There are two types of brush pens: one has a bendy felt tip (Sharpie Brush-Tip, Kuretake Zig Fudebiyori, Tombow), and the other has a synthetic brush tip (Kuretake Zig Brush No. 22, Zig Brush Writer, Pentel Art Brush). Some people use regular paintbrushes too, and I find that the synthetic hairs in small sizes work best for those. Below is a demo:
Disclaimer: I’m not an expert at writing with all kinds of brush pens. But I find it okay! You warm up to certain types, and that’s something you should go ahead and find out on your own while experimenting.
First on the roundup: water brushes! I love them! (I find this weird because I dislike synthetic-tipped brush pens, and water brushes are just loaded with water instead of ink.) My favorite water brushes are the Pentel Aquash and Kuretake Water Brush.
I haven’t tried Derwent, Sakura, or other brands. I use water brushes mainly for watercolor calligraphy. I own the Kuretake Zig Brush No. 22 and a mid-brown Zig Brush Writer, both synthetic-tipped brush pens. I have given up on them and only use them when I need to sketch out loose patterns. They’re great for drawing or doodling!
Then there’s my holy grail: Pentel Touch Sign Pens. I have the set in 12 colors, and I can’t tell you enough how much these pens are precious to me!
They’re my portable version of a dip pen and ink. I can control my upstrokes and downstrokes with the Pentel pens, and they seem to have a durable tip, too. If you’ve ever tried the Tombow Fudenosuke soft and hard tip brush pens (which I also love), the best way I can compare it with the Pentel variant is that it’s the medium tip of the three. Do yourself a favor and grab a couple or so of these! Yellow ochre is my favorite color. It’s like a muted gold that you can write with on white paper.
I’ve had experience with regular Tombow brush pens too, but I feel like they’re over-hyped. (This is different from the Tombow Fudenosuke.)
I think that the Kuretake Zig Fudebiyori brush pens are cheaper, and they fray less. Another thing I noticed with the regular Tombows are that some colors seem to write differently than others. There are stiffer tips and slightly softer tips.
If you’re from the Philippines, here are links to local and online shops where you can purchase brush pens, including the ones mentioned in this post: National Bookstore, The Craft Central, Craft Carrot, Scribe Writing Essentials, Pens Galore PH, Dip n Brush, Arty Animal MNL, and Shoudu Ink PH.
Care to share your experiences with brush pens? Comment below!