Brush pens are the casual, careless, and effortlessly cool cousins of dip pens. They’re approachable and affordable, which is why you probably spot them often on social media! Today, I’m pleased to announce that a brand-new TPK brush pen calligraphy worksheet set is now available: The Janet. The goal of the worksheet set is twofold. It will teach you how to use brush pens and how to use brush pens to write in an elegant, Copperplate-inspired calligraphy style!
Why Use Brush Pens?
I appreciate brush pens for a few reasons. First of all, you don’t need a ton of supplies to get started. While dip pen calligraphy requires a collection of tools, you only need a brush pen and paper to make brush pen calligraphy! There’s also minimal mess potential, which is nice if you’ve got little ones around. If your child/grandchild is anything like my niece, they’ll want to just sit there and play with a brush pen …
… While you get your lettering practice on! It’s actually pretty cool and fun to turn practice into a family activity. (Keep in mind that you can also use broad-tipped markers such as Crayola to make brush pen calligraphy!)
The most important reason to use brush pen calligraphy is, of course, the aesthetics. Janet Style brush pen calligraphy is wonderful for large envelopes, posters, signs, and any other project that you need to add beautiful and dramatic text to!
Which Brush Pen Should You Use?
There are many different types and brands of brush pens available, and you can start learning brush pen calligraphy with whatever you have access to! That said, if possible, I recommend starting with the Sakura Pigma MB (available on Paper & Ink Arts and Amazon). It has a firm but flexible medium tip that is tolerant as you learn how to regulate your pressure exertion!
As a side note, my personal favorite brush pens are Tombow Dual Point, but their super flexible tips can be difficult to work with if you’re just starting out! The letters and guides in the worksheet set were created with the Pigma MB and the Tombow Dual Point brush pens in mind.
About the Janet Style Brush Pen Calligraphy Worksheet Set
Brush pen calligraphy looks easy. You shouldn’t feel discouraged, however, if it doesn’t come naturally to you! It requires a specialized grip; you don’t hold brush pens upright like regular pens. Once you’ve mastered that grip, you still need to figure out how to exert and let up on pressure, and you have to train yourself to regularly pick up your pen as you write. There’s also the issue of speed: you can’t go too slow or else your brush pen will register every tremor. Too fast, and you won’t see a lot of stroke contrast!
The purpose of the Janet Style Brush Pen Calligraphy Worksheet is to teach you how to write an elegant calligraphy style with a brush pen. If you already own a TPK dip pen worksheet set, then you’ll find that the brush pen worksheet format is similar. You start by reading about supplies and techniques, then the worksheet guides you through practicing. First, you practice strokes, then letters/numbers, and, finally, words. Every step of the way, the worksheet reminds you what direction to move your pen, how much pressure to exert, and when to pick up the pen.
This worksheet set includes introduction videos for those who are new to brush pens! In the first video, you’ll learn about different brush pen types so you can decide which is best for you. The second video explains how to grip the brush pen. The third video walks you through how to use the worksheet set, and the fourth video offers instructions over how to use Janet Style brush pen calligraphy “in real life”.
This worksheet set also includes Intensive Alphabet Practice and Intensive Word Practice sections. These sections exist to ensure that you have access to additional guided practice as needed! Like all TPK worksheets, this worksheet set is printable so you can access it anytime, from anywhere. I recommend printing it on 32# laserjet paper, but you could use regular printer paper — the regular paper will just wear down your pen tip a bit faster.
Differences Between the Janet Style Dip Pen Worksheet and the Janet Style Brush Pen Worksheet
If you already own the Janet Style dip pen calligraphy worksheet set, this worksheet set will still be helpful to you. That’s because a lot of this worksheet’s focus is on learning how to use a brush pen in general!
Here are key differences between brush pen calligraphy and dip pen calligraphy:
- Grip – When you write with a brush pen, your grip is different than the grip you use with a dip pen. You essentially hold the pen off to the side.
- You pick up the pen more – As a brush pen beginner, it’s easiest to achieve stroke contrast by picking up your pen several times while writing. This worksheet set walks you through when to pick up the pen, which is the main goal of the Stroke Reference Sheet. For example, in Janet Style dip pen calligraphy, you pick up your pen twice when making an “A”. In brush pen calligraphy, you pick up the pen three times!
- Letterforms are less delicate – In dip pen calligraphy, letters can be more detailed and feature more components. Brush pen calligraphy cannot be as detailed because the lettering is thicker and larger. You’ll notice that, as a result, certain Janet Style letters look different in brush pen calligraphy versus dip pen calligraphy!
Effectively, while the two versions of the Janet Style worksheets focus on teaching the same general calligraphy style, the worksheet sets are not the same. One will teach you dip pen calligraphy, and the other will teach you brush pen calligraphy!
I hope that this post answers any questions you may have about the new brush pen calligraphy worksheet set! Note that if you already know how to use brush pens and don’t need the instructional videos that come with this worksheet set, you can find the worksheet only by clicking here. There’s also a free basic brush pen worksheet available here!
Thanks very much for reading, and enjoy the new worksheet!