How to Mix Calligraphy Inks

Drawing a picture is an art. But that is not the ultimate. Sometimes very nice handwriting, no matter if it is a letter, an advertisement, or graffiti- anything among them can be considered as artistry. If any of these things would come from your heart mixed with your love and emotions becomes an art. This is called ‘Calligraphy’. This kind of decorative handwriting or lettering to be done on paper or canvas using a fountain pen or a paintbrush.
Calligraphy is not always done using only a single color ink, but most of the time it requires a mixture of different color inks to give it an attractive look and your creation will get a special appeal that certainly will catch other’s attention. Therefore, you have to go for mixing of different ink to make your art beautiful.

Why Do You Need to Mix Inks

Although a few good brands of ink available in the market. But it’ll be better to mix your inks. Because the colors that you find from the market don’t provide you enough shades and on the other hand your inks give an indefinite choice of colors so that your creativity earns brilliance by onlookers.

How to Mix Calligraphy Inks

The beginners must take mixing inks as a tough job as they have no prior experience. You have to know how to mix powdered pigments, how to combine different inks, how to make the solution thicker, even you have to learn the ratio of ink, water, and gum Arabic. All these events are vital to form nice calligraphy. So now let’s move on to the next segment and how to make this job easily possible.

The Required Materials

There are a few essential materials that must be taken to draw calligraphy. These are-

Gum Arabic

This is a kind of gum extracted from a tree called acacia. This works to make the ink thicker and also balances the density of the ink that perfect calligraphy requires.

Powdered Pigment

Having powdered pigment means you’ve got control over the density and consistency of the ink. You can get a different texture and finish if you alter the ratio of gum Arabic and water.

Calligraphy Inks

There are two kinds of ink available for calligraphy- 

1. Dye-Based Ink: This kind of ink needs water where a kind of chemical is dissolved in water to prepare this type of ink. It looks more transparent but doesn’t work in quick time.

2. Pigment-Based Ink: This ink contains shellac, a kind of binding agent, that makes the ink last longer and also gives prominent lines. 


For calligraphy purposes, distilled water is used to mix or dilute inks. Normal water often contains various particles that may reduce the performance level of inks.


Apart from all these ingredients, you need some tools for a calligraphy job. They are- a small container, small bowl, eyedropper, spoons, and stirring sticks, etc.

The Process of Mixing Inks

When you manage to collect all the materials and tools, then you can start doing the mixing job following the process in steps. Here they are-

Mixing of Powdered Ink Pigments

  1.  There is a kind of powdered ink made from mica, available in 6 different colors for this purpose. To make the mixing, you have to take 1 tsp. of ink and add ¼ tsp. of gum Arabic and 1tsp. of distilled water. Now, you have to stir the mixture thoroughly to prepare the ink for calligraphy.
  2. If you want to get the sheen of color in your calligraphy, then all you need to add a small scoop of gum arabic and ½ tsp. of powdered pigments with 1 tsp. of bottled ink and then stir the mixture thoroughly to get the desired result.

Mixing of Colors

Whenever you go to mix different colors for calligraphy, one thing that you must keep in mind, the inks should be the same brand so that the best blended-shades may come out for the cool art. To get the best result you should mix darker and lighter shades altogether to form a decent shade for the calligraphy. Take a small container and pour some lighter color into and then add some darker colors in drops using a pipette and stir them well for your desired colors.


If you have enough skill to drive your pen or paintbrush on the paper towards any direction or angle then calligraphy may be your cup of tea after having formal training or necessary exercise. And obviously, having a better shade of colors of the inks gives your art a kind of appreciation that makes you feel proud for your creation.