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This post was originally published on 7/21/17, but has been updated on 5/25/18 with some new pictures and information...
In the Hand Lettering world, there are SO many products and tools out there that sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. If you're researching what are the best pens to use in your hand lettering journey, you've landed in the right spot! Today I am going to chat about my favorite tools, and what makes them spectacular to me. So let's get to it!
FIRST LET'S TALK PAPER!!!
I have 3 favorites to talk about today, each for different reasons.
CANSON VALUE TRACING PAPER - Tracing paper can prove to be a very invaluable tool in hand lettering, especially for practicing with your worksheets. You can print off a worksheet and place it under a sheet of tracing paper. Just trace over your letters and your worksheet will last forever. It is fantastic for repeated practice. You can also use it to trace over your own lettering from a sketch. Just pencil out your sketch on regular paper and after you've made some edits to it, place the tracing paper over your sketch and ink away. Tracing paper is also very smooth, and will help keep your brush pens from fraying.
Canson Marker Paper - This is my absolute favorite. I use the Tombow Dual Brush Pens ALL THE TIME and this paper is so smooth. It helps preserve those precious pens! I will first sketch out my piece in pencil, then lightly erase it and trace over it with my brush pens.
Strathmore Mixed Media - Mixed Media paper is designed to be used either dry or wet. And this particular brand is smooth which makes it a must have. I use this paper a lot for blending my brush pens, and for doing any type of watercolor effect with them.
NOW LET'S TALK PENS
In case you haven't figured it out yet, I LOVE all things Tombow! But I wanted to share with you WHY I love them so much! So let's start with the Dual Brush Pens (my favorite!).
THEY ARE WATER BASED!
Why does this matter? Well you can make some pretty spectacular water color effects, without water coloring! For me this is amazing. I've tried water color lettering, and to be honest, it is NOT my strength. But using these pens makes it feel more natural to me. In the picture below, I lettered out a simple "d" in Light Ochre, then added a little Persimmon to the top of my letter. Then using a Pentel Aquash Brush I added just a little water to the letter and blended it from the top down.
YOU CAN BLEND THEM!
Blending is so much fun with the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. And if you have all 96 colors, there are SO many options. Here I chose 3 colors from the pink palette to make a pretty new color:
Here are some pieces that showcase this kind of blending more:
THEY ARE SELF-CLEANING!
What???!!! A pen that cleans itself??!!! YUP!!! It's totally OK to put a different colored ink onto your tip. Below I took Turquoise and added Imperial Purple to the tip. I then lettered out an "A". After lettering I just scribbled the ink onto the paper to get most of the Purple off of the Turquoise tip. Then I capped it and placed it back and let the magic happen!
The Colorless Blender Pen works the same way too. Mine as you can tell is a little stained, BUT! That is ok! It runs clear even though it is stained and still works perfectly fine.
TOMBOW'S FUDENOSUKE PENS AND MONO PENCILS
Next up on my favorites list are the Tombow Fudes! Oh, and have you ever wondered how to say Fudenosuke??? Let me help with that - "FOO-DEE-NO-SKI!" Yay!!!
The Mono Pencil and Eraser are probably the most used tool of mine. I make a lot of mistakes and can use up quite a bit of paper. So having the option to sketch out my piece first and erase when needed is a life saver for me.
The Fudenosuke Hard and Soft Tip Pens are a must for me too. They are the best pens to use when learning hand lettering. But I also love that they can make a piece so elegant. These are fantastic pens to use for faux calligraphy, script and mixed script. And if you also use the Fudenosuke Twin Tip you can add shadow to your letters for an extra pop.
TOMBOW'S TWINTONE MARKERS
TwinTone Markers have become a favorite of mine! They are dual ended, one end is a firm bullet point, the other is a very fine tip for details. They are a great addition to my lettering, but I also use them in my planner. They are FANTASTIC for a planner. They don't bleed through paper, and I love all the color choices! (Think color coding!!!)
I'm also loving them in my kid's planners too! I am a homeschooling mom and this week I am working through their upcoming school year and planning their lessons. Their planners have smaller boxes, so the fine tip works perfectly for it. My daughter was happy to have her schedule done in hot pink.
TOMBOW'S MONO DRAWING PENS
The Mono Drawing Pens come in 3 different sizes: 01, 03 and 05. They are perfect for outlining lettering, doodling and my favorite way to use them - in my journals. I also use them for church lettering too. The ink is fast drying and won't smudge.
AND LASTLY, THE MONO PERMANENT MARKER
The Mono Twin Permanent Marker is my go to for addressing happy mail. Since the ink is permanent and fast drying, it won't smudge. Which means if it's raining out while your package gets delivered, the ink will stay put. This marker pretty much replaced my Sharpie inventory. It's also a great outlining marker for your lettering or coloring.
And these are my favorite tools. What are your favorites? I would love to know!
Till next time,