I'm going to make this a really short post ya'll! I know a few of my followers are fellow artist and makers and I know how much you love seeing how others create their work, so this post is just for you! I'm breaking down some of my favorite supplies — 10 to be exact — and as an added bonus, I'm also showing where I order them through!
So let's get right into it! In no particular order of favorites, here are my favorite calligraphy and art supplies. Also, I think I have to mention here that I am in no way endorsed or encouraged by any of the mentioned suppliers below to link to them. This post does contain links to outside sources, but I have linked because I love them and I think you will too :)
1. Nikko G Nib
This is my go to nib for almost all my project that I consider it my exclusive tool for Blush and Blue Designs. I love the thin upstrokes and that it's a little stiffer of a nib. I tend to have a heavy hand so this nib is perfect for when I get a little too excited with my flourishing. You can grab them from my favorite nib supplier Paper Ink Arts online or if you're lucky and live in Nashville they now have a brick and mortar store, that I have been dying to get to!
2. Canson XL Series Marker Pad
I've been using the Canson XL marker pad for my calligraphy practice almost since I first started taking calligraphy lessons 5 years ago. I also use Beinfang marker pad, which is really nice for your practice and laying out projects as well. I just buy the Canson one a little more often. Overall I would say, if your learning calligraphy or just practicing your skills, a good quality marker paper (and lots of it) is extremely important to have on hand. I always have at least 3 to 4!
Light pads/boxes come in all shapes and sizes these days! Which makes them light and portable and easy to add to your studio. I have this light pad from amazon it's extremely affordable compared to some others I have seen and has held up really well for the past year and a half that I've it. I use a light pad for almost all of my sketches. For final art work I place multiple pieces of paper and different layers of the drawing over each other to create a final rendering, this way I dont mess up the original sketch should I need it again. Light pads also come in handy when working on envelope jobs or larger calligraphy pieces, to place your printed line sheets under your paper without having to pencil in the grid. However, this doesn't work nearly as well for some denser paper weights and darker paper colors.
4. Waccom Intuos Tablet
By far one of my favorite tools is my waccom tablet.The number one thing I use it for is it vectorizing lettering and creating with the pen tool in illustrator. It feels so much more comfortable to use a pen as my "mouse" than the actual mouse and I can get a lot more accurate with my details. The ability to program hot keys to the buttons on the tablet also makes it efficient when trying to work quickly through projects.
5. Winsor & Newton Watercolor
I actually use a TON of different brands for my paints. Turner, Daniel Smith, Lukas and Sennelier to name a few more. Winsor & Newton just happens to be the one that's on sale most often when I'm out shopping for paints. There's also a huge Carolina art show during the Fall where I like to stock up on the other brands I love.
6. Yasutomo® Sumi Ink Black
I use a lot of different inks depending on the project, but this one tends to be my go to for practice and envelopes (the bottle with the red cap). I can trust that it wont run when wet, which makes it great for envelopes, and straight out of the bottle it has a nice consistency that works with my nikko G quite well. You can pick it up at John Neal book sellers along with plenty of other sumi inks! Higgins eternal black ink is also a very good ink, and was the one my initial calligrapher instructor recommended to all her students.
7. Dr. Martin's Bleed Proof White Ink
While we're on the topic of inks, every lettering artists and calligrapher needs their fail proof white ink for those darker envelope jobs. Dr. Martin's Bleed Proof White Ink is by far my favorite, and the favorite of many other calligrapher friends too! It dries opaque and doesn't need much work out of the bottle to work with your nibs! Go ahead, try it, I bet you'll like it!
8. Winsor & Newton Gum Arabic
I think this one is a must have on hand for all calligraphers. Adding gum arabic to your gouache or ink ensures that the ink will be sticking to your paper. After sitting out for a bit my ink will sometimes need a refresher of a little gum arabic to get it running nice and smooth again. Gum arabic increases viscosity of paints, thickening them enough to use with your nib without them running or bleeding. Mostly. It takes a bit of practice to know the proper amount of gum arabic to add to your paints and inks. But like all things in calligraphy practice makes perfect! Gum arabic will also add a bit of shine to your inks and paints, helping to brighten a dull colored ink.
9. Pentel Brush Pen
The Pentel Sign Pen Brush Tip is one of my favorite brush pens. It makes a great practice tool if you're just starting to learn brush calligraphy and also works really well for envelope jobs. The Pentel Brush Pen comes in a pretty good range of colors as well! but I suggest the black, as it's a staple. The tip is somewhat flexible and smaller than some of the larger brush pens out there (like Tombow) making it a great pen for beginners and writing quicker. At least it helps me write quicker! You may love the longer brush tip pens and that's perfectly cool too! Try them all!
10. Mechanical Pencil
I thought pretty dang hard about what I wanted my last tool tip to be and when it comes down to the bare bones of my calligraphy practice all that's left is my pencil. I prefer mechanical pencil because I hate sharpening pencils and I like the ease of just clicking to bring down more lead. The points are also always super small which I love. You will use a pencil with just about everything calligraphy related. Drawing rule lines, sketching illustrations in, sketching your words before your write over them, experimenting with flourishes before you find THE ONE. I actually have no idea where I got my mechanical pencil. It's a Pentel and it was VERY affordable, if I had to guess I'd say maybe $5 max and packs of lead are about $2.
And there you have it folks! My short but important list of supplies I use on the regular for making and calligraphy. Now there are PLENTY of supplies I touch daily that did not make this list, I wanted the list to be well rounded enough so that maybe you haven't seen some of the supplies mentioned here before. In the future I may do a "supplies I use 2.0" or add more to this list as well. We'll see what happens!
until next time - Happy making my friends!