Blending with brush pens is a simple way to add color to your hand lettering. But how do you do it without fraying your brush pens? I’m going to show you 3 ways to blend Tombow Dual Brush pens without fraying them. These are all really basic tricks depending on what paper you have. Brush pens will fray a lot sooner on watercolor paper although it’s the best paper for blending. Don’t worry, I will show you different techniques you can do to work around that.
If you would like to see the video with a demo of each technique, watch it here:
3 Ways to Blend Tombow Dual Brush Pens (without fraying them)
1- Use a palette to blend brush pens
You can use any plastic palette, glass, or even a plastic bag. Scribble with one color on that surface and with another color pick up that ink and start lettering. This way is really simple. It’s nice because you can use your brush pen on smooth paper without worrying about it fraying. You don’t have to have a special paper like watercolor paper to get blends. I like HP Premium 32 paper, but it doesn’t allow for blending because the ink sinks right into the paper. However, since you aren’t blending directly on the paper, this way totally works.
The main problem is that you don’t have much control over the blends that you get. You only get what color they blend and you may have to wait for the ink to wear off until it gets to the color you want. Here’s what it looks like:
You can use a water brush this way by basically using the ink as watercolor. I do this with my rainbow blends which you can see more of in my Rainbow Watercolor Background Skillshare class. Here is an example:
2- Use smooth paper and a water brush or paintbrush to blend
For this technique, I like using Bristol paper specifically the Strathmore brand. The paper is a little thicker and allows the ink to sit on the paper a little longer so you can move the ink with the water brush. It’s also smooth enough that you can use your brush pens directly on the paper. This gives you a lot more control so you know exactly what colors you’re blending.
The only problem is when you’re blending a whole word because it dries really fast. You don’t want to have hard water lines in a smooth blend. When watercolor dries and you get it wet again, it leaves the hard water lines. The solution is using watercolor paper or mix media paper which leads to my next technique.
3. Use Faux Calligraphy to blend Tombow Dual Brush pens
If you haven’t heard of faux calligraphy, you may be interested in my Faux Calligraphy Basics Tutorial. Use the fine tip of the Tombow Dual Brush pen and letter the word. Add the downstrokes after, leaving them open. This way you can use any paper that blends well even with a lot of texture like watercolor paper. You don’t have to worry about fraying your brush pen because you are using the fine tip. You are working in small sections of your word so you don’t have to keep the whole word wet. I love this method the best and I used it in my Rainbow Lettering with Tombow Dual Brush pens tutorial.
Galaxy Lettering with Faux Calligraphy
I love galaxy lettering with this faux calligraphy method. It’s a little trickier because you aren’t doing a normal ombre blend. You want to have chunks of color while still getting a smooth blend. That’s why I created a class about it. Find my Galaxy Lettering Skillshare class here. Or if you don’t want to deal with a Skillshare membership, you can enroll in the Galaxy Lettering class alone. It also comes with my Faux Calligraphy workbook since that is the technique we use to blend this way. If you feel you need some extra practice with faux calligraphy, this would be a great option!
Check out the Galaxy Lettering class!
I hope these help you as you blend Tombow Dual brush pens! Did you enjoy these techniques? Which one is your favorite?