Wondering what kind of gold ink I like to use? Or what nib I use for almost all my calligraphy work? I've rounded up a bunch of my favorite supplies below in case you're looking for any suggestions on what to buy!
Ziller Oblique Holder (pictured above)
- This is one of the plastic nib holders I use. There are a few different types of this brand depending on which nib you're trying to use it with, but the one I linked is for the Nikko G nib since that's pretty popular.
- Ok, this is my newest splurge and obsession. I say splurge because it's not cheap as far as a pen holder goes, but treat it with care and it should last forever. This is a universal nib holder, meaning it holds almost any nib. Tighten the screw to make sure the nib stays in place. It is a beauty, and I love that it fits any nib, in case you need convincing...
- A sturdy nib, so you'll need to press harder for more thin/thick line weight differentiation, but very good for writing on rougher papers or handmade paper because it's not as sharp of a nib point, so it won't catch as easily on textured surfaces.
- My favorite nib because it's pretty springy which lends itself to really nice thin/thick line weight differentiations. I use this for almost everything I can, and I use this on marble tiles!
- A very soft nib, meaning it doesn't take much pressure to make the ink come out in thick spurts, so be careful! But once you get the hang of this nib, it's great. It creates very thick lines as well as very thin lines too.
Nikko G Nib (pictured above)
- One of the more popular beginner nibs because it helps you learn to not press so hard and control your pressure. I rarely use this nib anymore, but it's always good to have a few on hand! I know a lot of people who use this for everything and for marble tiles too.
- Great brush pen set. One requires a bit more pressure (hard) and the other less so. I use both, depending on what kind of lettering look I'm going for!
- Similar to the above pens, but I don't believe this one is waterproof. This one is more similar to the Tombow Hard tip one above.
- I use this for brush lettering on envelopes. Great springy quality that allows me to use thicker inks like gouache or Bleedproof White without a problem.
- Good for brush lettering with more watery inks and watercolors. Also good for general watercolor painting in small areas.
- I also use these for brush lettering. These give a more bold brushy look because the brush hairs are very sturdy synthetic bristles. You can fill these with ink, or water and then dip into a watercolor pan, but you can also use them by just dipping into ink, which is what I do.
- One of my favorite white paint pens that is readily available. Decently opaque coverage.
- This paint pen is slightly more "brass" in color than the Sharpie gold paint pen, but this one is still my favorite. Writes well and the ink is pretty consistent.
- Same pen as above but in copper! Love it.
- I discovered this recently. It's an empty paint pen basically that you can fill with ink - perfect for those times when you want a paint pen in a random color like gray or navy. I think Molotow sells special ink that you can put in here, but I also use Golden High-Flow acrylics (see "Inks & Paints" category below). I filled mine with white and it wrote sooo well.
INKS & PAINTS
Dr. Ph Martin's Iridescent Copperplate Gold (pictured above, mixed with Pearl Ex)
- My favorite gold ink. Very consistent, opaque, and waterproof, and you can just dip your nib directly into the ink and use it right away.
- A very dark, pigmented and opaque black ink. I use this more than I do my sumi ink now, but that's just personal preference. This ink does stick to the nib though, so you have to scrub it off when you're done (see "Accessories" category below for my suggestion!).
Pearl Ex Super Bronze (pictured above, mixed with Copperplate Gold)
- A powdered metallic pigment. I love Pearl Ex because it's easy to mix into any existing ink, or easy to mix with water and gum arabic to make an ink. I will mix this into Copperplate Gold sometimes to get a custom gold that's a little bronzey.
- Same as above, but this is a very reddish-toned copper. I mix this with a combo of Copperplate Gold and Super Bronze to make a slightly less reddish copper!
- The only sumi ink I've ever used because it apparently doesn't have as much of an odor as other sumi inks. I like it, so I can't complain! It's waterproof and has a slight sheen when it dries.
- These are acrylic paints that are more fluid but just as pigmented as regular acrylic paint. I've used a few neon colors before and the neon quality is excellent. I've also filled my Molotow empty paint pen with the white color and it works great.
- It comes in either a liquid or powder form (I've linked the liquid here for you). I use the powder, but the liquid may be more convenient to use. Either way, it thickens inks and paints. Very useful to have, especially when trying to mix up Pearl Ex into an ink.
- A very very buttery smooth and semi-translucent paper perfect for doing spot calligraphy, or practicing calligraphy. I love this paper.
- Also great for doing spot calligraphy or practicing calligraphy, but not quite as smooth as the Canson Marker paper. Great for pencil sketches also.
- It's expensive for a reason - it's a very quality sheet of watercolor paper made of 100% cotton. It's pretty textured and takes the watercolors very well.
- A very good everyday watercolor paper. I use this for practice or just random paintings, and I try to use the Arches for the "final" piece, but if you're on a budget, this works great as your "final" piece paper too!
- Perfect for cleaning your nibs, especially when the ink tends to stick to the nib. Especially useful for cleaning smaller nibs like the EF66.
Dinky Dips (pictured above)
- These work great for holding small amounts of ink and also keeps your ink jars from tipping over. The container looks very small but it's just the right amount typically, because then the ink won't dry out and you can always refill it every once in a while.
- Really useful for transferring ink into dinky dip jars, transferring ink or water during the ink mixing process, adding small amounts of water to other mixtures, etc.
- Great for storing larger amounts of ink, for example, when you need to mix a lot for a large envelope project. Then I take my eyedropper and transfer some into a dinky dip container so that the remainder of the ink doesn't dry out or spill over.
- For sketching, obvs.
- I don't use any other eraser because 1, these are fun to knead in your hands if you're fidgety, and 2, these can lightly erase pencil marks if you want to still see them, or you can press harder to fully erase pencil marks.
- I just got these recently and haven't had too much of a chance to use them, but they can erase ink from handmade paper if you accidentally splattered a bit, etc. I think you can also use it on regular paper.. I could be wrong..
- Perfect for sketching lightly onto dark surfaces. I also use these for sketching onto chalkboards, wood signs, and black canvas. This can also be a substitute for chalk when you need to do more detail work or write smaller, but they may not be quite as erasable as regular chalk, so beware.
- For doing chalkboard signage.
- Perfect for making sure your lines are straight on dark envelopes or paper, or even lighter colored envelopes and paper when you don't want to deal with sketching guidelines and erasing them. People also use something called a slider writer which is basically a fancy clipboard-laser level combo, but apparently those are not being made right now, and they're also more expensive. So a regular laser level will do the trick!
Can't wait to hear what items you love - whether you're about to order them, or whether you've used them before! Have any questions about other supplies I use? Ask below!
Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. Everything linked here is something I would use and hope you'll love too!