Every time I post a photo of my work on Instagram, I am asked what nib, or what ink, or what brush I used. I get it – I often wonder the same thing when I see other artist’s work – and the right supplies are definitely crucial to good calligraphy.
I supply some of my favorite nibs and inks for my students in my workshops, and I also contributed some of my favorites to the Modern Calligraphy Summit supply list, but I thought maybe I’d let you in on the supplies that I use every day – the ones I absolutely can’t live with out.
One of my favorite online shops for supplies is Paper and Ink Arts. They have good prices, almost everything I need, and ship really quickly. I also love that they are a small business, and exclusively dedicated to calligraphy.
Here’s what I always order from there:
Brause EF66 nibs – My absolute favorite nib. I hardly ever use anything else. It’s flexible but creates nice hairlines. Ink flows from it smoothly. Seriously, my #1 love in the world of pointed pen. I buy them in bulk, as you can see above.
Speedball Straight Holder – I use a straight holder (not an oblique) and it doesn’t get cheaper than this. Standard but works totally fine and I can have a lot of them and not feel bad about it.
Koh-I-Noor Cork Tipped Penholder – This is a little more expensive, but nicer than the Speedball, and it has a flexible prong to hold any size nib.
Tachikawa T40 Holder – Even more expensive, but super cute, with a nice rubber grip and slots for different sized nibs.
Winsor Newton Calligraphy Ink (in black) – My go to black ink. It’s not too thin but still flows nicely.
Dr. Martin’s Bleedproof White – My go to white ink. Opaque. Flows nicely once you get it to the right consistency.
Dr. Martin’s Iridescent Colors (Copperplate gold) – My absolute favorite gold. Nice color. Nice shimmer. Flows when a lot of metallics don’t! (I also use the Silver and the Copper)
Winsor & Newton Gouache – I almost always use gouache over colored inks, and you can’t go wrong with Winsor & Newton.
Pentel Aquash Waterbrush – My favorite brush to use, whether it is filled with water or not. I love it because it keeps its point so well.
Single Refill Jar with Cap – Great inexpensive jars for mixing and storing gouache or ink.
Sakura Gelly Roll (White) – A great monoline white pen. Writes on a lot of different surfaces and goes on very opaque.
Small Staedtler Mars White Plastic Eraser – The eraser I’ve been using for about a million years.
Deluxe SpeedStir magnetic Ink Stirrer – This is great for metallic inks, which tend to settle. Now you don’t have to stir your ink for every envelope!
Canson Marker Paper – My favorite paper for spot calligraphy and practice. It is really smooth and semi-transparent so you can see liners under it without using a light box.
And below are a few other things I use all the time that, unfortunately, Paper and Ink Arts doesn’t carry (yet – hopefully soon, because it would be so awesome to only have to shop in one place.)
My light box – I used the same small, clunky light box for about 10 years, and just recently bit the bullet on buying a new one. And it wasn’t even expensive – I don’t know what I was thinking! I love it!
Tombow Dual Brush Pen – Great marker brush pens, especially for beginners. They come in almost any color you can think of.
Pentel Standard Brush Pen – Similar to the Aquash brushes, but I use these when I want black ink.
And of course, my magical Envelope Template Liners. I have been using them for years and years and can’t imagine my life without them!
(Please excuse how dirty some of my supplies are! They are obviously well loved and I am NOT GOOD about cleaning them…ever!)