Review: Tombow Dual Brush Pen

Intro:

Tombow Dual Brush Pens have become very popular following the increasing trend of hand lettering and calligraphy art. These pens feature a flexible brush tip and a fine tip on the other end. These contain water-based ink which makes them blendable and can be easily used with other media.

Testing:

Different blending techniques using Tombow dual brush pen

The colors from Tombow Dual Brush Pens are unique are vibrant and pair well together. If you’re looking to blend two colors together, we recommend choosing a light and dark color. Overlaying two dark colors isn’t as noticeable or pretty. There seems to be a lot of ink in the pens as they don’t dry out even after repeated coloring sessions.

If you want to get rid of another color from the pen, just use it on some scrap paper and it will self-clean. The marker will return back to its original color.

Also, depending on the type of paper you use, the colors will/will not build up in saturation (see photo above). On thinner paper, the colors will build up while on thicker paper like watercolor paper it will not. Blending on the Moleskine Planner was difficult due to its thin nature and quick absorbancy. We recommend thicker paper if you’re trying to get seamless blending.

Touching two tips of different color pens together will give a two tone gradient effect on paper. You can also use a plastic tray (scrap plastic) and mix colors together and pick up the colors with another marker, the colorless blender, or a wet brush.

Pros:

  • Odorless
  • Wide selection of 96 colors
  • Can be used as a watercolor (you just need a wet brush to pick up the marker color)
  • Lovely gradient when lettering
  • Fine tip gives a consistent line while brush tip gives varied width strokes
  • Many places sell them in open stock so you can pick your own colors, make your own sets but also available in sets, such as pastels, brights, galaxy, etc

Cons:

  • Despite its resilient nylon brush tip, it will still fray over time making it difficult to get smooth strokes (see example above)
  • Tips sometimes vary in springiness and durability (our turquoise one is kind of mushy so it’s hard to get a nice line variation)
  • Colors on the caps are not always true to the color you get on paper

Summary:

  • Ideal for bullet journaling, calligraphy, stamping, coloring, and illustrations
  • The tips are a little thick, so it is best for writing bigger letters
  • Affordable compared to markers such as Copics

Tips:

  • Using smooth (hot press) watercolor paper makes it easy for you to blend the colors together because the paper is thicker so it will not pill from the multiple layers of marker and also because it stays wet longer allowing you to blend
  • Getting the colorless blender makes blending colors together very easily.
    • You can put down two colors and then use the blender to blend them together
    • Or you can use one color and then touch the pen of your second color to the colorless blender and use that on top of your first color.

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