Home DIY Projects + Tutorials Invitations + Stationery {Product Review} Ombre Calligraphy with Parallel Pens from Pilot

Parellel pens from Pilot have officially been added to my favorites.  These pens come in a wide range of nib sizes with a rainbow of ink colors.  What makes them so neat is the ability to create a gradient, color change effect with the ink.  Think ombre calligraphy!

I’m a pen nerd.  That’s no secret. And I’m in love with pretty handwriting, cool fonts, and calligraphy.  So, when we have a chance to work with Pilot, and review some of their fabulous pen and ink products, I am thrilled!

Pilot’s parallel pens are truly one-of-a-kind.  The tips are designed with two parallel plates, and the ink flows between the plates.  This unique feature allows you to transfer ink flow from one pen to another, creating an cool color change effect while you write.  It is this feature that makes the parallel pen different from any other calligraphy pen.

Each pen comes with red and black ink cartridges.  The ink refills are available in 12 assorted colors: Black, dark blue, sepia, purple, blue, teal, green, lime, yellow, orange, red, and pink. Create a cool ombre effect in shades of blue and green, red, orange, and yellow, red and pink, or purple and pink.

The pen comes in several nib sizes, ranging from 1.0 to 6.0 mm.  With any of these sizes, the pen can write a thin 0.5-mm line using the edge of the nib, or, you can achieve different line thicknesses with each nib size.  Because of the parallel metal tip design, ink flows into the entire tip evenly, producing sharp and consistent strokes.  The 1.0 mm nib is great for addressing stationery, and the 6.0 mm nib (the widest) is great for drawing decorative borders and signs.

Parallel pens have become a favorite choice for many calligraphers and artists.  The pen and mixable colors are fun to experiment with.  Experiment with different papers as well, because I found that the effect on watercolor/textured paper was much different than a smooth sheet of printer paper.  I took some time this afternoon to make some ombre calligraphy inspiration with pink and orange.

Take a look…

To get this look, I used the 2.4 and 6.0 mm parallel pens.  Load each pen with the different colors you want to blend (I used orange in the 6.0 mm pen and pink in the 2.4 mm pen).  Hold the pen you want to write with pointing upwards, nib towards the ceiling.  Hold the other pen downwards, nib towards the ground.  Touch the nibs together to transfer ink between the pens.  The longer you touch the nibs together, the more ink you will transfer, so there is a bit of trial and error involved to get the desired look.

Be sure to have some scrap paper lying around to scribble on and test the color.

I found another great blog post today about using parallel pens for calligraphy, and you can see it here.

All Pilot parallel pens and ink refills can be purchased here (keyword: parallel).

Oh, and if you want to learn how to do calligraphy like I did, there are lots of online resources for ebooks, videos, and your library has lots of handy books as well, but I recommend Melissa Esplin’s online calligraphy class, which you can discover here.

Stay tuned in January for a chance to win a set of two Pilot parallel pens with all the ink colors PLUS a free online calligraphy class with supplies from I Still Love Calligraphy!


What do you think of the ombre calligraphy idea?

Does it inspire you to make a whole bunch of beautiful wedding stationery and signs?!

If you want to see more examples of how to use the Pilot parallel pens, let me know!


Disclosure: DIY Bride has a financial relationship with Pilot, meaning we may have received compensation for this content and/or related content.  We firmly stand behind our review and recommendation, and are committed to promoting only those companies we feel offer our community excellent products, ethical business practices, and outstanding customer service.


3 replies to this post
  1. Those pens look awesome! I just came across your site while researching calligraphy lessons online — I have been wanting to take the i still love calligraph class, and think I just may need to add that to my projects for 2013 :)

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