Home The Best Calligraphy Inks in 2023

The Best Calligraphy Inks in 2023

by Sarah Jones
10 minutes read
Best Calligraphy Inks

Whether you are new to calligraphy or a seasoned professional at the craft, you want the best calligraphy ink for your dip pens and brushes. Inferior inks can bleed on the page, take forever to dry, and smear easily.

We’ve scoured the web to find the best inks based on pigment, dye base, and cost to give you a list of the best inks for your dip pen calligraphy.

We also direct you to which factors to consider when shopping for quality calligraphy ink. By the end of this article, you will have all the information necessary to find the best ink for your craft.

Best Calligraphy Inks:

1. Speedball 2-Ounce India Ink, Super Black

Speedball Art Products 2-Ounce India Ink, Super Black View at Amazon

Speedball produces one of the best inks for dip pen calligraphy. This waterproof, quick-drying ink is made from high-quality carbon black pigment. The pigment absorbs easily into many paper types without feathering.

People who use this ink appreciate the fast drying time as well as the smooth black pigment. They say that this is a great ink for people starting out with brush calligraphy.

With this darkly pigmented ink and a dip pen or brush, you are sure to get quality coverage when practicing your calligraphy.

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2. Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink Bottle, 30ml, Black

Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink Bottle, 30ml, Black

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This affordable 30ml bottle of ink is one of the best for calligraphy using dip pens or brushes.

This ink comes in a variety of colors and is not waterproof to allow constant flow without clogging or leaving drips on the page.

Some users of this ink say that it is the best calligraphy ink they’ve found while others appreciate the wide color variety.

With a smooth-flowing ink and a seemingly endless variety of colors to choose from, our Winsor and Newton calligraphy ink review highly recommends this ink for your craft.

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3. Speedball Super Black India Ink, 1 Pint

Speedball Super Black India Ink, 1 Pint - 404696 View at Amazon

Like the two-ounce bottle, this Speedball India ink is quick-drying and waterproof to give you smooth even strokes every time.

This pint-sized bottle gives you more of the quality Speedball ink that you love. The permanent and waterproof dye ensures that your documents will not fade or become water-damaged over time.

People love the dark pigment of this ink and the fact that it dries fast. They say that the pint-sized bottle is a great deal for people who practice their brush calligraphy often.

The larger size of this bottle is perfect for people who want to practice their dip pen and brush calligraphy daily, or even for artists who intend to use this ink to draw.

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4. MZ001 Hmayart Black Sumi Liquid Ink for Japanese Brush Calligraphy

MZ001 Hmayart Black Sumi Liquid Ink for Japanese Brush Calligraphy & Chinese Traditional Artworks (black) View at Amazon

This Japanese calligraphy ink is perfect for practicing brush calligraphy.

Sumi ink is waterproof and made from pine soot which gives it a pleasant scent. The squeeze bottle is convenient for pouring the right amount of ink for your craft without spilling.

Those who regularly use this ink say that they appreciate the thick consistency. They say that this ink is perfect for brush calligraphy.

If you are looking for quality Sumi ink, Hmayart offers some of the best.

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5. Speedball Art Products 10 Color Pigmented Acrylic Set Calligraphy Ink

Speedball Art Products 10 Color Pigmented Acrylic Set Calligraphy Ink

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A great ink when practicing calligraphy for beginners is Speedball. This smooth writing ink kit comes with a variety of colors to practice with.

This set comes with ten unique colors and a plastic palette to pour your inks into and practice mixing colors.

People who use this ink set say that it is perfect for scrapbooking as well as bullet journaling. They love the variety of colors at a reasonable price.

If you are looking for a variety of colors to practice with, this set is just right for you!

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6. Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Ink

Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay India Ink (Set 1) Ink Set, 0.5 oz, Set 1 Colors, 1 Set of 12 Bottles

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This colored calligraphy ink comes in a kit with twelve different colors and is great for dip pen calligraphy.

Dr. Ph. Martin’s ink kit comes with white, black, brown, violet, blue, teal, yellow, bright red, red, magenta, grass green, and green.

Customers who use this ink say that it is of fantastic quality with great pigmentation. They are great for beginners just starting out with dip pen and brush calligraphy.

If you are looking for pigmented India ink in a variety of colors, this kit will deliver it.

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7.  Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Ink

Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay India Ink (Set 1) Ink Set, 1.0 oz, Set 1 Colors, 1 Set of 12 Bottles View at Amazon

Similar to the previous Dr. Ph. Martin ink kit, this India ink set offers everything you expect from this brand with a circular palette to make combining colors and working with other colors a breeze.

People who use this set love the circular palette and say that the waterproof ink writes smoothly and dries quickly.

This quality kit and included palette make it easy to write colorful calligraphy projects with ease.

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8. YOLAKI Calligraphy Pen Ink

YOLAKIS Calligraphy Pen Ink, 12 Color Drawing Ink Glass Dip Pen Ink Set Gold Powder Artistic Ink with Gift Box (12 Color) View at Amazon

YOLAKI makes some of the best dip pen ink on the market. This twelve-color set is perfect for beginners and professionals alike.

This kit comes with twelve vibrant colors with gold powder included in the ink to give a shimmer to each color. They come neatly stored in a beautiful box which makes them a perfect gift for any calligraphy lover.

People love the glitter of this ink and say that it is perfect for bold brush calligraphy. The colors are bright and bold.

This ink offers vibrant colors with a touch of glitter and is great for scrapbooking or regular brush calligraphy.

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9. Dr. Ph. Martin’s 400032-XXX Bleed proof White

Dr. Ph. Martin's 400032-XXX Bleedproof White, 1.0 oz

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Another Dr. Ph. Martin’s ink on our list is this bright white calligraphy ink. If you are looking to write on dark surfaces or paper, this ink is just what you need.

This one-ounce bottle of bleed-proof white ink is perfect for writing out mistakes in your calligraphy as well as writing on dark paper or surfaces.

Customers who have bought this ink say that this ink works great for writing on nearly every surface and can even be diluted with water and still stay bright on the page.

Whether you are looking for a bright white to paint out mistakes or you want to write on dark paper, this ink works for both.

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Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Calligraphy Inks

There are some things you want to take into consideration when looking for the best inks for your brush calligraphy. There is a difference in color vibrancy, quantity, cost, and consistency among other things. Here are a few factors to consider before purchasing your ink:

Calligraphy ink versus India ink:

Both calligraphy and India ink are not meant to be used in fountain pens. Generally, they dry to be waterproof and can lead to clogging in a fountain pen. If you are using dip pens or brushes though, this will not be a problem.

Calligraphy ink versus fountain pen ink:

Fountain pen ink is generally more free-flowing and less likely to clog a fountain pen than calligraphy ink. Because of this fountain pen ink may be better suited to use with a dip pen as it would make cleanup easier.

Size and amount of bottle:

You want to be sure to compare the size of the bottle of ink to the cost. Be sure to know what you are paying per fluid ounce so you know which inks are a better deal overall.


While some inks are more expensive due to quality, being mindful of your budget when buying ink for your craft is something you always want to take into consideration.

Waterproof versus non-waterproof:

Waterproof ink may seem like a great idea, but the consistency of such inks can cause clogs on your dip pens and may be harder to clean out of your brushes. However, if you practice regularly with waterproof inks, you will soon learn the tricks necessary to get even lines and art that cannot be water damaged.

Making The Decision

I have two top picks from this list based on whether you are looking for simple black ink or a variety of colors to work with.

For simple black ink, the Sumi liquid ink by Hmayart is elegant and affordable. The squeeze bottle is clean and lets you decant the exact amount you will need for each project.

For a variety of colors, Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Ink set gives you twelve unique colors to choose from at a reasonable price.

Of course, both picks are among the best calligraphy inks, as are the other inks available on this list. Be sure to take the aforementioned factors into consideration before making your decision and be sure to have fun with your craft!


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