Recent Brush Pen Favorites

Since my last post on brush calligraphy, I have expanded my brush pen collection. Here are the ones I reach for the most recently.


From top to bottom: Monami Brush Pen (refill only), Daiso Refillable Brush Pen, Zebra Brush Pen Super Fine, Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen, Pentel Touch Brush Pen. The last three were bought from Dolces Online and the Daiso from, well, Daiso. Unfortunately I have forgotten where I bought the Monami Brush Pen (I got a set of ten, different colors).


The tips of the pens are mostly on the fine/super fine range, except for the Daiso brush pen which I’d categorize as broad. All of them except again for Daiso are on the stiff side.


Here’s a writing sample of all five, on a Rhodia N11 pad. If I were asked, I’d say that my favorite would be a toss up between the Zebra and the Tombow brush pens. They have just the right amount of stiffness that gives a good line variation without a lot of effort, and are simply a joy to write with.

A Beginner’s View of Brush Calligraphy

Brush calligraphy is a calligraphy style that uses a brush pen. A brush pen is a pen with a brush or a brush-like tip. As with pointed-pen calligraphy, the downstrokes are made thick by pressing down on the pen and the upstrokes are thinner by only using the lightest of touch to make the line.


There are now a lot of locally available brush pens. The ones I currently own are in the photo above. From left to right they are: Pilot Petit3 in Baby Pink; Zig Scroll&Brush in Orchid, Baby Pink, and Black; Zig Kuretake Fudebiyori in Blue and Gray; Zig Kuretake Fudebiyori Metallic in Green; Zig Cocoiro Letter Pen Extra Fine in Mint Green, Black, Bordeaux, and Sepia. These are a very meager sample from a lot of other available pens, and in fact I only have a sample size of two brands (Pilot and Zig). Watercolor is also a great medium to do brush calligraphy with!


Here are written examples of each type of brush pen. The Cocoiro Extra Fines make the finest lines, followed by the Petit3, while the Fudebiyori and Scroll&Brush are very broad. I find it really hard to use the broad tips as you can see in the writing above. It looks a lot messier compared to the two fine brushes. The Petit3 is slightly easier to use even though it has an overall shorter body because the tip is very forgiving.


I’m not really an expert in brush calligraphy, but I try to practice regularly. I like doing short and simple (and encouraging!) messages and I also keep a collection of inspiring quotes to practice with. If all else fails, I resort to doing song lyrics!


A lot of the times I also make use of brush calligraphy in my planner (as decorative headings) and journal. I have also attempted using it for hand lettering such as the one below, although I don’t have very many of those yet. For other examples of my work, check out my Instagram.


How did I get started on brush calligraphy? I actually started with pointed-pen calligraphy (I attended Eula’s workshop!) but found that I could not find the time to sit down and do it nor the patience to fiddle around with bottled inks and tiny nibs. More recently I got to attend a mini brush calligraphy workshop by Mimai (Instagram) and found that I really enjoyed it and found it more to my style and liking. I bought a few more brush pens to play around with, and I now have a long wishlist of more pens to try!

Recently I stalk many brush calligraphers on Instagram for inspiration (Aina, Oceanchelle, The Word Affair, Oats, Paola, The Paper Cat, Mommy Lhey, Clair), and The Postman’s Knock and The Fozzy Book are also great resources.


Review: Pilot Petit3 Brush Pen

One of my not-so-recent pen purchases included this cute little brush pen called Pilot Petit3. Yes, it is the sister pen to my previously featured Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen (here) and in fact was bought at the same time as it. I chose a nice bright shade called Baby Pink.


It’s really on the short side, and is meant to be super portable. It measures a mere 11cm (~4.25″). Here it looks cradled in my hand.


The cap posts securely, and lends stability to the pen which is required for something this short. I find that it’s harder to use unposted.


The brush tip is short and a bit stiff. I like it because it works well with my heavy hand, and I don’t have any issues with making the thin upstrokes and the thick downstrokes of brush calligraphy.


The cartridge is of course pretty short as well. Pilot sells refills of this kind that can be used by both Petit1 and Petit3 (and presumably whatever Petit2 is; I think it’s either a ballpoint or a rollerball). Here I’ve used about half of the cartridge so far.


Here’s a sample of my brush calligraphy using this brush pen. You can see more of my work at my IG (here).


Actually, another thing that I use this brush pen for is as a highlighter of sorts. Here in one of the planner layouts I shared recently (here), I used the Pilot Petit3 to color in the bullet points on the right side of the spread for the tasks that I have already completed. I also used it to color in the stars to reflect how many cups of coffee I have drunk for each day. This is yet another reason why I like toting this pen along. Not only do I have a super portable brush pen for those impromptu calligraphy practice, but I also have a cute little highlighter to go with my planner!

Do you have this brush pen? What do you think of it?

I brought this pen at a consignment of CreateCraftsPH. It (and refills!) is also available at their online store here.

Tuscany at McKinley Hill’s Summer Art Sessions

Summer is the time for workshops and not just for kids! Tuscany at McKinley Hill’s Summer Art Sessions, in partnership with Manila Workshops, is a weekend arts and crafts workshop series happening every Sunday beginning April 19 (this weekend!) and will run until May 10. Sessions are 1PM to 5PM. These workshops are for anyone who’s into arts and crafts, or who’d like to get started on them. They will be conducted by some of Manila’s finest artists, and will be held at several restaurants at Tuscany, the awesome strip of dining establishments at Upper McKinley Road.

One of the things you can learn is basic brush calligraphy, conducted by Mimai Cabugnason (check out her work at IG @chrrrmaine) at Marciano’s.


Other workshops available include:

  • basics of doodling: Nelz Yumul of WeeWillDoodle, at Lucky’s Burger Bar
  • basic paper cutting: Hey Kessy, at Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes
  • rubber stamping: Manila Workshops, at Sophie’s Mom
  • acrylic and oil: The Artologist, at Sauceria
  • DIY tote bag designing: Nica Cosio, at Sophie’s Mom

Interested? Register for the Tuscany at McKinley Hill’s Summer Art Sessions at or 09266167720. For Basic Paper Cutting, contact Hey Kessy at For those taking part in the Acrylic and Oil Sessions, register by emailing or by calling 09165673351.

Workshops are Php2000 per session inclusive of food, art kits, and materials. Only 10 slots are available per workshop, so register now!

This is the press kit I received. It may or may not be the same kit you will receive in your brush calligraphy workshop.


Disclaimer: I was invited to the press launch of Summer Art Sessions, which included samplings of selected workshops mentioned above plus press kits.