One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked about lettering is, “what pens or markers do you recommend?” My answer is always the same. I recommend that everyone from beginner level to pro needs at least these two basic tools: Tombow Dual Brush Pens and the Tombow Fudenosuke. The Dual Brush Pens are hands down one of my favorite lettering pens out there, both due to their quality and their versatility. Today, I want to show you six different ways you can use this one kind of marker. Check it out…
1. Brush Lettering
Tombow Dual Brush Pens get their name from having two different tips; one on each end. The end under the colorful cap is a brush tip, which allows you to create beautiful brush-style script. By applying and releasing pressure as you write, you control the thickness of the line. This way, your downstrokes are thick and all your other strokes are thin, creating that gorgeous hand lettered look we all love.
2. Monoline Lettering
The other end of the marker is a smaller bullet tip. Like most “regular” markers, it doesn’t respond to changes in pressure, which means the line thickness will be consistent no matter what you do. You can use this end to do monoline lettering in all kinds of styles, like my Caps Lock Print, Valentine Font, and lots more.
3. Faux Calligraphy
Another great way to use that bullet tip end of the marker is to do Faux Calligraphy. This is the style of writing I always teach first in my workshops, because it’s easier than the brush technique but still produces that gorgeous hand lettered look. I always say, “fake it till you make it” by writing your word, then going back and thickening your downstrokes in the next step. Even professional lettering artists often use this technique for a variety of reasons, and the second tip of the Tombow Dual Brush Pen is perfect for it. You can learn step by step how to do Faux Calligraphy in my Beginner Lettering Post or by watching my Free Beginner Lettering Workshop on YouTube!
Both tips of the Tombow Dual Brush Pen can be used for drawing lines and all kinds of illustrations. Typically, I use the bullet tip end for drawing, but if I want to mix in some thicker, bolder lines, I’ll use the brush end as well.
In addition to being perfect for brush style lettering, the brush tip of the Tombow Dual Brush Pen is a great tool for coloring in illustrations! Because of its size and the way it mimics the action of a paintbrush, it’s much more fun to color with than the average marker.
Because these markers are water-based, you can also blend them, creating really beautiful color fill and shading effects. Did you know you can even color with one marker on the tip of another, then apply it to the page? It’s true! The colors will mix and blend on the paper, and the markers themselves will go back to their original colors with no harm done. Magic!
Speaking of magic, these water-based pens can also act like watercolors without any actual paint involved! Take a look. When you scribble with a Tombow Dual Brush Pen on a non-absorbent surface (ie: a plastic baggie), the ink will pool up into little puddles. If you dip an aqua pen or wet paintbrush into those puddles, you can pick up the ink and paint with it! Check out how I used that technique along with a stencil to create the project below.
You can also create stunning watercolor backgrounds by wetting a piece of watercolor paper, then rubbing your ink-covered plastic baggie all over the surface of it, like I did to make these name cards! See the full instructions here.
See what I mean? The Tombow Dual Brush Pen is an incredibly versatile tool for all kinds of lettering and art. These pens are typically sold in color palettes of 10; 9 colors and a blender pen. They’re available in 108 different colors, and can be found on Amazon as well as in your local craft store. You can also find smaller packs (6 pens) at Walmart! I hope you found these tips helpful and learned some new ways to put your pens to use. Now, go see what you can create! Don’t forget to share your latest projects as well as ask questions and interact with us in the Amy Latta & Friends Facebook group! See you there.