My Favorite Lettering Tools - Watercolor Edition

lettering tools for Water Color Calligraphy

One of the first versions of lettering and modern calligraphy I fell in love with was watercolor.  I loved the “swooshes” that the brushes gave the letters and the ombre feel of the ink.  I found something so majestic about the art of watercolor lettering went out and bought a ton of different supplies to start learning.  Today, I have found a number of products I love using for watercolor lettering that I am sharing below. Everything is available on Amazon for easy access and quick shipping!


watercolor calligraphy tools_palms and paper


Because there is a lot of practice when it comes to lettering, I still practice EVERY DAY, you’ll need a lot of paper!  My to go to paper is HP Premium Choice Laser Jet paper.  I found having a good quality silky feel paper was the best while I was practicing. When working on my letters the smooth silky surface of the paper allowed me to make smooth transitions and permitted me to easily try different styles. I also love [obviously] watercolor paper.  Once I was more comfortable with my strokes, I started using watercolor paper to write on and practice on.  I personally feel that watercolor paper is much less forgiving then the silky smooth laser jet paper.

watercolor calligraphy tools _ palms and paper


So many to choose from and so many different styles of lettering.  I have to admit, I have a hoard of paint brushes.  Some I use when I want to mess around and just paint and others for lettering.  For lettering, I have a few favorites ranging in sizes for different mediums I work on.  For escort cards and place cards, my favorite brushes to use are spotter brushes.  These sizes rang from the but I love this package of brushes that sends them in threes for reach size. My favorite range in brushes are 10/0, 20/0, 5/0 on spotter or round.

watercolor calligraphy tools _ palms and paper


Hands down, my favorite color ink is Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus fine art watercolor.  While the price for buying the set is a little daunting, I promise it is worth every penny and they last a long time.  If you don't want to buy the entire set you can also by them individually.  All the watercolor can be blended and intermixed (which I do a lot of) while still maintaining the transparency and luminosity of the colors. 

My favorite [and I'm pretty positive it's a favorite of the industry] white to use for lettering is Dr. Ph. Martin's bleed proof white. This white is opage and works perfect on dark paper and card stock.

For gold ink, my favorite is another industry winner and part of the Dr. Ph. Martin family, their Copper Plate Gold ink.

watercolor calligraphy tools _ palms and paper


For holding my ink I use either paint trays or little glass bottles. If it’s a quick project that I can do in one sitting, I typically use a paint tray. I’ll admit the first ones I ever ordered were extra large trays ( I forgot to read the size) and they were horrible to work with. They took over half of my desk and when working on two hundred watercolor place cards, you need that extra room! Luckily I found a smaller vision that comes with multiple trays, are stack able, and I can store them easily. They are also really easy to clean - a little hot water and soap and they are brand new! When I’m working on a project that may take me a few days or I’m making custom colors, I use little glass bottles. These little bottles were one of my best finds! I love that I can pop the lid on and come back to the color that I spent forever mixing without loosing it.