The Best Pens For Learning Modern Calligraphy

I don’t know how many things you’ve tried to google or convoluted answers you’ve found so far, but in this tutorial, I’m going to give you the no-BS answer to the exact 2 pens you should use to learn modern calligraphy.

So you just wanna know what pen to use when you’re thinking about trying brush calligraphy… but BEFORE I tell you the two brush pens that I recommend for learning calligraphy… I have one sort of controversial thing to say:

Size. Matters.

…with brush pens, of course! The general rule is that the smaller the tip, the easier it is to use.

First Things First…

The links below may be affiliate links where appropriate. This means that your purchase through these links may result in a few cents in payment to me, to support creating further resources like this one! That being said, I will never suggest supplies that I do not personally use and fully recommend.


Now let’s get started!

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

Let’s start by taking the tops off of these pens, and you’ll see that one is very clearly a SMALL TIP, and one is a LARGE TIP.

Tombow Dual Brush Pen vs. Tombow Fudenosuke

You’ll often see calligraphy worksheets scaled for either small pens or big pens. This is what they mean.

My #1 Recommendation: The Tombow Fudenosuke

Why? Because it’s the best small tip pen for beginners. It’s also hard tipped, which means it’s less flexible, and the smaller and less flexible, the easier it is to use.

I recommend this one to everyone, and I use it, 99% of the time in my own work! I buy them in bulk AND I provide them in my workshops.

My #2 Recommendation: The Fudenosuke

I rank this pen #2 because, by nature, it’s a larger tip and it’s harder to use. So, it can be tougher for beginners to get a grasp on. 

HOWEVER, it’s still a great pen to learn with. It’s high quality, comes in lots of different colours, and is a totally reasonable price.

Tombow Dual Brush – Large Tip

Interesting tip: I’ve noticed a trend in my classes where lefties sometimes prefer the larger tip. Just something to think about if you’re left handed!

I usually recommend beginners buy both of these pens and try them out. You won’t know whether you prefer, small or large, if you don’t try them.

BUT, if I had to give you only ONE recommendation, it’d be the Fudenosuke!

Lastly, if you don’t have access to these exact pens OR any brush pens at all, START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, even if it’s a pencil and check out this video. Seriously. You DON’T need expensive gear to start.

And that’s a wrap!

Now… there is a TONNNN more to know about all this stuff: how to HOLD the brush pens, what paper to use them on, and how to actually WRITE with them, duh….

Whiiiiiich is all covered in my free course! You can find that at and learn the basics from the ground up.

Tell me what you thought!