One of the things that surprise you most when you see calligraphy written, is the pen and the fact that it is oblique.
In this article, we will show you what this pen is, why it is oblique, how to use it and some of our recommended choices.
What Is An Oblique Calligraphy Pen
We are used to a pencil or pen that is completely straight. The pen, too, is completely straight. But in calligraphy, things can get a little more complicated than that and we’re here to explain it.
The oblique pen gives us this inclination that we look for in calligraphy and even though at first it seems to be just to annoy us, it will be our best friend!
When you learn calligraphy, you have to write at a 45-degree inclination. Sometimes, people use especially guides that help them handle the pen tilt perfectly and you can usually find those ‘guides’ in classic calligraphy sets. If you don’t have one of those, don’t worry, you can make them manually or even just imagine them by eye.
Because of the angle requirement, right-handed people can have a hard time achieving that slant with a straight calligraphy pen. It can be done, however, and a lot of people are used to it – you can simply rotate the paper and experiment with your posture until you achieve the perfect right-leaning slant.
However, an oblique calligraphy pen can make this job easier.
How Does An Oblique Pen Work
The oblique pen is picked up completely just like a normal pen or a pencil. All you have to do is move the paper around a bit to help shape the tilt.
The pen has to be aligned with the inclination we are going to give to our writing. As I said before, the ideal is 45 degrees, but it can be more or less.
How To Use The Oblique Pen
Now that you know how to pick the oblique pen up and how to hold it, it’s time to smear it with ink. Insert it into the bottle and wet about 5 – 6 mm of ink. The ink doesn’t have to touch the handle area, just the nib.
And now it’s time to line up the pen with the paper, and get creative! We recommend experimenting with writing names and addresses on envelopes It’s really so much fun.
What to Look for in Oblique Calligraphy Pens
The good thing about choosing an oblique pen is that it’s rather simple. The most important thing is making sure they have a brass or metal flange that tightly holds your preferred nib.
The biggest disadvantage is that, unlike straight pens, you most likely won’t be able to use one pen for all your nibs. If you are on a budget, we recommend buying one oblique pen that fits your favorite nib at the moment, the one you use the most.
One advantage of choosing a pen with brass or metal flanges is that they are easily adjusted and very flexible. No two people are alike, so it’s important to have the option to adjust the flange in different positions and play with it in order to accommodate your personal preference.
Best Oblique Calligraphy Pen Recommendation
BetterUS Wood Oblique Dip Pen Nib Holder
Hand-turned wood oblique holders are a great choice because they are flexible and comfortable, and they keep your nib at the proper angle.
This one from BetterUS is our favorite one when it comes to wood material. It comes with a small glass ink bottle (careful, it is a really small glass bottle!) and a metal cover for it. That’s great if you don’t want your ink to dry out, and you shouldn’t.
Speedball Art Products Oblique Pen Set
This is a lovely set at a very reasonable price. We recommend this set for a beginner or for people who don’t want to invest too much on an oblique pen just yet.
The nibs are very sharp and they need a very light touch on the upstroke or you might risk ending up with ink splats on your work. But as you get better with time, this should not be a problem anymore.
The reason we recommend this set for those who are just starting out is that the set comes with a nib holder where you could put more beginner-friendly nibs in, and once you’re getting more used to it, you can advance to the 101’s.
Lettering Tribe Calligraphy Set For Beginners
Another beautiful kit at a very good price, the Lettering Tribe Calligraphy Set For Beginners comes with some great quality items and with a gorgeous pen.
The kit also comes with an instructional e-book for beginners. If you or someone you know s is interested in starting with calligraphy and learning how to use an oblique pen, this is great choice. But be warned, once you take a look at it you may want to keep it!
We hope that you enjoyed this article and that it offered you some new and helpful information on oblique calligraphy pens and what works best for you.