pony hair looks like an ideal “candidate”. However, all these considerations are relevant only if the kid takes drawing lessons as part of the general school program, for any more serious courses a larger set will be needed.

The choice of material here will also depend on the type of paint and the type of base for drawings, so special brushes may be better suited for painting on canvas – not the same as for painting on fabric. When choosing brushes for additional lessons , it is better to ask the teacher about specific models .

Recently, the art of calligraphy has become a fashionable trend, which even children are taught today in our country. Here with the choice of brushes, of course, it is a little easier: for them the main factor of choice is the minimum size of the bunch with a high density of bristles and their sufficient softness.

Useful little things

Most people think that paint, a brush, a sketchbook and a glass of water to rinse the bristles are enough for painting.Professionals from the art world will be able to name several dozen different items that are not strictly necessary for creating a masterpiece, but can somewhat simplify and make the creative process itself more enjoyable.

For example, a special case or case could be a very useful addition for children’s brushes. It will protect the instrument itself from breakage, excessive disheveled beam and dirt, and the briefcase from the inside and the things in it – from paint, if the child forgets to wash it off.

If there are a lot of brushes in the kid’s arsenal, it makes sense to donate packaging for the whole set – such pencil cases will allow the kid to quickly find brushes in the bag.

A special brush holder will help keep the table from getting dirty during the drawing process. It allows you to keep the correctly mixed color on the bristles, which is not needed yet, and at the same time does not stain everything around with it.

When painting with acrylic paints, it is very convenient to use the system, when using it, the brushes will always be suspended – so the pile will not touch the bottom and will not deteriorate.

Tips and Tricks

You can choose the highest quality brush for an infinitely long time, and still, if you treat yourself incorrectly, it will quickly deteriorate.Caring for brushes is a simple task, it can significantly extend the life of the product.

First of all, you need to store brushes very carefully – in a dry and inaccessible place for pests like moths.

You should never put an instrument in a container with a beam down, regardless of whether it is stored in such a way between drawing sessions, or simply waiting in the water while the artist draws with something else. Such an attitude leads to a violation of the shape of the beam, and then it will be very problematic to straighten it.Naturally, it is also impossible to press the product strongly against the walls or bottom of the container when rinsing.

It is imperative to wash the brush from paint after painting has been completed, otherwise the dye will dry out and cause loss of elasticity of the bristles, as well as contribute to their loss.

If watercolor and gouache can be washed out normally with plain water, then after working with oil and acrylic, you will also have to use a special solvent.However, after it, you also need to rinse the bundle under tap water, since the solvent poses a great danger to the glue holding the bundle together, and if it dissolves, the tip of the brush will quickly thin out.

Renowned manufacturers and reviews

Trying to isolate the best brushes from the words of the artists themselves is quite problematic – they often cannot come to an agreement among themselves about which manufacturer is better, since everyone has their own needs.At the same time, there are several well-known foreign manufacturers that produce very good products – these are the brands Da Vinci and Raphael , among the Russians, Kolos and Rubleff are popular.

Many artists do not hesitate to say that they use almost construction tools for wide disposable strokes. At the same time, the described brands are guided mainly by drawing, and for calligraphy, you can take any brushes, since the original, Japanese, in our country are unlikely to be found.

For children’s creativity, unknown brands are often chosen, according to the principle “if only it is inexpensive and at least relatively convenient.” In its own way, this approach is correct, but only until the child begins to make progress in his work. Then, perhaps, it is worth giving him some transitional option – such as a set from Ikea of 6 tools, which is definitely not professional, but still has a certain quality and is made especially for kids.

For information on which brushes you need for painting and how to use them, see the next video.

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