As someone who can spend hours upon hours in the pen aisle at Staples and Target, it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with buying and playing with different writing utensils. I always have a pen on me, and in college every pocket of my bag pack, I’m sure there were at least 5 pens or markers hidden somewhere. I had my “general” pens, as in the ones I didn’t care if someone borrowed and I never saw again, and then I had “my” pens, as in my special set of pens and markers that I wouldn’t let anyone use. Yes, that may seem crazy, but as someone who has gotten into hand-lettering, good pens and markers are an essential part to making a hand-lettering project, and those can’t just be handed out to just anyone! Ranger offers some wonderful products that I have began to incorporate in my own hand-lettering, check out below to see what my favorite Ranger products to hand letter with are and why I love them so much!
Tim Holtz® Distress Markers
The line of Distress Markers makes various types of hand-lettering super easy! With the dual tip edge, including both a fine tip point on one end of the barrel and a brush tip on the opposite end, the markers are all in one. I found when using the Distress Markers, I was able to get a brushed lettering stroke with the Brush Tip end, and then go in with the Fine Tip end and fill in to get smoother edges. The Brush Tip is also great for creating bold lines and filling in large open spaces when creating larger letters and shapes. The Fine Tip isn’t just great for filling in small sections or smoothing out lines, but they are also the perfect tool for creating fine details and for thinner lines for faux calligraphy. The best thing? Distress Markers come in 61 fabulous colors to choose from!
Dylusions Paint Pens
New to the Dylusions collection this year are Dylusions Paint Pens. Available in both Black Marble and White Linen, these pens are filled with your favorite Dylusions acrylic paint with the convenience of a fine tip nib. These are a great for hand-lettering because the fine tip is great for precision and thin lines. The paint flows easily and consistently out of the nib allowing for smooth, clean lines. The Black Marble Paint Pen is great for writing on white as well as colored pages and the White Linen Paint Pen is an essential when writing on black. The greatest part of the Dylusions Paint Pens is the quick drying time, which means you won’t have to worry about smearing your work. The Paint Pens are great for all types of surfaces, yet drying time of the paint would depend on the surface you’re working on, so be mindful when working.
Dylusions Ink in Tim Holtz® Waterbrushes
Dylusions Ink Sprays are fun, bright, vibrant colors to craft with, add a Tim Holtz Waterbrush to them and you’ve got a great tool for hand-lettering and brush lettering. Just as Dyan Reaveley fills the Tim Holtz Waterbrushes with her Ink Sprays to color with, the filled brushes can also make the perfect tool for brush lettering. The Detailer Brush nib makes creating effortless brush strokes easy by keeping a thin line for upward strokes, yet with the added pressure a thick line for the downward strokes, which is essential in creating calligraphy writing. Although this technique can be done by going back and adding a thicker stroke where a downward stroke was done, this water brush makes doing it all at once possible. The Waterbrush can be filled with any of the 24 Dylusions colors.
Ranger Fude Ball Pens
When it comes to having a great basic, ready to use pen, I would suggest the Fude Ball. The tip of the pen is 1.5mm which means it is ideal for thinner lines and smaller details. The ink flows out very smoothly which makes effortless writing a breeze. Another great thing about the Fude Ball pen is that one it is dried, the ink is both water-proof and fade-resistant. The Fude Ball pen can be applied not only to paper, but it also is a great tool for hand-lettering on different mixed-media projects, which is why it is preferred by Dina Wakley. Although I’m biased to mainly using black pens in most of my hand-lettering projects, the Fude Ball pen is available not only in black, but also in a royal blue and a deep red, which are great basic colors to have in your pen palette.
Ranger Embossing Powders
To start off, I’m obsessed with Ranger’s Embossing Powders, ask anyone here at Ranger, and they can tell you that I love watching the powder melt with the Heat Tool and become smooth and dimensional. With the use of the Ranger Emboss It pen, I found that I was able to incorporate these amazing powders into my hand-lettering. The Ranger Emboss It pens are bullet tip pens that are available in both black and clear ink, which allows you to work on any type of paper you choose. The bullet tip allows you to create think lines, but as you can see in my example, I was able to go back and thicken some lines as well, so the tip allows you a lot of room to experiment. When working with the Ranger Emboss It pen and Embossing Ink, I find it easier to work in small sections because the powder needs to be applied to the ink before it dries in order to get the best results. The ink will definitely give you work time, but it is not feasible to hand letter an entire page and then go back and apply powder. In my example, I did a word at a time just to be safe. I love how with the Embossing Powders I’m able to get a shinny, glitter effect that is not always possible from basic pens. The Ranger Embossing powders come in 48 colors and textures, so its easy to find a color and texture that will work best for your project.
Ranger Perfect Pearls Pigment Powders
For adding a touch of pearlescent shimmer to my hand-lettering projects, I use Ranger Perfect Pearls Pigment Powders with the Ranger Perfect Medium Pens. I found that although the Perfect Pearl Powders work on any type of paper, they look especially nice on black paper, because the dark, black background really makes the shimmer of the colors stand out. The Perfect Pearl Medium Pens come in two different tips, a bullet tip for thin lines, and a brush tip, which allows for brush lettering styled writing or filling in broad strokes. These powders can be very versatile, if you like the pearlescent effect that these powders create, they can also be mixed with water and applied with a water brush or a paint brush and applies similarly to a paint instead of a powder dusting. Another great thing about these powders is they can be applied on top of other mediums to add a shimmer to an already completed project if you don’t want to hand letter complete with the powders. The powders come in 24 beautiful colors to add all types of shimmer to your hand-lettering projects!