8 Best Brush Tip Markers for Artists of All Levels

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

best brush tip markers

Giving you the best of both worlds, brush pens allow users to ink their illustrations the way they do with paint brushes but without the hassle of carrying paints and brushes.

Just by looking at popular brush markers art and calligraphy, one can see that these pens enable the artists to draw lines with varied widths and blend multiple colors very smoothly. If you want to achieve these effects, check these three features when buying the best brush tip markers:

Type of brush tip

Whereas an ordinary marker features a felt tip, a brush pen is typically equipped with a nib made of fibers that form the brush. Nylon, for instance, is both durable and flexible, but since it is a synthetic material, it is easier to make, thereby making the price cheaper.

By contrast, natural hair is harder to procure, yet its quality is far superior to nylon as it mimics the performance of a real paintbrush.

Brush size and shape

Apart from the material, check the size and shape of the brushes, as these two features directly influence the thickness of the lines you draw.

Luckily, many art marker brands manufacture paint brush tip markers that also have bullet or chisel felt nib on the opposite end of the barrel. This way, the user can utilize the latter for blending or calligraphy while the other nib is for outlines.

Ink quality

Since each brand concocts unique formulas, expect differences in terms of vibrancy, opacity, and lightfastness. The inks that come with brush tip markers typically use water or alcohol as the base. While both of them are blendable, the latter is easier to blend.

Several artists recommend Tombow and Copic, but they can be a bit more expensive than competing brands. Needless to say, I assure you that many other brush pen sets can match their quality and performance. The best part is that they are more affordable. Let’s check them out one by one:

3 Premium-Rated Picks

ARTEZA-‎Real-Brush-Pens

ARTEZA ‎Real Brush Pens

Pen type: Brush pen

Number of colors: 48

Ink type: Water-based

TANMIT-SCADL-36-Dual-Brush-Marker-Pens

TANMIT SCADL-36 Dual Pens

Pen type: Dual-tipped pens

Number of colors: 36

Ink type: Water-based

Aen-Art-Dual-Markers

Aen Art Dual Markers

Pen type: Dual-tipped pens

Number of colors: 36

Ink type: Water-based

Top 8 Brush Tip Markers

ARTEZA-‎Real-Brush-Pens

1. ARTEZA ‎Real Brush Pens

  • Pen type: Brush pen
  • Number of colors: 48
  • Line size: 0.5mm
  • Ink type: Water-based
Check price on Amazon

What I love about Arteza is that its line of brush pens is beginner-friendly. Yet, despite its affordable price and easy-to-use features, the brush pens’ overall performance enables me to produce professional-quality illustrations and calligraphy.

The ergonomic barrel and soft brush nib let me maneuver the pen with precision. Not to mention, the self-cleaning and self-moistening features save me the trouble of removing the inks mixed up from other pens. On top of that, the set comes with a water brush pen, which I normally use to mix colors and soften the edges of the shapes and hard lines.

Apart from that, the water-based inks are apt for making watercolor-like paintings. I’m sure that parents and teachers would also like the fact that the inks are non-toxic and safe for children. As the set is pretty affordable, I have no qualms about letting my kids use these brush markers.

While the idea that the packaging can be turned into a pen case is appealing to me, the material seems breakable.

That said, I bought this set because I wanted to use markers with brush tip, so the flimsy storage is not a problem. Anyway, it’s not going to be hard to find the shades that I want to use in my pouch because each pen is labeled with a color number.

PROS
  • Enables artists to produce professional-quality illustrations and calligraphy
  • Great precision due to the ergonomic barrel and soft brush nib
  • Self-cleaning and self-moistening abilities for hassle-free use
  • Apt for making watercolor-like paintings
  • Mix multiple colors and soften the edges of the shapes and hard lines
CONS
  • The material of the box seems breakable
TANMIT-SCADL-36-Dual-Brush-Marker-Pens

2. TANMIT SCADL-36 Dual Brush Marker Pens

  • Pen type: Dual-tipped pens
  • Number of colors: 36
  • Line size: Fine (0.44m) and brush (1mm to 2mm)
  • Ink type: Water-based
Check price on Amazon

Having both the brush nib and fineliner in a single marker is convenient for traveling and sketching different places. With this set, I no longer have to bring all of my paint tubes, paintbrushes, and other tools—the TANMIT SCADL is all I need for my illustrations, journals, calligraphy, and other arts and crafts projects.

For starters, the firm-yet-flexible brush nib is easy to control when working on cursive fonts and coloring large surfaces. Likewise, the fineliner nib is suitable for shading tiny shapes, writing, and drawing lines with a uniform width. As for color selection, the set provides almost equal numbers of warm and cool hues, as well as earth tones.

Based on my observation, the inks are generally smooth-flowing and easy to blend on paper and other surfaces. Even better, they are made of an acid-free formula to prevent discoloration. Plus, they do not bleed on thicker sheets of paper. What I don’t like about this set of dual-tipped brush pens is that the pens are not labeled with color numbers. Because of that, I had to create my swatches and labels. What’s more, the nibs seem to wear down a lot quicker. Other than that, I think these double-ended markers work wonderfully.

PROS
  • Convenient for traveling
  • The firm-yet-flexible brush nib is easy to control
  • The fineliner nib is suitable for shading tiny shapes, writing, and drawing lines
  • Smooth-flowing ink and easy to blend
  • Made of an acid-free formula to improve lightfastness
CONS
  • The pens are not labeled with color numbers
  • The nibs seem to wear down rather quickly
Aen-Art-Dual-Markers

3. Aen Art Dual Markers

  • Pen type: Dual-tipped pens
  • Number of colors: 36
  • Line size: Fine (0.44m) and brush (1mm to 2mm)
  • Ink type: Water-based
Check price on Amazon

Even though their price is lower than other sets, I’m amazed that these Aen dual-tip brush markers perform just as well as the ones made by name brands. When I tested all 36 colors, I was thrilled to see that the inks appeared vivid on paper.

These are the kind of markers that I would use to render the final piece. For starters, the inks blend different colors without leaving any streaks, which helps me create smooth gradients.

Because their ink formula is acid-free, the pens’ pigments are incredibly lightfast, allowing my artwork to stand the test of time. What’s more, each pen seems to be filled to the brim with ink. It would take a while before they empty.

I like that the brush tips are firm enough to hold their shape despite drawing and blending for prolonged periods. Yet, they can flex when I maneuver them to blend or draw cursive fonts. Just the same, the fineliners on the other end of the barrels are quite durable.

As for the 0.44 mm fine tip, I find it most suitable for sketching clean lines and writing colorful text in my bullet journals. I’m also impressed with how durable they are, as these nibs are still in shape despite my habit of applying too much pressure when writing.

Unfortunately, those who want to use a wider range of colors may not like that some shades of reds and pinks look similar.

PROS
  • The inks appear vibrant on paper
  • Can blend seamlessly without leaving any streaks
  • Juicy ink cartridge
  • Acid-free ink for better lightfastness
  • Durable and versatile nibs
CONS
  • Some shades of reds and pinks look similar
Crayola-58-6501Brush-&-Detail-Dual-Tip-Marker-Set

4. Crayola 58 6501Brush & Detail Dual Tip Marker Set

  • Pen type: Dual-tipped pens
  • Number of colors: 32
  • Line size: Ultra-fine and brush
  • Ink type: Water-based
Check price on Amazon

Admittedly, I have high expectations when it comes to markers that are made by popular brands, and Crayola did not disappoint! Unlike the previous marker sets I reviewed, this one comes with a beautiful and durable tin box. Besides the gift-worthy packaging, it gives me a place to store my dual brush pens securely.

Although these markers are recommended for kids aged 5 to 10, I enjoyed using them myself. In particular, the brush tips are excellent for practicing various calligraphy fonts and blending colors. This brush size is more apt for designing poster-sized hand lettering. To finish off my work, I add details using the ultra-fine felt tip pen.

Keep in mind that the set contains a total of 16 markers—each of which has two vibrant hues on either side of the barrel bringing to a total of 32 colors. To be clear, the pigment on the fine tip is a complementary color of the brush tip. I also love how unique the colors look, allowing me to add more flairs to my artwork.

Interestingly, it took me a year of sketching and coloring before these markers ran out of ink. That said, it’s a little disappointing that the colors aren’t lightfast – my artworks fade noticeably after just a few months. Lastly, let me add that the caps are difficult to remove.

PROS
  • Comes with a beautiful tin box
  • Excellent for practicing various calligraphy fonts and blending colors
  • Add details using the ultra-fine felt tip pen
  • Juicy ink cartridges to ensure the pens last for a long time
  • The colors have a unique shade
CONS
  • The ink is bound to fade after a few months
  • The caps are difficult to remove
Ohuhu-48-Pastel-Colors-Pastel-Markers

5. Ohuhu 48 Pastel Colors Pastel Markers

  • Pen type: Dual-tipped pens
  • Number of colors: 48
  • Line size: Wide chisel and brush
  • Ink type: Alcohol-based
Check price on Amazon

I have a lot of nice things to say about Ohuhu’s coloring pens for artists, but let me just highlight the few that stood out to me. Firstly, this set contains pastel colors only, which I find to be suitable for different skin tones and dainty aesthetics.

Secondly, the double-ended markers have brush tips on one end and chisel tips on the other. I use both nibs for filling large spaces with colors, but in particular, the brush makes blending and calligraphy a lot easier. On the other hand, the chisel tip helps me create thicker lines and streak-free shading.

Either way, the alcohol-based inks play a part in ensuring that the color appears cleaner and crisper on paper. The ink formula also ensures the pigment stays vibrant for a long time.

Best of all, the brand now offers refillable inks and replaceable nibs. In other words, all the markers in this set are mine forever, and this design is good for the environment!

Forgive me for nitpicking, but I’m mildly annoyed that the ink colors do not completely match the ones on the caps. Is this a big deal? I suppose the answer depends on one person to another. At any rate, I think it’s great that the set also included color swatch cards and a bag where I can store the markers.

PROS
  • Great for drawing skin tones and dainty aesthetics
  • Effortless blending and writing calligraphy thanks to the brush tip
  • The chisel tip for creating thicker lines and streak-free shading
  • Clean, crisp, and lightfast colors
  • Offers refillable inks and replaceable nibs
CONS
  • The ink colors do not match the ones on the caps
Soucolor-Art-Brush-Markers

6. Soucolor Art Brush Markers

  • Pen type: Dual-tipped pens
  • Number of colors: 34
  • Line size: Brush and 0.4mm fine point
  • Ink type: Water-based
Check price on Amazon

Soucolor proves that good markers do not have to cost an arm and a leg. When I said “good,” I meant that the quality of these all-purpose dual-tipped pens exceeded expectations.

Surprisingly, the brush tip is quite soft yet very easy to control. This way, I can color large shapes quicker and with better accuracy. Located on the other end of the pen is the felt tip. Reinforced by metal, the fine nib can retain its pointed shape, allowing me to draw fine lines to add details to the sketches.

Using 34 vibrant colors, I can create eye-catching hand lettering and illustrations. Thankfully, the inks dry as soon as I lay them down on paper. It’s nice to see that the manufacturer includes a swatch card for me to test each pen’s color.

Also, the pens are numbered, which makes it easy for me to find the specific shades I need. Sadly, this set seems to run out of ink faster than the other sets reviewed in this article. Besides that, the inks are not acid-free, so I wonder how long my artwork would stay vibrant. At any rate, I think they are best for sketches that I do to prepare for the final piece or coloring book since they don’t require lightfast inks.

PROS
  • The brush tip is soft yet easy to control
  • Makes coloring large shapes quicker and with better accuracy
  • The fine nib can retain its pointed shape
  • Includes a swatch card
  • The pens are numbered
CONS
  • May run out of ink fast The inks are not acid-free, so the colors are not light-fast
Caliart-Double-Tip-Pens

7. Caliart Double Tip Pens

  • Pen type: Dual-tipped pens
  • Number of colors: 34
  • Line size: 1mm to 5mm brush and 0.4mm ultra-fine
  • Ink type: Water-based
Check price on Amazon

Made for youngsters and the oldies alike, Caliart’s main selling point is its non-toxic, odorless water-based ink formula. The best part is that this set is inexpensive, so I would not feel bad if the kids break the nibs or other components.

Rest assured that the colors are vibrant. More importantly, the inks are acid-free, which is why I also use these pens for my final pieces. I can frame the artwork, put it on display, and never worry about fading or discoloration.

On top of that, I love that these pens feel light and comfortable to grip. Because of that, I can sketch and color with great precision. The flexible brush comes in especially handy when I’m filling large spaces with color or designing new fonts.

As with any real paintbrush, the nylon fibers glide smoothly as it renders lines with varying widths. Apart from that, the fine yet soft tip markers are useful for writing and detailed drawings. My only gripe is that the ink’s color is not consistent with the one indicated on the cap. I had to swatch each pen to know how the hue appeared on the paper. Luckily, the manufacturer included a swatch card in the set, and the pens are labeled with color for easy referencing.

PROS
  • Made for artists of various ages
  • Acid-free ink to ensure lightfastness
  • Light and comfortable to grip
  • The nylon fibers glide smoothly and can render lines of various widths
  • The fine tip feels soft enough for both writing and detailed drawings
CONS
  • The ink’s pigment is inconsistent with the one indicated on the cap
Nichecho-Dual-Brush-Pens

8. Nichecho Dual Brush Pens

  • Pen type: Dual-tipped pens
  • Number of colors: 60
  • Line size: 1mm to 6mm brush and 0.4mm ultra-fine
  • Ink type: Water-based
Check price on Amazon

Although it has garnered near-perfect ratings on e-commerce sites, I don’t know why this gem of a rainbow set does not get enough recommendations from art bloggers and YouTubers. In a single purchase, I got sixty pens and a sturdy carrying case with slots to hold everything in place.

Besides keeping the markers organized, the case allows me to bring everything wherever I go. Moreover, I’m impressed that they have juicy inks that make blending easy. Because the set offers more options for light, dark, and mid-tones of warm, cool, and earth tones, I can produce gradients with smoother transitions.

One feature that I really love about these coloring brush pens is that they don’t dry out easily. I forgot to cap the pen one time and was pleasantly surprised to see that my marker was still good to use. This is likely a result of how juicy the ink inside the pen barrel is.

Apart from coloring, the pens are suitable for hand lettering thanks to the brush nibs. Because they are flexible, I can create cursive and italic letters by changing the line width when turning the pen to different angles. I also use fine-point tips for incorporating intricate details into my illustrations. But since these markers do not have acid-free inks, I normally use them for practice rather than rendering final artworks. I wish they are more lightfast because the colors are on point.

PROS
  • Includes a carrying case to keep markers organized
  • Have juicy inks that make blending effortless
  • Several shades for light, dark, and mid-tones of warm, cool, and earth tones
  • Suitable for hand lettering
  • The pen nib does not dry out easily
  • Use fine-point tips for incorporating intricate details
CONS
  • The ink is not acid-free, making it prone to fading

Factors to consider when buying brush tip markers

consider-when-buying-brush-tip-markers

Color selection

Standard marker sets mostly offer vivid colors, but nowadays, it is not uncommon to find sets with muted colors. While it’s tempting to buy both, you might end up having dozens of brush pens with dried inks. Thus, I strongly suggest you consider the style you want to emulate or the subject matter you want to sketch.

Dual-tip vs. regular brush pens

Indeed, dual-tipped markers are appealing since they provide two kinds of nibs. Plus, they make a traveling artist’s life a lot more convenient.

However, dual-tipped markers are not necessarily superior to regular brush pens. After all, it’s the quality of ink and nibs that matter most. Unless your artwork requires fine-tip pens and brush pens with the same colors, you can skip the double-ended markers and go for brush pens.

Acid-free

Acid-free inks are more resistant to dulling and discoloration compared to ordinary inks. Because of that, they are best used for art projects that you either want to sell or put on display without fading. But if you only plan to practice sketching and coloring, you can get away with regular water-based marker inks.

Are brush tip markers permanent or water-based?

alcohol-based-and-water-based-brush-marker

Paintbrush marker inks can be either alcohol-based or water-based. In the latter case, the ink is not permanent.

For professionals, alcohol-based inks are more favorable. They are easier to blend and layer, resulting in smoother and more vibrant colors. Plus, they dry quicker, too! Naturally, these qualities make them pricier.

Meanwhile, water-based inks tend to pill and bleed through paper. This makes these markers trickier to blend colors. The upsides to these types, however, are that they are cheap and they can help you achieve watercolor-like effects. For beginners, they are a good starting point.

Can brush tip markers be used on different surfaces?

It all boils down to the type of ink that the marker contains. Acrylic and alcohol brush markers work on other surfaces besides paper. Meanwhile, water-based ink is best used on porous paper.

Can brush tip markers be blended?

Yes, brush pens for coloring have inks that are formulated for blending and layering. The prescribed method for these techniques varies from one brand to another.

Some coloured brush pens come with a colorless blender pen that can merge two or more colors to produce a gradient. Other brands instruct users to touch the tips of two markers.

How long do brush tip markers last?

It depends on how heavily you use the markers, and in some cases, the brand. Copic, for instance, offers replaceable nibs, so you do not need to throw away the pens once the brush tips fray. Meanwhile, disposable dual brushes can last several months.

Conclusion

Fortunately, we live at a time when manufacturers are producing markers with unique shades and tones and a slew of nibs that come in different shapes and sizes. Each set offers something different.

But if you ask me, the best brush tip markers are the ones that help you bring your ideas to life without burdening you with issues like skipping or leaking ink.

5/5 - (4 votes)
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