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6 Fun Ways To Use Brush Pens - They're Not Just For Lettering!

by Design Team 01 Oct 2021 0 Comments

Hi everyone! When people talk about using brush pens, it's usually for modern calligraphy. Therefore, today I'm going to be sharing some other ways you can use brush pens in your bullet journal spreads, planner spreads and other craft projects!

brush pen swatches


Supplies For Your Brush Pen Creations:

  • Calliograph Pens - The new brush pens from Archer and Olive. They are dual tipped with a large brush nib on one side, and a small brush nib on the other. Great for lots of different projects.
  • Archer and Olive Journal or Archer and Olive Sketchbook  – The lovely and thick pages have no bleeding or ghosting, so you get a clean start for every spread or creation! Also, it means you can decorate the page without worrying about it.
  • Pencil – to plan out your ideas.


1 | Lettering

So of course, the first thing you can do with brush pens is lettering. I still wanted to include this as brush pens can really take your bullet journal headers to the next level. To learn how to really get the most out of your brush one line variation check out this blog to get practicing.


But, you can literally use the smaller nib on brush pens like the Archer and Olive Calliographs as a regular fineliner! The small nib is lovely and firm, so you don't have to learn how to create line variations if you don't wish!

But now let's jump into the less commonly known uses!


2 | Highlighting

Brush pens actually make really great highlighters for spotlighting important text in study notes, colour coding or simply making any text prettier!

brush pen highlighting

Above you can see I used the small and the large nib nibs in different ways to make certain parts of the text highlighted. The larger brush pen nibs are great for fully highlighting the words, and with smaller brush pen nibs you can underline, do smaller highlights and even circle in fun ways.


3 | Shadows

Next up you can add shadows and dimensions to bullet journal headers and even drawings!


Depending on what you're adding shadows to, you may want a large or smaller nib. Some ideas of things to add shadows to include task boxes, headers, line drawings, and lettering. It really adds more depth to any creation!


4 | Colouring + Drawing

 Another fun thing to use brush pens for is colouring and drawing! This can be on colouring books/sheets, or in your own creations.

colouring and drawing

The small nib brush pens are particularly good for getting line variation in drawings, For example on the leaf branches, by adding more pressure as I drew the line, I was able to get the effect of the branch getting thicker. It also can create a shadow effect without using a second pen. The large nib brush pens are then good to fill larger areas!


5 | Watercolour

One way I love using brush pens is like watercolours. Simply lay down ink on a plastic/porcelain surface (ideally use a larger nib brush pen) and pick up with a wet watercolour brush. This way you can literally use the ink like watercolours!


I like this method in particular as you can get a nice even coverage, which is harder to achieve simply colouring! That way you can adjust your technique to what you personally prefer!


6 | Watercolour Effect

Finally, you can create fun watercolour  effects

 watercolour effect

To do this, simply add your chosen 2/3 colours to a sheet of plastic. Next add water and mix slightly with a paintbrush. The image on the left had less water and the one on the right has more, so adjust depending on the effect you're aiming for. Once happy, transfer the ink onto the page by placing it on the paper and gently pressing down the plastic so the colours spreads to your chosen amount. And done!! You have amazing watercolour effects for drawing, craft projects and bullet journal headers!!

final spread

I hope this blog helped you come up with some new ideas to use your brush pens! Make sure to let us know if you feel like these tips helped you! Find us on social media at @archerandolive, and tag #archerandolive and #AOshare on Instagram so we can see your creations! 

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