I could've spent all kinds of money on this craft, so I knew I had to watch myself. There are really expensive watercolor brush pens out there, and expensive paper. I also learned that you get what you pay for. If I wanted to do this professionally, then yes, I should invest in the best supplies. If I was really going to do this professionally I'd use the free fonts I collect. But for my journaling this is what worked for me:
The Rhodia dot pad
This has nice dot grid paper that doesn't bleed readily. There is one exception I'll show you later. The paper is smooth so it doesn't wear out your markers.
This pad is really great for practice. Practicing every day is the number one thing you need to do to build your skill. These are some of my first attempts. I don't practice near as much as I should.
I need to work on getting those flourishes down.
These two books come highly recommended on Amazon. The Creative Lettering book on the left focuses more on traditional techniques while The Ultimate Brush Lettering Guide focuses on brush lettering, like it says. This is a comprehensive book that teaches about the types of supplies to use, different techniques to get those flourishes and composing signs using complimentary fonts. The practice sheets are specific to letters, phrases, and flourishes.
In most of the blog posts I've read about brush lettering Tombow Brush Pens are the most recommended. These are dual tipped, brush tip on one end and fine point on the other. They run about $20.00 a set. They are a little expensive for just practicing, but you really need to practice with them because they have a completely different feel in how you hold them. The brush tip makes drawing the letters a lot easier than regular markers. I have not used a watercolor brush yet. I don't think I'll get into it to that extent.
Don't forget about the inexpensive alternative to the brush pens--Crayola markers. Crayola markers give me a lot color selection. It takes some practice holding them just right because they are so different, but they work out really well.
The one set of markers I'd suggest you don't waste your money on is the Sharpie brush tip markers. The set costs about $12 but they smell very strong. The colors don't match the caps exactly. They come out a little darker. The other thing is:
They bleed. It is very difficult to control the amount of ink that hits the paper. As you can see, the ink bled onto the third page. I ended up giving these markers away. You can also see that still need a lot of practice.
This is on of my later attempts. I draw it out with pencil first. I used the Tombow markers, both ends. I really need to work on color choices, font choices, composition, and flourishes, but it's coming along. It is really quite relaxing. I enjoy practicing.
Keep on lettering!