The Best Brush Pens for Calligraphy and Ink Painting – ARTnews.com

Brushes and brush pens are an integral part of Chinese and Japanese black ink painting and calligraphy, and it’s worth every penny to invest in top quality brushes. Natural bristles, such as weasel or sable hair, are springy and responsive, ideal for drawing fine, fine lines and sweeping thicker marks, but high-quality nylon bristles mimic the excellence of natural bristles and are more durable and affordable. Brush pens are a convenient alternative, combining the best of traditional calligraphy brushes with the ease of fountain pens or markers. Browse our selection of the best brush pens to find the one that’s right for you.

1. Tombow Brush Pen Set

This trio of pens vary in nib style. One is hard, one is soft, and the third has twin soft tips and black and gray ink. The set is a great option if you’re looking for variety or trying to decide which type of stylus is best for your project. Pen barrels are slim and easy to maneuver, and they provide a clean and simple way to practice your calligraphy without worrying about messy ink pots.

To buy:
Tombow Brush Pen Set

$7.97

2. Kuretake Sumi Brush Pen

Kuretake’s affordable Sumi Brush Pen features a durable nylon tip with bristles so fine and responsive you’ll think they’re made of premium natural bristles. The tip retains its shape over time to create fine, thin lines and thick, wide lines. This set comes with three replacement non-waterproof ink cartridges. However, the pen is compatible with the Platinum Fountain Pen Converter, which allows the use of most types of ink, including water.

To buy:
Kuretake Sumi Brush Pen

$16.80

3. Pentel Fude Brush Pen

Pentel designed its brush pen with traditional Japanese calligraphy brushes in mind. This pen is affordable and practical, an ideal pen to introduce students to calligraphy. The nylon brush tip has an extra-fine tip to create extremely fine yet nuanced lines. Its handle serves as an inkwell and the amount of ink that flows to the tip of the brush is controlled by pressing the handle. Charging handles are available; just unscrew the old handle and replace it with a new one. The pens hold a lot of ink and don’t run out quickly. Teachers love these pens because they are affordable and durable.

To buy:
Pentel Fude brush pen

$6.03

4. Kuretake No. 40 Brush Pen

The tip of this premium brush pen is made from genuine sable hair, making ink application easy and true to classic calligraphy. It also features a durable all-metal body covered in thin rubber for a comfortable, non-slip grip. The pen comes with three ink cartridges and spare sand nibs are also available. This pen is not for beginners though, as it takes practice to learn how to land the strokes you desire.

To buy:
Kuretake No. 40 Brush Pen

$27.99

5. Kaimei Sumi Brush Pen

The bristles of Kaimei’s beloved brush pen are made of tough, responsive weasel hair, which can produce marks ranging from ultra-fine lines to sweeping strokes. The pen’s ink cartridges, three of which are included, are easy to replace and the ink inside is deep black.

To buy:
Kaimei Sumi brush pen

$35.99

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