I love using Crayola Markers for hand lettering. They are affordable and easily accessible in the US so I compared international pens like Camlin Brush Pens from India. Several months ago I asked my Instagram followers what pens might be similar to Crayola markers in other countries. I live in the US and Crayola markers are easy to find and super cheap. I was wondering what that type of pen might be for someone who doesn’t live in the US.
First of all, to give you a little background, Crayola markers are not actual brush pens but they are some of my favorite for hand lettering. Because they are easily accessible, durable, and inexpensive, they are on my list of 3 Best Brush Pens for Beginners. I love Crayola broad line for larger lettering and Crayola super tips for smaller lettering. I want to spend most of this post reviewing other pens so I won’t spend much time on Crayola markers. If you want to see more of them, I made a video where I reviewed all of my Crayola markers for Hand Lettering.
In the US we also have Cra-Z-Art markers that are basically an off-brand of Crayola so I compared these to Crayola to see if there was much of a difference. It looked like the Cra-Z-Art tips were slightly smaller than Crayola but I don’t think it made much of a difference. Some of the colors were different, but that would be a personal preference. I notice with both markers that they are pretty firm when they’re brand new so if you don’t like firm markers, you may need to break them in by using them for a little while. The cost difference is only a couple dollars so I personally will still choose Crayola, but if all you have is Cra-Z-Art, they work too.
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International Pens compared to Crayola Markers for Hand Lettering
For International pens, I was looking for pens that are similar to Crayola meaning they are easily accessible and cheap and can be used for hand lettering. They don’t necessarily need to have the same nib as Crayola. I got so many suggestions of pens to look for, but here I will just be showing you the pens that I was able to find on Amazon for an ok price. Because most of them are so cheap, they’re not easy to find in the US. I would love to hear what pen you think might be similar to Crayola markers in your country. I know some countries do have Crayola markers for cheap, although some countries have Crayola markers for really expensive. Leave a comment below with what pens might be similar in your country.
To see my YouTube video with comparisons and demos of each pen, watch here:
Camlin Brush Pens
The first pens I’m going to review are the Camlin Brush pens from India. I have gotten the most requests to review these pens. Apparently this pack of 24 pens is about 3 US dollars which would be about like buying a pack of 10 Crayola markers here in the US. I was lucky enough to find these on Amazon and although it was more than $3, it seemed like a great price for 24 brush pens.
Several people have told me their experience with these brush pens. Some say they’re great for beginners, others don’t like them for beginners. I was really curious to be able to compare them to pens I love. I was surprised that they are actually a great brush nib especially for being so cheap. They are very flexible and soft like Ecoline brush pens so if you are light-handed you may like them. If you are heavy-handed and prefer hard, firm nibs, you probably won’t like them.
For beginners, I normally recommend something a little more firm or medium to get a hang of the strokes first. These may not be my first recommendation for beginners, but if this is all you have, they would build great muscle memory. They may just take a little more practice to get the hang of them, but learning lettering, in general, takes a lot of practice anyway.
Some people also told me that Camlin brush pens are very inky and work great for watercolor. I definitely agree! I used them as watercolor for one of my rainbow backgrounds. They are now some of my favorite markers using this technique! I have a tutorial all about Rainbow Watercolor Backgrounds for Hand Lettering.
Mala Markers for Hand Lettering
Next, I will review the Mala markers. These are actually from Ikea so they can be found in any country that has an Ikea which I thought was really great. I don’t have an Ikea in the current city where I live but I found them on Amazon. These felt very similar to Crayola super tips to me but they are slightly larger than the super tips. They are definitely not as large as Crayola broad line though. These had pretty vibrant ink so I really liked that. And actually, as I used them more, I think I might like them better than Crayola super tips. Although they would need to come in 100 colors like the super tips to really be better. I am happy that I have these and I will actually probably use them.
Faber-Castell Duo Tip Markers
Next, I will review the Faber-Castell Duo Tip markers. Faber Castell is a german brand so I assume these would be easily accessible in Germany. We do have this brand in America so these were really easy to find on Amazon. I also heard from someone in New Zealand who said these were probably their comparison to Crayola. These felt very similar to Crayola super tips, even closer than the Mala markers. The problem I had with them is that the colors were not very vibrant. They just weren’t as inky as the other markers here. I also don’t love having two different colors in one pen but that is just a personal preference.
Maped Color Peps Brush Markers
Next, I will review Maped Color Peps brush pens. The Maped brand had a lot of different options of markers and these ones were on Amazon. I was excited to try another potential cheap brush pen. However, I found right away that they don’t bounce back. The nib stays bent which is a terrible brush pen or marker in general. I was able to make it work, but these would be really hard to learn with because you can’t get thin upstrokes very easily if your nib stays bent. I gave these markers away after recording the video because they were so bad and I will not use them again. So if you see these in your country, they may be cheap, but I would recommend saving your money for something else.
Edding Brush Pens
Lastly, I want to show you the Edding brush pens. This is a German company but I think these may be popular in most of Europe. They have other pen types like paint markers. These brush pens were an ok price on Amazon. These surprised me the most because the brush nib is so good!! I don’t know how much these cost in other countries, but I would be willing to spend more money on them because they are such good quality. The nib is a nice medium size and they bounce back so well. They are firm but flexible. I really like them and I only wish I had more colors. They may come in more colors, but this was the only pack I could find on Amazon.
Artline Stix Brush Markers
After filming all of these pens I remembered that Artline Stix brush markers are also international pens that are similar to Crayola markers because they are technically for kids. They have a lego body that some people find uncomfortable to hold, but I think it’s because they weren’t meant for adults doing brush lettering originally. They were for kids kinda like Crayola markers as well. I forgot about these because I think they’ve become more popular in the US and I’ve been using them for years. If you want to learn more about them, I have a few reviews comparing Artline Stix brush markers.
I would love to hear if you’ve tried any of these pens and which pens are easily accessible and affordable in your country. If you live in the US, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Crayola markers and if you like lettering with them. I hope you found this brush pen review and comparison helpful and interesting!