• How to Make (Intentional) Calligraphy Ink Spatters

    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.

    How to Make (Intentional) Calligraphy Ink Splatters

    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.

    Free "Silent Phantoms" Halloween Calligraphy Worksheet
    Ink spatters are the perfect embellishment for this “silent phantoms” Halloween quote.

    1. Make the Soon-to-be-Spattered Calligraphy

    You can create your spatters on any piece of calligraphy! Today, I chose to make a quick thank you card by writing out the definition of “gratitude” on a blank watercolor card. I used iron gall ink and a Brause EF66 nib (+ an oblique pen) to do that:

    (The calligraphy + guidelines actually took me 13 minutes to write; the video above is a time lapse.)

    2. Gather Your Ink Spatters Materials

    How to Make (Intentional) Calligraphy Ink Splatters

    You’ll only need a couple of supplies to create ink spatters. They include:

    • The piece of calligraphy/paper you wish to spatter
    • The ink you wish to use to spatter (thin inks work best)
    • A straight pen, preferably fitted with a Brause Rose nib
    • 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!

    How to Make (Intentional) Calligraphy Ink Splatters

    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.

    How to Make (Intentional) Calligraphy Ink Splatters
    Ink spatters look great with any calligraphy style, but I like them best with Kaitlin Style calligraphy. The spatters help to enhance the Kaitlin’s casual, elegant nature.

    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!

    Shortcut Pointed Pen Calligraphy Passage Tutorial
    Less is more when it comes to spatters! With that in mind, I focused my spatters on three parts of this 8″x10″ piece: the upper left, the middle right, and the lower left.

    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.

    "Black Tie" White and Gold Envelope Calligraphy Tutorial
    Yes! You can use gold watercolor (or any color of watercolor, for that matter) to make spatters. Just brush the watercolor on the back of your nib — as shown in this tutorial — and start flicking.

    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!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock