If I’m being completely honest I would still consider myself newer to the calligraphy world, but I seriously love everything to do with it especially all of the pointed pen calligraphy supplies! In regards to modern calligraphy (which uses dip pen & ink like traditional calligraphy does but does not follow the same rules) I am self taught and basically used my own wedding invite envelopes to really dive in. I also took a traditional Italics Calligraphy workshop and learned the basics but have not gone back to that style in my own work.
Since I’ve become immersed in modern calligraphy I thought I’d share a few of the basic pointed pen calligraphy supplies you need to get started! The minimum supplies include a calligraphy pen, a nib, some ink, and paper, however there are so many options available I know it can be a little intimidating to start. So let’s break it down!
As a caveat these are all pointed pen calligraphy supplies that I have personally used and loved but I’m sure there are many many more awesome ones out there and I plan to keep testing them all out! All of these supplies plus so much more can also be found on my favorite things page!
My essential pointed pen calligraphy supplies list originally started off with a simple Speedball pen holder which I still use regularly. I then added in 2 more pen holders with a universal insert. I really just rotate through the 3 of them and they all work great. The speedball has a nice ergonomic curve that feels good and then the General’s brand has a cork grip which makes it more comfy for longer calligraphy sessions.
*One special note about my pens is that I do not use an oblique version since I’m a lefty calligrapher. I know they do make lefty specific ones but I have not tried one. If you are a righty (as most people are) I would definitely recommend trying a straight pen and an oblique pen to see what you like best!
There are a ton of options when it comes to nibs and it really is all about preference and what works for you over time. I’ve tried out a few different ones so far and figured out my favorites from reading reviews and testing them out. Based on all of that my top 3 recommended nibs include the Nikko G, the Hiro 40, and my favorite: the Brause Steno No. 361 aka Blue Pumpkin. My advice is to just experiment with the nibs until you find something that works for you!
With ink I started with a basic black but quickly moved on to experimenting with colors & white right away because it somehow made it more fun for me! My first black ink I used was from the calligraphy workshop class supply list and was Higgins Eternal Black. It’s a really good ink and I still use it today for practicing, but in the meantime have tested a few other blacks to compare. Currently I am in love with LH Calligraphy’s ink, including their black. It flows really well and dries as a nice rich black.
As far as diving into color I actually started using super fun colors right away, mostly because it’s what I wanted to use for my wedding calligraphy and also because I love fun colors (have I mentioned that enough yet?). So here are the specifics that I used and experimented with: Winsor & Newton’s White Calligraphy Ink, Pearl Ex powdered pigments rose gold, and Dr. Ph. Martin’s Iridescent Copper. As a beginner the white worked really well and showed up plus dried great on dark papers. Also the powdered pigment was fun to mix in with the white and the copper to see what different colors of pinks and rose golds I could achieve.
Overall I think picking out colored inks is trial and error to see how the texture is and how it flows. You can always add water or let it dry out some to test different consistencies. Right now I have also been using a few of the colored inks from LH Calligraphy and they are fantastic, I might be hooked on that brand for awhile!
The last essential item on my pointed pen calligraphy supplies list is paper! I started calligraphy using whatever paper and sketchbooks that I already had available. That being said smooth laser printer paper is actually really good for calligraphy especially for just starting out. You have less to worry about with the nib getting caught on paper fibers as you practice. Currently I still use paper I have lying around and basically any sketchbook with empty pages! Bonus tip, If you are starting off doing envelopes then my favorite ones that I’ve used for addressing so far are these ones from Paper Source.
If I expanded my pointed pen calligraphy supplies list beyond the essentials then I would also include containers, brushes, water droppers, pencils & more! There are so many additional supplies that are great to have but not always necessary. I really do love having extra containers plus dinky dips to put my ink in so it’s easier to dip or mix if needed. Also a great eraser plus eraser stick is your best friend if you pencil out your artwork first, but make sure the ink is completely dry before using it! Lastly a white mechanical pencil is useful for work on dark backgrounds.
Once you have your collection of supplies started my advice is to just start playing around with it! All you have to do it insert the nib into the pen, dip it in the ink, and start writing! Now I now it’s not exactly that simple to master modern pointed pen calligraphy, but it’s the best way to start! Also I will share some more beginner’s information soon.
If there’s anything I missed or you have questions leave a comment and I will try my best to get you an answer! I’d also love to hear if you are new to calligraphy and how it’s going!