Brush Pens: Small vs. Big. What’s the difference?

I’m going to walk you through the difference between a small pen and a big pen!

In actuality, when someone refers to the size of a brush pen, they are just referring to the size of the tip…a big one or a small one! It sounds pretty simple, but there is a bit of clarification needed.

First Things First…

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Tools Mentioned

Now let’s get started!

Prefer watching over reading? Feel free to skip right to the video and see these in real-time! ??

So, what is the difference?

Let’s take a look at the two most popular small and big brush pens.

When I take the tops off of these pens, you can see there is a HUGE difference between the size of the tips.

The main differences between the two are the stroke thicknesses

Small pen stroke (left) vs. big pen stroke (right)

Where the difference comes into play with these is if you’re practicing your calligraphy with specific workbooks (like mine, ?).

Why the difference in workbooks?

If you tried to use a small pen in the big pen workbook, your downstroke would not be thick enough. And vice versa.

But alas, the pens that fall in the “in-between” range…

In the case of a pen that falls in between a big or small tip, I would suggest going for a big pen workbook because your stroke will be easier for you to control.

Same goes for anything bristley, that’s a bit harder to control, like this Micron pen or even just a paintbrush.

The best way to decide if it’s a big pen, is anything bigger than the Tombow Fudenosuke.

And that’s a wrap!

I hope this explanation was helpful! If you’d like my recommendations for all pens or supplied in general, I’ve got a FREE 50-page guide right here.


  1. That was great Becca ,make sense
    what you shared. Now i ordered the big pens book.
    You are a great Educator we really Appreciate you

    Thankyou very much.

  2. I love the course. I used the small pen workbooks. The Tombow Fudenosuke. They work great for me. I understand why the strokes are so important to learn. It makes it so much easier to the the letters. I’m doing the minuscule letters at the moment. The breakdown is wonderful.

  3. Ms. Becca, I want to order the workbook bundle. I’m not sure whether to go with the small pen or the large pen. I have both pens, and I would love to order both, but cannot afford both books.
    If I had to choose between the small and the large, what is your recommendation? Thank you for your help.

  4. Show me your drills
    Well kind of lost might have to start this work book again!
    Learned my strokes but still having difficulty with size of letters and connection of letters.
    They look sloppy and don’t flow as a word.
    Better restart show me your drills before I purchase new books to move forward.
    I guess I need more then 4 weeks to overcome this connection of letters to make a word that flows in style.
    Thanks for all your great videos and tools needed.

  5. Hi Becca
    I’ve been given pens as a gift & they are more like an old style fountain pen. Am I still able to use your workbooks with these – and if so which size would you recommend.
    Thank you for all the information you provide- even at this early stage I’m finding it helpful.

  6. I love everything that you have shown us and told us so far. I know I will probably be the last book on teaching from you, but it sure is interesting and you learn a lot.

    Thank you,
    Brenda Vaughn

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