Calligraphy 101, or what I think is a good starting point

When starting calligraphy, it can sometimes feel like you need a thousand different nibs, expensive paper, multiple inkwells and inks. The truth is, the basic material for calligraphy is pretty cheap and probably easily available to you. Let me take you through some of my basic supplies and a few resources that will help you get started!


  1. Nib holder: I would suggest going to your art supply store and select a wooden nib holder. I find that the basic plastic ones are too light and tire my hand more quickly that heavier, wooden ones. I found a pretty decent one for 5$.
  2. Nib: I ordered a Nikko G nib online (on Paper Ink Arts) for around 2$ and it works so well! Flexible, but not too soft, I find that it is super easy to use and to get used to. It also gives out very thick downstrokes and  very thin upstrokes, for a perfect contrast!
  3. Paper: I bought a pad of bristol paper for 6$ at my local art supply store because it was readily available. If your store has more resources, you can also look for calligraphy practice pads which are very smooth sheets of paper that are thin enough to let you use a line guide (that is usually given in the pad) and cost around the same price.
  4. Ink: There are tons of really fancy inks out there, but I started out with the basic black China ink because it is easily available and super cheap. It’s a great place to start!
  5. Books: I really like Nib + Ink! It’s so great to start off as it gives excellent tips and practice sheets. That’s right, this guide will give you practice sheets with different writing styles that you can complete in the book itself, which means that you could get away with not buying out fancy paper until you’re sure you like calligraphy. I wish I lived in London so that I could visit the author’s studio; it looks fantastic!
  6. Websites: I love The Postman’s Knock and Julia Bausenhardt’s blogs. They are filled with really cool and fun techniques and super practical tips that will troubleshoot any of your calligraphy problems. They are an endless source of inspiration and information that are worth spending a few hours on!


I hope these few tips help you if you are interested in starting calligraphy! If you’d like to, I would love it if you would take a second to check out my Etsy store at My Lighthearted Papers. I list samples of my own calligraphy and watercolour work on there. Let me know what your favourite calligraphy supplies are!

7 thoughts on “Calligraphy 101, or what I think is a good starting point

  1. I am so chuffed to see that you do such lovely calligraphy. This is one of my daughter’s interests – she just got herself a glass pen just to see the effect it creates. As far as I can tell, the pen looks prettier than it is functional. Or maybe she just needs to experiment a little more.

    1. How fun! All my calligraphy crushes are in Singapore! Lucky you! Is it something that is popular over there?

      1. I’m afraid calligraphy is very much a niche past-time. Having said this, we have seen a few places around who conduct calligraphy classes, so maybe it is an artform which is reviving.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: