There is no “must have” list of intermediate calligraphy supplies, and I want to get that out of the way from the get-go! As long as you have basic calligraphy supplies, you’re all set to create calligraphy regardless of your skill level. For that reason, this intermediate calligraphy supply list offers suggestions for tools that should be fun to toy with. None of these supplies are things you absolutely must own, but they’re all nice to have!
1. An Assortment of Different Inks
You’ve probably practiced a lot with black ink, and the skills you built doing so will come in handy now! A lot of inks tend to be finicky and require a bit of a learning curve, but with your experience level, you’ll be able to do it! There are about a zillion inks available out there, but if I were limited to using just three, here’s what I would keep:
Finetec Golds or Pearl Colors Palette
Finetec manufactures fantastic metallic watercolor paints that make beautiful calligraphy! You can learn more about this palette — and watch a video detailing how to use it — in this blog post. Keep in mind that Finetec pairs beautifully with other inks! The eye-catching Janet Style calligraphed envelope pictured above features a mix of Finetec gold and Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay ink in “Turquoise”.
If you love earthy colors, then walnut ink will be a definite go-to! It has a gorgeous, antique-like color that is hard to resist. Daniel Smith makes an awesome walnut ink, or you can mix your own from crystals!
The best part about being at an intermediate calligraphy level is having the ability to write opaque white text! In the Kaitlin Style envelope above, the white calligraphy really stands out on brown paper. Truth be told, there are a lot of white calligraphy inks available, and many of them are effective and easy to use. To learn more about which white ink will be best for you, you can check out the White Calligraphy Ink Showdown and the White Calligraphy Ink Showdown: Part II posts.
2. White Mechanical Pencil
If you want to write on dark papers, then a white mechanical pencil will rock your world! I use mine to draw guidelines on dark paper all the time.
The best part about the white mechanical pencil is its erasability. You can use any eraser to get rid of the guidelines you drew once your ink is dry!
3. A Parallel Glider (aka Rolling Ruler)
One of my favorite intermediate calligraphy supplies is a parallel glider. This little tool is absolutely indispensable in creating parallel pencil guidelines on envelopes! Basically, the parallel glider has little wheels that allow you to smoothly roll it straight down the paper.
You’ll love the parallel glider because it saves time. If you have one, you never have to wonder whether the new line you drew is parallel to the line above or below it!
4. Flexible Nibs
Now that you’ve entered the world of intermediate calligraphy, you can experiment with some different nibs! If you started with a strong, somewhat non-flexible nib like the Nikko G, getting used to a super-flexible nib like the Brause Rose (pictured above) will take some time! Your patience will be rewarded, however, with some incredible stroke variation!
Besides the Brause Rose, you should absolutely try the Brause EF66 (my favorite!) and the Leonardt Principal! You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference you notice between the nibs.
5. Oblique Pens
Oblique pens aren’t technically an intermediate calligraphy supply. In fact, when I teach beginners’ calligraphy workshops, participants are shocked to find that the oblique pen works better for them than the straight pen! That said, the oblique pen design looks intimidating, so most people wait until they’re at an intermediate level to try it.
If you don’t have an oblique pen, I strongly encourage you to try one! You’ll be amazed at how easy the pen makes slanted writing. You can learn all about oblique pens — including purchase recommendations — in this blog post!
There are many more intermediate calligraphy supplies out there, but the ones listed above are the ones I use and love the most! If I forgot anything that you’d like to add, I’d so appreciate it if you mention that supply in the comments. Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed this post, and I’d like to sincerely thank you for reading TPK!
Wishing you a fantastic, creative day!