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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!


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