Ink spatters have become a trend in calligraphy. They’re a way to reiterate that the writing was created by hand and is, indeed, a one-of-a-kind piece! Today, I’ll show you how to create clean and efficient ink spatters in what might be the shortest tutorial in TPK history.
Not everyone loves ink spatters, but I think they’re fabulous for adding in a casual feel to a piece of calligraphy. Spatters offer a quick, easy, and artistic way to fill up negative space! Today, I’ll share my super easy ink spatters technique with you through text/photo instructions and a short video.
A piece of cardstock, a business card, or an old credit card
3. Start Spattering!
Now, dip your nib in ink, then position your nib and your card stock about 1.5″ (~4 cm) above the paper you want to make the spatters on. Then, flick the nib against the edge of the card stock. The result will be an organic spray of ink that adds a special something to your work!
Here’s a video that shows you exactly how to do it:
Tips and Tricks
You can use any pointed pen nib to make ink spatters, but I find that flexible nibs (and the Brause Rose in particular) work best. That’s because the nib’s tines are nice and pliable, so they quickly spring to action when flicked against the card stock. If you have a nib that’s past its prime, use it! Nibs that are no longer suitable for calligraphy work great for this technique.
Note, too, that the more watery your ink is, the more success you’ll have in making spatters. If you’re working with a particularly thick ink (like Bleed Proof White), you may need to water it down before you use it to make ink spatters. Finally, remember that when it comes to spatters, less is more. A few well-placed spatters here and there are much more visually effective than a piece that’s covered in ink droplets. If you put too many spatters on your piece, the spatters will detract from the lettering!
Pairing Big Ink Spatters with Small Ink Spatters
For some pieces, you might want large ink spatters mixed in with a few smaller spatters. If that’s the case, I recommend using a paintbrush to create a few sparse groups of imperfect circles around your calligraphy. Then, while those circles dry, use the nib flick method outlined in this tutorial to make little spatters near the vicinity of the circles.
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial, and that it equips you with the knowledge to create chic and intentional spatters on many projects to come! If you’re of the philosophy that no ink spatter is a good ink spatter, never fear: the 5 Ways to Correct Art & Calligraphy Mistakes article has you covered. Thanks so much for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!