Markers are great gateway points for anyone learning broad edge calligraphy. By postponing your journey to ink and nib land, you can focus more on angles and forms… supposedly.
So I’ve never tried the Pilot Parallel – considered to be THE calligraphy marker. However, here’s what I got from a couple of Sakura products.
The first one that I own and try is Sakura Calligraphy Pen 3.0 mm. It is felt-tipped, almost like a mini whiteboard/regular marker, only cut at an angle. Yes, I did fool around with it before putting a nib holder pen in my hand and managed to produce some calligraphy, I guess. But after using a nib and going back to the marker, I realised that this tool has a learning curve. It’s really not as simple as I would expect – it has to be held a certain way to produce the strokes that I want. My second impression was I am not going back to learning to use this tool.
Eventually, I tried the Pigma Calligrapher 20 for want of a smaller pen width. Rather than a felt tip, ink is expelled through a straight plastic end. Mine kind of stuttered at the beginning, though, so the lines weren’t fully formed. I suppose it can be easier to control, once it got to proper working order.
I’m not sure how much a marker helped me learn prior to nibs. My advice is to try one, but see how you like it before getting more. Luckily they don’t cost much, but I think I’d rather break in a new nib than these markers. I cannot produce lines as neat as those made with a nib, so… I don’t think I’m going to buy a next one except it’s a Pilot Parallel.