How To Mix Inks for Calligraphy Use

I'm not sure when I began mixing non-traditional "inks" to use for calligraphy. It's probably when I stumbled on Bleedproof White and it definitely needs to be mixed before it can even be used. 

First, pick a non-traditional "ink" that you'd like to mix. 
I've used watercolors, gouache and even $1 craft acrylic paint to mix for calligraphy use. The sky is the limit and I encourage you to experiment.

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Then you'll need water, an ink container, and something to stir it all with. Simple as that. 
I've heard of other calligraphers using gum arabic, but I ended up using what I had on hand - tap water and a toothpick. For the water, I often take it straight out of the faucet, letting it slowly drip or I use an empty ink bottle with it's dropper. 

Consistency is absolute key. The goal is to create a milk-like ink consistency. 
The ink must have a consistency like that of milk. The true test is if it flows smoothly out of your nib. If it blobs up in the nib and doesn't come out, it's too thick and need more water. If it's too runny, there's too much water. Add and mix in a little bit of your "ink" back in. 

It's trial and error, but when you get the hang of it, you can have all sorts of inks available at your fingertips. 

Calligraphy Practice: Spencerian inspired A

I've been itching to be more consistent practicing more traditional calligraphy styles like Copperplate and Spencerian. Unfortunately, I don't practice calligraphy much on my spare time. My goal is to do a couple of these letters a month, keep myself accountable, and hope it can also help others practice too.

First up, a Spencerian-inspired A:


Last night's Modern Calligraphy Workshop at Silver Spoon Bake Shop here in Columbia, South Carolina was a blast! There's a reason I keep the class size very small, not only so I may be able to pay close attention to each student, but because of the intimate setting. It was great to hear the ladies last night get to know each other and talk about their lives all while learning calligraphy. 

Of course,  one of the highlights of each class for me is always seeing student work. See some of them below.

I cannot wait to do it again next month! More information for May's calligraphy workshop or to sign up can be found here

From left: Donna, Ashley, Laura, Patty, Monica and Therese