Calli by Daler Rowney Review Waterproof Acrylic Calligraphy Ink Suitable for Dip Pen Drawing

Calli inks come in 30ml (1oz) glass bottles. These waterproof (acrylic binder) pigment inks were designed for use with a dip pen. Ideal for calligraphy or drawing, particularly prior to using watercolor paints. On cotton watercolor paper, linework using this ink will remain intact even under extremely wet washes after this ink has dried. There are 6 colors including Scarlet, Burgundy, Blue, Green, Brown and Black.


Cons: These inks have a slight wet to dry shift, with some desaturation of color. This is more noticeable in broad wet washes than in fine line writing. While the Daler Rowney PDF catalog color chart (as of 2020) states that these are lightfast, only a few colors actually are (Black, Green and Blue). The correct star rating was on the actual bottles, I've reflected that in the hand painted swatch cards at the bottom of this page. When using these for professional artwork to sell or hang on a wall where light from a nearby window is a concern note that Brown, Burgundy and Scarlet use fugitive pigments that may fade over time. This would be more drastic if you dilute them with water (they are stronger against UV light at full strength). Here's the conflicting info I found:


Daler Rowney Calli Acrylic Calligraphy Ink Lightfast Ratings Pigment Color Chart


Pros: These inks are made of finely ground pigments, so fine that there is very little settling even after years of sitting unused. This means less shaking and stirring to get the same color every time and a long (more than a few years) shelf life when stored properly. I was really happy with how well these flowed off my brush or dip pen. The thin liquid has a nice deep saturated color and an active salt reaction if you choose to use it like watercolors in a wet wash.


You can find these to purchase on Blick Art Materials website below.


Swatch cards:
PR112 PY74 Calli Daler Rowney CALLIGRAPHY INK Scarlet pigment dip pen swatch card color colour database PR122 PR5 Calli Daler Rowney CALLIGRAPHY INK Burgundy pigment dip pen swatch card color colour database PB15:3 Calli Daler Rowney CALLIGRAPHY INK Blue pigment dip pen swatch card color colour database PG7 Calli Daler Rowney CALLIGRAPHY INK Green pigment dip pen swatch card color colour database PR112 PY74 PG7 Calli Daler Rowney CALLIGRAPHY INK Brown pigment dip pen swatch card color colour database


If you'd like to see how these colors compare to other brands that use the same pigment ingredients, check out the pigment database.


Note: this page contains affiliate links. All product opinions are my own. I am committed to honest reviews showcasing both the pros and cons of each product. I have not received payment from any brand for a review. I earn a commission from sales made through this web page's clickable banners or links to Amazon, Arteza, Scrapbook, Jackson's or Blick Art Materials websites.