Calligraphy Week: My Favorite Calligraphy Tools
I absolutely love pointed pen calligraphy and the whimsical typography it produces. We all know how much I love to share my creations, and a lot of times I get asked how to get started. In a nutshell: just do it!
So this week I'm sharing some posts on my favorite tools, the basics of writing with pointed pen, how to fake calligraphy, and trying various styles of ink. Today let's talk about some of my favorite tools.
1. If you end up accumulating a lot of nibs like I do, you'll need a place to keep them contained. I'm currently eating my way (slowly) through a mint tin so I can use it to hold all my nibs. In the meantime I'm using a vial and put some washi tape to make it cute.
2. When you want to mix your own ink, you need something to contain them in. I bought these glass jars from Michael's.
3. I started my calligraphy journey with Higgin's Eternal Non-waterproof ink, which was recommended in Molly Jacques' Skillshare calligraphy course. It seems smooth and writes well, and it's very inexpensive. It will bleed on certain paper though, so be sure to test ink on any paper before you get in the groove.
4. Nibs! Nibs are the pieces that you add to your pen holder. They collect ink and you write using these nibs. There are SO MANY nibs to pick from - how do you decide where to start? I again went with Molly Jaques' recommendations, Gillot 303, Gillot 404, and Nikko G. I'm not a fan of the two Gillot nibs as they snag a lot, but the Nikko G writes like a dream.
Each nib is only a few dollars, but you'll want to order a few at a time in case any break. I usually order 3-5 of each. I've got a new order of nibs on the way to me in the mail so I'll be sure to let you know how those turn out.
5. If you want to branch out from basic nibs, gouache is the way to go! Gouache is used for painting, but in calligraphy land, this is a great way to create custom colors. I also had an easier time addressing envelopes with gouache rather than the Higgins ink. You mix a squirt of gouache with water, which I store in the same glass bottles as my nibs. Here is a great tutorial on how to mix gouache from Blue Eye Brown Eye.
6. And lastly, pen holders. You really can't do anything without a pen holder. These are what hold your nibs so you can create wonderful pieces of calligraphy. I almost exclusively stick with straight pen holders, but oblique offset holders are also available.
And that's it! I hope showing you what tools I use will help you get started on your calligraphy journey. My stuff is very basic right now but I hope to branch out more with more nibs and mediums such as brushes and brush pens.
Do you do calligraphy? What are some of your favorite tools?
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