How to Use Brush Pens for Drawing

Brush pens can be fantastic for creating artwork that stands out. These brushes are ink-based pens that have bristle tips instead of a chisel or felt tips. 

As a result, artists are able to utilize the brush pen as though it was a standard marker. This can be fantastic for adding detail to your work that feels like you’re using a marker, whereas, in reality, you’re painting. This is great for getting the effect of pen lettering whilst using brush pens.

These pens include water-soluble ink which gets released when you apply the brush tip to the paper. This allows for fantastic watercolor artwork without you having to deal with the mess involved with regular watercolor paintings. 

If you’ve been wondering how to use brush pens in your drawings, you’re in the right place. Let’s get into it…

Brush Pen Drawing Techniques

You can rub your brush pen into a color palette. This can be a great way to mix colors together easily and quickly. 

Another method is to simply paint with a brush pen. You can add multiple colors to your palette and mix them together using the bristle of your pen. Next, you can apply it to paper and notice the effect that the combination of colors creates. 

This is a fantastic option if you’re looking to create professional blending effects. 

Some artists like to wet the background of their page before they start painting. This is achieved by using your brush pen dipped in water and applying a light layer of water to the page. 

You then use a dry brush pen to start drawing and coloring the page. This makes it feel more similar to creating a watercolor piece of art. You’ll notice that the colors blend together lightly and can help you to create some amazing work. 

Whilst using your brush pens, be sure not to apply too much pressure to the page. This is because it can end up damaging the tip. It can also create harsh colors and lines in your work. 

Instead, you should aim to use lighter pressure. This will help to improve your blending skills by giving you more control whilst also ensuring that your brush pen lasts for longer. 

To create visual interest in your work, you can add thick and thin lines. These can be achieved by holding the pen at different angles and using different brush pen strokes.

Changing line thickness is especially useful when practising brush pen lettering for calligraphy when you use a brush pen. Make sure to experiment with less and more pressure to see how it creates thinner and thicker lines in your drawing.

Also read: How to Draw With Gel Pens


We hope that you’re feeling more assured about using watercolor paper and brush pens for drawing after reading our post. There are a few different ways that these pens can be used for art which makes them incredibly versatile.

Be sure to experiment with them all and practice until you find the one that works best for you. Remember, practice makes perfect.


How can you add details with brush pens?

You can add plenty of detail to your drawing using a standard brush pen. However, if you want to add especially small details, you may achieve better results by applying the brush tip to a color palette and using a separate thinner brush to draw the tiny details. 

This can help you to create shadows in your work.

What’s the best paper for water brush pens?

If you want the best results when using brush pens without water, Arteza watercolor pads are a fantastic option. They provide a texture that enables the paint to be bright and colorful. 

How can you create backgrounds with brush pens?

The best way to draw backgrounds is by applying painter’s tape on the outside of your page. Use your brush to cover the background with a light coat of water. Once it has dried a little, you can your brush pen with color to create a light background color. You can also then remove the tape. 

This is fantastic for creating watercolor effects.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.