Here’s a blog particularly written for my BHL meet-up participants who ask, “What kind of pens do I bring along to the meet-up?”

Brush Pens

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You can’t go past a ‘Pentel Sign Brush Pen’. Great for beginners as it has a smaller soft nib which is great to learn all important control. Remember to go slightly heavier with pressure on the downward stokes and lighter pressure on the upward strokes. This pen is also a must in anyones calligraphy pencil case as it’s also great for warm-ups at any level. *Oh yes, I can see an entire blog on cases!* And the most exciting thing? When researching for this blog, Pentel have released a great set of 12 colours (including timeless black of coarse!) at only $29.98, that’s a saving of just over $17 if you were buying individual colours which are $3.92.  Here’s the links:   Pentel Sign Brush Pen ASSORTED Pack from Officeworks  |  Pentel Sign Brush Pen PASTEL SET from Officeworks  |  Pentel Sign Brush Pen from Officeworks

The Daiso Brush Pen ‘Flexi Brush’ is an awesome tool for beginners venturing into the world of brush lettering. One of its notable advantages lies in its affordability, making it an accessible option for those just starting their journey. The flexible brush tip (not a felt nip) allows users to achieve varying line thicknesses with ease, promoting creativity and experimentation in lettering styles. The pen’s lightweight design enhances control and precision, aiding beginners in gaining confidence as they practice different strokes and techniques. Moreover, the Daiso Brush Pen Flexi brush is suitable for both casual and more intricate lettering projects, providing versatility for a range of artistic expressions. However, some users may find the ink flow inconsistent, and I really love how you can see the actual brush strokes, that’s why the Daiso Brush Pen Flexi brush remains a commendable choice for beginners seeking an affordable and versatile tool. ‘Daiso’ is a popular Japanese chain store in some Australian capital cities / suburbs.

While I’m discussing Daiso, they have kept their above mentioned ‘Flexi Brush’ for a number of years and it’s definitely not going to be discontinued any time soon.  Please do make sure you regularly check Daiso’s entire range in-store as they always change out their other Brush Pens which can be frustrating and also fantastic to see what they will replace them with! My advice? If you find one that you love, go back for more ASAP before they become discontinued. My local Daiso has recently stocked the ‘Tombow Brush Pen Fudenosuke’ and a range of Tombow erasers. And Yes, of coarse I grabbed some!

Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pens are a favoured choice among brush letterers for its exceptional qualities. One of its significant advantages lies in its dual tips, featuring a flexible brush tip on one end and a fine tip on the other for detailed work. This makes it versatile for a wide range of projects. The pen’s water-based ink ensures smoothness and vibrancy.  Tombows blendible ink allows for the creation of beautiful gradients that you can achieve by loading a bit on water onto a water colour brush. Also shading effects can add depth to lettering designs with light grey Tombows for a subtle drop shadow effect. Some may find the Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pen relatively more expensive compared to other entry-level options. The brush tip’s length and flexibility may take some time for beginners to master, particularly in achieving consistent strokes. Despite these considerations, it remains a popular choice for brush lettering. Shop Officeworks entire range of TOMBOW products including their fabulous erasers here.

The ZIG Fudebiyori Metallic Brush Pen has a narrower and shorter nib than the Karin & Tombow pens, so for me they are easier to handle and provide excellent control which allows for fine lines and broader strokes. The metallic finish adds a subtle shimmer that enhances your creations. Whether you’re using paper or cardstock, this brush pen delivers vibrant and opaque lines. it features an ergonomic design making it comfortable to hold and use for extended periods. The pen’s durable construction ensures a long lifespan, making it a practical price-point with a touch of metallic goodness.

White Highlighting and Outlining Pens

A serious contender to rival the Signo Broad is the Pentel Hybrid DX K230M Gel Grip Pen in Metallic White from Officeworks. I have not found any clogging with any of mine and they have a really nice flow. Do make sure you use them regularly to ensure consistency. Great coverage too with super quick drying time. But do not use if you want a matte finish as this is shiny and very white. I really love the rubber comfort grip on the barrel for those times when you will be happily overusing. In summarising, this pen earns high marks for its smooth performance, ergonomic design, and versatility. Whether you’re a seasoned calligrapher or just starting, this pen is a valuable addition to your toolkit.

My personal favourite which is perfect for more intricate work is Uni-Ball’s Signo Fine Gel Pen in Angelic White from Officeworks. I have used it without any issues, however once again, it thrives with frequent use. I also find this to be smoother and more consistent than the above mentioned Signo Broad Gel Pen and less scratchy. Another great feature is that it has quick-drying ink which helps prevent smudging,  Its fine tip really helps with precision work on my pieces.   Pictured here with Pentel Sign Brush Pen.

White Posca Paint Markers serve as an excellent highlighting and creative tool for a wide variety of lettering projects. The opaque white pigment of these pens allows for striking highlights on various surfaces. With the variety of nib sizes available, it gives the ability to create intricate detail while accentuating specific parts of letterforms. The quick-drying water-resistant nature of Posca ink prevents smudging and enables layering without compromising the clarity of the highlights. The fine tip may wear down with extended use, potentially affecting the precision of the highlights over time. This depends of coarse if you’re working with paper or card that has a lot of ‘tooth’ / rougher surface, so try to stick to surfaces that are much smoother and less textured. I have put washi tape on the end of my Posca’s that I have used on rough surfaces like this skate deck so I know it may now have a coarser nib. Also beware of using in warm environments as the paint can pour out of the nib on hot days. Please test on a page prior to working on a final design! Yes, I have first hand experience in getting caught-out while teaching a workshop during a humid 38 degree summers day with no air-con at the venue. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Posca pen range at Officeworks remain a popular choice for lettering enthusiasts looking to add dynamic highlights to their pieces.

Graphite Pencils

This particular pencil has been our family’s go-to pencil for the past 10 years. The Faber-Castell Triangular Grip Graphite Pencils 2 from Officeworks  is very comfortable to grip and is made from FSC Certified sourced timber. I always buy these in bulk as the 12 pack option.  The black dotted non-slip grip nodes are a lovely feature, particularly if you’re like me and enjoy a sensory experience while getting creative. This pencil is a great all rounder and a pleasant textural addition to your collection for tracing, mapping out letterforms and daily note taking.


If you want to seriously level up your graphite game then you can’t look any further than Palomino BLACKWING Pencils. They are a high-end global iconic brand that feature on the desks of Artists and Illustrators, Writers and Stationery Enthusiasts. Constructed of Japanese graphite and Californian cedar they feature a variety of graphite softness for a variety of applications which you can also practice changing the downward stroke pressure. The quality of smoothness is superior than any pencil I have ever known.  It also features a handy eraser at the opposite end is interchangeable when they are used up and come in several colours.  On a a side note, if ever you are looking for a discerning gift for the hard-to-buy-for person in your life, I would suggest the limited edition and boxed sets. Learn all about BLACKWING Pencils. If you are coming to any of my meet-up’s at State Library Queensland’s THE EDGE, get there a bit earlier and duck over to the QAGOMA store as they always have Blackwings in stock (not through their online store). Or you can get them in-store or online at Eckersleys Art and Craft.