Welcome to number 3 of this series! It’s all about paper today!
Here’s the thing guys, this is important. I have seen so many people spend their money on beautiful brush pens, only to ruin them within a few weeks. They get discouraged and wonder what the heck is going on. No one ever suspects the paper… good paper is a game changer! You can spend a lot of money experimenting with different paper, or you can read ahead and realise there’s even a great type of paper you can buy by the REAM. That’s right, you can put it through your printer! So here it is folks, the best paper for brush pen calligraphy.
Please note – This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, but please know that I do not link to anything that I don’t personally recommend. If you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a cent more!
You are probably asking this question: “Why do brush pens even need fancy paper?”.
Every professional artist uses a high quality surface, no matter their medium. Otherwise, it might ruin their tools or give their piece some dramatic flaws. Brush calligraphy is the same – our pens can get ruined and our work can end up looking cheap and nasty.
Brush pens have a nib that is nice and flexible – but rub it on a rough surface can make the nib fray. This makes thin lines hard to do, and the beautiful work look messy. It can even make the pen unusable, even if there’s still a lot of ink left. The best paper for brush pen calligraphy needs to be silky and smoother than a baby’s bottom. So to save the hassle (and the money) I have some recommendations for paper you can get straight off the bat.
If you have been in the calligraphy community a while, you have probably heard of Rhodia paper. They are a brand excelling in making smooth and silky paper in notepads and journals. Their products are just gorgeous. However here is the deal breaker: beginners tend to use up a LOT of paper while learning. It’s not a bad thing, it just happens and it’s hard not to. So when you spend around $40 on an A4 notebook, you end up wanting to fill it with prettier things than just strokes and drills.
So a happy answer to this dilemma is J. Burrows 120gsm paper. It is available at Officeworks by the ream and it’s smooth enough for beginners to learn on without destroying the brush pens. It is around $11 for 250 sheets which is a great deal, and you can even put this one through most printers. Which is especially handy when you want to print out guidelines and practice sheets (like the worksheets I have to go along with these posts!)
Another brand which is the J Burrows equivalent, is the HP 32lb Paper. As you can tell, this is an American version of it (hence the lbs and not gsm). So if you are from the lovely USA and need some paper for your pens, track this one down (it’s very popular so it shouldn’t be hard to find) and you’ll love it.
So now that you have the password to all the goodies on their way and the right paper, you are well on the way to becoming a pro in brush pen calligraphy.
If you missed a few of the other posts or want to revisit them, check them out here:
- Calligraphy with a regular pen (faux calligraphy)
- Basic strokes (part 1)
- Basic strokes (part 2)
- Basic strokes (part 3)
- Putting the strokes together
- Connecting the letters
- Flourishing basics
I hope you enjoy them!