How to create a simple background using Dual Brush Pens

If you’re a (amateur) hand lettering artist, like myself, you’re constantly looking for simple ways to create things to practice your lettering on. You don’t want to create something that takes a lot of time, just to ruin it with a spelling error, or spend a lot of time creating a master piece that is going to sit in a stack of other creations.

The best way that I have found to create a background that is quick and easy, is to use Tombow Dual Brush Pens to watercolor.

Below are the supplies I used to create my project.

Strathmore Mixed Media Paper

Easy to use and this pad comes anchored on one side, which helps reduce paper warping when water is added. I like mixed media paper over water color paper for projects like this, because it is smoother than water color paper, so it isn’t going to destroy my brush pens when I letter on it.

Tombow Blending Kit

For this project, I didn’t use the colorless blender, but I did use the blending palate and spray mister. The blending palate also comes in a larger size that is great if you’re going to use a lot of colors.

Tombow Water Brush

I used the flat brush (dark blue) for this project, because I knew I was just going to be dropping color over a larger surface area. But the small (green) and medium (teal) tips are great for more detailed work.

Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Comes in tons of colors, water-based ink that is great for blending and mixing, and has 2 different tips that are useful for almost any project! I chose a few colors that went together, and matched the “Fall” theme that I decided to do.

Now on to the project. I start simple. First, I add the color I want to use to the blending palate, by swiping the dual brush pen back and forth across the palate, and give it a light spray of water to make it more liquid.

swipe of color on the palate from the dual brush pen
lightly mist with water

Next, I mist a small area of water on my paper (not too large a space, because it will dry before you get to add color to it. By adding water to both the color and the paper, I am using a “wet on wet” technique to watercolor. I use this often, because it allows the color to flow across the page naturally and makes for more natural lines and blends between colors.

mist on paper

Next, I pick up some of the color on the water brush and drop it onto the paper.

pick up color
drop on paper- this is after multiple drops of color

Repeat this process with as many colors as you want to use, making the pattern whatever you’re going for. For this project, I wanted a “tie dye” kind of look- no real shapes or patterns, just a blending of color naturally.

page after several colors were added on

After I getting a good idea of what you want your project to look like, go back in and add more color where you want. I waited for my first layer to dry a little bit, so that the colors wouldn’t bleed together quite so much, and then went in and added more orange and yellow, as well as extended the color closer to the edges of the pages.

my finished page- still wet.

As you can see, because there is quite a bit of water involved in this technique, the colors will blend together quite a lot. If you’re looking for more controlled color, you can do the same thing, but with dry paper and wet color, wet paper and dry color, or with both dry. Each technique yields very different results and is worth experimenting with!

I let my page dry over night, just so my lettering and designs wouldn’t bleed at all once I started adding them.

I added my drawings with the Tombow Mono drawing pens and the black fudenosuke brush pens.

And there you have it, a simple way to create a fun and easy background to practice drawing or hand lettering!

Add lettering or drawings to complete project

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