How To Choose Your Calligraphy Supplies

You need the right calligraphy supplies to create the fine lines and precise strokes that define this style of writing. These include high-quality pens, nibs, paper and ink.

Pens
Pens are available in varying styles, lengths, widths and nib points. Pens may have a slender base and a cushioned grip. They might be made of glass or fashioned out of bamboo. Pens used for posters or large pieces of work may require a different nib, such as brush pens that use a nylon nib and lettering pens with varying nib widths. Some pen types use bottled ink instead of ink cartridges.

Selecting the proper-sized pen is a key component. If you have small hands, you will find a large, bulky pen cumbersome, which will affect your ability to write precision letters.

Likewise, if your pen is too small, you will find you have less control over the pen, resulting in awkward lines and strokes. A comfortable pen that is easy to control and use will help you create crisp, clear and clean letters.

Nibs
Nibs are the tips at the end of the pen base and are similar to a fountain pen, only larger and with a flat or pointed tip instead of a rounded tip. The nibs come in varying styles that include extra fine, fine, medium, broad and scroll.

The type of nib you use depends on the type of lettering or decorative writing you want to create. Calligraphy supplies include nibs specific to writing, drawing, ornamental lettering and sketching. Some pen types use a converter instead of an ink cartridge to fill the nib with ink. Nibs are durable and made from several materials including nylon, brass, goat hair and gold-plated.

Paper
Paper used for calligraphy has a thicker weave in order to hold the ink. Rice paper is available in individual sheet sizes or rolls with varying widths and lengths. Vellum or white, antique gold, pink and blue parchment paper is available in sheets or pads, and parchment practice pads with horizontal lines are useful as a guide.

Ink
Ink for calligraphy pens is available bottled, as an ink cartridge or in the form of an ink stick. The ink cartridges come in colors such as purple, blue, red and turquoise and, depending on the individual pen manufacturer, they may have an extra-long replaceable cartridge. Other pen manufacturers providing calligraphy art supplies offer refillable cartridges using a separate converter.

Bottled ink is available in a variety of blends, including acrylic and water-resistant, permanent, water-soluble, non-clogging and waterproof, each blended to ensure a smooth and even flow from the nib.

Ink sticks are long-lasting and require a small amount of water blended in an ink well with material from the stick to create the ink mixture. Ink sticks are durable and easily stored.

You might want to start small instead of loading up on supplies all at once. That way, you can find out which calligraphy supplies work best for you as you go.

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