Pearl Ex Pigment Powder Tutorial for Calligraphy Ink DIY

how to use pearl ex powder pigments for calligraphy ink

Pearl Ex Pigment Powder Tutorial for Calligraphy Ink DIY

If you have yet to play around with Jacquard’s Pearl Ex powdered pigments for your calligraphy practice, you are seriously missing out! We wanted to share one of our favorite inks with you and a quick tutorial because it is SO easy to use. The shimmer in these beauties are hard to beat and they come in such a huge range of colors that you’ll be able to easily color match for any project. So many students ask us about using colored inks and this is a great next step for once you feel comfortable with your black sumi ink flow. 

For the Pearl Ex powders, it’s important you also purchase powdered gum arabic to mix into your ink. With calligraphy you can use gum arabic as a binder, to up your shimmer factor, and to prevent the ink from cracking or bleeding once dry. It’s really a small magical powder (also comes in liquid form – but save that for mixing tiny amounts into your gouache ink!) and a little goes a long way so it will last you a long time! The gum arabic will cost you about $4.00 and the Pearl Ex pigments run around $8.00. 
Once you decide on a color (“pink gold” and “super bronze” are the two pictured here) all you need is an empty ink jar, stir stick, measuring spoon, and your dip pen! 

You’ll then need to mix your powders in a clean ink jar using the ratio of 1 part gum arabic to 4 parts pearl ex powder prior to adding the water. Doesn’t have to be exact here!

When you’ve proportioned out the powders, it’s time to SLOWLY add small drops of water and mix well (or shake!). You want to add the water a little at a time and mix in between to be sure that you get the ink consistency you prefer. If it seems a little watery, you can add a more gum arabic but if you accidentally added way too much water I would just go back to the 4:1 ratio to double it up. 

And voila! Perfect pinky peach shimmery goodness in a jar! Sealed tightly, these store well without drying up to last you for multiple projects. The jar pictured is actually a cosmetic storage container we found on amazon in packs of 12. You can see the ink drying below and how it really does dry with that beautifully raised texture and shine factor!

We hope you try these Pearl Ex pigments and love them as much as we do! Make sure to tag #sipandscript in your practice posts – we love seeing your work! Happy lettering & cheers to the weekend!

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