Skip to main content

3 Ways to Blend with Brush Pens

Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s already 2020? I’m starting off the year with a tutorial on how to blend your brush pens. You can use any water based brush pens for this project. In this example, I’m using Tombow Dual Brush Pens.

Materials Used:

  • Canson Mix Media Paper
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pens
  • Tombow Dual Brush Colorless Blender
  • Pentel Water Brush Mini
  • Ceramic Dish
A quick note about paper. I find that mix media paper works best for blending colors. If you try these methods (particularly the first two) on HP premium or rhodia paper, you may not get the same results.

The fist method is using your colorless blender pen. This pen comes in most sets of Tombow Dual Brush pens. You can also use Kelly Creates or Karin blender pens in the same manner.

I like to start out by lettering my word or phrase with a light gray pen. This just acts as a guideline but won’t affect your final project.  Then you’re going to go over your design with your first color. You can see here, I’ve lettered the top part of the B in purple. Then you’re going to letter the bottom part of the letter in blue, leaving a small amount of white space in between the letters. You want to feather the ink so that it doesn’t create a thick straight line. By doing this, it will be easier to get a smooth blend.

Next you’re going to use your colorless blender brush to blend the two colors together. Using a light flicking motion, you’re going to pull one color down into the other to mix them together. Keep going over it until they are combined to your liking. 

The second method is using a waterbrush to blend your colors. You will take the same steps as above, but this time you are going to mix the colors with your waterbrush. Be sure not to squeeze too much water out onto the paper. I like to have a paper towel handy on the side to wipe off my waterbrush if it gets too wet. 

The third is the “ink pick-up” method. For this you will use a blending palette or a ceramic dish like I’ve used here to scribble the darker color onto. Then use the other lighter color pen to swipe through the ink to pick-up the color. This will stain the tip of your brush with the second color and will blend them together when you letter your words on the page. NOTE: this method works best when one pen is darker and one is lighter. In this example, both colors are dark so the result isn’t as dramatic. 


I like to finish off my blended letters with a drop shadow to give it a polished look.

Leave me a comment below if you liked this tutorial. If you post a project on Instagram using one of these methods, tag me @letterbystarlight so I can see your work and feature your work in my stories!


  1. I generally check this kind of article and I found your article which is related to my interest. Genuinely, it is good and instructive information about pens. Thanks for sharing an amazing article here.
    personalised pens australia


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How to Blend with a Tombow Dual Brush Pens - Water Brush Technique

This is one of my favorite techniques for blending Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Using a water brush gives a nice smooth transition between the two colors. Materials Needed: Tombow Dual Brush Pen in Light Gray (I used # N95) Tombow Dual Brush Pens in Two Complimentary Colors (I used Red #856 and Yellow #933) Water Brush (Or fine tip paint brush dipped in water) Mix Media Paper Optional: White Gel Pen (I used Uniball Signo), Black Fine Liner Pen (I used Micron Pigma #003) Step One: Write out your word with the Tombow light gray marker. This will be the guideline that you will blend on top of. When using a light gray pen, you don't need to worry about it interfering with the colors you put on top or showing through on your final piece. Step Two: Add your two colors over the gray, alternating red and yellow. Leave a little space in between colors. This will give the ink a place to blend with the second color. Step Three: With your water brush, lightly "pull" th

Tombow Color Blending Inspiration

Tombow makes so many beautiful colors in their Dual Brush Pens - the blending combinations are endless! Here are 12 of my favorite color combinations to blend (with their color codes so you know exactly what I used). Enjoy!  #1 Yellow (055) & Red (656) #2 Light Blue (451) & Dark Blue (555) #3 Purple (636) & Blue (476) #4 Light Purple (620) & Dark Purple (665) #5 Purple (636) & Green (245) #6 Yellow (055) & Pink (755) #7 Light Pink (761) & Dark Pink (803) #8 Yellow (055) & Orange (925) #9 Lime Green (173) & Dark Green (245) #10 Pink (743) & Turquoise (452) #11 Light Turquoise (403) & Dark Turquoise (379) #12 Pink (755) & Purple (665)

8 Ways to Add Shading to your Hand Lettering

 Need some letter shading inspiration? Here are 8 of my favorite ways to add shading to my hand lettering. Shading is a great way to add character and dimension to your letters. I’ve often been asked “how do you know where to add the shading?” I drew a little diagram that helps explain it below:      You want to imagine a light source. The light can be on the left or the right – but whichever side it’s on, you want to add the shading to the opposite side. So for this example, the sun is on the left so the shading is all on the right side of the letter. I’ve also added white highlights to the left side of the letter, because this is the side that the sun is shining on.  I hope this helps! If you have any questions please comment below.