Starting Calligraphy – Paper

Most art shops stock a bewildering range of papers. With such a wide choice, which do you use for calligraphy?

The choice of papers for calligraphers is not as great as it may first seem. This is because calligraphers require a smooth paper with a tooth or edge so that the letters are sharp. In comparison, water colour artists do not need a smooth surfaced paper and therefore have a much wider choice of papers available.

Choice of Papers

When beginning calligraphy you are going to use a lot of paper, so you want to select the cheapest that is suitable to use.  Some photocopier papers are suitable, but many of them will make the ink bleed in to the paper.  Also, the most readily available size of photocopier paper is A4.   A4 paper is frequently too small for calligraphy writing.  A3 paper size is recommended.

Layout paper is ideal for practising.  It is slightly transparent enabling you to see the paper underneath.  This means you could have a guideline sheet underneath to save the hassle of ruling-up every practise sheet. You could draw your guidelines in a fine black pen. You can see the lines more easily underneath the paper and can save you time.

Layout Paper

Layout paper is also a good writing surface giving crisp letters.  As always, do experiment as the paper quality varies. We offer two types of layout paper.

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