There are so many different tools and supplies to try.  These are the things I have tried and absolutely love.  If you don’t see something listed here and you want a recommendation, please don’t hesitate to ask!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links at no additional cost to you! Go HERE to view my Amazon shop, and don't forget to scroll past the video for more!

Calligraphy Supplies

Beginner Starter Kit:

Speedball Straight Nib Holder - inexpensive and perfect for starting out!

Speedball Oblique Nib Holder - inexpensive and perfect for that beginner who is comfortable enough with the Straight nib holder but is ready to move on to the Oblique.

Nikko G Nib - This nib is perfect for beginners because it allows you to get used to the up and down pressure that writing calligraphy requires without sacrificing a beautiful look.

Winsor & Newton Black Calligraphy Ink - This is my FAVORITE ink that I’ve tried.  I have found that other inks are too watery and bleed through the paper.  This ink has the perfect consistency and does not bleed.

Rhodia Blank Paper Pad - cost effective and smooth paper option that’s perfect for practicing calligraphy.

Other paper options:

Bristol Paper Pad - I use this for finished pieces; it’s a heavier weight cardstock-type paper that’s ultra smooth, so your nib doesn’t catch the paper fibers and easily can glide over the surface.

Canson Marker Paper Pad - option found at most craft and art supply stores, not as high quality as Rhodia, but works when you just can’t wait for your order to be shipped.

 

Beyond Beginner Supplies to try:

Other favorite Nibs:

Brause 66 EF - This nib is a little more flexible, but it still good for people just starting out.  The downstrokes you can get are a lot thicker than the Nikko G, which is really fun.

Hunt 101 - This nib is amazing!  I love it so much.  I probably use this one the very most.  It does require a lot more practice and hand control, especially when doing upstrokes, but it’s awesome.  You get very fine upstrokes and thick downstrokes.

Brause 361 “Blue Pumpkin” - You have probably heard about this nib, just because of its name and color.  It is a fun one to play with, too.  Like the Hunt 101, it requires a lot of practice, but once you get the hang of calligraphy it’s fun to play with a nib like this that gets you a different look to your calligraphy.

Mitchell Copperplate 0742F - I recently discovered this nib and LOVE it.  The nib itself is oblique.  You get very fine upstrokes, and the nib isn’t as flexible, so it’s easier to control and not have the shaky upstrokes that some nibs give if you’re not used to writing calligraphy.

Black Canson Paper - This black paper is fun to use with white or gold calligraphy ink.  It does have a grainy texture, so the nib does get caught sometimes.  It’s still a great paper to use

Winsor and Newton Gold Calligraphy Ink - this Gold calligraphy ink is awesome. You do have to mix it each time you use it just because the pigment falls to the bottom of the jar. It is beautiful! Winsor and Newton is my favorite!

Winsor and Newton White Calligraphy Ink - This is my favorite white calligraphy ink that I have tried. It dries matte and doesn’t bleed. It’s a nice opaque white!

Winsor and Newton Blue Ink - when in doubt I always buy Winsor and Newton! This ink is beautiful and doesn’t bleed or deep through the paper. It kind of has a glossy finish but it’s beautiful. I love this one!

Walnut ink - Walnut ink is gorgeous! It is that beautiful brown ink that looks antique/vintage. I wish I had discovered this ink sooner. It has a little bit thinner consistency so you do need to use a thicker paper with it ( Bristol or Rhodia is fine), but it is too beautiful not to have in your collection.

Other tools I love:

Artograph Lightbox - I use this lightbox when I have sketched out a drawing and want to trace the sketch to a finished piece.  A lightbox allows me to see through the thicker paper without having to erase pencil lines or guides.  It’s awesome and something I recommend to anyone who is serious about lettering or watercolor.  The one I have linked here is a 9” x 12”, and it totally does the job.  

Pipettes - These are great for piping your ink into an inkwell.

Large Dinky Dips inkwells - I use these to dip my pen when using an oblique nib holder especially. The oblique holder is too wide to fit in a jar, but these are wide and shallow enough to be able to easily dip your oblique pens!  I love these because they are inexpensive and perfect for storing ink. They screw closed so you don’t waste your ink, either!

Large Dinky Dips Refill

H5 Pencil - Any pencil will work, but this very light pencil is the one I prefer!

Soft White Eraser - You need a good eraser for erasing without leaving marks, but also to prime your calligraphy nibs!  Simply rub an eraser over the surface of your new nibs to remove the coating and to make your nib ready to hold ink.  If you don’t prime your calligraphy ink, the ink will run right off of your nib and won’t hold.

Layout Bond Paper - I use this paper when I’m composing a quote. I’ll sketch out my quote and make edits using this paper. It’s easy to see through and it easily scans finished pieces ready to digitize!

Tracing Paper - similar to Layout bond paper, but this paper tends to be a little bit slippery which is why I prefer Layout Bond paper. I use tracing paper or vellum when I’m in a pinch!

Centering Ruler - this ruler is great! I love that it’s clear and that it’s a centering ruler. It’s perfect for composing finished pieces!

 

Brush Calligraphy Beginner Starter Kit:

Tombow Fudenosuke Hard - I love this pen for beginners.  The tip of the brush pen is not as flexible, so it’s a little bit more forgiving while you’re getting the hang of doing fine upstrokes and thick downstrokes.

Zebra Fude Brush Pen - Extra Fine - This pen is a lot like the Tombow Fudenosuke Hard, but I can get finer upstrokes with this pen.

Tombow Fudenosuke Soft -  I love this pen for beginners, too.  The tip of the brush pen is more flexible, so you get a thicker downstroke than the Tombow Fudenosuke Hard.  This one requires a bit more control when you draw the upstrokes.

Rhodia Blank Paper Pad - cost effective and smooth paper option that’s perfect for practicing brush calligraphy.

Canson Marker Paper Pad - option found at most craft and art supply stores, not as high quality as Rhodia, but works when you just can’t wait for your order to be shipped.

Other brush pens I love once you get the hang of brush calligraphy:

Sailor Fude Nagomi Brush Pen - Ryofuka Model - Medium - I love this pen for the thick downstrokes it makes.  I usually buy 2-3 of this brush at a time because I go through them so fast. (I use this one all the time!)

Pilot Futayaku Double-Sided Brush Pen - This pen is really fun to write with, too.  I love that it has a fine and a medium tip on the same brush.  

Tips: Do not use your brush pens on copy paper.  The fibers of the paper actually ruin your brush a lot faster than if you use an ultra smooth paper pad like Rhodia or Canson Marker.
 

Watercolor Supplies

Beginner:

Artist’s Loft Watercolor Paints  - these are perfect for practicing and learning to mix colors.  They leave a chalky finish on your piece, so I wouldn’t use these for finished pieces you want to sell.

Winsor & Newton Watercolor Pan Set:  I have had my Winsor & Newton Watercolor Pan set for years!  It is perfect because it comes with every color you’ll need when you’re starting out and can easily mix the colors that are available.

Winsor & Newton Cotman Brush set of 4 - These brushes are awesome for beginners.  They’re still high enough quality that your paintings will look really nice, but they’re still cost effective.  This particular set comes with 3 round brushes and one stroke brush.  Round brushes are great for beginners because they’re so versatile!

Canson Watercolor Paper Pad: This paper pad is great for practicing because it’s so inexpensive. The quality is mediocre but it definitely does the job, especially for practice. I don’t love to use this paper if I’m planning on using a lot of water because the paper tends to warp and bubble with a lot of water.

Fabriano Cold Press Watercolor Paper: I have tried so many watercolor cold press papers and this one is my absolute favorite. It holds water and doesn’t warp the paper (not nearly as bad as others I’ve tried!), and the watercolors blend beautifully on this paper.

Grumbacher Round Brush Size 8 - I use this brush ALL the time.  It is a recent find and I love it.  The point of the brush allows for fine lines, too.  It’s a very versatile brush.

Winsor & Newton Professional Sable Brush Round Size 8 - This is another brush I love.  The tip of the brush isn’t as fine as the Grumbacher brush, but this brush provides beautiful results!  I love it and use it all the time.

 

Beyond Beginner:

Prima Marketing Ink Pan Sets: These pan sets are amazing!! I love their compact size. Don’t let the size fool you, though. These paints are highly pigmented and last a really long time. I use these 90% of the time. I take these on trips with me because they’re so compact. You will not be disappointed!

Tropical

Decadent Pies

Classics

Pastel Dreams

Yarka Professional Watercolor Pan Set - Original: I love this pan set. It is definitely on the more expensive side, but it is well worth the money. The colors are gorgeous and the paint is so creamy and beautiful.

Yarka Professional Watercolor Sequel Pan Set - This one is equally as beautiful as the Original set. I love the colors in this set and use it just as much if not a little more than the original set.

Palette - I love this palette for keeping and mixing my tube paints.

Tubes of watercolor paint - when in doubt I always buy Winsor and Newton (you can buy them individually on Blick, too!) because I’m never disappointed in the quality.

Other tools I love:

Glass Jars for Water - Obviously any old cup will do for water, but I like having a couple of designated water jars that I don’t have to worry about staining.  I like to have 2 containers for water.  One for rinsing (this water will stay dirty!) and one for getting clean water for mixing.  *Tip* Only use cold water EVER.  Warm or hot water will loosen the glue that holds your brush bristles in place!  Never leave your brushes resting in water, either.  Nothing ruins your brushes faster!

Artograph Lightbox - I use this lightbox when I have sketched out a drawing and want to trace the sketch to a finished piece.  A lightbox allows me to see through the thicker paper without having to erase pencil lines or guides.  It’s awesome and something I recommend to anyone who is serious about lettering or watercolor.  The one I have linked here is a 9” x 12”, and it totally does the job.