Tools to Learn Calligraphy
Calligraphy is not just any form of writing, it is a unique form of visual arts related to writing. It is a unique design and production of letters with a broad tip instrument, which could be a brush or any other writing instrument. In the contemporary sense of it, we can define calligraphy as the art of giving forms to signs in a manner that is expressive, harmonious and skillfully honed.
In the recent times, calligraphy has transcended the state it was in the times of old, it now ranges from functional inscriptions and designs to pieces of fine art, in which readers might be able to read the letters or not. In contrast to the modern calligraphy, classical calligraphy differs in the hand-lettering, but if a calligrapher is so good, he might be able to practice both.
In recent times, we still find the use of calligraphy by the use of different types of calligraphy pens in wedding invitations as well as invitation to events. Also, its use is extensive in design of font and typography, original hand lettered logo design, religious art, announcements, graphics design and commissioned calligraphic art, cut stone inscription, and memorial documents. You can also use calligraphy for props and motion image for film and television, it can also be used for testimonials, birth and death certificates, maps and any other written work you want done. Even in the times of 3D pens, people are still using calligraphy because of its elegance.
The history of calligraphy can be traced to the Latin scripts, and the Latin alphabet had come into existence in the 600 BC in Rome, and subsequently, it was developed into Roman imperial capitals that is being carved on stones, Rustic capitals that is painted on walls, as well as Roman cursive, meant for daily use. This form of artistic writing was widespread in the churches, spreading through Britain, alongside other regions of the world.
Calligraphy has come a long day and now when there are so many people fond of such an art form, it is a need to choose the right one for them. So to guide you with the knowledge we will be including the details of calligraphy, tools required for calligraphy, how to start, tips while practicing, a smart buying guide, frequently asked questions and the top 10 calligraphy tools online.
So let’s dig in.
Top 10 Tools for Calligraphy
Great Twin Ink System
Pen Set For Different Surfaces
Genuine & Trusted Product
Does Not Smudge At All
Calligraphy materials for beginners
Unparallel Pen Design
Great for artistic use
Durable & Versatile
All you need to know about calligraphy
The selling point of calligraphy is the artistic brilliance it portrays in the hands of a really skilled craftsman, and when properly honed, it could be breathtaking. Prior to the manufacturing of PCs to do our writings and compositions, every one relied on writing with the hand, but in the advent of computers, we have become complacent with writing. If there was going to be any formal writing back then, people depended on calligraphy, as it was the only available form of excellent and fancy writing.
Over years of existence, calligraphy has seen numerous development and innovations, as human became more civilized and knowledgeable. Just in case you didn’t know, the word calligraphy is coined from two Greek words, “kalli” which mean excellent, and “Graphic” which means to write.
Various calligraphy tool set has been used in practicing calligraphy over the years. In the ancient times, stiff paint brushes have been used, alongside pens of wood or extensive feathers. Whenever this equipment is to be used, they are dipped inside ink, then written on paper. However, in recent years, calligraphers employ the use of new tools, such as the ink pens, a set of calligraphy and other gadgets to make the job easier. Also, what is being written on, has so far improved with the advent of proper leather journals, Asian sting journals, notebooks, etc.
Calligraphy might not be in wide use as much as the use of paper and ball point pen, but it sure has its own importance, which includes:
It is not expensive: If you would need to learn the art of calligraphy for any reason, you should know that it is not difficult to start. You can coin your own Calligraphy pen set using cool materials, which wouldn’t cost you more than $25.
With calligraphy, you can be very creative: You can convey any message as flexibly and easily as you want it with calligraphy, unlike the use of computers, with fonts set and all other restrictions. With calligraphy, you can put down the art in your head, and depict something out of this world. To make it even more outstanding, you can always combine the use of calligraphy and watercolor.
Calligraphy can help you impress people: Have you ever thought of putting a smile on the faces of people with just your writing? With calligraphy, this is achievable. You can always use this form of art to send out a snail mail to someone. For example, if you attend a potential employee meet-up, and you would want to send in a “thank you” card, you might add a little of bit of calligraphy, and this would surely help you impress your potential employer, separating you from the rest of the pack. When this form of art is done rightly, it can help you communicate something more specifically, beyond what you write. It would represent you as someone who is detailed, critical and willing to go all out to force a smile out of the client or customer.
Mental health: The feeling of serenity when one is being engaged in this art cannot be over-emphasized. It offers satisfaction, and when you get a dose of this constantly, you are sure to be in sound mental health.
Tools you need to practice calligraphy
Different tools are needed for this form of art, and in recent times, these tools have undergone innovations to be what they are today, and the current state of these tools are what we would be focusing on.
Leather journal: The leather journal is an exceptional tool used in calligraphy. With this journal, you can record data of occasions, which would include upcoming gatherings, meeting or any class. You can get this diary today and get the beautiful feeling of keeping journals. This is a phenomenal way of penning down the really important activities of your life.
Asian string journals: These are journals bound by strings and are used in the documentation of information. Its function is basically as that of the leather journal, just that it has a string tied around it, to emphasize its peculiarity and confidentiality.
Calligraphy set: This set is best, when it comes to having children work on calligraphy, as this makes everything easier for them, rather than having to collect them differently.
Pen set: This set consists of stylish and unique pens for the children folk. If kids are going to finish what they are working on, they would need a whole lot of pens to do that. This pen set consists of different pen types, ranging from wellspring pen, ball point pen, gel pens, marker pens, or a refill pen.
Lego journals: Lego journals have been made attractive and fun. This is a journal of Lego bricks. It’s looks like a notebook of bricks, and the sole purpose of this book is, fun. Just as children are fond of the internet and computer games, so also, they are fond of Lego bricks, hence, it is made to attract children so that they use it and make a proper use of journals and improve their calligraphy.
How to start with Calligraphy
First, you start with the basic strokes
This is the most important thing in calligraphy, as you need to be aware of where to apply the thin strokes and where the thick strokes should be. There is a general rule to it, when your strokes are going up, they become thin, and when they are going down, they become thick.
To create the thick stroke, you need to apply more pressure, and when you are stroking up for the thin strokes, you apply next to no pressure.
If you are beginner, it would be best if you start practicing with basic strokes, as this would help get familiar with the tools, and you start developing a feel for it in your hand. You will begin to build that muscle memory. When you start out with calligraphy, you would notice that some letters have similar shapes, and once those basic shapes are learnt, it’s just a matter of them being combined on the letter you want to combine.
However, the fact that some letters are similar to one another, we can always use this to our advantage. If you are practicing letters that are similar in form, it makes your practice more efficient.
In calligraphy, if your strokes are not coming off smoothly, there is no need to be discouraged, just keep at it.
There are five letter groups in calligraphy, which include;
- Straight letters
- Branching letters
- Reverse branching letters
- Oval letters
- Diagonal letters
Tips you need to keep in mind when practicing modern calligraphy
Things might seem overwhelming when you are just starting out with calligraphy, but as you go through with it, there are just a few things you need to keep in mind;
Consistency: If you are going to increase the overall harmony, you would need to keep your letters consistent. And if you are going to have this consistency, following guidelines is your best shot. When we talk of consistency in modern calligraphy, we are not necessarily talking about attaining perfection like traditional calligraphy.
Balance: when you are starting out, it is normal if you are finding balance a bit difficult, but with practice and time, it flows naturally. Make sure you avoid adding weight on either the left or the right, there is no need to seek perfection, but you need to avoid going overboard.
Spacing: If your calligraphy has a nice spacing, it helps you keep a good sense of legibility. If the letters are too smooshed to each other, it would be difficult to read. And if you want to maintain a good and consistent spacing, you would need to go slower, lift your pen between each stroke and also monitor the space of the previous letter pair. This also would only become perfect after some time and practice.
Buying guide for calligraphy tools
It is easier to become a self-trained calligraphic artist, with the advent of various digital platforms which has made learning easy, and in no time, you can rise from a novice’s level to being a professional. But, being a professional requires you having the perfect tool.
Pilot parallel pen
The pilot parallel pen releases ink constantly, and this causes the letters to be more accurate and crisper when compared with speedball dip pens. There is going to be a need to practice often with this pen, so before picking it out of the shelf, you need to feel and handle it with your hand. Ensure it something you are comfy with, as you would need to get used to it in the long run
Tombow brush pen
When you are out to pick this pen, there are basically three types of it, the natural hair made from weasel, synthetic hair made from nylon and finally from felt. Felt brush pens have a harder tip, and this is the best pen to use when you are just starting out in learning brush pen learning. When you are done mastering the felt pen, you can go ahead to get the synthetic hair pen. Finally, to the natural hair pen. So, whatever stage of calligraphy you think you are, pick a brush pen accordingly.
Crayola broad line markers
People really did not catch the fancy of Crayola, but with the works of an artist, David Milan, the use has gotten to a whole new level. So, if you are looking to have a complete and professional tool kit for your calligraphy, you should consider getting this line marker.
Copperplate oblique pen
This is the best pen needed if you are going to be writing on wedding cards, birthday cards, love greeting cards. This pen makes your lettering elegant and sophisticated. However, you shouldn’t get this pen just yet, you should still make do with the speedball oblique pen.
Leonardt poster Nibs & scroll nibs
If you are looking to make bold writings, headings and decorative posters. If you also need a pen for shadowing as well as decorative lettering designs, this is the right pen for you.
These are the pens you would need for border decorations, and you must pick for all letterers.
Posterman biggie marker
If you are poised at making letterings on the poster, to make beautiful writings, this is your best pick.
1. Artline ergoline calligraphy pen. – Our Pick
These pens have added advantage in that you can also use them in writing English, Devanagari script where writing is from left to right and also Urdu script where writing is from right to left.
- This is a set of 3 pens in black color
- It is available in 3 ready-made tip variants
- They can be used in writing English too
- Ideal for beginners learning caligraphy
- It is not refillable
- It might not be the best pen for Urdu calligraphy
2. Parker vector standard calligraphy CT fountain pen – Great Twin Ink System
This parker pen is fitted with twin system of ink feed as well as it is convertible to ink bottle filling. If you are looking for a combination of style and class, this is your perfect pen. The nib features calligraphy and is made of stainless steel.
The pen has a twin ink system, and you can always use this with ink cartridges or you can always make use of the ink bottle filling. The nib of this pen has been designed specifically to enhance the user’s calligraphy skills and it is made of stainless steel.
With this pen, a smooth and beautiful handwriting is delivered. The body and the nib of the pen sports an elegant gloss finish. It adds to the stylish appeal of this exquisite fountain pen from Parker.
- It features a gloss finish
- The material of the body is made of ABS plastic and stainless steel
- The nib feature is a polished stainless steel
- It has a two-ink system, hence, you have two choices of refiling
- It is stylish and elegant
- You can change the ink cartridge to any color of your choice.
- A user complained for ink spilling
3. Ohuhu metallic calligraphy brush marker pens– Pen Set For Different Surfaces
This set of pens is of vast use in the world of calligraphy, and if you are looking to really get things going awesomely, this is a good shot you should take. Going for a fair price that wouldn’t cause you to break the bank, you can use this set of pens on any surface. This metallic brush pen can be used on surfaces ranging from paper to glass, plastic, pottery, stone and even wood.
This Calligraphy pen set is made of strong metal, with a blend of great colors and does not bleed. When color from it is layered on another color, it does not show up until it dries, giving you the best painting experience ever. With quick delivery assured and a fair price, this product that is as good as expected is what you should be ordering right now.
- It features a metallic brush pen that can be used on any surface from paper, glass, plastic, pottery, stone and wood.
- It also has a great brush tip that enables smooth application, ideal for making gift cards, DIY photo albums, and adult coloring books.
- It is made with water-based ink, acid-free, environmental and non-toxic
- It is very vibrant and perfect for taking school notes.
- They are translucent other than other pens
- The colors flow nicely
- The tips are very flexible
- The color cover in one stroke
- The colors have a brilliant metallic sheen
- The white color does not cover in one stroke
4. Kabeer Art 3 sizes water brush pen – Genuine & Trusted Product
Calligraphy just got better, and this brush pen is the hallmark of modern-day calligraphy. It’s more than you would ever need, and you are sure to get value out of the money invested in purchasing this. It is a genuine made in china product, tested and trusted for the brilliance it adds to your calligraphy letterings.
With this brush pen, you put in less effort and gain more. This brush pen is awesome for freehand sketch drawing, signing important documents and fabric designs. It is also an excellent tool for archival journals, cartoon and manga illustration.
- It features 3 different size brush tips
- It has a total length of 12cm
- It is made of fiber material and plastic
- The ink is vibrant
- The concept of the pen is amazing
- It is made of cheap plastic
- Some users complained that the water doesn’t flow smoothly
5. Airline Ergoline calligraphy fountain pen – Does Not Smudge At All
The ergoline calligraphy fountain pen series – Artline ergoline calligraphy fountain pen the package includes 1.0mm, 2.0mm, 3.0mm thickness of calligraphy nibs. Plastic was used superbly in the design of the body of this pen.
The artline ergoline calligraphy pens are perfect for lettering & decoration, with a special grip zone with rounded & triangular section is designed to give maximum comfort & control in writing. Polyester nibs have an advantage of not dipping, not leaking and disposable in nature.
- It is an ergoline calligraphy fountain pen series
- It features different thickness which include; 1.0mm, 2.0mm, 3.0mm nibs
- It features a cap mechanism.
- The pens have a nice tip and good color
- The ink does not smudge, even on plain typing paper
- They are fit to be used by kids
- The colors flow nicely
- They are very good calligraphy materials for beginners to practice with
- The ink is permanent, so it gives room to little or no mistake
6. Isomars calligraphy dip pen set – Calligraphy materials for beginners
This set offers a perfect combination of calligraphy products for beginners and advanced users with remote, holder and ink. This set is just everything you need for artistic writing. This set is perfect for making invitations, cards and announcements. And if you have a loved one who is an art freak, this is just the perfect gift. This set contains a nib holder in marbled design with special clamp lever mechanism
- Comes with two nib holders and 6 nibs
- The nibs are of different sizes
- It comes with a 30ml black calligraphy ink
- It was designed with the beginners in mind
- It can be used by students and for personal use.
- It contains a perfect mix of calligraphy products
- There might be malfunctions in some parts, such as the straight holder
7. Shoppertize Skyglory fineliner pen – Unparallel Pen Design
Calligraphy in the modern age would not be complete and feasible without the Shoppertize Skyglory fineliner pen, this pen is a major breakthrough in calligraphy pen design. This pen features a parallel nib that consists of two parallel plates, and allows the writer to create lines that are sharper than other calligraphy pens from different, would make.
This Calligraphy pen set are made by a professional factory with 15 years of experience in making pen. In building this pen, they employed the use of ultrasonic welding technology, thereby keeping the pen quality steady and high. All the materials used are eco-friendly. The pen also features a ventilated cap which is safer for children to play.
- It features 12 vivid colors, which are non-toxic and eco-friendly
- It features an ergonomic triangular shape for relaxed and easy writing
- It has a high quality 0.4mm tip and ink that are non-toxic
- Fine liner with superfine, metal-clap tip
- A fine calligraphy pen with high quality nib
- It glides smoothly
- It is nicely packed as shown in the image
- You can always use this pen for inking sketches
- The ink is of good quality
- This pen is extremely handy
- The pen is not refillable, you would have to keep replacing the cartridge that comes separately
8. HS Calligraphy set of 5 pcs – Great for artistic use
This is your perfect 5pc calligraphy tool for English calligraphy writing. Uniquely made of wooden handles with metal tips, coming in five different shapes of tips for calligraphy writing.
This 5pc calligraphy tool set is specially made for artists use, and also if you are a beginner, who love to use dip pens for calligraphy. You can create master strokes with these 5 shapes and point tools, giving you the perfect calligraphy experience.
- It features 5pc calligraphy tool for English calligraphy writing
- It is made of wooden handles with metal tip
- It comes in five different shapes, affording you various combinations
- Can be used by both professionals and beginners
- It writes smoothly
- It is easy to use
- You can always carry it around
- The quality might not be as god as shown in the picture.
9. Climberty antique feather calligraphy pen set – Antique Look
This pen is as cool as it can get, with the fancy quill feather propping out up top. It is the perfect fancy of the modern calligrapher that wants to input a taste of antiques in his tools. This is your perfect pen to feel the whole essence of calligraphy, and with it, you can make magic in letters.
This writing instrument records every stage of civilization, with its elegant appearance and appearing demeanor when writing. This pen prospers all the rage in Europe and for a long historical period.
- It is a wonderful writing pen, featuring the vintage quill stylus, making it a charming antique writing instrument.
- It comes in a variety of color shapes, size, form with no duplication
- Both sides are asymmetrical feathers.
- It is easy to use and write beautifully.
- It can serve as a wonderful gift to modern writers
- It is not suitable for use by a beginner, only professionals
10. Faber castell Pitt artist soft brush color pen set – Durable & Versatile
With this pen set, you can see your artwork come to life in vibrant color with Pitt artist pens. These pens are available in a number of nib styles for fine detailed designs, or all colors.
Pitt pens are always famous for combining a modern brush nib design with the traditional medium in India ink. These pens are odorless, permanent, waterproof, lightfast inks in different colors. This brush is durable and it allows from freedom to create versatile brush strokes of broad, medium or narrow width with an even color application.
These pens are put to use daily by artists worldwide for illustrations, fashion design, life drawings, portraits, sequential arts and canvas paintings. This pen is multi-purpose, and it suitable for use by professionals and newbies. This pen set is the perfect one for your, through your career as an artist.
- It is waterproof
- The ink is odorless and lightfast
- It can be used as a brush pen
- It has a very good tip like a real brush
- Suitable for use by professionals as well as beginners of calligraphy
- It is not refillable and can only be used once.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Arabic calligraphy?
This form of calligraphy is also known as Islamic calligraphy, as it was first coined in writing the Koran – Islamic holy book. The highest form of visual arts in the Islamic world is calligraphy, and today, this art is practiced and enjoyed by different people from different countries and religions.
2. What is the difference between calligraphy and handwriting?
There is a simple difference between calligraphy and handwriting, and this is simply the fact that calligraphy is both aesthetic and functional in purpose. Meanwhile, writing is purposely meant for communication, and if its beauty is ever going to be considered, it is a secondary factor. Calligraphy however is practiced for the beauty and content.
One other key difference between calligraphy and handwriting is that there is also a difference in the instrument used for writing. According to traditions, the Arabic script is written with a specially carved reed pen. However, everyday writing can be done with different instruments.
The specific rules of calligraphy are way strict, compared to the rules of handwriting. The rules involved in calligraphy can also change at any point in time, depending on the way the script is being written. For instance, in the writing of one script, it might be required to use vowels, while other scripts might need to be written without vowels.
As a result of these distinctions, calligraphy developed cultural, religious and artistic importance beyond everyday writing.
3. Can I use the same converter for different ink if I have a fountain pen with ink converter? Do I clean the converter when using a different ink color?
No, there is no need for a new ink converter for each fountain pen ink color you plan on using. Inks of fountain pens are mixed with water; hence, they would evaporate with time, leaving on the dye or pigment behind. The best thing to do is to flush the fountain pen when changing inks especially to a different color or different ink brand. If the fountain pen is not cleaned before new ink is not added, there would be a mix of two inks, as well as the properties and color of the different fountain pen inks.
Even in cases where you have the luxury of using different ink converter for different ink, there is a need to clean the nib, the feed and the converter. If you are going to remove the old ink converter from the fountain pen and store it, the ink in the converter would dry.
To be off all these, flushing is a simple cleaning process that can be done on the converter in just a few minutes.
4. What paper should I use?
In calligraphy, there is one thing that is very important to be careful about when considering, and that is the paper or journal, as it is the platform on which the art is birthed. Using the right paper helps keep your brush tip in great condition, hence, you should use a paper that is extra smooth, which has been designed for use with brush pens and markers.
5. Do I need to have a fine handwriting before I can be good at brush calligraphy and lettering?
Well, the answer is a Big “NO”, there is no need to have a fine handwriting before you get to having great calligraphic layouts. Remember, calligraphy and lettering are just like drawing, so what you need basically is an artistic talent or training. With passion and proper persistent training, you might not really much talent to excel at calligraphy.
6. What is the best position to hold my pen?
You can always hold your pen in whatever position you wish, but make sure it is around 45-degree angles to the paper you are writing on. This is the only criteria for how you hold your pen.
7. Which should I learn first, brush calligraphy or modern calligraphy (with the pointed pen)?
Well, the candid advice is that you learn the brush calligraphy first. This is candid advice that should be taken seriously.
8. What are the various contents written in calligraphy?
There is a wide variety of content one can write with calligraphy, and obviously, school notes or assignments would not be part. Contents that can be given an extra artistic value with calligraphy includes, poetry, Koranic verses, proverbs, greeting cards, birthday cards, journals, stories, salutations, inscriptions, etc. just about anything can be written with calligraphy, once the content would appreciate and be expressive of the extra artistic value.
9. I am left-handed, are there nibs for me?
Sure! there is enough to go around everyone. Seriously, there are specially honed nibs for left-handed persons, so you have nothing to worry on.
10. How much can I invest on calligraphy tools?
Well, this question all boils down to how professional you want to take calligraphy. For a professional, there is no telling that no amount of money you spend on tools is too much, as far as it would make your work look better and you are so sure of the quality of the materials you are getting. You can spend as much as possible. The money would always come back if you play your games well.
On the other hand, if you are a beginner or you just want to do calligraphy for the fun of it, it would be advised that you don’t invest too much than you can bear into calligraphy. You are just starting out, with no expertise, take it in steps, and you go for more quality products as you get better. But, if the money is there, calligraphy is beautiful, and there is no amount of money that is a waste.
Calligraphy is one of ancient art that is revered till date, one that would never go out of fashion. Calligraphy is great, but it requires special skills set in the execution of its various lettering and designs, and this can only be perfectly done by an expert with the proper use of calligraphy tools.
Above mentioned are the top 10 best Calligraphy tools in Amazon among which we feel Artline Ergoline Calligraphy Pen, Parker Vector Standard Calligraphy CT Fountain Pen and Ohuhu Metallic Calligraphy Brush Marker Pens are the top three picks because of their unique ability to suffice your artistics cravings.
However, if you are a learner, going through the learning process of calligraphy can be tedious and stressful, but hey, you came this far, you can as well continue learning. Art is life, and calligraphy is one of art’s core.