Workbooks & Supplies List
I’m so excited you’re embarking on this lettering journey! Download the workbook of your choice (or both) and get them printed out, maybe sneak in some stationery shopping while you’re at it and you’ll be good to go.
I recommend starting with the large size to really hone in on muscle memory before moving to the smaller size. Alternatively, if you use tiny notebooks like me (A6 is my current favourite size!), you can opt for the small and just keep practicing. I’ve also linked my favourite paper, brush pens (both large and small), watercolour and pointed pen supplies all in one place for your easy reference!
*Please be reminded that all resources made available here are for personal use only. Thank you!
A quick note on buying these supplies…
For your convenience, where possible clicking on the listed supplies would take you to an online store like Amazon where you can buy them.
Some of these links are affiliate links, which means I make a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you purchase from something — you get your new supplies, I get to keep this resource running; win-win! All the products I link have either been tested by me personally or I’ve extensively researched them before putting them on here!
Recommended PAPERS FOR LETTERING
Rhodia comes up tons when you’re on the hunt for lettering paper and for good reason! It’s really, really smooth which helps your brush pens live longer and comes nicely packaged too! Comes in blank, lined, grid and dotted.
Looseleaf options are always kinder on the wallet. Like this HP paper that tons of letterers and calligraphers swear by!
Another Japanese alternative you can just stick in a binder, Campus paper. It’s very pocket-friendly and you might even find it in Daiso sometimes! Also comes in blank, lined and grid.
If you don’t have easy access to good paper, tracing paper is a good way to preserve your brush pens! Just stick it over your worksheets and start writing! They’re also a great help when designing on pen and paper!
One of my alternatives to HP paper is Japanese chain store Muji’s loose leaf paper. In general, Japanese paper tends to be very smooth and brush- and dip-pen friendly! Comes in the usual configurations of blank, lined, and grid.
BRUSH tip PENS
My all-time fave, the Artline Stix is one of the most inexpensive colourful large pens on the market! I love the triangular grip and how juicy it is — ombré effect for daaaaaays! Bonus point? These don’t fray easily!
Another favourite is the Sakura Koi brush pen. These are slightly softer than the Artline Stix, but they more than make up for it in colour variety. Also very wallet-friendly!
Kuretake has a huge assortment of brush pens, but this one is their best, in my opinion! Pretty firm, and wider than the Sakura so it’s friendlier to hold for prolonged periods.
My go-to small pen is always a Tombow Fude Hard tip. It’s crazy firm, which makes fine upstrokes that much easier to achieve. Definitely my pick for beginners, especially those who have shaky hands! It also comes in a soft tip is also fun to play with once you’ve got a decent grip on lettering!
Also known as the Zebra Disposable Brush Pen, this pen can be found in Daiso! It’s my alternative when I can’t find my Tombow Hard (my messy table eats pens), enough said!
* Some brush pens like this one come in a variety of sizes. 極細 is extra fine, 細 fine, 中 medium, and 大 large. My personal favourite is the extra fine!
Small colourful pens are hard to find. That’s why the Pentel Fude Touch SIgn is so precious! Perfect for small lettering (in your planner, maybe?). It’s pretty similar to the Tombow Fude Soft Tip in flex.
Just make sure to get the ones with the glittery barrel — that’s the brush pen!
Watercolor Supplies FOR LETTERING
Artist-grade paints get you so much more bang-for-your-buck. If you’ve no idea what colours to buy, I highly recommend the Essentials set from Daniel Smith — it has all the colours you need to mix the colour spectrum!
If the flexibility of a real paintbrush scares the crap out of you, try a water brush first! The bristles generally all stick together more than the bristles of a regular paintbrush, making it easier to manipulate! The Sakura Koi #2 is the smallest I’ve managed to find and is my personal favourite travel brush.
No list would be complete without Ecoline! Mostly popular for their little bottles of liquid watercolour goodness that you can use to create amazing watercolour gradients in your lettering, Ecoline also has a bunch of brush pens in matching colours. Dip the pen into a different colour ink before you write for an instant gradient effect!
For lettering with paint, smooth paper is still a must, but now it needs to be heavier because you’ll be using a wetter medium. I love this 300gsm paper from Strathmore for its bright white and smoothness!
Similarly, you can use any cup, glass or empty jam jar for rinsing your brushes — there are even palettes designed with water buckets! I personally prefer collapsible cups like these. They store away easily if I need or want to take my lettering outdoors!
Metallic Pens, Paint & Ink
There’s nothing more fun than throwing a bit of shiny into the mix for your work! There are quite a few options — more for paint/ink than pens — these are the top 3.
This line of beginner-friendly brush pens also has a selection of metallics! The colours are pretty vibrant, and yes, they have all the good qualities of their non-metallic counterparts!
Coliro has a huge selection of Mica metallic and pearlescent paints — and they are constantly creating new colours! You can use them as they are or mix it in with regular watercolours to give your lettering a bit of a glittery sheen!
For pure metallic knock-your-socks-off power, this ink definitely is the best. Dr Ph Martin’s Iridescent Calligraphy Colors is an acrylic ink that comes in a whole spectrum of metallic shades. My personal favourite is Copper Plate Gold and Nickel, but the whole collection is stunning!
POINTED PEN CALLIGRAPHY SUPPLIES
Choosing between an oblique and straight holder when you’re starting out with pointed pen is always such a headache! But with the creation of 2-in-1 holders, you can try both out!
I love the Moblique by Luis Creations because it’s so aesthetic and affordable. It also comes with a nib compartment and you can interchange the colours to create a combination you love!
There are other holders, of course, but I think the Moblique is one of the best for beginners out there in terms of price, design and accessiblity!
Like with brush pens, most people find it easier to start out with a stiffer nib — that’s the G nibs like the Zebra G, Nikko G and Tachikawa G.
Other beginner favourites are the Brause 361 Steno Blue Pumpkin and the Lenoardt 40 Blue Pumpkin.
I like G nibs, but also regularly use a Brause EF66, a Hunt Imperial 101 and a Blanzzy 2552.
The options for ink are pretty endless, but my recommendation is good ol’ sumi ink. I use this bottle by Kuretake, as well as the cheap bottles of sumi I can find in my neighbourhood Daiso!
Another beginner favourite is the Higgins Eternal ink. You can also try your hand at mixing your own walnut ink!