Cart 0
Cart 0


Module 2.3: Understanding your tools

Inks? Stop Bleeding!?




  1. Identify the different types of inks available in the market
  2. What are calligraphy-friendly inks and "non-calligraphy friendly inks"?

Apart from nibs, the type of ink we use will affect the quality of lines we produce when writing. Find out the common types of inks we use in pointed pen calligraphy. Psst, we will share some tips and tricks in our later modules on how we switch our ink-nib combination when we write on different surfaces (paper and non-paper surfaces). 


Calligraphy Inks

Common Inks


Tines: Each nib has 2 tines (metal portion on the nib that separates).
Base: The first point of contact when inserting the nib into a pen holder.
Shank: The shank of a nib is the body of a nib that is typically inserted partially or fully in the penholder. 
Vent: The vent of a nib is crucial is directing ink from the nib to your paper when writing through capillary action. 

Untitled_Artwork 8.jpg

Calligraphy Inks

Which ink should I use?

One common mistakes beginners make when they make purchases for western calligraphy is purchasing any ink that is labelled 'Calligraphy Ink" from the art supplies store. 

Many of the calligraphy inks from brands like Speedball, Winsor and Newton make inks that are best fitted for broad edge calligraphy. For a complete beginner in pointed pen calligraphy that is completely unsure how to control the ink flow on pointed nibs, the common calligraphy inks from art supplies store will be too "thick" for beginner's use. DISCLAIMER: These inks are perfect for any type of calligraphy (pointed pen calligraphy included) so once you are more comfortable with pointed pen calligraphy, switch your inks up and you will be more aware of the things to look out for when working with thicker inks. 



Calligraphy Inks

Inks we can use for Calligraphy

  • Higgins Eternal Ink - Recommended
  • Walnut Ink (Occasionally comes in the form of crystals - You will have to add water and gum arabic to walnut crystals make walnut ink) - Recommended
  • Coliro Finetec Colours (Shimmery pigments)
  • Gouache (Perfect when trying to mix your own colours, but requires some practice to mix up the right ratios for Calligraphy writing)
  • Acrylic Inks (Do not recommend)

Calligraphy Inks

Permanent & Non-Permanent Inks