I love a good pen. It's just one of those little things that makes me happy. But hand lettering took my pen love to a whole new level.
When I started my hand lettering journey and began documenting it on Instagram last year, I had no idea what pens to use. I just started following other letterers and asking them. And thankfully the hand lettering community on Instagram is so friendly. There's a lot of sharing and encouraging and an attitude of #communityovercompetition.
As I've learned and progressed, I've begun getting questions from other newbies, and I try to answer every one. Because I know it's daunting when you're learning something new. And I love being able to share what I've learned to help someone else.
I'll update this post as I learn. The pens I mention here are simply my favorite go-to pens today when I'm lettering in my Bible, my Lettering Prayer Journal, my Moleskine journal, or anything I want to keep looking nice.
Let's start with my #1 choice. You can sound cool like me and just say Tombow "Fude" because I'm not exactly sure how to pronounce "fudenosuke" - (any help my fellow lettering friends?). The Tombow Fude brush pen is my absolute favorite. It comes in two variations - a hard tip and a soft tip. I had no idea what this meant when I first scoured the Internet for that calligraphy pen I saw on Instagram. My search led me to Amazon and I opted for the double pack to try them both.
To tell them apart, the hard tip pen is blue and the soft tip pen is black, but note: they both write with black ink.
I take one of these guys with me everywhere for on the spot lettering. If you're a beginner and you haven't had any experience with a traditional calligraphy nib or any other brush pens, you'll probably want to start out with the hard tip (blue). because the thick downstrokes are created by applying pressure. And when you're first beginning, you don't have as much control over this motion.
In contrast, the soft tip is very flexible and can feel too sensitive to a beginner. Creating smooth thicks and thins takes some practice and control. I'm working with the soft tip more and it's getting easier now.
The Fude pens are waterproof and don't bleed which makes them perfect for Bible Journaling!
Pentel Touch brush pens are a rather new discovery for me. They are similar to the Tombow Fude soft because they have a flexible nib, so you can get lovely thick and thin contrast. They are smooth and the ink color is nice and saturated.
Don't you love that they come in so many pretty colors? And as icing on the lettering cake, they have a glittery plastic body which is just plain fun. You can always win me over with glitter!
I do have one disappointment with the Touch pens. They aren't waterproof. [Insert sad face here] So be careful if you use them in your Bible journaling.
The Pigma Microns are a favorite with artists and letterers. They write smoothly and reliably and are perfect for fine details. Better yet they are easy to find at your local craft store, so you can pick up a pack any time.
The variety of thicknesses is key for giving you detail in your lettering. Perhaps best of all, they are waterproof and archival quality, so you can use them in your Bible journaling and not worry about watercoloring over them or faded ink. Two thumbs up!
I do use my Microns sparingly - as in generally only in my Bible or a final inking of a hand lettered design. I do feel like they can dry out quickly, so take care to cap them when not in use. I'm obsessive about this, I gotta admit, so even taking the picture above caused me a bit of angst.
Last but not least, I had to include the Twistables even though they aren't pens because I reach for them so often. I love these guys. And so do my kids! We have coloring sessions together sometimes (which makes me feel less mommy guilt about working).
These guys are between a crayon and a colored pencil. They write smoothly and blend nicely, and perhaps best of all, they are inexpensive - always a plus! I like that they give a softer look to my lettering. And they add subtle color easily and quickly (without the mess of paint and water).
A note on bleeding: None of the pens I mentioned above bleed through my Crossway journaling Bible pages. But be forewarned that any pen will bleed if you overwork a particular spot. You can expect that there will be "ghosting" or "shadowing" on the opposite side, which doesn't bother me and which I don't consider to be bleeding.
If you're not sure which Bible to get, read my Bible comparison and review post here. I hope this info helpful for you as you research writing tools for your own lettering and Bible journaling. If it was, or if you have any questions, comment below and tell me! Go forth and letter!
Little disclaimer here: Amazon Affiliate links are used in the above post. I don't recommend anything I don't love to use, but if you click above and buy something, I may get a small percentage of compensation from Amazon.