Well, hello! I thought I might get back to reviewing another nib whilst I explore the wonderful world of lettering.  I found a nib that I like a lot and can get both thick, thin and smooth strokes. I still love both the Zebra G and the Nikko G, but the lines can be very thin and for my purposes turning the lettering into rubber stamps, I need a little more line girth (that’s a horrible word). The nib is made by Gillott and is No. 1068A. The description for the nib is that it is very stiff with only slight contrast between thick and thin lines. I think I mentioned previously that it is suggested for beginners to use stiffer nibs and that may be why I enjoy it so much. I feel though like I can get very distinct thick and thin strokes so maybe it is just how you handle the nib?  I currently have had zero success with any other ink color than black and so my practice has only been with black ink, I recently picked up this Sumi ink because it was readily available at the art store.  I have bought several white inks, which I am chomping at the bit to learn how to use. I have not found any concrete information on how to dilute it to the point that you can use it. It’s either out of the bottle too thin and translucent or too thick and I don’t know the dilution ratios. The latter seems to be the white ink that letterers rave about for using on darker substrates. I tried Kelsey’s suggestion of Bristol paper, it is definitely smooth and the nib does not catch, it’s easy to find at your local craft or art store.  After I ran out of the Bristol I went back to my Rhodia pad which I initially felt was too smooth, but with the Gillott 1068A it felt just right.  I like the Rhodia because I can put a guide sheet underneath and practice different alphabets.  I have a lot of letters that stump me, my ‘y’s’ are hideous, yes, you have to turn your eyes away and I have a hard time with linking ‘W’s’ with any other letter.  I so wish there was a calligrapher nearby that I could take lessons from, if you know anyone in the Raleigh area let me know, I sure would like to know how to use that elusive white ink!
Above lettering was done with Gillott 1068A. If you have any lettering questions for me or for a future interview with one of the pro’s just leave it in the comments and I will try to get it answered for you!


  1. Miss B,
    About using white…I use either white gouache mixed with distilled water and a little gum arabic or Dr. Martin’s Bleed Proof White.
    I don’t use ink as a general rule, (except for Sumi or Walnut ink if I want a certain vintage look )because I can control the consistency better with gouache.
    Hope that helps!

  2. Thank you Debi! I am having trouble with figuring out consistency. I read it is supposed to be the consistency of ink, but I can’t get it right. Any ‘recipes’ so I can try to figure this out, I haven’t dared try gouache yet!

  3. As soon as you pointed out “girth” the rest of your post suddenly seemed filled with suggestive words: stiff, thick, strokes. LOL Oh my! xo Ez

  4. Hello, It’s funny that you posted this. I spent the afternoon searching the web for the very same thing–an exact recipe for white ink. Although I didn’t find any specific mix, I did find out that environment has a bit to do with it oddly enough (humidity, etc.). I’ve had the best luck with Dr. Martin’s white mixed in a small jar. I just mix a tad of water until I get the consistency that I like. I found a few GREAT tiny jars at Dollar Tree recently in the craft section. Love your blog!

  5. Hey Miss B, I can help out with some inks. For black with a glossy finish, I highly recommend Moon Palace Black Sumi – just right out of the bottle. For fun, try the Vermillion Sumi also at paperinkarts. It is the BEST thing I’ve ever written with – super for beginning. For white, I like Dr. Martin’s Spectralite White. Good luck – I love your style! In fact, I feel pretty tied to traditional styles, and want to start playing around with style after seeing all you reviews!

  6. Thank you Courtnie! It’s the ratio that I don’t seem to be getting right. Also, should I be putting the ink on with a paint brush? I read that’s what you are supposed to do with gouache.

    Hi Kate! I have SO wanted to try the Vermillion, because I do like the Sumi inks. Do you use the Dr. Martin’s straight? Oh, you should play! I do practice traditional alphabets as well, but I would love to sit with a teacher so I can make sure I am learning correctly, but also love just playing and seeing what I can achieve with the different tools. If I knew I would have this much fun I would have started this years ago!

  7. I’ve also read about the paint brush thing. I’m sure you are supposed to use a paint brush with gouche but I don’t. It takes me too long!

  8. Hello there! I almost exclusively use gouache for calligraphy, and the rule of thumb I learned is to mix gouache to the consistency of milk, and with distilled water, as someone has already said. When you scrape your mixing brush along the lip, the gouache should run down the side of the pot rather than sit at the rim, if that makes sense. You’re looking for a thin enough consistency that it runs smoothly off of the nib but a thick enough consistency that you get a nice, opaque color.

    Also,f with new nibs it can help to suck on them briefly. Apparently in their manufacture, they are given a coating that seems to repel ink a little bit. The acid in your saliva breaks down that coating so the nibs take gouache better.

    Oh, and you can use a paintbrush to “load” gouache onto the nib. I never do, though. I tend to just scrape the nib alongside the rim of the gouache pot so that I don’t get too much gouache on the nib at once.

    I would love to help you out in person, but–alas!–I live in Iowa! Let me know if you’re ever out this direction, and we can have a chat in person!

  9. Hi! I’ve started to play around with lettering a little and am intrigued by this nib! Do you have any recommendations for a holder that fits this nib? Thanks!

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