Our Holiday Gift Giving Guide For Beginning Calligraphers

Tips and Tricks

Inks, nibs, pens… oh my! Finding the perfect gift for the artist in your life can be tricky. Especially when “gum arabic” isn’t actually a brand of chewing gum but instead a paint thickener. For this holiday season, we’ve compiled the ultimate gift list for the artist and calligrapher in your life. The best part? Most of these items are available via Amazon Prime. So even if you are in a pinch for a last-minute gift, there is still time to snag a few of these items!

MODERN CALLIGRAPHY BOOK

Molly Suber Thrope’s book Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy is the book I used to get started in modern calligraphy. This book provides fabulous resources, detailed instructions, and fun projects for the beginning calligrapher. I highly recommend this book for those interested in learning modern calligraphy!
SHOP MODERN CALLIGRAPHY BOOK HERE


NIB

My number one nib recommendation for beginning calligraphers to experienced pros is the Nikko G nib. This sturdy nib is forgiving and easy to use. The Nikko G nib can produce a balance of fine strokes and thick swells. With its medium flex, this nib is exceptionally smooth, holds lots of ink, and perfect for both calligraphy and illustrations.
SHOP THE NIKKO G NIB HERE


CALLIGRAPHY PEN

For right-handed calligraphers, I recommend an oblique pen holder. Although the flang looks intimidating, it is how one achieves the beautiful slant calligraphy is known for. The brass flang will fit the Nikko G nib perfectly. For left-handed calligraphers, I recommend going with a straight calligraphy pen.
SHOP RIGHT-HANDED PEN HERE
SHOP LEFT-HANDED PEN HERE


BLACK INK

My personal favorite black ink is Higgin’s Eternal. This particular ink creates a rich, deep black that is perfect for illustrations and calligraphy. I would still recommend getting an ink holder, however, the opening of the container is large enough for you to dip your pen and nib directly into the ink if needed.
SHOP HIGGINS ETERNAL BLACK INK HERE


GUM ARABIC

Gum arabic is a necessary tool in every artist’s tool kit! Gum Arabic is used to thicken paint, gouaches, and inks. As a starting calligrapher, you will likely have a “heavy hand” or naturally, apply more pressure to your nib. This is normal as we hold a ballpoint point pen with heavier pressure. To help in avoiding ink spills, you will need to thicken your ink. Gum arabic will help the ink not run down your nib as quickly until you learn to write with lighter pressure.
SHOP GUM ARABIC HERE


RHODIA NOTEPAD

Rhodia notepads are by far the best calligraphy practice pads out there. The smooth paper allows for easy writing. The thicker weight ensures there are no bleeds through but still allows you to see a practice/guide sheet underneath if needed. Make sure to select the Rhodia notepad with blank pages! That way you can see the lines from your guide sheet through your practice paper.
SHOP RHODIA NOTEPAD HERE


GUIDE SHEETS

Although the modern calligraphy book I recommended earlier has wonderful instructions and projects, I still recommend downloading a few guide sheets to use and practice with. Kestrel Montes, the professional calligrapher behind Ink Me This, has lots of great resources on her website. Along with beautiful script workbooks, she has free guide sheets you can download and print at home. I recommend printing off a guide sheet and sliding it underneath a single page of your Rhodia pad to practice. Another talented calligrapher is Lindsey Bugbee of The Postman’s Knock. She has wonderful freebies too like warm-up sheets, practice guides, etc.
DOWNLOAD FREE GUIDE SHEETS HERE
VISIT THE POSTMAN’S KNOCK HERE

If you have any questions about the resources above, feel free to reach out to me via email at hello@inkandpressco.com.
Happy shopping and writing!