Tools and Materials

Most of the tools and materials I have are bought exclusively from Paper & Ink Arts. I vouch for their amazing service, and they answer every question I have, especially when it comes to shipment. There is another site that sells some amazing tools and materials that you cannot find in Paper & Ink Arts: John Neal Bookseller. I have not bought anything from the latter yet, but they are recommended by a number of professional calligraphers, such as Maryanne Grebenstein (CALLIGRAPHY: A Course in Hand Lettering) and Michael Sull (Spencerian penman).I also joined The Flourish Forum recently. You can find a lot of information about the basics and advanced techniques/tools/materials to use for calligraphy.


Broad Edge and Pointed Nibs
Broad Edge nibs (left side, from the top):
Speedball C2
Speedball C3
Mitchell Roundhand Square Nib 4
Mitchell Roundhand Square Nib 2.5
Brause C Nib 1.5mm
Brause C Nib 2.0mm

I mainly use Brause nibs for practice and making fun projects, but I often switch with Speedball since they are bigger. I just tried Mitchell recently and my experience with it is not good. I might have heated the nib for too long that it must have distorted the tip.

Pointed Nibs (right side, from the top):
Mitchell Copperplate Elbow
Brause no. 361 Iserlohn
Hunt 56
Brause Steno Pen (but it says Leonardt 40 Steno) needs clarification
Manuscript G
Gillot 170
Gillot 1950
Gillot 303
Leonardt Extra Fine Principal
Gillot 404
Brause Extra Fine 66
Hunt 101

The first pointed nibs I got was the Manuscript G, Brause no. 361 and Brause EF 66 along with the Brause broad edge nibs when I first bought from Paper and Ink Arts. I did not have any idea what the nibs' purpose for, but I used it for scribbling and drawing. By the time I started practicing copperplate, I used Brause no. 361 and purchased for additional nibs to see if I might like other pointed nibs. Right now, I use either Leonardt EF Principal or Gillot 303 for Copperplate.

Straight Pen Holders

Oblique Pen Holders
Straight Pen Holders: Koh-I-Noor Cork Tipped Penholder (top), Speedball Holder (bottom)
Oblique Pen Holders: Oblique Red Peerless Holder (top), The Paper and Ink Arts Adjustable Oblique holder, Rosewood (bottom)

I prefer using Speedball Holder over Koh-I-Noor's, because the latter feels a little large on my fingers, but I use both alternately, especially if I practice different script sizes. For oblique holders, I prefer using the adjustable oblique holder, because it fits almost every pointed nib. I initially wanted to purchase Hourglass Adjustable Oblique, but they were out of stock that time and I needed them right away so I went with their recommendation. The Paper and Ink Arts Adjustable oblique holder is created by the same maker of the Hourglass Adjustable Oblique, but with a different shape.

Non-waterproof Inks
Non-waterproof Inks (from left to right): Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black, Higgins Eternal, Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink Matte Black

I am using Pelikan right now, since my Higgins is already depleted. I tried a little test with W&N and it produced a thick consistency. All the books I have read suggest to use non-waterproof inks over waterproof ones, because the latter clog the nibs after they dry up and will destroy the nibs, unlike non-waterproof inks where you can just clean it off with water.

Container (from left to right): Clear Dappen Dish with Lid, 4 Dinky Dips.
My leftover Higgins Eternal Ink is in one of those little dinky dips.

Kneaded Eraser
Eraser: I bought this out of curiosity. It turns out to be a good eraser.

Gouache Paint

Gouache: Reeve's gouache. I bought this from a local art supply shop. I did not have any idea about which gouache paints to buy so I settled with this.

I will be providing a detailed review on some of the materials/mediums/tools mentioned here, particularly the nibs and inks, on a future post.


Popular Posts