How to blend with brush pens for lettering and calligraphy

Blending with brush pens is fun and easy! This post goes over two ways to blend. Follow along with our YouTube tutorial for a bonus tip at the end.


Method 1: Vertical Blending

  1. Pick two closely related colors. A light and dark variation of one color works the best (such as light blue and dark blue)
  2. Write your word with the lighter color
  3. Starting at either the top or the bottom, fill in about 1/4 of the letter with the darker color using “feathered” motions (no stark lines)
  4. With the lighter color, use quick, light strokes to drag the dark ink down into the lighter ink
  5. If you have a colorless blending pen, go over the letter again to help blend the colors together
  6. For added contrast, use the dark color again to go over just the edge of where it begins (i.e. the very top 1/8 of each letter)
  7. Tip: work in small sections of 2-3 letters at a time so that the ink stays wet enough to blend

Method 2: Horizontal Blending

  1. Choose two colors that look good when blended together, such as pink & blue. Avoid opposites that would become brown when mixed, such as blue & orange
  2. Grab your blending palette or other non-porous surface. Using the darker of the two colors, draw some lines on the palette so that some ink begins to pool
  3. Pick up the dark ink with the lighter color pen by drawing over the pool on the palette, and then write out your words! The ink will transition from the dark to the light color
  4. Tip: cross your Ts and dot your Is as you go so that the colors transition smoothly

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