Eden & Ev Calligraphy

Eden & Ev Blog

Dip pen calligraphy lessons

I started dip pen calligraphy in 2018. It took me about 8 months to teach myself. Although it can be highly frustrating, it has been well worth the time I’ve invested. I have made no less than 1,000 mistakes while learning dip pen calligraphy. I thought I’d share some very specific lessons I’ve learned.

  1. The ink starts to bleed or blobs up. This usually means the paper is too thin. I ask for heavy envelopes from clients. If the ink blobs you may have dipped the nib in too far. Remember to dip just past the vent hole.

  2. ‘The ink comes out too liquidy. I recently came across this problem while doing agate stones. I sprayed the surface twice with a sealer started the calligraphy and then resprayed to set the ink. The ink flowed more finely. Because of the agates slippery surface, spraying it with a sealer first makes the surface more compatible with a dip pen.

  3. ‘The pen stops writing altogether. I’ve found that if I thoroughly clean the bib and actually re prep the nib this usually remedies the issue.

  4. ‘Custom ink does not write on the upstroke. For bleed proof white ink, usually the problem is mixing in enough water. Sometimes with a certain surface you may have to press down harder than other surfaces to get the ink to flow.

All of the the above can be remedied. Trial and error helps a bunch!

Katie Nading