How To Choose Calligraphy Tools
How To Choose Calligraphy Tools
Calligraphy tools may just be simple, but how do you choose the right tool to get the right letter form? Paul Antonio shares his know-how on this essential part of calligraphy.
How to choose calligraphy tools. Choosing calligraphy tools and materials is an essential part to getting the right letter form. There's a huge array of tools and materials to choose from and of course, the simplest is the pencil.
Pencils can then be bounded together to make double pencils. They appear as two pencils held together with rubber bands. You can use masking tape for this as well.
If you are going to use pencils, then it is advisable to have some sandpaper on to sharpen them because in pulling them apart and putting them back together, you absolutely need it. The next step would be to go for markers. There's a huge range of marker pens that are used for calligraphy, Edding pens, Barrel pens, Pilot pens.
My preference is the Manuscript Pen Company marker pens which come in four colours, brown, black, red and blue. And then, the next step up from there would be to aim for fountain pens. So, the fountain pens, again, like the markers, come in a huge range of nibs and pens and choices.
Let's start with the simplest one. This is an individual pen, this is one of the Manuscript Pen Company pens which is an italic calligraphy pen set. It is very simple, one nib, two cartridges, and this is called a converter.
Those converters just go into the pen where the cartridge would go as we can see here and this is what you use to dip into the bottle of ink and just pull. So, don't pull too hard, otherwise this will be a bit damaged. The next step up from there would be to go for a beginner' set.
So, let's look at these two together. So, the beginner's set has three nibs whereas the italic pen set only has one. So, you're starting to think of more complex tools with more bits and parts and then we can go up to the classic set, if you're planning to give it a gift, which has five nibs or a sort of deluxe set which has six nibs and four different coloured inks.
Just a little note on pens, the pens are made with either a screw top or a pull-off. This one is a pull-off. You unscrew them to put the cartridge in but don't forget that you can double up on your cartridges by placing this one upside down so that if you run out of ink on one cartridge, you actually have a backup.
Don't forget to check that. The next thing to go up to would be the dip pen set. Now, again, the Manuscript Pen Company does a wonderful range of pens and we can start with the simplest pen set.
So, this is a dip pen set which comes with ink. That's your nib. That's your holder.
There's your ink. You can get these in two types. You can get them with a square edged nib or you can get them with a pointed nib.
So, let's look at those a little bit more deeply. So, this is a pointed nib and this is a square edged nib. Pointed nibs are flexible so if you apply pressure to the tip, you can see that it spreads.
So if you're going to press hard, be very careful with this. These are not as flexible but they do have a little give in there. Now, you can also go on and look at brushes.
These are Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour brushes and they can be used for calligraphy as well and they do really beautiful calligraphy. However, they are a lot bigger than nibs are which means you have to be thinking large when you aim to use these. With the Manuscript Pen Company, when you're going to the stores, this is what you'll see.
You'll see a set which has holders to choose from, colours to your preference, and different types of nibs and nib fittings. We have square edged nibs of various sizes, going down to 6, going all the way up to 0, we have enlarged nibs which are a lot bigger than the square edged nibs, we have some very fine pointed nibs and of course, you also have specialist nibs which have round edges. So, these are quite tricky to use.
If you are a beginner, be careful of that. The next material to get on to would be the inks. There are different types of inks.
You have the water-based inks which are very best