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Getting started with brush pen lettering (Worksheets included)

Brush lettering is one of the most beautiful and easy-to-learn (In comparison to others) hand lettering techniques. One of the main reasons for that, it is not meant to be perfect in comparison to other calligraphy techniques. In brush lettering, you are drawing letters by using some basic techniques. It is more focused on composition and is created as an art piece.

Letters are drawn, not written.

- The Ultimate Brush Lettering Guide by Peggy Dean

Photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels


Supplies needed

  1. Brush pen

  2. Good quality paper (Bond paper, paper with grids)

  3. Worksheets

  4. Pencil (HB)

  5. Ruler

Supply #1: Brush pen

There are 100 options for a brush pens. Here are my two recommendations, if you are trying brush pens for the first time.

Tombow Fudenosuke Hard and soft (Buy from amazon) :

Tombow Dual Brush Pen (Buy from amazon):

or you can buy this set including both above-mentioned Brush pens.

You can see the difference in strokes of these brush pens. The longer the brush pen (tip) it will more difficult be to control. Brush pens with long and soft brush tips is harder to master.

Supply #2: Paper

If you are trying it for the first time, you can use normal A4 sheets as well. But I will recommend if you can afford it please go for better paper. You can buy this pack of bond paper from amazon.

Supply #3: Worksheets

Here are the worksheets you can download I have created them so that you can practice brush lettering with references and examples, It includes all the basic strokes need to form any letter.

Get it printed on bond paper or any other good quality paper.


Let's start

Holding a brush pen:

While using a brush pen, it's important to hold it in the right way. Although they're not a perfect solution after some practice you can learn it according to your style. Definitely, it will be very different from the way we hold a pen while writing.

Hold it like you hold a pen while writing then tilt it to the right side for about 45 deg angle and start with basic strokes.

Basic Strokes:

Here are basic strokes which you need to learn, after these basic strokes will learn how to use these basic strokes to draw letters. (You can find these all basic strokes in the worksheet)

- Downstrokes: You need to go from up to down, while applying full pressure on the tip of the brush pen, to create a thick straight line.

- Upstrokes: You need to go from down to up, with no pressure applied. just use the tip for the brush pen to create a thin line.

And that's it these are basic of brush pen and strokes in which all the other strokes and techniques depend.

Downstroke thick, upstroke thin

- Under turn: This stroke uses both downstroke and upstroke. First, you need to start from the top to create a downstroke, when you are about to reach the bottom you need to release the pressure to create an upstroke. Under turn should look like a 'U' not 'V'. The transition part is very tricky and difficult for the first-timer.

- Overturn: This stroke is the same as under turn, Just instead of downstroke you will first create an upstroke and then downstroke to create an upside-down 'U'.

- Compound curve: Like in under turn and overturn we have used downstroke and upstroke, Now you have to use under turn and overturn to create the compound curve. you can start with under turn, then overturn, or vice versa.

- Entry stroke: It is very similar to upstroke and techniques are also the same as an upstroke. Just the angle is greater than the upstroke.

- Oval: This stroke is a little tricky and needs more practice. you need to start with the upstroke and as mentioned in the below image you need to start from the midpoint of the right side and create an upstroke then downstroke and then upstroke to completed the loop.

- Ascender loop stem: By now you might get the idea how to start a stroke, and all the basic stroke uses first two strokes (Downstroke and upstroke). In this ascender loop stem, you need to start with upstroke followed by downstroke.

- Descender loop stem: Start with a downstroke followed by an upstroke to close the loop

Keep practicing above basic stroke to built muscle memory and a strong foundation for your brush pen learning journey.

Creating letters using basic stroke

Now we will combine the basic strokes we learned, to create letters. let's start with 'a'. To create 'a'

you will need oval and underturn.

Similarly, you can use basic strokes to create letters. Here are some of the examples:

Now you got the idea and technique you can create any letter. Refer to the worksheet you can find how to create all the letters and start practicing them.

To summarise everything we learned so far (+ tips):

  1. Use good quality stationaries (Which are listed above in supplies).

  2. Always use guidelines to practice brush lettering. later you can do it on plain paper.

  3. Downstroke thick, upstroke thin is the basic mantra for mastering brush pen lettering.

  4. Keep practicing basic strokes.

  5. Use basic strokes to create letters and then connect letters to form words.

  6. Once you are confident enough to create lettering to find quotes and images for brush pen lettering and try to copy them.

  7. Practice practice and practice.

  8. Create your own style for letters.


That's it for basics, if you find it helpful do share it or write to me at

Happy learning, Auf Wiedersehen

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