Tips on Calligraphy Inks

This post will entail about the choices of ink that I have made and also the things I discovered that may be used as an ink and how do I do it.

Calligraphy Inks

My friends Sab and Yen whom I have met thru Type Kita last year were having their somehow quality time one Friday night at TOP while I was reviewing my ass off for an exam the next day. This is how their clutter looked like:


A photo posted by Yen Olay 💎 (@artsyen) on


With this spread, I was inspired and motivated to experiment also. With the Holy Week break, I was practicing on the drills and the basic strokes with the dip pen calligraphy using various inks.

I experimented on using:
  • Watercolor for ink (trying to write with different colors and gradients)
  • The colored inks from The Craft Central
  • Walnut ink

And recently, a dear friend of mine told me to try Sumi ink because it does not bleed and it’s waterproof! Also, for fellow calligraphy enthusiasts or artists there, there’s Sumi ink in Daiso which is cheaper than the ones being sold on various sites.

With the colored inks from The Craft Central, I had some not so good experience with it since I just used the ink directly from the bottle. When I tried to write, it bled and the outcome was pretty devastating. I was even using the pad from Ink Scribbler which you can buy from National Bookstore.

Well, here’s a hack or a tip from a fellow enthusiast so you will not get sad about bleeding or smudges using that ink.

Here are the materials you’ll be needing:
  • Palette (not the expensive ones – there’s one being sold in NBS for only Php 10.75)
  • Calligraphy ink from The Craft Central (in my case, it’s red)
  • A brush (again even the old ones could do because you’ll just need it for mixing)
  • Water
  • Paper (preferably, watercolor paper with 200 gsm)

I will have be to honest with you that I have forgotten to take photos because it happened all of a sudden during one of the art dates with my friend, Christian who gave me the idea about diluting the ink so it won’t be so strong.

Here’s what you have to do:
  • You may need the pure ink placed in one side of the palette, water on another side.
  • Try getting small drops of the ink on another slot then mix it with the water.
  • Optional: You may use Gum Arabic so that the ink will be more stable
  • After mixing, you try it first then if you like it, then that’s the right mixture for you but if it doesn’t work for you, you may try adding more water.
  • Make sure to remember that it depends on what you are doing and on the medium as well. Best to try it on a watercolor paper since it’s thicker than most paper.


Trial with the red ink being diluted
For the watercolor ink:
  • Watercolor (I used Simbalion but attempted to use Prang)
  • Brush
  • Palette
  • Water
  • Watercolor paper with 200gsm or the calligraphy practice pads
Attempt 1

Just be quick in using since it quickly dries up so since it’s getting hotter, might as well have more water prepared than to be sorry.


There’s a sample of my attempt with watercolor as ink.

So that’s how it worked for me. Through my Snapchat, I have been posting how my practice sheets look like and how my art clutter looks when I’m practicing.

And as what one of the people I admire would usually say:


If you follow him on Snapchat, you’ll see how amazing his works are and why I’m always motivated to practice!

Remember, everyone has their own unique style of writing. Use that to your advantage when you practice.

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