A Place to Enhance and Inspire to be CR8TiV !

Calligraphy – Dip Pens

on December 6, 2015

Hello ! Hope your having a great weekend so far. It’s been chilly so I’ve been trying to stay warm. (n_n) Stay Cr8TiV helps a great deal to keep my mind off the chilly waft sneaking through my windows.

I think I did a post about my dabbling in Calligraphy. I had an old calligraphy fountain pen that I had bought awhile back but wasn’t doing calligraphy lettering with it but rather just using it as a regular pen.

Until I bought a book on Calligraphy which hit me on the head that I had been using the pen wrong. All these beautiful Calligraphy lettering fonts and I was just using it like a regular pen. (>⌂<“) D’Oh !

But I am always learning something *new* which I love about being CR8TiV. So the book I had bought was Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering. I originally got into Hand Lettering watching YouTube videos by Kristina Werner or Made by Marzipan which sometimes features hand-lettering.

Eventually I got better at Calligraphy doing Old English, BlackLetter, Italic, etc. I was mainly using my fountain pen and the Sakura Pigma Calligrapher pens. I then learned about dip pens and was intrigued as well as adored the elegant script letterings.

I was going to purchase a small dip pen set from my local craft store but my husband bought me the Speedball Calligraphy Collector’s Set *pictured below* …


I highly recommend this set if you are going to try out dip pens. It gives you pretty much ALL the basic nibs, holders, and small jars of ink to try out. In this set you get … Four(4) Broad Nibs “C-2, C-3, A-5, B-6” ~ Four(4) Flexible Nibs “512, 513, 102 Quill, and 101” and three(3) ink colors … Black, Red, and Blue. The last jar is a pen cleaner solution

My only complaint would have to be that the jars aren’t very secure and that my black ink jar leaked out and two screws on the wooden box hinge is missing. But those are minor issues that do not affect the performance of the pens or nibs.

The pen holders in this set which includes … Oblique holder, Regular holder, and Quill holder. You get two(2) regular holders except one is a fancy black and gold marbled design whilst the other is plain black.

In my opinion the Speedball inks that come with the set doesn’t perform well at least in my opinion. The Red and Blue ink color is very vibrant though. But I felt the quality of the inks weren’t that great. So I went to search for a better ink.

Today I decided to use up some Michael’s coupons which expire today and after doing some research I heard that the FW Liquid Acrylic inks work great for dip pens as well as Gouache. I did purchase some Artist Loft Gouache but haven’t tested it out.

So the FW Liquid Acrylic set I purchased was the Pearlescent set *See image below*. (nεn”) I’m a real sucker for shiny, glittery, and shimmery colors and inks. So I was eager to try these out with my dip pen.


The colors in this set is gorgeous !! My favorite has to be the Galactic Blue as Blue is my favorite color and any hue of Blue is my favorite too. Each dropper inside seems to be sealed or at least mine were as I had to take a pin and unclog each dropper.

It was a bit of a downer that the packaging of this set or any FW ink set I saw at Michael’s wasn’t very secure as there’s no shrink wrap or anything securing the packaging. Just a piece of tape to keep the lid closed.

With that being said I noticed that the Platinum Pink ink level was a bit low compared to the others. None of the bottles are sealed either so the bottles in the set can easily be tampered with as well. But I was in love with the shimmery, glittery colors, and that Blue was my kinda blue. 😛 L0L

Below is a test sample of each color …


How beautiful is that Galatic Blue ? (♥ω♥) You can see on the top “Test” I wrote in Galatic Blue it’s very shimmery. I used the regular nib holder with a 512 nib. I tested every color except the White Pearl as I didn’t think it’d show up on the White cardstock paper.

The Copperplate Gold is not a FW ink but rather the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Iridescent ink *See image below*


I wanted a very shiny Gold to use when doing calligraphy script on Black or Dark colored paper. As you can see from the “Test” on the upper part of the list the gold is very shiny. When I tried it on black colored paper the gold turned to kinda a bronze-ish color instead of gold but still shiny. I’ll post a picture of that when I get a chance.

I orginally wasn’t sure if the Dr. Ph. Martin’s ink would work with Dip pens as unlike the FW pen which shows a image of a Dip pen nib on the side that displays what types of mediums the ink is good for. The Dr. Ph. Martin’s ink just says it’s good for Calligraphy, Brush, and Airbrush.

I wasn’t sure if by Calligraphy they meant fountain pens or dip pens as well. But they work wonderfully with dip pens and both the FW ink and the Dr. Ph Martin’s perform smoothly without any inconsistencies or ink blobs. If you are going to be doing Copperplate lettering or script letter with the Speedball Calligraphy set I highly suggest using the Oblique pen and the 101 nib. The 512 works great for that too but I like the 101 better for the thick and thin lines.

The book that comes with the set doesn’t really help much as far as giving beginners tips or tricks but it has some great font examples but as far as learning deeper about calligraphy with dip pens I highly suggest the Creative Lettering and Beyond book. *See image below*


In my opinion this book talks more about dip pens and the basics you need to know in half the book. Of course your other best place to learn the basics is YouTube. OpenInkStand Art & Calligraphy is a good channel to subscribe to  … Link →

Overall I am really liking this whole dip pen experience and I am hoping to think of other CR8TiV ways to using dip pens into my art and crafts that just Calligraphy. I am hoping that Santa will get me a Glass dip pen like the J. Herbin for Christmas. I will definitely post up a review if I got a Glass Dip pen for Christmas.


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