Buy Brush Pens and markers – but which?

What you can use Brush Pens and markers for –with practical support for making a decision: brush tip or chisel tip, alcohol or water-based, beginner or more advanced?

You are passionate about handlettering, bullet journals, sketchnotes or colouring mangas and comics. You would like to try out inspiring creative trends, reproduce them and also have some brilliant ideas of your own that you would like to implement.

Maybe you’ve already had some experience with Brush Pens and markers and always enjoy new creative projects. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, making sure you have the right pens is a must for implementing your ideas and making your work fun.

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for Brush Pens and markers for your creative projects.


2 products

Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen set of 6
Brush Pen & Marker

Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen set of 6

With two tips (brush tip + fine tip) for maximum creativity. Water-based colors for handlettering, watercoloring and illustrations. 5 different sets of 6 available.
Available in various colours

Brush Pens and markers can be used in a variety of ways – and complement each other

Brush Pens and markers are well suited to many creative projects. The two pen types have different tips but complement each other perfectly. It is precisely this mixing of styles and techniques that produces great results – as well as fun and variety when painting or writing. With pens that have two tips, even more applications are possible. They are ideal if you want to combine big and small words or combine cursive writing with block letters. You can also achieve a greater depth in terms of the lettering using shading and decoration. This is why pencils with two tips in the same colour can be used in a particularly versatile way.

With good writing tools, creative work is so much fun. Because I can use them to implement my ideas in exactly the way I'd planned

 Anne Broszies, Bullet Journal Expert Bujo Trulla

Pen or prefer a brush? With Brush Pens, you get both

Do you want to create a sweeping stroke that resembles a brush stroke? The tip of the pen is what determines the result. Brush Pens combine the advantages and properties of pens and brushes. With their flexible brush tips, you can write or paint in a dynamic way and it feels like a brush stroke. And that’s a great thing, particularly for handlettering. But Brush Pens also have the advantages of a pen: the colour (or ink) is integrated into the shaft. This means that you can paint and write evenly without putting the pen down.


A Brush Pen is suited to various applications: you can use them to draw, paint and create mixes. It is also perfect for handlettering, sketching, bullet journaling or writing infographics.


In addition to the brush tip of the Brush Pens, there are other pen tips that are suited to various applications: some markers have a chisel tip for the flat application of colour, fine tips for intricate drawings or fine writing and bullet tips for general colouring.

The special chisel tip on Tombow markers

Some markers such as the MONO edge and the ABT PRO have a defined chisel tip that you can use to draw exact lines. And if you like working with a ruler for even more precision: the chisel tip of the MONO edge is enclosed in a protective plastic sleeve. This keeps your rulers or stencils nicely clean during use. Another advantage: the plastic sleeve also keeps the tip in perfect condition even with frequent use. If you want to achieve a defined line, MONO edge highlighters are the right choice.

Pens with two tips enable even more variety

Some brush pens such as the ABT Dual Brush Pen have two tips: in addition to the wide brush tip, you can find a fine and firm tip on the other side. This is particularly good for details.

Some brush pens such as the ABT Dual Brush Pen have two tips: in addition to the wide brush tip, you can find a fine and firm tip on the other side. This is particularly good for details.

Water-based Dual Brush Pens are perfectly suited to handlettering. I can use these to combine a fine, clear print with beautifully curved calligraphy. And I only need one pen for both!

Franziska Deißler, Lettering Artist

The MONO edge highlighter and MONO twin marker also have two tips. Being able to work in the same colour with different tips makes you even more flexible. You can then use brilliant effects like shadows or thicken the lines to give the letters e.g. a 3D look using faux calligraphy.

Advantages of water or alcohol-based Brush Pens and markers

Both water and alcohol-based Brush Pens are available.

Water-based pens produce significantly less odour. They also have other advantages: their ink will not penetrate most types of paper. Water-based colours are therefore suited to bullet journaling. If you use colours that do not penetrate, in most cases you can also paint or write well on the next page.

Water-based inks can be divided into inks with dyes and inks with pigments. The advantage of water-based inks with dyes, such as the ABT Dual Brush Pens, is that they are ideal for use in watercolour painting. For watercolour painting, we recommend the use of watercolor paper. Water-based inks with pigments such as in our Fudenosuke are water-resistant once they dry and are therefore suitable for outlines.

Alcohol-based inks are waterproof, so there is usually a very wide range of different colours – a separate pen for each colour. However, alcohol-based inks can be layered on top of each other by superimposing different gradations of a colour family.
For alcohol-based pens, it is advisable to use special paper that absorbs the ink as little as possible and is coated accordingly so that the ink does not bleed through. The advantage of alcohol-based pens is that no unpleasant dark edges appear when painting the surface.

Alcohol-based markers are aimed more at advanced or professional use. With the ergonomic ABT PRO  you can achieve particularly good results in the areas of fashion design, illustration and architecture as well as in product design, comic and manga.

Oil-based markers are perfect for outlines

Oil-based colours such as MONO twin are waterproof and smudge-proof. The pen is therefore ideal for robust outlines and contours and in combination with coloured Brush Pens. The pen dries very quickly and thanks to its oil basis, it presents well on metal, wood, stone, ceramic, plastic and fabric. (Note: the MONO twin is not suitable for labelling CDs.)

Blending and mixing: Choose your colours from different colour sets

The tone of your colours is of course particularly important when it comes to a project: the colour determines its character, mood or impression. This is why we offer different colour sets comprising coordinated colours. Depending on the application – and your preferences – some very extensive colour palettes are available. Some of them are also specialist palettes e.g. pastel shades and earth or grey tones. But blending is also possible with water-based Brush Pens. The colours then flow into each other, creating amazing mixes – and the tip cleans itself while you paint. With the Blending Kit you can create effective mixes by mixing the colour on the palette beforehand.

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Brush Pens are perfect for handlettering and sketching

Calligraphy is often referred to as penmanship, but describing it as written painting is actually more appropriate. Painted writing or written painting? When working with Brush Pens you’ll realise that the boundaries between writing and painting become blurred.

Brush Pens have a brush tip that you can use to write curved lettering. Depending on how hard you press the brush tip on the paper, the line will appear either finer or wider. If you change the pressure on up and down strokes, you can produce typeface in a typical calligraphy look. Harder pen tips enable particularly thin, intricate lettering. The bigger the writing, the softer the tip can be. The size of the brush tip is decisive in the potential font size. With the ABT Dual Brush Pen, for example, you can create large fonts very nicely, while a Fudenosuke with its thin tip is better suited to smaller fonts.

Whether you want to copy a certain font with fixed shapes or write freely in your own handwriting is irrelevant here. With water-based Brush Pens, you can do both. In this way, handlettering becomes a work of art or part of an illustration such as a sketchnote or bullet journaling.

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Brush Pens are also ideal for sketching or sketchnotes. With the Fudenosuke, for example, you can change the line width when drawing simply by increasing the pressure. The brush tip thus gives you more flexibility than a fineliner when drawing. You can also use the Brush Pen to colour and letter your sketch at the same time.

It is worth practising your writing so you can quickly achieve success with handlettering. Here, you can find a lot of templates to download and practise with:

Fudenosuke exercise sheets

ABT Dual Brush exercise sheets

These allow you to practise the general technique or a special lettering style where the up and down strokes are important.

Highlighters are ideal for highlighting with defined lines

If you want to highlight something, markers like the MONO edge are well suited – hence their name. Use markers or highlighters to highlight text or other sections. Printed writing or even pencil can also be easily read through the transparent, coloured marking. Some markers have a chisel-shaped tip with which precise, straight lines can be drawn. They come in different widths.

Highlighters are also well suited for colour coding

Markers are ideally suited for the functional marking of important passages and for colour coding. To make it clear at a glance what the colour coding refers to, clear, bright colours that stand out from each other but also create a pleasantly harmonious overall impression are important. Bright but pleasant colours – it doesn’t always have to be neon. If you want an even greater variety of colours, you can also blend the markers.

Very smooth paper is best suited for writing and painting with Brush Pens because it protects the sensitive brush tips. Either choose extra smooth premium copy paper or very smooth writing and drawing paper.

Normal copy paper is less suitable if you are working with the Brush Pen.

Have fun – and stay creative.