A great starter nib, which I use for all my calligraphy workshops is the Nikko G. This is a strong, long-lasting nib that does not break easily. It holds a good amount of ink so you don’t have to re-dip as often. Because it is sturdy, it will be easier for you to figure out the right amount of pressure you need to produce the thick and thin strokes for your letters. However, my absolute favorite and go-to nib is the tiny superhero, Brause EF66. It’s quite flexible, which means that the tines spread apart more easily producing beautiful downstrokes (thick) and superfine up strokes (thin). A good rule of thumb is that once you have a good grip of the pen holder, buy a variety of different nibs and test out which suits your style best. Paper & Ink Arts is a preferred supplier I use to purchase these items.
2. Sharpie Oil Based Markers
I’m often asked what tool I use to write on mirrors/windows/glass/wood. Whether it’s a 6 foot mirror or a small wood signage, the Sharpie Oil Based Paint Markers are fantastic for decorating and adding accents to a variety of items. They are opaque, fast-drying, and mess-free.
3. Micron Pens
I’m a huge fan of the Pigma Micron Pens which come in a variety of sizes and colors (black, naturally, is my favorite color). Micron pens work great for any handwritten project that requires precision and detail. When trying to determine a layout and lettering style before using ink or paint, I start with a quick draft using one of the micron pens. It is bleed-proof and smear-proof. You can get the different sizes here.
4. Pentel Aquash Water Brushes
This is a great, portable water brush that comes in fine, medium, and broad tip. You can blend colors, fill it in the barrel with water, and use it to create watercolor washes or lettering projects. The easy to use barrel allows you to control the flow of water and has a good grip. You can get it here.
5. White Mechanical Pencils
This white mechanical pencil (soapstone pencil) is widely used for marking fabric. However, as a calligrapher, this has become a common staple in my tool box. It’s ideal for drawing lines on dark paper or to mock up a chalkboard. Its fine point makes it easy to draw and erase lines without leaving residue or marks. Once you have one, you’ll always need one. Find them here.