How To Sketch With A Brush Pen: 10 Simple Steps

How To Sketch With A Brush Pen: 10 Simple Steps
How To Sketch With A Brush Pen: 10 Simple Steps

Have you recently heard about brush pens and are now curious about how to sketch with a brush pen? If so, then you are about to embark on a fun, exciting, and creative journey where you learn about all of the fantastic possibilities that brush pens offer. 

Brush pens have been around for several years, but their popularity has recently begun to skyrocket as more brands are put up for sale, and more colors and options are available to artists. The following set brush pens Arteza Real Brush Pens, 48 Colors offer excellent value, click the link to check the price on Amazon.

Whether you are a professional artist looking to try something new, or you just enjoy sketching in your free time, brush pens offer you the ability to try something new. Adding new materials to your artistic process will let you expand upon your creative skills, so you can take your art in exciting new directions. 

This guide will go over everything that you need to know if you want to learn how to sketch with a brush pen.

Please look at this drawing and sketching video course I have createdUse this link.

Why Draw With A Brush Pen?

If you are interested in learning how to sketch with a brush pen, then you've probably heard about some of the advantages of brush pens. The biggest reason that brush pens are exploding in popularity has to do with the convenience that they offer. 

While brush pens and drawing with ink and a paintbrush will produce similar results, brush pens are so much simpler to use. When drawing with a paintbrush and ink, you need to have a container of ink, a brush, and your choice of a drawing surface. 

While this may not seem like a significant setup. When you are talking about sketching outside of the comfort of your home or office. Any experienced artist will tell you that carrying a sketchbook and frequently drawing while focusing on a new subject matter is the key to growth. 

So, if you want to grow as an artist, sketching regularly is a must. Why draw with a brush pen? Because it makes it so much easier to sketch on the go.

Vary The Thickness Of The Lines

If you are just starting out with ink drawing after drawing with graphite or other dry media, you are in for quite a shock in terms of how much different ink is to work with. For one thing, that trusty eraser that you've used as a security blanket to wipe away mistakes isn't going to do you any good.  

The biggest challenge you are likely to face, though, is how to make your drawing look interesting. It's going to take time and practice to master using your brush pen, and one thing you are going to have to focus on is learning how to make lines with different thickness. 

If you have a drawing where every line is about the same level of thickness, then you are going to have a dull looking drawing. Brush pens are great because you can easily change up the width of each line based upon the amount of pressure you. 

More pressure fattens up the tip of the brush pen, giving you thicker lines, less stress gives you light and thin lines. So, before you get into trying to draw a finished piece of art, spend some time exploring how to vary your line thickness first.

Different Types Of Marks You Can Make With A Brush Pen

When you first started getting serious about drawing, you probably had already spent many years sketching and trying out new processes. For example, you probably had crayons, right? The point here is that you spent years sketching, doodling, coloring, and drawing before you started to try to produce finished pieces of art. 

So, since you are just starting out with brush pens, it's essential that you take a similar approach. Spend a lot of time exploring them and what they can do, then after you are comfortable using them, you can move on to creating finished pieces of art. 

For many artists, the learning process where you are just exploring and having fun with something is more enjoyable than the actual work of creating a finished piece of art. So, enjoy yourself, experiment, and learn the different types of marks that you can make with brush pens.

Hold Your Brush Pen In Different Ways

You probably already know that the way that you hold your drawing instrument has a massive impact on the types of marks that you are capable of making. Holding a pen or brush with a tight grip near the tip of it will give more control. 

Holding it with a loose grip near the end of then handle with give you the opposite effect creating a freer and more free-flowing line. So, experiment and learn what type of clasp works for you, and combine them. 

When you are creating big, bold shapes, then a loose grip will give your drawing more spontaneity and make it more interesting. When it's time to add in the finer details, then use a closer, tighter grip.

Practice Calligraphy Draw Your Initials

If you want to learn how to sketch with a brush pen, then there's a good chance that you are interested in calligraphy. Calligraphy can be an elegant and beautiful form of art, but only when it is done by someone that has mastered the techniques involved. 

How do you learn the techniques of calligraphy with a brush pen? By practicing, of course. How do you practice? You could try drawing the alphabet over and over again, but that can get dull very quickly. 

How about something a little simpler and more personal, like drawing your initials? Drawing your initials in calligraphy is quick, which means that you will be able to complete practice exercises quickly, which means that your skills will evolve at a faster rate.

Try Drawing With Hatching Techniques

If you've spent any amount of time drawing with pencil, charcoal, or any other type of dry media, you've probably spent a lot of time learning how to blend to create different gradations of value. 

In fact, you've probably got a bunch of blending stubs mixed in with your art supplies, right? But, when working with ink, you can't combine it the same that you did with pencil, charcoal, or other forms of dry media. 

You can blend it using water to create an ink and wash effect, but you'll need to spend a lot of time practicing to master that approach. Plus, you don't want to limit yourself to only drawing with ink and wash, you want to be able to draw with ink and still create shadows. How do you do that? One popular method is hatching.

What is hatching? Hatching is the process of using thin lines of ink next to each other, and on top of each other to create the illusion of shadow. 

Hatching can be done in a wide range of ways, and when done by someone that has mastered it, it can create a wide range of tonal values, while also adding a lot of texture and interest to a drawing. 

Hatching can be done in a neat and controlled manner, using clean lines that are evenly spaced. It can also be done in a more haphazard way, that will make a drawing more dynamic and messy looking. 

Placing a few lines together creates a light shadow, while heavier lines that are overlapping creates darker shadows. The beauty of hatching with a brush pen is the fact that you can vary the width and thickness of your lines as well, giving you another dimension you can explore.

Brush Pens Come In A Variety Of Colours So Yet Introducing Different Colours

How can you take a drawing and add a lot of life to it? With color! Artists have been drawing with color for ages, using pastels, markers, colored pencils, crayons, and just about anything else you can imagine to draw with color. 

Now, you can add brush pens to the list of materials that you can use to draw with color. Brush pens will give you a different effect than other types of drawing materials because you are working with ink. When you are working with ink, you can get a lot of happy accidents that add a beautiful, spontaneous look to your art. 

With brush pens, you can create amazing drawings that look like watercolor paintings, but without the mess and hassle of using paint. You can also use them to add color to pencil drawings or add spots of color to black and white ink drawings. 

No matter how you use them, brush pens were made for artists that love to work in color.

Try Drawing With A Water-Soluble Brush Pen

Why would you want to use a water-soluble brush pen instead of a waterproof brush pen? While you can add water to both water-soluble and waterproof ink, once that ink dries the way that water effects it will be very different in both cases. 

With water-soluble ink, that ink will reactivate when you add water to it. This opens up the door for all kinds of diverse blending opportunities for you. You can layer color on top of color and allow them to bleed together, creating a fantastic drawing with a range of different colors.

Explore The Qualities Of A Waterproof Brush Pen

Another option with brush pens is to use waterproof ink. If you are trying to retain the integrity of your lines and don't want the ink to bleed, then waterproof ink is an ideal option for you. With waterproof ink, you can layer color on top of color while keeping them from bleeding together. 

I recommend the Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen, it offers excellent value. Click the link to check the price and read reviews on Amazon.

Layering colors on top of each other without having them bleed together will give you the ability to create a multi-layered drawing, without the fear of having the colors end up looking muddy. You can create different colors by adding color on top of color, giving you a dynamic, and visually exciting drawing.

Combine Waterproof And Water-Soluble Techniques On The Same Page

Once you have spent some time exploring both waterproof and water-soluble brush pens, the next step is going to be combining each in the same drawing. Combining waterproof and water-soluble inks gives you the ability to take advantage of the unique properties of each to create a picture that has a fantastic depth of color, while still remaining clear with clean lines. 

How do you do this? The most common way is to start with waterproof brush pens to create the foundation fo your drawing. This is the part where you draw using lines to establish form. After your line drawing is finished, you can start adding water-soluble inks on top to add color and value. 

Make sure that you wait for the layer of waterproof ink to thoroughly dry before you try adding water-soluble inks on top of it. While waterproof ink is permanent when dry, if you add water to it before it has dried, it will behave much like water-soluble ink does. 

When adding water-soluble inks on top of the permanent ink lines, you can add water to the mix to create watercolor effects, or you can use the ink straight from the pen, then add water later to blend it. One important thing to keep in mind is that when using inks and water, you are going to need a denser drawing surface. 

Watercolor paper is your best option here, but illustration board and mixed media paper will work just as well.

Brush Pens Open Up An Exciting World Of Artistic Opportunities

As an artist, you must always explore new techniques and materials. If you are ready to try something fun and unique, then brush pens are an excellent option for you. Whether you have worked with ink before, or are interested in trying it, brush pends are an ideal way to enjoy the convenience of a pen, and the artistic freedom of working with ink. 

After trying out different types of brush pens, different colors, and various techniques, you'll probably find that they are one of your favorite art materials to work with.

Create Art With My Favourite Drawing Resources

General Drawing Courses. I like Udemy if you want to develop your knowledge of drawing techniques. Udemy is an excellent choice due to its wide range of creative courses and excellent refund policy. They often have monthly discounts for new customers, which you can check here. Use my link.

Sketching and Collage. Take a look at this sketching resource I have created. Use this link.

Proko. Is one of my favorite teachers who surpasses in the teaching of Anatomy and Figure drawing. Prokos course breaks down the drawing of the human body into easy-to-follow components aiding the beginner to make rapid progress. For this, I really like Proko.

Art Easels. One of my favorite ways to draw is by using a drawing easel, which develops the skill of drawing on a vertical surface. The H frame easel is an excellent vertical way to add variety to the style and type of marks you create when using a drawing board.

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource I made for you.


Ian Walsh is the creator and author of and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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