Tombow Techniques: 2 MORE Unique Effects


Almost ONE year ago, I posted 3 unique effects I loved achieving using my collection of Tombow Dual Brush Pens. This simple blog post has since gone somewhat viral on Pinterest. I truly can't believe my eyes every time I log into Pinterest, seeing so many people pin this blog post to their "lettering tips" board.... especially since the original blog post was done so early into my lettering journey, thus the quality being very poor in comparison to where I am today.

So, I've done a little update of sorts! I re-shot two of the 3 techniques, simply giving them a more colorful and thorough re-fresh. I decided not to re-shoot one of the techniques because it doesn't fit my style at all now, and, I'll be wasn't a very good technique at all!

However, the two techniques below are SO FUN! Not much has changed as far as my love of using these techniques, but the new, improved photos are much more clear, helpful, and cheerful! So, please enjoy this refreshed blog post showing off Tombow's most popular pens! 

Let's jump in!

1. Speckling AKA: Confetti

Speckling, which looks a lot like Confetti, is done by placing tiny dots in concentrated areas of your letters. It works best when you layer a darker color dot on top of a lighter color. The only thing you have to be cautious of is staying inside the lines! Other than that, this technique is as easy as pie. 

Here are the colors I began with. From left to right they are: 026, 133, 452, & 533
Like I said above, this technique only really works if you begin by laying down the lighter of the two colors you've chosen. 

Next, using the fine tip end of the Dual Brush Pen, I start making my tiny dots. I prefer to work from the bottom-up, but you could definitely start from any side of the letter you want.

Another thing to remember is to choose two colors that are in the same color family, so they blend and mesh well!

This pretty pink shade is 815

This pretty pink shade is 815

This Kelly Green shade is 245

This Kelly Green shade is 245

This teal blue shade is 373

This teal blue shade is 373

This purply-magenta color is 685

This purply-magenta color is 685

2. Palette vs. Palette-less Blending

You know I'm a huge fan of using a plastic baggie with my Tombows, but I've also collected so many 'professional' blending palettes that I never have to waste a precious plastic baggie again! (And, full disclosure: my husband and I have stopped buying them as part of our mission to contribute LESS to landfills across the globe)

So, in this second technique, I'll briefly show you the difference between using a blending palette vs. not. Not all of us lettering artists have or need one, but it's nice to be aware of the differences!

Below, you can see I'm using the same shades as the first technique. And, also just like the first one, I prefer to begin with laying down the darker of the two colors. 

If you'll look at my blending palette, you can see a big ol' mess of color! That's because, in blending, there's a LOT of scribbling. Begin by laying down your darker shade onto the palette, then, with the brush tip of the lighter shade, scribble across it to pick up the darker color. But, in case you've never blended before, here's a MUCH better, more detailed explanation in this post.

The other blending technique doesn't involve a palette at all. In fact, all you do is rub your brush nibs together...which sounds REAL strange, but it works!

In the first step here, I am rubbing the teal and light green nibs together. I did a little scribble on the paper with the lighter green, but you can see how quickly the darker color faded away in comparison to the example used above. I don't love this method, if I'm being totally honest! I don't find that it always works 100% and it certainly doesn't have the same effect that palette blending does.

So there you have it!

As always, you'll want to experiment with the colors in your collection. For this palette-less blending process, a yellow color actually doesn't pick up much of a darker color (like a red or pink) at all. However, the yellow will pick up lots of the pink when you blend the old-fashioned way on a blending surface of some sort. Basically, you just never know how the colors will work together until you try it. Experimentation is the KEY to discovering your favorite lettering techniques, and of course, your very own style.

What are your favorite effects to achieve with your brush pens? Let me know in the comments below!