Updated: Jan 20
A list of supplies that I have used to get started in pointed pen calligraphy.
Are you the one who is really excited about different strokes, flourishes, beautiful forms of the letters
& can’t wait to start your calligraphy journey ??? Well, it is so exciting to start something new but you could easily get disappointed when you don’t find the proper supplies or don’t know where to buy them.
So I have decided to write this article to share all the supplies that I used to get started & the supplies that I am using these days for pointed pen calligraphy. I hope it will help you to choose the correct tool & start your journey comfortably into this beautiful art. So let’s jump right in!
There are 5 basic supplies that I recommend : Paper, Holder, Nib, Ink & Ink Jars
I generally practice on plain paper & draw lines by myself. I get immense satisfaction in drawing lines, it’s super relaxing but if you don’t want to do that, I totally get you. There are 2 types of paper plain as well as ruled. You can use any one as per your comfort. Experiment with various papers to decide what works best for you.
If you are the one who likes to work on separate sheets of paper then go for JK Cedar Paper They are of a good quality. You can also try Brustro Papers. Just don’t forget to mention the dates so that you can track your progress.
Rhodia pads are of equally good quality & they come in both types plain as well as ruled. Choose the one as per your preference.
You can also use our own Ink n Bliss Practice Pads for copperplate or modern or calligraphy. Our papers are so good that you will end up writing more.
Using a good quality paper is very important for a good writing experience. You want to produce best results without ink bleeding or feathering. So you better invest in it since beginning.
HOLDER (Calligraphy Pen)
There are two types of holders straight & oblique. You can absolutely start with a straight holder. I used Cretacolor straight holder for so long even for commercial work. Now I use oblique holder a lot these days but I still love using straight holder sometimes for a change.
If you want to go for Oblique holders then there is a lot of variety available. Generally they are a little expensive compared to straight holders but are totally worth it. We have a range Wooden Oblique Holders for beginners. They are extremely light weight, durable & perfect for beginners.
Of course as a beginner you probably don’t know which holder to select but remember it’s not the straight or oblique holder that makes calligraphy beautiful but its all about how comfortable you are using it. So once you buy your desired holder practice as much as you can & get familiar with it so that you can determine your own preference.
Selecting a proper nib is essential for writing beautifully. At first all nibs may appear similar but if you look closely you will realize that they are different & with a right nib selection you will end up writing more & more pages. So select your nibs smartly.
The nib should make a fine hairline & should be flexible enough to make thick strokes. I started with Nikko G & I used it continuously for almost 2 years. It’s a medium flexible nib & it produces a great balance of thin & thick strokes. It will help you to understand how much pressure to apply while writing. If you have already used a Nikko G & you want to try a more flexible nib then definitely go for Hunt 101. It’s my new favorite.
I also like using Leonardt 40 Nib also known as Blue Pumpkin or Hiro Nib for some of my projects. I keep changing in between Hunt 101, Hunt 22 & Principle EF depending upon the work I am doing. Check out this Post to understand more about nibs & if you can't wait to try one of these, I would recommend getting our 'Nibs with Storage Tin' to try your hands at each of these.
For calligraphy it’s always better to use calligraphy inks than regular fountain pen inks. There are so many gorgeous, shiny, colourful inks available in the market. It’s very hard to select just one. But since beginning I have always loved working with Black Sumi ink There is something about this ink. It’s dense black colour flows smoothly from the nib. One more advantage of Black ink over any other colour ink is, you can understand letter forms, it’s structure & formation better in black colour which helps in improving your skills.
If you are the one who can’t leave without adding a little bit of shine to your work then buy Finetec Watercolours without even thinking twice. The shine of Finetec is so so good, you will fall in love with it immediately. I also use Pearl Ex Powders for many of my commission works. The shimmer & colours of Pearl Ex are really beautiful & the results are gorgeous. If you are buying Pearl Ex powders, don’t forget to add Gum Arabic to your list.
My favourite white ink is Dr.PH Martin Bleed Proof Ink. It’s a fabulous ink & one of the most popular amongst all the calligraphers.
Dinky Dips (Mini Ink Jars)
If you are just starting out, you might be wondering what Dinky Dip is ???
Let me explain. It’s a small transparent jar to store your ink. So instead of using large ink bottles every time you sit for writing, you can pour some amount of ink into these cute jars & use them instead. It’s very convenient. As the jars are transparent, you can control the amount of ink on your nib. I also loved the fact that dinky dips are extremely lightweight, fixed tightly in a wooden base & are easy to carry anywhere.
If you think its too much & you are already running out of your budget, you can stick to the original Sumi ink or walnut ink bottles. Their mouth is quite wide & you can dip your nib into it very easily.
In the beginning I never used Dinky Dip but once I get to know about them, it was hard to ignore these cute tiny jars. After all we all need some fancy things around for inspiration, don’t we?
Now that you know some basics I would like to encourage you to take some time & decide what you want before you go out & start spending money on different supplies. For a complete beginner I would suggest to select one tool you liked the most & stick to it for several months. Once you understand the fundamentals & get better at your skill you can invest in a lot of different tools that suits you. Till then you can use this list as a point of reference.
What I have shared here is the list of tools that worked best for me but remember the concept of “best tools” varies from person to person. If you ask favorite tools to 10 different calligraphers probably you will get 10 different answers. It’s a highly personal choice. So it is worthwhile to experiment with different nibs, inks & holders to find out what is most comfortable for you.
If you are looking for more, here is a curated list of all my favorite supplies at one place.
(This list includes Copperplate calligraphy tools, Brush Calligraphy tools, tools for writing on different surfaces, drawing tools, stationery, recommended books etc.)
If this information is so overwhelming & you are looking for an easy solution, check out our Copperplate Starter Kits I have put everything that you need to get started. With this beautifully presented kit you will start learning in no time.
I hope this post was insightful. If you have any more questions or suggestions regarding this post, I would love to hear them in the comments below.
Have a blissful day !