Brush Tip Archives - MarkerSupply.com Blog

Overview of Brush Markers

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Markers and pens that feature brush tips are very popular right now in everything from hand lettering styles, to sign painting, coloring books, cardmaking, stamping, sketching, and much more!

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The flexibility of using a brush pen, sometimes called a fude pen, allows you to make super fine hairlines AND wider strokes just by applying more or less pressure to the tip- which can create some beautiful hand lettering . They work great for coloring as you can reach super tiny, detailed spaces as well as larger areas with the same pen. You also get more control over the flow of ink and color, unlike having to remix and reapply paints separately when using a traditional paintbrush.

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This quick overview compares the brush tip tools we have at Marker Supply and hopefully will help give you a better idea of which ones might be the best for you!

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BRUSH TIP TYPES

“FIBER BRUSH” TIPS

Brush pens that feature a fiber tip, or in some cases a rubber brush, have a tip made of durable but flexible fibers that resembles a tightly woven sponge. Fiber tips will bend as you use them and then quickly return back to their original shape. They are made of one solid tip, instead of individual strands- giving you more control over where your marks are made. Some are larger/longer than others, and some offer more “spring” (Sharpie Brush, Prismacolor Premier) as opposed to being more stiff (Zig Mangaka Flexible Medium), but all share the general quality of being able to use a decent amount of pressure on the tip as you write and draw without damaging it.

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Some examples of fiber brush style markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Chameleon Color Tone Pens
Marvy Color In Brush Tip
Marvy Fabric 722
Prismacolor Premier Brush & Fine
Sakura KOI
Sakura Pigma Brush
Sakura Pigma Professional Brush– Medium & Bold
Sharpie Brush
Zig Art & Graphic (Rubber Brush)
-Zig Bimoji (coming soon!)
Zig Blender Marker
Zig Brushables
Zig Eraser Pen Brush
Zig Fabricolor Twin
Zig Fudebiyori
Zig Fudebiyori Metallic
Zig Kurecolor (Optional Replacement Tip)
Zig Mangaka Flexible Medium
Zig Scroll & Brush

“BRISTLE BRUSH” TIPS

Bristle brushes are more like traditional paint brushes and have individual strands of nylon fibers that separate. (You can find natural hair fiber brush markers as well, but those listed below are synthetic.) They can give more of a “dry stroke” appearance depending on how quickly and heavily you color with them.

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Some examples of bristle brush style markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Posca 350-F
Zig BrusH20 Water Pens
Zig Brush Writer II
Zig Clean Color Real Brush
Zig Cocoiro Brush
Zig Wink of Stella Brush

“EXTRA FINE” TIPS

Markers with the tiniest fiber brush style tips can be known as “fine”, “extra fine” or “super fine”. These are a combination of the firmness of a fine tip and the flexibility of a brush tip. Best used with slower, smaller strokes, these tips are common with traditional Chinese lettering and certain sketching techniques. They are also often recommended for beginners as the stiffer tip gives nice control when learning to write in a new style. Be careful not to use too much pressure on these tips, as the fibers can begin to fray.

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Some examples of extra fine brush style markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Pentel Sign Pen w/Brush Tip
Sakura Pigma Professional Brush- Fine
-Zig Bimoji (coming soon!)
Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine
Zig Fudegokochi
Zig Mangaka Flexible Fine

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INK TYPES

DYE-BASED

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When a marker uses “dye ink”, it means that the ink is soluble and can be more easily blended around. Lighter colors can also be used to mix with and blend out darker colors. These qualities are very useful when you want to create special effects like multiple tones and shadows in your artwork. Dye-based colors also tend to be a lot more vibrant. The 2 main types of dye inks are water-based and alcohol-based.

Water-based dye inks can be moved with plain water. They are commonly used to make custom color washes and gradations, as well as watercolor-style art.

Some examples of water-based dye/watercolor markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Marvy Color In Brush Tip
Sakura KOI
Zig Art & Graphic
Zig Clean Color Real Brush
Zig Fudebiyori
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Alcohol-based dye inks are a little more permanent and typically water-resistant, so they need to be blended with an alcohol-based solution. (Most varieties have a “colorless blender” available within the color range.)

Some examples of alcohol-based dye markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Chameleon Color Tone Pens
Prismacolor Premier Brush & Fine
Sharpie Brush
Zig Kurecolor (Optional Replacement Tip)

The type of paper does affect the results of dye-based markers, so make sure to play around with different kinds until you find the look you like! (Watch out for alcohol-based markers bleeding through papers..) Also, keep in mind that dye-based inks are not as permanent as pigment inks. They will be more prone to fading over time.

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PIGMENT-BASED

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Pigment inks are much more stable and resistant to things like water and light. Some terms commonly used along with many pigment-based inks are “archival-quality” and “lightfast”. If you are using markers for anything that has a chance of coming in contact with water/rain/lots of sunlight, or if it’s artwork you want to last a long time, a pigment ink is the safest choice to prevent your marks from washing off or fading/becoming discolored.

Some examples of pigment ink brush markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Marvy Fabric 722
Sakura Pigma Brush
Sakura Pigma Professional Brush- Fine
Sakura Pigma Professional Brush– Medium & Bold
Zig Brushables
Zig Fudebiyori Metallic
Zig Fudegokochi
Zig Mangaka Flexible Fine
Zig Mangaka Flexible Medium

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ACRYLIC PAINT

Brush markers that use paint are harder to find as the acrylic is a thicker liquid and is harder to get flowing through a brush tip. There are a few choices however, and they will work great on a variety of surfaces- especially chalkboards and other non-paper objects. Try the Posca 350-F markers, OR you can try using water-based acrylic paint like the Zig Posterman Bottled Ink or the Montana ACRYLIC paint refills inside a Zig BrusH20 water pen! These tools are technically used with plain water for watercolor and other blending effects, but when we tried the paint inside, the results worked pretty well!

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COLORS

Some brush pens are only available with black ink, but many varieties at Marker Supply have a full range of colors to choose from as well!

brushablesline-webTry the Zig Brushables– they each feature 2 tips, with a solid color at one end, and a 50% lighter shade of that color on the other end. Great for creating shadows and other fun effects!

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Among the types of brush pens that have the widest color ranges are the Prismacolor Premier with 195 colors, Zig Kurecolors (can be converted into a brush with the interchangeable tips) have 134, the Zig Art & Graphic and Zig Clean Color Real Brush each with 80, Zig Fudebiyori with 57 (including metallics!), and the Sakura KOI Watercolor Brush Pens with 48.

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Check out the full selection in the BRUSH TIP MARKER SECTION of our webstore!

Use this handy chart to help you quickly compare the types of brush pens found at MarkerSupply.com:

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Which brush tip pens are your favorite and why? Let us know and feel free to post photos of your brush marker artwork on our social media pages!
www.facebook.com/markersupply
Instagram #MarkerSupply @MarkerSupply
www.twitter.com/markersupply

 

 

The Clean Color Craze!!

We’ve recently seen an explosion of art blogs, message boards, and customers using and enjoying one of our water-based brush pens- the Clean Color Real Brush from Zig!!

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The artwork created by these pens has been amazing to see! The flexible brush tip allows for thick and thin lines to be made- great for brush lettering and quick sketching. Plus, try blending the Clean Color Real Brush pens with a water pen for gradation and shading effects, or to create incredible watercolor style art!! This pen can make anyone feel more like a professional artist!

Use the Clean Colors to:
-Easily sketch out your drawings before adding water & creating the look of a watercolor painting!
-Make blended or brush stroke backgrounds for mixed media art, handmade cards, etc!
-Ink your rubber stamps or color your stamped designs!
-Add a large variety of colors to your brush lettering!
…and much more! There are so many crafting possibilities that can go along with these markers!!

Marker Supply is excited to now have in stock ALL 80 COLORS of the Clean Color Real Brushes!! Check out their page on our website to see the updated color chart. All colors are available individually, or in a number of sets!

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The 32 new colors can be easily added to your collection with these 2 new sets: The TREND set of 12 and the SHADE & SHADOW set of 20. Both are made entirely with new colors!!

The other colors can be found in the giant 48 collection, that comes with a handy carrying case AND a bonus water brush pen!!

There are a variety of smaller sets too- so you can get just the colors you need for a specific project. Try the color scheme 4-packs or the special set of 12 basic colors– available for a special limited time super-low price!!

Keep an eye out for some new sets COMING SOON! The Clean Color Real Brush Set- Grayscale Set of 20 includes both cool and warm shades of gray, with a large range of tones from dark to light. And the Clean Color Real Brush Color Packs will each have various shades of a certain color- great for blending and specific color projects.

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PAPER COMPARISON TEST

Having trouble getting great watercolor/blending effects with your Clean Color markers? Try switching your paper!!

For best results using these or any other watercolor style medium, try using watercolor paper.
Cold Press 140lb tends to be a popular paper style for watercolor. It has some texture that allows the water to make effects in and around the paper’s small ridges. It’s also considerably thicker and stronger than plain ‘ol white papers, and specially designed to get some water on it!

We made several attempts at blue gradation with the Clean Color markers by making 3 side-by-side color blocks using varying tones of blue, on plain white paper and 140lb cold press watercolor paper.

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Results are very different and clearly show how much better the watercolor paper is!!

Even within the world of watercolor & other artist papers, there is a wide range of paper types, textures, and thicknesses- so as always, experiment around with different kinds to find the paper that works best with your own art style!

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ADDING EXTRA EFFECTS

Try these other brush pens with your Clean Color artwork to add more special effects!

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Zig BrusH20 Water Pens– A good tool for a very common use of the Clean Colors. These pens hold plain water, which when applied to your Clean Color markings, will cause them to move and resemble watercolor paint. Helps create amazing blending & shading techniques! Available separately in different tip styles, or grab them all with the Pack of 4!
You can also try the Zig Blender Marker– for a softer effect, without the use of water. This dual tip brush marker with “invisible ink” gives you great control of blending the water-based dye marker ink.

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Use the Zig Blender marker for subtle shading, and the Zig BrusH20 Water Pens for more intense blending.

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Zig Wink of Stella Brush– Add a little sparkle to your project! These glitter brush pens, available in a variety of colors, will lay down a nice amount of glitter along with their color, and can also be used to help blend the Clean Color ink. Some shimmer can really help your drawings or handwriting stand out!

 

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Zig Fudebiyori Metallic Brush– Awesome brush pens for adding an intense look with their smooth, metallic colors that will pop on light or dark colored backgrounds.

 

Also, for another fun effect with the Clean Colors and water- try sprinkling a little sea salt over the top while the marks are still a bit wet- you’ll be left with a cool crystallized look!

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OTHER WATERCOLOR TOOLS TO TRY:

If you are looking for similar products that can make a watercolor effect but don’t have a brush tip, try these!

Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

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They look and act just like regular colored pencils, but their marks will blend with water!

Zig Calligraphy II Dye Markers

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A dual-ended chisel calligraphy tip marker with water-moveable dye ink!

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NEW “WATERCOLOR STYLE” MARKER COMING SOON!

Keep your eyes on the NEW PRODUCTS section for our latest dye-based brush marker- the KOI Coloring Brush from Sakura. With similar blending abilities to the Clean Color Real Brush, the Koi brushes have their own unique 48-color palette and a firmer (though still flexible) rubber brush tip.

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And as always, if you have any artwork you’d like to share with us- we’d LOVE to see what your markers are making!! Post on our facebook (Marker Supply), or twitter (@MarkerSupply), hashtag us on Instagram (#MarkerSupply), or email us!

Happy coloring!!

Some Tips About Tips!

There are a lot of things that factor in to picking out markers for different projects. The type of ink, what shade of which color, and a very important feature- the style of tip!

Do you need to do any small detail work, or are you needing quick coverage of large areas?
-Will there be a lot of extensive use or pressure applied to the tip that might damage it?
-Would it be helpful to make different size lines with the same pen?

Whether you know your specific project needs or not, you can have a lot of fun just experimenting with various-tipped markers!

Here’s a look at several different tips that our markers have, and some examples of how they can be used! It may seem like an information overload, but hopefully will provide some useful points of reference in finding your perfect pen!

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Tip Sizes
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Tip sizes are measured in Millimeters and range from the tiny .2 mm for extremely detailed work to the jumbo 50 mm for very broad marks. Extra fine point pens are numbered in growing sizes- 005 to 08:  005 = 0.2mm, 01 = 0.25mm, 02 = 0.3mm, 03 = 0.35mm, 05 = 0.45mm, and 08 = 0.5mm.

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Tip Shapes: Chisel vs. Bullet
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Some markers, even if they are the same size (medium, broad, etc.), come with a choice of which shape of tip.
Bullet shaped tips have a rounded edge for smooth, even lines. Chisel tips are slanted, allowing for both fine and broad edged marks to be made depending on how the pen is held- a go-to for many artists & calligraphers! Some calligraphy pens will also have a choice between square– tips that come to a straight flat edged point, and oblique– a slanted chisel tip.

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Tip Shapes: Brush
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A very versatile style of marker, brush tip gives you the flexibility of a paint brush- so you can create very fine marks and draw in detail- or by applying more pressure or holding sideways, thicker marks will happen and you can quickly color in larger spaces. If your project has cracks or edges, brush tips are great for getting color in those hard to reach places!
Pens with “Semi-Flexible” tips are more of a stiff brush style, but the tip will still be a bit bendable.
Some neat markers featuring this tip are the Zig Brushables– which have a solid color on one end, and a 50% lighter shade of that color on the other end! Very useful for doing lettering with shadows!

Try these pens for a Brush tip: Zig Clean Color Real Brush, Mangaka Flexible Cartoonist Pen, Fudebiyori Metallic Brush, Zig Brushables, Posca 350-F, Brush Writer II, BrusH20 Water Pen, Wink of Stella Glitter Brush

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Tip Shapes: Specialty Tips- Scroll, Dauber
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You’ll also find markers with unique tips that can help you make very creative markings!
In our newly-added KRINK product line, the K-60 is a bottle-shaped marker with a dauber tip. The squeezable bottle allows great ink flow control through this tip, however you choose to use it- even sideways and upside-down! Make broad strokes for a neat round writing/drawing style, ink blots, dripping street-art style signs, or fun “dot drawings”!
The Zig Scroll and Brush features a unique Scroll tip with 2 points- one making a slightly finer line than the other. Especially paired with the brush tip on the other end, this marker is as fun to letter with as it is to make little drawings on cards or in scrapbooks!

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Dual Tip Markers
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Already having talked about the Brushables and Scroll and Brush markers, keep your eye out for other “2-tips-in-1” markers! There are a variety of markers, especially in the Zig Memory System, that feature dual tips- a different kind on each end. A bunch of these markers are highlighted in the A to Zig instruction booklets – handy little guides for learning how to do different letters with different markers and their tips.

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A good little set to experiment with the Zig Memory System tips is the Black Twin Tips set!

The Zig Kurecolor Twin and Twin S markers (similar to Copic markers) feature a tip on both ends- a chisel and a fine, but choose from additional tips to change them into whatever style you’d like! Interchangeable replacement tips include Brush, Broad, Calligraphy, and more!

Other markers featuring dual tips: Prismacolor Chisel & Fine or Brush & Fine, Sharpie Twin Point, Sakura IDenti-Pen & Permapaque Dual

HINT: Remember to store your dual tip markers horizontally. If stored up and down, in a pen holder cup, etc, the tip facing up can dry out and become unusable.

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Common Writing Pens
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FIBER-TIPPED FELT – Many marking pens have fiber tips- porous, pressed material saturated with ink. Felt is a hard yet spongy fiber that is slightly flexible. Commonly found in a cone shape which gives it versatility- letting you mark with all sides of the tip. These pens will give you smooth, even coverage, but the tips are more prone to fray or dull with heavy use, can lose their shape, and will dry out very quickly if left uncovered- so remember to keep felt tip pens tightly capped!
Examples: Sharpies, Pentel Sign Pen

PLASTIC – A thin tip that dispenses ink evenly and smoothly. The hard, smooth plastic seals the ink inside the tip and keeps it controlled. The firmness of this tip means that it lasts longer- you can use more pressure and it will hold its shape.
Examples: Posca PC-1M, Pebeo Porcelaine, Zig Wink of Stella

PLASTIC IN METAL CASING – Extra fine plastic tip pens, sometimes referred to as pin or needle type, have very small, porous plastic tips inside a metal casing. Pens with tips like this will last the longest if written with straight up and down, at a 90 degree angle to the paper. Use caution not to use too much pressure with these tips, as they can bend sideways and break or stop ink flow.
Examples: Marvy Le Pen, Sakura Micron, Posca PC-1MR, Prismacolor Fine Line

BALL POINT / ROLLER BALL
The tips of ball pens have a metal casing that keeps the ink inside, until it passes around a metal ball when you write- which thins and evenly disperses the ink so you have great control over the marks you make. The fixed ball point can limit how you are able to hold the pen and make the marks you want, but the tip’s control of the ink flow gives the pen a much longer life.
“Ball Point” pens use a very thick oil-based ink, which tends to last longer and flows out of the pen with great control.
“Roller Ball / Gel” pens use a liquid water-based or gel ink that flows smoother and requires less pressure on the pen to write. Because of the thinner ink however, there is a higher bleed-through potential, and the risk of smudging is greater.
The KRINK K-66 marker has a unique type of roller ball tip- a long steel tube that allows for easy marking on rugged surfaces! It also features a squeezable bottle, which allows for writing upside-down and sideways- something that is difficult for most ball pens since they normally use gravity to pull the ink to the tip.
Roller Ball / Gel Pen Examples: Uniball Signo, Marvy Gel Reminisce, Sakura Gelly Roll, Sakura Souffle

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Pencil Tips
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Since pencils are a whole world of their own, stay tuned for our upcoming pencil blog!

A brief view on pencil tips-
With drawing pencils, you can experiment with the HB Graphite Grading Scale (mostly used in Europe) using the Prismacolor Turquoise Graphite Pencils. They use a scale from 10H (harder lead, lighter mark) to 10B (softer lead, blacker mark) with HB falling right in the middle- equivalent to standard #2 pencils.
With colored pencils, there are average-sized tip pencils, and a finer version called Verithin. For a unique pencil tool, try the Prismacolor Art Stix! The lead is just like a colored pencil, but there is no wooden casing- allowing you to have any shape of tip that you need! Use the whole side for broad coverage, or carve out a unique tip for your finer marks.

Keep an eye out for the more-in-detail blog exploring the art of pencils- including grading scales, shading and smudging, how to mix with the colorless blender, and more! Coming Soon!

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Sometimes tips get worn, damaged, or dried out after time and use. A variety of markers have replaceable tips that help you get the most out of your marker!
Markers like the Zig Kurecolors and Cocoiros also have interchangeable tips, so your same pen could be fine point and then another style, like brush tip!
See our replacement tip section and get your markers back to writing like new!

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What style of marker tip is your favorite? Let us know and feel free to share your artwork/writings with us!