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How To Use Calligraphy Tools

How To Use Calligraphy Tools

In calligraphy, you don't need extraordinary tools to scribble beautiful letters. Calligraphy tools can be as simple as a pencil. Learn more through this video about which materials you should use.

How to use calligraphy tools. We'll start off with the simplest tool, a pencil. So, the pencil can be sharpened and we can use it on its point to make monoline letters or we can use it on its side to make interesting shaded letters.

The next thing to go up to would be double pencils. Take two pencils. This is the best tool to start learning calligraphy because it gives you two lines which is the outline of a square pen and it's the principle on which it works.

Once, calligraphy is based on using the angle of the nib to a baseline and so we get this shape and then we line the points up, and so this is the best way to start especially if you don't want to spend a lot of money. Markers – with marker pens, we use a large one, we take an extra broad and we see if it's the same principle as the double pencils. Don't press too hard and keep the pen at a reasonable angle.

You can put vertically but some pens have a truncated edge so you do really want to glide on the edge of that truncated edge. Fountain pens – these are fountain pens with cartridges in them. So, this one has a cartridge and the nib is quite small.

Next up, choosing a dip pen. Go to your local bookstore that has a set and you choose the holder and the nib. So, this is a square pen.

Hold the square pen like this. If I'm now to hold the square pen otherwise, you can cross it into the sides of the nib and damage it. Insert it into the holder like so until it doesn't really move that much and then, we use the reservoir.

This is used with holding more ink on the pen and you want to put the reservoir just a little way back, about a millimetre off of there. Some nibs need curing before you can actually use it because all nibs have lacquer on them so they don't rust. You might need to lick the nib gently and your saliva will help to take the lacquer off.

Some people suggest you'd run it through a flame but if you do this, you can actually damage the nib because they are very thin bits of metal and they lose their temper very easily. It's very important especially if you're going to use a pointed nib. Removing the lacquer helps with the flow with the ink on the nib and we'll also look at using a pointed nib.

Again, with the pointed nib, hold it very carefully. These are even more delicate than the squared nibs. The thing about pointed nibs is you really need to hold the page at a slightly different angle so that the tines of the nib spread evenly.

Next up, choosing the right ink. I use Manuscript fountain pens but I'm also going to look at using Winsor & Newton calligraphy inks. These inks are slightly thicker and denser.

Always have little rags to stop them from getting everywhere and then they're quite good. As you can see, this ink is a lot thicker and they're also a lot denser. It is advisable to thin this down with a little bit of water but not in the jar.

So, little jam jars are very important. Just use a little bit of water with your ink, syringes filled with distilled water is very important, and you can actually get a dropper. I'm going to look at how to use gouache.

I'm using my favourite paper which is G.F. Smith colour plan and these come in pads.

But I'm going to use a dark colour because I'm going to show you how to mix a light pink. Take a little bit of zinc white, distilled water, and you want this to be just about the consistency of cream. So, I'm mixing the colour up.

Candleholders are very useful for holding. I'm a dipper. Some people are brushers, meaning they will use the brush to put the ink onto the back side of the nib but I generally prefer to dip my nibs.

When you dip, there's no need to wipe it off, just shake gently and the excess will come off. So, this ink is a little bit on the thin side. As you can see, it's pulling together.

So, you might need to add a little bit of gum Arabic which helps to bind the ink together better. It also helps to fix the ink much better on the surface. Next