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A quick-start guide to water brush lettering

It’s likely you’ve seen this trend rise up lately, especially among home decor and stationary. And the subtle touches and gentle tones of these pieces can be attributed to the little beauties called brush pens. Made of synthetic hairs and featuring a plastic container-like body, these pens create a watercolour look that makes for the ultimate lettering technique.

How exactly does a water brush work?

The typical water brush is made out of three different parts:

  1. A water container
  2. A small plastic feed that is responsible for controlling the amount of pressure coming from the container into the bristles
  3. The tip, which is made of synthetic hairs.

These days, you can usually find these pens in three different sizes – all of which are easy to access and are affordable for hobbyist or professional artists alike. They’re also highly long-lasting, making them a worthwhile addition to any toolbox.

brush pen lettering

Keeping your pens clean

One of the biggest benefits of these pens is that cleaning them is so easy. A simple wipe of some paper towel can wipe any excess paint away, as you squeeze water out from the pen. All it takes is a few squeezes and the product is ready to go for your next round.

Pro tip: if there is some pigment remaining on the bristles, keep squeezing until the water coming out is clear. If the water is clear but the bristles still seem to be coloured, there’s no need to worry about cleaning every little bit of paint away.

How to use your water brush pen

Now that we’ve run through all of these basics, it’s time to get into using them (the fun part).

Ultimately, these pens work like any other kind of brush pen, but they rely on your pressure and each stroke. Fundamentally, there are two things you need to remember when you get started:

  1. Stoking upwards = thin strokes
  2. Stroking downwards = thick strokes

Experiment with twisting and turning in different directions to understand the variety of thicknesses these pens give you. When you’re starting out, this can be a challenge, so start by just getting your head around how to use this versatility to your advantage.

A perfect way to exercise this is by filling a few rows of your paper up with thin strokes, and then some thick ones. Don’t jump into trying to write words straight away – it takes time and patience.

Beginner tip: To get the hang of your first word, we recommend writing out the word without lifting your hand. Lock the pen in your grip until you’ve finished writing out the word completely.

Continue this until you see an improvement. Stopping and creating breaks to try and get the perfect look will only cause inconsistencies and frustration when you’re starting out.

Don’t have a set of water brush pens yet? Check out our collection online to stock up and test your hand out.


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