Brush Pens and Calligraphy

Maria tries brush pen calligraphy

Before, I used to practice calligraphy with nibs and holders but lately, I tried using brush pens and I feel quite comfortable using it and here’s why.

Brush Pens & Calligraphy

As I’ve previously said, when I first tried calligraphy I used nibs and holders (oblique and straight) and it was not that easy! I’ve seen so many people do calligraphy with different mediums. Crayola pens, Pitt pens, Artline Stix Markers and other variations of brush pens yet my first brush pen will always be, ZIG Kuretake Fudebiyori.

Image from Craft Carrot


I learned the basics from Sab of The Sab Stuff way back she started conducting workshops and private classes. So I guess, it’s safe to say that I’m her first pseudo-student. Hahaha! When she was demonstrating it to me, it was just like using the dip pen but somehow more challenging.

There were the usual drills: upstrokes, downstrokes, mix of both, etc. (I may have to research on this more so I could share it here.) As I browse tutorials on Pinterest, I came across this and it’s a link to a free printable basic brush pen calligraphy worksheet! Hope this helps you!

I’ve been using different brush pens as of now but Fudebiyori will always be the first one or my first love when it comes to this craft. I’ve been frustrated at first since I’m not an expert in this craft and I’m just crawling my way to become better, I’ve never been so inspired by the others who post in a group called GP Calligraphers. I’ve met various people there who share the sentiments as I do (being a leftie, of course) and that we have the same challenges in practicing the craft.

At first, I kept on writing the word: minimum. It’s the ultimate practice word in calligraphy because it’s the shortcut of all the drills that you see in the world wide web. When I felt that I got better, I began sharing on social sites of my progress and that’s why I have this series here on this blog.

[bctt tweet=”Colors always relieve us in the most unique way possible.” username=”Mariaisquixotic”]

Here are sample works:

Brush pen calligraphy x Maria

Watercolor x Brush pens

For the first one, I used:
  • ZIG Kuretake Fudebiyori
  • Sakura Pigma Brush Pen (waterproof)
  • Prang Watercolor
  • Water brush pen (Craft Doodle PH)

At first, I really did not know what to do so I just tried out making a similar product to a postcard and here’s what I got. I know it’s not as pretty as the ones you see in bookstores or in craft stores but for me, it’s a masterpiece!

For people who may be thinking of what font I am trying to do, it’s my own font. Seeing various fonts or samples out there made me think what if I create my own that I’m comfortable with. That’s just part of the so many letters.

Brush pen calligraphy x watercolor

Watercolor experiments

With these, I tried maximizing the space by coloring the entire card. One shows that I wrote after painting and the other shows I painted first before I write.

  • ZIG Kuretake Fudebiyori is not waterproof. When you try writing it then applying watercolor after, it fades away so it’s no good for a brush pen calligraphy x watercolor experiment.
  • Sakura Pigma Brush is the best that I could recommend for an experiment like this. Its ink is waterproof (it’s the one I used above) as you can see.
  • Drawing lines with pencil is not a bad idea at all!
Brush pen calligraphy x watercolor x frame

True love waits

For this one, I got inspired by my art wall here in the condo. I would stick my drafts or practice sheets inside the condo and would look at them whenever I feel down / depressed / stressed and instantaneously it would lift up my mood! That’s one of the many benefits of calligraphy!

  • For the pinwheel sort of rainbow, I used Prang watercolors and a water brush pen (medium tip). This was an experiment yet two of my artist friends told me that I was using the wrong brush for this. I was really shocked because it was a Jon Snow moment for me and I just told them that they should teach me so I could do better.
  • For the words, ZIG Cocoiro Letter Pen and Sakura Pigma Brush. Both are of great quality although the Cocoiro may smudge a little when you write on top of a watercolor painted area.
Price Reference for the Materials:
  • Prang Watercolor (16 colors) – Php 459 at National Bookstore
  • ZIG Kuretake Fudebiyori (non-metallic) – Php 65 each at National Bookstore, Scribe Essentials, Craft Carrot
  • Sakura Pigma Brush – Php 85 each at Scribe Essentials (I don’t remember seeing this at NBS)
  • ZIG Cocoiro Letter Pen (body) – Php 70-80 at National Bookstore; if you bought from an online shop, price will still vary
  • ZIG Cocoiro Letter Pen (refill) – Php 145-200 at National Bookstore or Scribe Essentials; price will depend where you bought it and what tip of tip or ink you purchased
  • Water brush pen (part of a set) – Php 500/set at Scribe Essentials (Large size)
  • Frame – Php 99.75 at National Bookstore
  • Index Cards – Php 20-30 at National Bookstore (price depends on the price)
  • Canson Watercolor Papers – Php 60/pack at National Bookstore (but some say it only costs Php 44 at SM Supplies in SM Department Stores)

So, I hope you could use this post as reference if ever you’ll try brush pen calligraphy!


You Might Also Like...


  • Reply
    May 19, 2016 at 3:24 PM

    I love the way Calligraphy looks! I did take a class many years ago but I wasn’t that great and didn’t have all the supplies and let it go. I would love to start again if I had a reason to do it.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2016 at 2:56 AM

      Thank you, Alison! I think you just go ahead and try without any reason. Or maybe, for the sake of another adventure? 😀

  • Reply
    May 19, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    Ooh, thanks for sharing. I want to try brush pen calligraphy next and I don’t know where to start. This is great, thanks! 🙂

    • Reply
      May 24, 2016 at 2:57 AM

      You could start from buying materials. 😀

  • Reply
    May 19, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    I totally want to try this out in the future. –Hanna Lei

    Latest Post: Summer Off the Shoulder Outfit Inspiration

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 4:27 AM

    I really wanted to give Calligraphy a try it’s just that myself has no particular taste with arts. Oh how I just wished I am good at doing those strokes without even trying so hard. as much as I wanted to try it, I am afraid I may just be wasting my time, effort, and money. So most probably, I will just be finding myself amaze forever of how you guys work on that. lol

    • Reply
      May 24, 2016 at 2:58 AM

      It’s not really that hard. I started with zero skills, really! Then, I told myself that I like to write nicely and improve my penmanship so I just kept on practicing and I guess it just got better. 😀

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it ;
    ) I am going to return yet again since i
    have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to
    guide others.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2016 at 2:59 AM

      Wow! Thank you for dropping by, Kristen! <3

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    Naalala ko lang… hindi ba si Steve Jobs din nag calligraphy and because of that, was the one who had insisted on his team at Apple to come out with fonts…? Hihi. Nicely done and I am sure you will continue to do so and continue to improve.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2016 at 2:59 AM

      Actually, I really don’t know po about Steve Jobs and calligraphy. Hehe. Yay! Thank you! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 8:41 PM

    Beautiful! I guess the calligraphy bug didn’t catch me because my penmanship itself is messy. Not a very patient or conscientious person here! Yours are wonderful

    • Reply
      May 24, 2016 at 3:00 AM

      My penmanship was really messy at first but with practice, it got better. Hihi. Thank you, Sam! 🙂

  • Reply
    Stella the Travelerette
    May 21, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    Interesting that minimum is the ultimate practice word! I would never have thought of that. It’s nice seeing your process as you practice and experiment. I think your calligraphy looks lovely!

    • Reply
      May 21, 2016 at 4:11 PM

      Others told me that “minimum” is the ultimate practice word since you get to practice the curves, upstrokes and downstrokes all at once. Well of course, that depends on what kind of calligraphy you are doing.

      Yay!! Thank you for the kind words, Stella. <3

  • Reply
    May 23, 2016 at 6:10 PM

    This is lovely! I tried my hand at calligraphy but I am bad at it. I think I am going to try once again

  • Reply
    May 23, 2016 at 8:05 PM

    I super enjoy calligraphy and even attended a workahop with my 12year old son. We practice everyday and we would be amazed by our improvements.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    So I went and bought my zig kuretake pens after I read this. Haha. I got the one with scroll on one side and brush on the other though. I thought that was the only kind. Good thing, I just bought a couple. Hehe

    • Reply
      May 24, 2016 at 3:01 AM

      Ah yes. I tried the ZIG Scroll and Brush before. I never liked the scroll part so I searched for brush pens by ZIG (Kuretake) and they’re just magnificent! 🙂 Hope you’ll enjoy the craft 🙂

  • Reply
    Karmela Mirriam Ebreo
    May 24, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    I always wanted to try calligraphy using brush pens. I didn’t know Zig is very affordable. Will head to NBS later. thank you!


    • Reply
      May 24, 2016 at 3:12 PM

      Yes, ZIG brush pens are affordable but I also use the Artline brush pens since they are way cheaper and also good for practice.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    I see this handwriting style everywhere now. I love those kind of letters and I would love to have some kind of digital way to edit my own photos with these letters. Or another option is to start doing it myself like you did. I could surely use your post as reference!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    I tried calligraphy last month and is looking forward to more calligraphy sessions. What we tried was the small letters only. I am not able to practice everyday but i guess with constant practice, i could flaunt my letterings in the near future. Ihihi.

    • Reply
      June 2, 2016 at 2:52 AM

      Mommy Berlin, try practicing with “minimum”. It helps a lot! 🙂

      • Reply
        berlin maynigo
        June 8, 2016 at 5:09 PM

        went back to this post as I took note of the materials my son and I will purchase on Friday, We will shop for his school supplies and might as well buy a few for our calligraphy session together. Yes, we do calligraphy together and we would tease each other. Honestly, he writes better than his mother. And I am proud of it. thanks again for the list. Now we know what we will ask from the sales attendant.

        • mariaisquixotic
          June 9, 2016 at 2:03 AM

          It’s a good thing that you have a hobby that you both like. I just wish that calligraphy will give you a special bond with your child. 🙂

  • Reply
    Chardy Baldyosa
    October 10, 2016 at 3:39 AM


    I’ve always wanted to learn how to do this, but I just don’t have the talent (or the patience) to fully commit to a piece. How do you do it? Your pieces are so elegant and beautiful. Maybe I need to reconsider learning this art. 🙁
    Do you do workshops? 🙂

    • Reply
      October 10, 2016 at 3:42 AM

      Hola! It took me so many papers and pens to be able to do it this way. Also time for practice. 🙂 As of now, no workshops yet although I’m open to conduct private classes. 🙂

  • Reply
    D A R Y L L
    February 12, 2017 at 10:43 PM

    Struggle is real talaga sa calligraphy basta leftie huhuhu but anyways ngayon ko lang nalaman na ganoon lang ka affordable ang watercolor paper. Vellum board kasi ginagamit ko. But anyways thanks a lot!

    • Reply
      February 13, 2017 at 1:03 AM

      Glad to help! 🙂

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!