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Brush Pens For Learning Calligraphy


Miskatonic
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I've found lots of online tutorials for learning calligraphy, and many of the instructors recommend brush pens to learn with. I'm most often referring to an online series called Pieces Calligraphy

 

I bought an inexpensive brush pen (basically a pliable-tip magic marker that uses standard ink) and it works pretty well for my education in the small set of strokes used in basic calligraphy. I don't see people on FPN talking about brush pens to learn with, which I suppose is understandable given this is a forum for fountain pen users.

 

My goal was to learn enough brush pen calligraphy that I could bring that over to occasional use with fountain pens capable of line variation. Am I ill using my time learning on a brush pen? Would I be better served learning on an inexpensive flexible nib or stub?

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The answer depends on the type of calligraphy and the type of brush. Roman caps requires a different type of brush than "brush calligraphy" or styles meant to use flexible round pointed nibs.

 

David

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Size of brush may matter too...

 

I don't think my Platinum brush pens can manage the look shown on that site. (I can't speak for https://www.amazon.com/Platinum-CF-5000-Natural-Weasel-Brush/dp/B0047CK7EG -- while I own one, I've never inked it. I have two of the nylon brush types in a variant of their "Modern Maki-e" style; non-decorated version might be https://www.amazon.com/Platinum-CF-2000%E3%83%91%E3%83%83%E3%82%AF-1-Fude-Brush/dp/B008GST4WI [i paid that much for replacement brush sections on mine!] https://www.wellappointeddesk.com/2016/05/review-platinum-maki-e-nylon-bristle-brush-pen/ [i also have the Crane&Sunrise pattern])

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The brush pen I have, and that were suggested for learning calligraphy, are not made from hair fiber (like a painter's brush). It truly is a flexible tip magic marker.

 

Started my first attempts at ovals last night. Super hard. Two transitions in a continuous move. Why is it that everything you think would be fun to do, is so much harder than it looks?

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As has been said, it depends on the style of calligraphy you wish to do. I don't think marker brush pens are any easier to use then a calligraphy fountain pen, although I suppose that they may be easier to use than a dip pen.

 

The site you reference seems to be providing training in italic calligraphy, so you definitely don't want the round pointed brush pens used for Japanese or Chinese calligraphy.

 

I would recommend an inexpensive calligraphy fountain pen set. I love my vintage Osmiroid and Platignum calligraphy pens, which you can find on Ebay, but a Manuscript calligraphy fountain pen set would be nice too, which is available on Amazon. A lot of folks also like the Pilot Parallel Calligraphy pens too, but I still prefer a traditional nib pen for calligraphy.

 

Good luck and keep on writing!

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Concur with Grayspoole IF the intent is western Italic (or Black Letter/Old English, or Celtic Uncial) then a flat-edge calligraphy pen would be desirable -- I might add the Sheaffer Calligraphy set https://www.amazon.com/Sheaffer-Calligraphy-Assortment-Cartridges-73404/dp/B000MFHVM8 (though the 70s era NoNonsense set was nicer -- the nibs could be used in Connaisseur and Balance II pens :) ) or Staedtler https://www.amazon.com/STAEDTLER-calligraphy-Complete-899-SM5/dp/B0009RRTBM

 

If Copperplate/Spencerian is the goal, a brush might be useful -- for learning the letter shapes, but likely not for learning to manipulate a flex nib pen (I don't think a brush can be worked for common text sizes -- the thinnest line I could produce with my Platinum brush was close to the widest I felt comfortable producing with a Conklin OmniFlex nib).

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I practice calligraphy with a brush (not a brush pen) and find it a lovely experience, but I'm surprised that anyone would suggest that skills acquired with a brush or brush pen would be transferable to use with a fountain pen capable of line variation.

 

A brush is much more resilient than a metal nib. One can push down very hard and bend the hairs at any angle to achieve the desired effects. Transferring those practices to a pen would probably have disappointing results, including ruining the pen.

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  • 1 month later...

The brush pen I have, and that were suggested for learning calligraphy, are not made from hair fiber (like a painter's brush). It truly is a flexible tip magic marker.

 

Started my first attempts at ovals last night. Super hard. Two transitions in a continuous move. Why is it that everything you think would be fun to do, is so much harder than it looks?

I bought a couple of Tombow calligraphy pens after watching some people use it on Youtube and I'll echo the difficulty you experienced. I can explain that difficulty though (for myself atleast); the pens I have do not bend in a way that mimics a fountain or dip pen. It seems that I end up rotating the pen's angle as I try to create the swells, rather than simply changing pressure at the same angle. This change in angle seems more complicated when first learning the letter forms (I might liken it to using an airplane to learn to drive, given the change in the third dimension)

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MISULOVE is a great lettering calligraphy set. You will be getting one extra-fine, one fine, one medium, and three brush tips. These markers are refillable, making them the ideal choice for beginners at calligraphy. Another nice feature of these markers is that you can use any brand ink to refill them. 

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  • 1 month later...

18 months late to the party, but:

 

On 2/14/2020 at 2:35 AM, ENewton said:

I practice calligraphy with a brush (not a brush pen) and find it a lovely experience, but I'm surprised that anyone would suggest that skills acquired with a brush or brush pen would be transferable to use with a fountain pen capable of line variation.

 

A brush is much more resilient than a metal nib. One can push down very hard and bend the hairs at any angle to achieve the desired effects. Transferring those practices to a pen would probably have disappointing results, including ruining the pen.

 

the manner in which one would moderate the pressure vertically for tome, hane and harai in pen strokes does carry over to the use of fountain pens for writing, with some adaptation. I flick my wrist slightly instead of raising my hand to produce hane and harai, but I dip my forearm, wrist and all to produce tome at the end of a pen stroke.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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