How to Use a Calligraphy Pen

The Greek word calligraphy means ‘beautiful writing.’ This writing style has been very popular in different cultures worldwide. 

But calligraphy isn’t an easy craft to master if you don’t know how to use a calligraphy pen and write with it properly. 

Today, we are here with a detailed guide on using a calligraphy pen, putting ink in a calligraphy pen, what papers to use in calligraphy, etc. 

If you’re a beginner or a hobbyist who wants to learn calligraphy, then our article will help you. This article will get to know four types of calligraphy pens and their functionalities. Again, there are different nibs, inks, and papers, and you will get a sharp idea of these items.  

Calligraphy isn’t an easy craft to master if you don’t know how to use a calligraphy pen and write with it properly. Today, we are here with a detailed guide on how to use a calligraphy pen, how to put ink in a calligraphy pen, what papers to use in calligraphy, etc. 

Types of Calligraphy Pens

types of calligraphy pen

Generally, there are 4 types of pens used in calligraphy. These are:  

  • Felt tip pen
  • Fountain pen
  • Dip pen
  • Brush pen

Now, we are going to describe how to use these pens in calligraphy. 

Using Different Types of Pens In Calligraphy

Felt Tip Pen

Felt tip pens are budget-friendly and suitable for beginners. You can consider using these pens for practice. But, as the ink runs out fast in this pen, you had better not write with it in important art pieces.

Fountain Pen

In general, beginner and intermediate calligraphers use fountain pens. The nibs and ink cartridges are changeable in this pen. It’s a classic pen that is easy to use. The nib of this pen is identical to a dip pen. That means you will feel the same aesthetics while writing with the pen. 

Dip Pen

Here, we will describe how to use a dip pen. Dip pens require extra attention and skill to be used. Mostly, progressive calligraphers use such pens. Still, a beginner can use dip pens with patience and a lot of practice. This type of pen comes with three elements: the handle, the nib-holder, and the nib. Dip pens offer superior flexibility and better control in calligraphic art.  

Brush Pen

Brush pens come with a 6 mm to 20mm wide-thin brush. You have to sink the brush into the ink. Brush pens can be messy to write with if you are a beginner. But it helps you to write smoother lines than felt tip pens. 

How to Use a Calligraphy Pen (Step by Step)

calligraphy using steps

All you need to do while using a calligraphy pen:

You will need to master the art of calligraphy by learning the tricks to use it. So first of all, take all the necessary materials and get ready to start. 

Before that, grab these five materials to start your journey:

  • A pen
  • A nib
  • A nib-holder
  • Bottled Ink
  • Calligraphy Paper 

Step 1: Select a Calligraphy Pen

There are four common types of pens used in calligraphy: felt tip pen, fountain pen, dip pen, and brush pen. 

You have to choose the right pen that suits you most. The pen should fit in your hand perfectly, the ink should be suitable for calligraphy, and you have to be comfortable with it. 

Note: We have given a short overview of the four different pens as you can choose the perfect one for your calligraphy. 

Step 2: Purchase Calligraphy Ink for a Dip Pen or a Brush Pen 

While using a brush pen or a dip pen, you have to purchase calligraphy ink. Do not use fountain pen ink instead of calligraphy ink. This ink sticks to the nib perfectly and helps you get more control while writing. 

Thicker inks such as Indian ink or Chinese stick ink are better for calligraphy. Do not use the India inks containing shellac cause the shellac dries rapidly and may harm the nib. 

However, you may not have to buy inks separately as many pens include inks and nibs within the set.

Note: Use ink cartridges for fountain pens. Some fountain pens don’t include nibs and ink cartridges. In this case, you have to buy ink cartridges as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Step 3: Choose the Proper Nib for Your Pen 

Calligraphy pens come with nibs to grip the ink into them. However, you should not directly sink your pen into an inkpot. Instead, use a nib to get rid of unrestrained ink flow. Most 

commonly used nibs are:

  • Italic nibs
  • Flex nibs

Italic nibs: Italic nibs are mainly used for writing Gothic and Italic calligraphy. Anyway, these nibs are not flexible enough.  

Flex nibs: Flex nibs are the most widely used nibs for calligraphy.  You can create wider or thinner lines by applying pressure on the nibs. 

Step 4: Reload Ink in the Reservoir of the Dip Pen or the Brush Pen With an Eyedropper

While using a brush pen or a dip pen, you have to load the ink container of the pen after writing some lines. 

How to Put Ink in a Calligraphy Pen

Here’s how to pour ink in the reservoir of a calligraphy pen:

  • Keep the pen in your writing hand horizontally. 
  • Use an eyedropper to take some drops of ink.
  • Pour the ink into the reservoir. 

After reloading the ink, check the ink flow on scrap paper before writing on the calligraphy paper.

Step 5: Use Specialized Papers Like Fountain Pen Paper

You should write on fountain pen-friendly paper as the thin paper don’t ruin your calligraphy. As a beginner, you may also start with practice sheets that come with lines and margins.

Step 6: Keep the Writing Surface Sloped

Keep the writing surface sloped when you are writing with a dip pen or a brush pen. For example, use an angled board or writing desk sloped against the edge of a table.

Step 7: Lock the Writing Paper to the Writing Surface

Do basic downward strokes and upward strokes. Keep your pen in your hand at a 45° angle. Then, follow the sawtooth pattern to angling the pen. Thus, take the help of practice sheets to practice several writing styles. 

Overall, you should consider these while writing with a calligraphy pen. Calligraphy is an art that needs more patience and practice to learn. Therefore, you need to follow the steps mentioned above more cautiously to accomplish a good calligraphy journey. 

How to Use a Calligraphy Pen Nib

calligraphy pen writing on paper

Calligraphy pens come with nibs to grip the ink into them. Yet, you should not directly sink your pen into the inkpot. Instead of doing so, you should use a nib to get rid of uncontrolled ink flow. You can either use Italic nibs or Flex nibs. 

Italic nibs are not flexible enough. You can use flex nibs to create wider or thinner lines by applying pressure on the nibs. 

To prepare your first nib, you can push the nib halfway into the potato to prepare your first nib, applying standard pressure. Keep the nib set for 15 minutes, then rub the nib off and start calligraphy. 

How to Use a Calligraphy Pen Artline

The Artline is a famous calligraphy pen brand.  It comes with water-based pigment ink in different colors. Again, the color is waterproof,  acid-free, and fade-resistant. In other words, Artline offers a great piece of calligraphy pens.

Fortunately, using an Artline calligraphy pen is similar to the other calligraphy pens we have noted. So, follow our guide and feel free to use the Artline calligraphy pens.

How to Choose Calligraphy Paper

It is very important to choose the right paper for calligraphy writing. Choose thick and untextured papers because textured papers may absorb the ink quickly.

There are few printer papers that provide a good surface. But these are not thick enough and may result in your ink weeping.

Fountain pen-friendly papers are a good option for calligraphy. Being a beginner, you had better use practice sheets that come with lines for practicing on. There is also dotted grid paper that you can use. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Do You Use a Calligraphy Pen for Beginners?

For beginners, it is very important to choose the right pen. Because a newcomer would find it very hard to write with a brush pen, a fountain pen can be a good choice at the beginning. Start with your comfort zone and then build up your skills. Use calligraphy-friendly inks and suitable nibs in your pen. Read some articles on Google and watch some tutorials to attain good knowledge about calligraphy pens.  

Can I Do Calligraphy With a Fountain Pen?

There are four types of pens that you can use in calligraphy, including fountain pens. Yet, these pens may not be the right choice for traditional calligraphy. However, if you are going for modern and faux calligraphy, feel free to use a fountain pen. They produce fine lines and create your calligraphy clean. 

Which Type of Pen Is Best for Calligraphy?

It depends on the priority or comfort of an artist and which type of pen is most suitable for him. Brush pens or felt tip pens can be a hard option for beginners. So, beginners should use a fountain pen or a dip pen. In fact, the most widely used pen by all types of calligraphers is the dip pen. 

Are Calligraphy Pens Permanent?

Yes, calligraphy pens drop links into a paper that dries quickly and gets permanent on most papers. Besides, calligraphy inks are waterproof, acid-free, lightfast, and fade-resistant. 

What Should a Beginner in Calligraphy Buy?

Being a newbie to calligraphy, you should have these few materials to start your journey. For example, a calligraphy pen, a nib, a nib-holder, bottled ink, fountain calligraphy paper, calligraphy practice sheets, a pencil, eraser, and ruler.  

How to Use a Dip Pen?

Keep it in mind that using a dip pen is not as easy as using a ballpoint or fountain pen. You will need more skill to handle dip pens. Yet, a beginner can use dip pens with patience and a lot of practice. Dip pens have three elements: the handle, the nib-holder, and the nib. Use a straight dip pen, ink, and nib properly.  

Can I Teach Myself Calligraphy?

Calligraphy is not an easy art to master. Learning this art needs a lot of patience and practice. Initially, it might seem too overwhelming, but as soon as you develop your skill sets, you will gradually turn out to be an advanced calligrapher. 

You can learn calligraphy online. Watch some tutorial videos, read some articles, and learn the basics of calligraphy. Grab the right lettering supplies. Then, keep practicing and dedicate your time to writing. Connect with other calligraphers worldwide via social media, YouTube, or any other platforms as much as possible. Thus, you will be able to master calligraphy.  

Final Thoughts

Learning how to use a calligraphy pen is an extraordinary skill. You can build up your calligraphic skill more by using the right materials and practicing basic calligraphic lines. 

Hopefully, you know several facts about calligraphy pens and the use of these after reading the article. 

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