When you’re just stating out in the brush lettering hobby it is very tempting (very very tempting) to run out and buy all. the. pens. You want all the colors, all the textures, the big ones and small ones… glitter pens and metallic’s!
While there’s nothing wrong with doing that it may break the bank (if your bank is huge and contains lots of money stop reading this right now and send me some… I want to buy more pens!). It’s much easier to collect a variety of pens over time. The second advantage of building a collection over time is that you’ll have a much better idea of which pens you like to use.
Trust me… not all pens are created equal!
I thought I would love Tombow’s pastel pack but I end up reaching for my brighter colors time and time again.
While I’ve compared pen to pen in a little review on my favorite pens y’all keep asking for a more in-depth review of the fancy smacncy Tombow Dual Brush Letter pens… so here it is!
BONUS FREEBIE: I’ve put together a little practice workbook for you! You can download it for FREE at the bottom of this post. It contains quick letter sheets for 5 different alphabets and blank practice sheets that you can use to practice your little heart out. Enjoy!
Tombow Dual Brush Letter Pens
Tombow’s brush pens are probably the widest known and the widest used. If you’re in the brush lettering world at all (and you don’t live under a rock) you’ve probably heard the name. They have dual tips which is perfect when you’re building a collection because they’re basically two pens in one.
My favorite part of the Tombow brand is how easy they are to find: you can order them in a pack on amazon, pick up a pack at your local craft store or even buy an individual color if you’re only looking for a specific shade.
Just look at all these fun packs and color combinations!
Colors: The best part of these pens is allllll the colors that they come in. You can really find the perfect shade for just about every. single. project.
I have several 10-packs of colors (the bright pack, the pastel pack and the galaxy pack but there are still sooooo many more colors! I didn’t even realize there was a 96 color pack until I started doing research for this specific post… so now I have to save up a bit of moola for that!
Two Tips: If this particular pen did not have two tips I would really question the name. One of the tips is a brush tip, which is flexible and allows for huge line variations… this is the tip you use for all the fancy brush lettering you’re learning how to do!
The other is a bullet tip, which is perfect for normal writing and drawing. If you’re still learning brush lettering the bullet tip is perfect for faux calligraphy and learning the strokes.
BONUS: The brush tip is extra sturdy so you don’t have to worry about it wearing down or breaking up before you’ve used the entire pen (not that I’ve ever made it through an entire tube of chap-stick or an entire Tombow brush pen… but you get the point). I’ve had several brush pens over the years where the tip has fallen apart with use but the Tombow pens have a flexible tip that holds up to serious use.
Blendable: Each pack of Tombow pens comes with a blending marker so that you can easily blend from one color to another… which is perfect for large words and decorative scripts.
Ink: The best part about Tombow ink is that even with the blendability the ink won’t bleed or dull with time. Sometimes you create a piece and a year or two later the colors have faded beyond recognition. These pens stay vibrant which is perfect when creating your latest masterpiece!
Waterbased: I absolutely love my watercolor pens for art projects and fun script writing but since Tombow pens are waterbased you can use them as watercolors with a bit of water and a brush… or even a waterpen. It’s a great way to use your pens for multiple purposes.
Journaling: These pens are perfect for use in your planner or bullet journal because they won’t bleed through the paper! I often use them to highlight sections in my planner when I don’t have a highlighter handy… especially because I have soooo many more tombow pens then highlighters. So this way the highlighter colors can match my weekly spread.
The end result here is absolute love! The couple of cons aren’t a deal breaker in my book and the only real problem I have is not having every. single. color. Leave a comment down below letting me know which pens are your favorite and if you’ve tried Tombow. I’d love to know!
No Refills: While the pens are inexpensive enough to buy several sets you do have to purchase a new pen everytime one of yours runs out which isn’t as cost effective as a pen with refills. This isn’t a deal breaker for me since you can purchase the pens individually… so you don’t have to replace an entire set just because you ran out of one color.
Plus you can stock up on your favorite colors.
So Many Colors: Okay so this is a pro and a con… because while you want to go out and buy allllll the colors your bank account probably doesn’t. While you can buy a 10-pack to start out with in order to buy a full set of pens you would have to spend a couple pennies.
Of course, building a collection over time is the most reasonable solution but you can always put them on your Christmas list and hope Santa brings them.
Worth a shot!
Hard to Travel With: I like to take my pens with me on the go and tend to keep a pen bag with different colors in my purse, suitcase, laptop bag etc. Since there are soooo many colors in the Tombow line there’s no way you can travel with them all!
Even with my huge pen case (the whale case below? It holds about 150 pens) I have pens that don’t fit and there’s no way to keep a full collection in each location.
Waterbased: I love waterbased ink since it’s so easy to work with… and I adore watercolors BUT some people definitely prefer oil based inks. Oils can be harder to use but they won’t run with water which is a nice feature.
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