The nib is spelled Gillott with two ‘t’s’ but Gillot was a French painter so maybe I wanted to write Claude Gillot’s surname with a Gilott nib for this sample, we will never know…I bought this nib (the Gillott 404) because it was recommended as a good nib for beginners. This is where I suck in my breath and tsk, tsk.  It’s a nice nib and you could technically make much thinner hairlines, but this nib is a bit tricky.  I found this could get messy really fast, on the upside if you wanted to make a splotchy lettered piece then this could be a good choice.  I had a hard time with skipping and running out of ink fairly quickly, so I would have to dip a lot (thus more margin for splotchy errors).  As you can see above, I had a very heavy hand and created something a lot chunkier than I would have liked. One of the tips I learned that you don’t find in a lot of books is to take a match to your new nib tip + middle, this burns off the lacquer that is put on at the factory to prevent the nib from rusting.  If you don’t burn or clean the nib (some suggest using a toothbrush), than the ink doesn’t stay in the well (this little well thing is pretty close to magic btw). Another tip that I have been using is cleaning my nibs with unscented baby wipes. It’s SO easy, this is how I clean my rubberstamps as well, no mess and I don’t have to run downstairs to wash them and then  lose them in our sink drain!  If you want to see a couple of my current favorite nibs visit this post.


  1. How funny, I totally forgot to mention the burning lacquer off before first use of a nib! Probably ’cause I haven’t bought a nib in ages…I have so many. Glad you found that out. Now that I think of it that was one of the first things we learned in art class. Like your lettering! Looking at your link for Nikko G, I finally remembered my favorite nib for sketching, the Hunt 513EF. Very flexible with a little bend at the very tip. Love how I can get it to puddle just where I want it. Oh, and DIYcool bed skirt!

  2. Christine, yes, that was a BIG trial and error, hah! I had no idea why I couldn’t get the ink to stay put! I will try the Hunt 513EF, I am not great with flexible nibs yet, but baby steps, right?

    Kathy, I left you a comment in another post, but I have info coming up that won’t glaze your eyes over;)

  3. Hi,
    I absolutely love your calligraphy! I’ve been reading your blog most of the day. I just stared getting into calligraphy a few months ago and it really is so much fun. Thank you for all of your tips and info that you blog about, it is so helpful.
    I just have a question, when you post the pictures like this of the calligraphy you do, is it just a scan? Or do you some how make it digital?
    Thanks again for all your great calligraphy posts!

    1. Hi Mary Ellen! Welcome to the wonderful world of lettering! When I add my lettering to posts I always scan it in black & white on my scanner at 600 dpi, then I bring it in to Photoshop and clean-up anything rogue and make the line darker via ‘levels’, then I make it into a Photoshop brush to use as I wish. This process is only good for web, if I was doing this for print I would most likely re-trace in Illustrator:) I hope that helps, I am planning on doing a video tutorial on the process in the near future!

    2. Thanks so much for the information! I’ll try that next week when I get back from vacation.
      I’d love to see a video tutorial if you do one :)

    3. Mary Ellen adding video tutorials are very high on my Besotted to-do list! As soon as I learn how to and to edit I am sure you won’t be able to stop me;)

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