Watercolour brush pens belong to the category of felt-tip pens. While felt-tip pens are usually equipped with a classic round tip, brush pens - as the name already suggests - are equipped with a brush-like tip that creates thinner or thicker strokes through the use of pressure. Our water-colourable double-fibre brush-tip pens offer the further advantage of an additional fine tip that allows for a perfect interplay of curved lines and fine details. With this type of watercolour pen, you can create the following when painting:
- A rich colour application
- Beautiful letters
- Curved lettering
- Fine details
Since the ink of the watercolour brush pens is water-colourable, you can even use them for watercolour painting. You can find out exactly how this works on this course.
If you use the brush pens for watercolour painting, you should use watercolour paper with a higher weight and thus a good water absorption. Mixed media papers or watercolour papers with little structure are best suited for this purpose.
Here is an overview of all the materials you need for this course:
- Watercolour paper with little structure and high weight
- Watercolour double-ended fibre-tip pens with brush tip
- Paint brush or water brush
- Cup with water
- Mixing palette (e.g. laminated paper)
- Paper towel
Painting with watercolour brush pens:
How to use watercolour brush pens correctly
Watercolour brush pens or brush pens are also used like normal felt pens or fine liners, for example, in lettering. They have very versatile uses:
- Use the tip to draw many strokes close together or overlap them.
- Colour larger areas with the brush pens and create interesting structures with them.
- Use the so-called "stippling" technique, in which you create whole shapes from many small dots by dabbing and quick movements.
There are many different ways to get creative with the brush pens in watercolour painting. In the video below, our artist Nadja explains the differences between the individual techniques and how to use them correctly.
With the dry-on-dry technique, you draw the motif by using the brush pen like a conventional felt-tip pen or fineliner. Draw with the brush pens directly on dry paper without water colouring the colours afterwards.
As with painting with watercolour paints and pencils, you can also paint with brush pens on moistened watercolour paper. The pigments then move with the water across the paper, which can create beautiful soft lines, patterns, and effects. However, it also means giving up some control over your artwork. If you have wet the paper too much, simply "soak" it up with a dry brush.
#3: Flat wash
The flat wash technique involves spreading the colour evenly over the surface. To do this, colour the desired area as evenly as possible with the brush tip of the double-ended brush pen before you loosen the ink with a wet brush or water brush and paint it.
#4: Gradient wash
If you want to paint the colour from dark to light, use the gradient wash technique. Colour only the base of the motif with the pen and dissolve the colour with water. Now use the brush to paint it from the inside to the outside, so that a colour gradient from dark to light is created.
#5: Colour gradients
Colour gradients are always a special highlight in your watercolour motifs. Watercolour brush pens make it easy to create beautiful gradients. First apply the different colours with the brush pens and then dissolve them with a moistened brush or water brush to paint them. Make sure that you leave some space between the different colours on the paper so that they can blend in nicely.
For this technique you need to be patient, as each layer of ink has to dry before you can apply the next one. Always start with the largest area. Once this has dried, you can gradually apply more layers in other colours or an additional layer in the same colour to intensify individual areas and create depth in your painting.
#7: Mixing colours
You can also mix colours yourself with watercolour brush pens, as with normal watercolours. For this you need a palette with a water-repellent surface (for example, laminated paper). Apply different colours of the brush pens in a separate small area on the palette. Next, mix the applied colours with a paint brush or water brush, pick up the colour from the palette and transfer it to your paper. This way you can easily create your own individual colour tones.
#8: Paint application with fine tip
Use the thin tip of your water-colourable double-ended brush pens for this purpose. This way you can easily draw very fine outlines or filigree details in your pictures.
#9: Tip-to-tip blending
Tip-to-tip blending is when you use brush pens in two different colours. Here you transfer some ink with the tip of the darker pen to the tip of the lighter pen. If you now draw with the lighter colour on the watercolour paper, you can clearly see both colours blending into each other. Don't worry, you won't ruin your watercolour brush pens with this technique! As soon as you have drawn a few strokes, you will notice that the colour applied with the other pen becomes less and eventually disappears again.
#10: Textures with mixing palette
For this you need your palette or laminated paper again. Apply different colours to the surface and let a few drops of water fall onto the paper. You can then move the paper back and forth a little and let the colours run on the palette. Then press the painted side of the palette onto your watercolour paper. With this technique you have less control over how the colour gradients look in the end. However, it is ideal for creating multi-coloured backgrounds
And off you go:
Create your own watercolour with brush pens
Don't hesitate and apply what you have learned directly! In the motif video, Nadja shows you how to create a delicate eucalyptus branch in a watercolour look using a combination of techniques.
And to make the whole thing a little easier, we have prepared a free template for you to download.
Not sure how to transfer the pattern onto the watercolour paper correctly? Nadja explains the individual steps in more detail in the video on our watercolour painting page.
Check out the creations of other watercolour fans! Once you've created your first painting, link to us on social media with the hashtag #myDesignJourney!