When practicing with brush pens, the felt tips of the pens can fray. To avoid damage to the pens its important to consider using the right paper and holding the pen at an angle. Using alternative, less expensive, pens for practice can also spare the brush pens.

So let’s get started learning how to letter with Crayola markers! There are two ways – both are shown in a short video at the bottom.

1. Using pressure variations for thin and thick strokes

We’ve mentioned before that calligraphy is thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes. (To learn more see this post about faux calligraphy) The beauty of the flexible tip of a brush pen is you can achieve different thickness in your strokes by varying the pressure while writing. The Crayola felt tip is not as flexible but still lends itself well for pressure. Hold the Crayola marker as you would a brush pen and draw thin lines with minimal pressure, imagine the tip floating on top of the paper and barely touching. Touching it just enough to make a line. Now when you want to do a downstroke, pull the pen towards you and add pressure! So push the pen down on the paper.

Advantages: Same grip as brush pen and builds same muscle memory
Disadvantage: This can bend the tip a little so it becomes asymmetrical. Push down on the other side to get the shape back to its original form or try turning the pen in your hand while writing so there’s equal pressure all around the tip of the pen.

2. Using different angles for thin and thick

The special shape of the crayola tip allows for thick strokes to be achieved when the pen is angled so the side of its tip touches the paper. Thin strokes can be achieved by holding the pen upright and drawing with the top pf the tip. (see video at the bottom of the post id this doesn’t make sense)

Advantages: Thinner upstrokes and it won’t bend the tip.
Disadvantages: You need to vary your hold a lot! one letter might have several upstrokes and several downstrokes.

A close up of the Crayola tip to show how using its shape to achieve thin and thick strokes in brush lettering
Step 1. Holding the pen upright produces thin strokes. Step 2. Holding the pen at an angle and drwaing with the side of the Crayola tip gives thick strokes

Step 1. Holding the pen upright produces thin strokes. Step 2. Holding the pen at an angle and drwaing with the side of the Crayola tip gives thick strokes

Try both ways and see which one feels more comfortable for you. So pull out those childhood forgotten markers and start practicing!

Note: Each pen is different, so just because you master one doesn’t mean that all the other types will work as easily for you. I recommend you practice with every new pen you get, however for building muscle memory of letter shapes and connections, almost any pen would do.


The two ways too achieve brush script with crayola markers are

  1. Varying the pressure at thin and thick strokes
  2. Changing the angle for the thin and thick strokes


Have you ever tried this before? Which way do you prefer to use your Crayolas? Let me know in the comments below and if you have any additional questions I’d love to hear them! 

And if you feel you want to show me how you use any of these tips just #showandtellrim on Instagram. Talk to you soon!

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Video shows the first way to use crayola for brush lettering of exerting light pressure on thin up strokes and heavy pressure on thick downstrokes. The second way is changing the angle of your pen, hold the pen upright and draw thin strokes on the tip of the pen. For thick strokes, angle the pen and draw on the side.