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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.


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Copperplate Practice: Quotes

When I started practicing the majuscules, they were divided into sets, and the first set was from the letters A to H. I encountered troubles doing the majuscules but most of it was fun to do because I love doing flourishes with the capital letters, especially when I take notes during my primary and secondary education. The image below is a combination of names, fruits, countries and miscellaneous objects.

These are all quotes I collected into my little journal. The second quote by Andre Gide has a minor mistake (aside from the need for improving consistency), the miniscule letter 'L' in the word 'faithful'. I knew it was l, but when I reached the last letter of that word, what came into my mind was writing 'f', thus the result. I realized it too late, but glad I was able to stop about 3/4 of the complete form. I really love writing the miniscule 'f', so it may have made its way into my brain then to my hand muscles. 
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Since last January, I decided to focus on mastering Copperplate or Roundhand Script/Engrosser's Script (?) as they call it. I like writing in cursive and my natural handwriting is in cursive. When I was still in grade school, our teachers were so strict with cursive they want our notes to be in one. If not, it would reflect on our final grades. Due to such discipline, my right hand got used to cursive.

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I started practicing Copperplate so that I can create the kind of gift I want to give to my brother and his wife for their wedding. This is the result:

I daresay, I am a bit disappointed ^^; Maybe because I was hurrying in trying to finish this or that there were a lot of mistakes in it. I did not have any special fine papers around to work with, so I only used the Boris Layout Pad (a shame, really) for this project. As with the ink, I only used black gouache paint. The same goes with the blue rose drawing. I did not use the W&N nor the Pelikan black ink I have with me for this project because I do not like the result it makes. 
I did have a previous version made, but it was a practice pad. I don't know what made me choose the bigger flower; I should've sticked with my first choice. Too late, I already gave the gift, anyway. But I'm happy that the bride likes it. I'll try better and work harder on my next project. 

Source: Native American Wedding Vows