Zig Art & Graphic Twin Pens
I was very excited to try out these brush lettering pens, as I have used many other types and own many types of brush pens, but hadn’t used these ones.
Firstly, if you are new to brush lettering there are a few fundamentals that you need to get right before you start.
- You must use good paper whenever using brush pens, otherwise the brush nibs will fray and you will find that your lettering gets spoiled.
- Try and use printed guidelines to help you get the right slant of your letters. You can join loveleighloops.com and get their free guidelines and tips, or lysstylerletters.com, or just check out the internet for lettering websites. If you want to print the guidelines and write directly onto the printed paper, you will need to use HP Colour Laser paper 120gsm or similar, to avoid damaging your pens.
- Alternatively you can print the guidelines, and then use Canson XL Marker paper 70gm, because it is more transparent and you can see the lines underneath. I used this paper in my examples.
- Once you have become used to the pens, it is recommended to use Rhodia paper if you can.
You will notice that the pens have two ends. One is the brush pen and the other is a felt tip nib. What I love about dual pens is that because it’s the same pen and same colour, you can use the felt tip nib to go over shaky lines or neaten up your lettering and it isn’t noticeable.
When you first start using the pens, try and remember positioning on the paper. You want the paper on a slant and you want to hold the pen at a 45 degree angle.
When using the brush pen, you need to remember that the downstrokes are thick and upstrokes are thin. The thick strokes are made using more pressure and light pressure is used to create the thin upstrokes.
Modern Calligraphy or lettering allows for more freedom of style. You will find a plethora of different lettering styles on the internet, and what I suggest is find a site that you like, even invest in a basic course so that you get the fundamentals right. It doesn’t matter what kind of handwriting you have now, lettering is an art form and requires patience, practice and understanding how the letters are formed. It also doesn’t matter if you are left handed or right handed – anyone can create beautiful lettering.
So let’s get started. Firstly start experimenting with the down and up strokes, and practice using the basic shapes of the ‘u’ and ‘n’ as per the picture. What you are trying to achieve is getting the ‘feel’ of the brush pens and your hand pressure. Don’t worry if you have shaky lines, this will improve over time, when you have created some ‘muscle memory’. For some of us though, who have shaky hands anyway, just doing the best you can, practicing regularly and using the nib end to fix up any broken looking lines, helps you to create wonderful lettering.
You might find that your hand starts to ache after a while of using the pens – this happens because you are grasping the pen too tight and using more pressure than you need. Relax your hand and just practice the light up and down strokes in a gentle fashion.
I notice that the Zig Art & Graphic Twin brushes do squeak a lot when you apply pressure. This is absolutely fine – some pens squeak more than others. It’s important that you go slow – take your time over each letter and be patient!
I was offered a variety of colours to try and they all work the same way. What I would say is if you are going to do yellow lettering, just think about how visible it will be and what you are wanting the end result to look like – see the word ‘summer’ in the picture.
The second picture includes examples of using the nib end as a shadow or highlight – the possibilities are endless and I would recommend if you are really interested in lettering, to join some websites, communities, follow people on instagram to see the various styles, ideas and designs that people have created.
One of the things I noticed with these pens is that the ink is quite wet, compared to some other brush pens – so all that means is that you need to take care that you are not highlighting areas that are wet, as you may run the risk of smudging – which I actually did in the second photo and used correction pen to remove it.
These pens have quite large brush ends, so they are best used for larger art pieces. That also makes them ideal for beginner brush pens, as it’s best to start learning with larger letters, getting the shapes and pressure right.
I would encourage you to buy some of these pens and have a go at brush lettering, it’s fun with endless possibilities. Just remember to use the correct paper, slant of the pen, use guidelines and start practicing on the up and down strokes first. Trust me, practice is so important and think about taking before and after photos. The before photos of when you first start and the after photos, after a few months of practicing, learning shapes of the letters and creating your own beautiful pieces.