Calligraphy and illumination resources

One of the best inks is Calli. Dip pens are best, but I found that, if I cleaned out my pen after a project, I could get away with using my Sheaffer. The cartography pens work best for straight lines, and the same cartography pens can be used with gouache.

The best choice for high quality gouache (pron. "gwash") is Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache; it happens to be available at, along with gold leaf. Use soft watercolor brushes, kept very clean, and dilute the paint carefully to not lose the richness of the colors.

Permanent white is best for "white-lining", that is, laying lines of white over top of other colors; mix this to the thickness of heavy cream.

Ultramarine is the most rich blue I can imagine, and makes a suitable match for the blues of Iznik pottery.

Cadium yellow pale is a good yellow that is used for the heraldic concept of "gold" (or, in heraldese, "Or").

Grenadine is a lovely rich red that has no hint of orange; my favourite!

Zinc white is used for diluting the intensity of other colors (creating "tones"); consider this your mixer.

Parma violet seems dark out of the tube, but when diluted down to the consistency of cream is -very- nice.

Yellow ochre is, to my mind, a woodsy sort of color, and is used both in forest-like images and on some clothing.

Mistletoe green is a stunning green. Another favourite.

Cobalt blue is a beautiful medium blue that makes a nice base for "diapering" (that's a style of patterning, folks!)

Gold leaf, loose, 23 k - So I'm a purist! Gold does not tarnish. This stuff is very thin, so must be handled carefully: don't touch with your fingers, don't sneeze or even breath heavily, and, for your own sake, get the dog out of the room! Adhesive size works well for work that will never come under pressure, being best when framed with a matt. Otherwise, try glair and/or gum arabic; if you use bole to create texture, you'll want to frame and matt this, too.