Calligraphy Ink verses Paint review


Since this is my first review there will undoubtably be some problems that will need addressing, anyway here goes. There are three types of inks designed for calligraphy these being

Fountain pen inks ————— Cannot be used with dip pens

Calligraphy inks —————— Can be used with dip pens

Chinese/Japanese stick inks – Can be used with dip pens

Before selecting an ink, some thought on the characterists of the ink are in order, such as its suitability for the writing instrument being used, do you want a warm black look (brownish tint) or a cool black look (bluish tint). is it non-fading (permanent), does it need to be waterproof.

Rather than review two Calligraphy inks I have decided to review a Calligraphy ink against a Calligraphy paint, so i will be using Golden inks Hi-flow Acrylics Carbon Black and Daler-Rownay’s FW Acrylic artists Ink  Black #028.


             For the test paper I used camson Bristol XL recycled 90 lb two sided

paper which they rate as excellent for ink use

For my nib I used a Speedball 2.5mm wide nib, with the nib being

thouroughly cleaned using soapy water between the ink use and the

paint use.



Golden Ink-Highflo Acrylic Paint


Acrylic paint.

Pigment – PBk7/nearly pure amporous black. excellent lightfastness.

Dries to a slightly faint sheen.

Flows a little faster than the Daler-Rownay ink.

Can be mixed with other Golden inks and acrylic paint products to produce custom colour shades.

Has an agitator ball to help with mixing when shaking the bottle

Has an applicator built into the cap

Can be thinned using water.

Can be used with – Airbrush, brush, dip pen.


Can clog fountain pen nibs 0.35 or smaller

If having problems thinning it using water you will need to use a thinner (Chemicals)

A little faster flowing than the ink but not that fast to cause any major problems, just needed to practice a bit to get the feel for the flow

The manufacturer of the recommends using soapy water to clean your nib, but I had no problems using just plain water.

The manufacturer suggests not using this product in fountain pens with nibs of 0.35 or smaller


Daler-Rownay Ink


Acrylic ink

 Pigment – PBk7.



Eye-dropper applicator.


Produces a matt finish when dry.

Flows well.

Nibs can be cleaned with water (no chemicals or detergents required)

Can be mixed with other Daler Rownay inks to produce custom colour shades.

Can be used with – Airbrush, brush, dip pen, fountain pen.


Has no agitator ball to assist with mixing when shaking bottle

Glass container (Can be easily damaged)

Air bubbles due to shaking


Daler-Rownay Ink test


Golden Highflo Acrylics test


Both these containers have a narrow neck which makes it difficult to gauge the depth that you want to insert the nib into the ink/paint, but with the inclusion of the applicator it seems to have solved this problem .but since i prefer to dip the pen I just transfered the ink/paint to a suttable container to allow me to dip my pen. I would suggest if you transfer the ink/paint you mark the container with the type and colour of the ink/paint in the container.

I liked the eye-dropper type applicator on the Daler-Rownay ink which gave me better control over how much ink was applied to the nib, as oposedto the twist type built into the cap of the Golden Highflo Acrylicwhich seemed to apply more ink to the nib than I liked.

The Golden highflo acrylic also seemed to flow quicker from the nib and placed a heavier amount of the material on the paper than the Daler-Rownay ink, which I think is due to the additives used to allow it to have compatable flow characteristics allowing it to be used with dip pens and my inexperience. (Which will improve over time with practice)  But as it is common knowledge, every calligrapher has certain inks that they are comfortable using. I havejust not settled on a particular type.

Over all, for use with a dip pen both these products performed well under my simple test,


Thank you for taking the time to read my review, and I hope you found my review of these two products helpful. Please feel free to add you comments, suggestions and experiences below. Thanks