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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Tombow Marker PensTombow Dual Brush Pens are the markers Marie Browning recommends in her book, Time To Tangle with Colors.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch Marie demonstrating her direct and indirect blending techniques with these pens in an excellent video here.

Tombow Dual Brush marker pens come in a variety of sets, including an enviable 96-piece professional set.

Easier-on-the-budget sets of 6 or 10 pens come in a selection of

Note that the smaller 6-pen sets don’t include the “brush pen”, aka blender, so if you want to try Marie’s techniques then you’ll need the blender brush pen included in the 10-piece sets.


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13 comments to Tombow Dual Brush Pens

  • Barbara Hoffbrand

    When I want colour in my tangles I use Zig Clean Color pens or Derwent watercolour pencils and then smear the colour using a water brush which you can find in any artists shop, it’s just like a brush but you fill it with water.

  • Keri

    Help! I made some great tangles and then colored with my new Tombow markers and the micron pen bled gray into the Tombow colors… 🙁 I had waited for it to dry, too so I’m at a loss what to do. I wanted to be able to color my tangles on the same paper. In fact, I know that the author recommends Sakura micron pigma pen for the tangle, and that’s what I’m using. I’m also using perfect paper for these tombows-140lb mixed media paper by strathmore (finally found the right paper for the tombows, and this paper is so easy to tangle on, like butter). The pure tombow colors become a little muddy as a color over the tangle. Hoping someone out there has a suggestion, maybe even from Ms Browning…? 🙂

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      Hi Keri, have you tried actual Zentangle tiles for the same experiment? Since the Micron ink is permanent I’m wondering if the finish on the Strathmore mixed media paper is not allowing the ink to dry thoroughly although it may appear to your eye to be dry. The comment you made about it being “like butter” makes me think there’s a coating on the paper, and coated stock never dries very well. I’m checking with “my sources” to see if they can offer any further enlightenment.

  • Keri

    Thank you so much, what a relief to get answered questions, your site is such a blessing. When I said butter I didn’t mean sheen, just that the tombow blended beautifully and the micron easily wrote on it. I waited 24 hours on the black ink and it still smeared, so it’s sounds like your hunch of it having a coating would be correct. If you could just direct me to a great paper for this use, I’d appreciate it. I wanted to create larger designs than the tiles, and that’s why I haven’t gone that route. Again, thank you so much for your time and the time you put into this site! 🙂

  • I have found that some papers are so absorbent – which is great for the Tombow markers – they suck up lots of the micron pen ink and give off the excess when colouring. Even when you wait for the ink to dry! This usually shows up when using the light colored markers such as yellow. It also happens when you overwork the color (scrubbing too much), which I find many people do.

    I also find, for some reason the Graphic 1 micron pen bleeds a lot, so not recommended with a water soluble marker. You are also right, coatings on paper sometimes have different results with pens and markers. I have used a paper just fine with microns and Tombow markers with no problem then have had bleeding when using the same paper but a different batch! Go figure!

    The solution: Test your paper first each and every time you start a piece. Canson now sells books with samples of their papers, very economical way to test different papers! It’s really hard to recommend the best paper, as there are also variables such as humidity to consider. I just say always test first!

    I have started to use Tombow’s Mono Twin permanent marker exclusively for large ZIAs so I never have this problem on any type of paper, you never get any transfer of ink into the color and I never wait for it to dry. I know many have commented not to use sharpie pens, but they also work for these large pieces, I like the fine tip grey and black barrel sharpie that doesn’t have any odour. I don’t recommend them on the Zentangle tiles, however.

  • Keri

    This is wonderful info, I figured there had to be compatible markers! I think it’s this one you are speaking of “Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen – Twin Tip – Gray & Black Ink”, I found it on Amazon and can’t wait to get it and try it out. Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it!

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      I don’t believe the Fudenosuke is the same pen Marie recommends, I added the Mono Twin she mentioned to the Amazon slide show above and you can click through to see it and compare the two. Will be interested to hear what you discover once you’ve tried them.

  • Thanks for all the advice, the paper I am using at the moment is very unsatisfactory maybe should change the pen. xx

  • Keri

    Uh oh! and I don’t see the slide show you are mentioning. I see a line that says “Find Tombow marker pens on Amazon, but no pictures and it goes right into the comments… I’ll look for “mono tip.”

  • Kim

    Keri, I also found the Sakura microns bleed with water, no matter what paper I’m using. They tend to run out of ink really fast and was purchasing a lot of them. So, I switched to Copic Multiliners. They are a bit more expensive than the Sakura; however, if you purchase the A set, they are refillable and the tips can be replaced. Since they are made by copic, they also work beautifully with Copic markers and other alcohol based markers for coloring. They also work well with mixed media art. I absolutely love my multiliners and have found them well worth the investment.

  • Holly

    Marie’s technique is great and I have some Tombow pens but I color with SpectrumNoir alcohol pens. I use the Micron pens and prefer the Canson Magna paper.

  • Keri

    Thank you everyone, lots to consider and try out!

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