• Using Gold Calligraphy Ink

    When I started out creating calligraphy, I was intimidated about writing with gold ink. My first few gold experiments certainly went awry; then I realized: I didn’t have the right ink! This post gives insight into which ink to use and how to use it.

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock

    There comes a time in every calligrapher’s life when he or she must write using gold calligraphy ink. This time can be a stressful one if you don’t have the right ink. Luckily, I’ve been there {done that!}, and I can lend you some guidance on the topic.

    I have three types of gold calligraphy ink in my artillery. They include:

    1. Liquid Speedball Ink

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock{I never use this and will explain why below.}

    2. Liquid Winsor & Newton Gold Calligraphy Ink

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock{Not to be confused with gold drawing ink by Winsor & Newton.}

    3. Solid Finetec Gold Palette

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock{My absolute favorite.}

    The first gold I ever purchased was the Speedball ink; I was enticed by its lovely sparkle. Until I saw that ink, I had never really considered writing in gold. However, when I brought it home, I was sorely disappointed. Behold, the results of the “black paper opacity” test:

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock

    The Speedball ink isn’t a good ink — at least for my purposes. It’s a very yellow, fake-y gold; and, as you can see, its opacity is sorely lacking. I would not recommend purchasing this particular brand of gold calligraphy ink. I am sure there is a use for it, but I haven’t found it yet.

    When the Speedball ink failed me, I sought out Winsor & Newton gold calligraphy ink online.

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock

    Its opacity is much better; it has a nice, dark sheen to it. It’s easy to work with and overall I do like the color. You do have to shake it up a lot before using it, as the heavier gold tends to separate from the water in the ink. I would purchase it at Paper and Ink Arts because their shipping prices are more reasonable than most.

    Lately, I have been working with an Atlanta bride on her luxury Persian-themed wedding suite. It has a lot of gold in it {gold foil, gold envelope liners}, and I knew I needed a gold ink that could complement — and not overpower — all the gold. I scoured the internet, and the answer seemed to be the Finetec Gold Palette. This palette completely and utterly rocks my calligraphy world. If you want to write in opaque gold {or silver, for that matter}, this palette will become your best friend.

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock

    I certainly had reservations at first. It’s advertised as a watercolor palette … and, of course, watercolor doesn’t have a reputation for high opacity and precision {thus its charm}. However, I wouldn’t call this a watercolor palette. Think of it as dehydrated calligraphy inks that you need to re-hydrate.

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock

    The palette comes with five shades of gold plus a silver {I didn’t make an example of the silver, but it’s lovely}. The pigment has mica in it, which gives it this sheen that could be mistaken at first glance for foil stamping.

    You may be wondering: “How on earth do I use that ink?” You’ll use the same technique as outlined in my watercolor calligraphy post; namely, you’ll wet the ink with a brush and a bit of water …

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock

    … then, once you’ve created a mixture of water and pigment that is rich and opaque, use your brush to transfer it to your nib.

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock

    Give it a try! It’s not nearly as hard or time-consuming as it looks.

    Along with the opacity test, I created examples on a piece of white paper so you can see what everything looks like.

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock

    In my personal opinion, the Speedball is much too yellow … I honestly haven’t found a good use for it yet; though it could probably be mixed with something {gloss medium?} to add a subtle, glittery sheen. I like the Winsor & Newton gold calligraphy ink. And, of course, the Finetec is my go-to when it comes to making incredible gold calligraphy. Check out what happens when you expose it to some light; the shine is just wonderful!

    Gold Calligraphy Ink | The Postman's Knock

    Hopefully this post can help you make an informed decision about which ink to use! Finetec is a German company, so for those of you in Europe, you can find the palette here {thanks go to Leanda at One Little Bird Studio for finding this link!}.

    Let me know if you have any questions. I hope you enjoyed your weekend, and we’ll talk soon!

    XO, Lindsey | The Postman's Knock