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Saturday, December 3, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Calligraphy

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Calligraphy is a really easy art to get into, but it does require some tools. Here are the supplies that I recommend for beginners:

 Pencils (2H and HB) – The hardest part about calligraphy is getting your letters to be consistent in size and weight. This can be difficult with pens, but much easier with pencils. If you want to give calligraphy a try without spending money on supplies, grab a couple of pencils from the dollar store! Paper – Calligraphy paper works best because it’s smooth and thin, which makes writing easier. However any smooth paper will do! Dip Pen – Dip pens have replaceable nibs that let you choose different widths depending on what kind of lettering you’re doing. I like the Hunt 512 nib because it’s very flexible and gives beautiful results when used with pointed pen scripts like Spencerian or Copperplate (which we’ll talk about later).

Ink -Calligrapher’s ink comes in many different colors, but black tends to work best since most letters are written in black ink anyway! Brush Pen -A brush pen lets you write exactly like how you would normally write using a brush & watercolor paint instead of paint & paper. The artform of beauty brushes originated in China and is still practiced there to this day. I’ll talk about brush pens later on in the post because they are a totally different tool used for different kinds of lettering. Ruler – A ruler allows you to draw straight lines when you don’t have a straight edge around.

It’s hard to write perfectly even lines without a ruler! (Your hand is not perfectly straight.) Brush -If you’re using ink, it’s best to use a brush pen or use your own paintbrush if you’re painting with watercolor paints. Standard ballpoint pens don’t work well with ink because they clog up too easily after the first couple letters, so make sure that whatever pen/brush/nib tool that you choose will let your handle wet media! If not, consider buying an actual calligraphy pen instead of trying to hack one into working.

 The Basic Strokes & How To Practice Them

 There are many things going on when we write calligraphy, but as long as we make it look pretty then no one really cares how we did it! It looks hard at first but it’s actually really easy once you get into the flow of things and become more confident at producing consistent letterforms.

 The key is to practice, practice, practice.

 Start with the basic strokes that we’ll talk about below as well as the alphabet. Once you get comfortable with those strokes, it’s time to learn how to combine them into actual letters! That’s where things start to get tricky because each letter has a different height and weight depending on where in the letter it is. Here are some tips for practicing:

 Practice makes perfect! If you want to master calligraphy, you need to keep practicing. When I’m trying something new that I’ve never practiced before (which happens a lot), I draw a lot of tiny dashes and lines all over my paper so that by the end of my session there are tons of little marks everywhere! Then when I look at them later on at home or in person with others who have seen what I’ve done, it really helps me see for myself what mistakes/successes I had during my session. Practice copying letters from books/websites (like this one!) over and over again until they start looking more natural and flowing better than before. Practice on more than just paper.

You can practice on napkins, envelopes, coffee stirrers, etc. and then try to write them correctly on paper! Practice with a ruler/T-square. Use a ruler to help you draw straight lines so that your letters are all perfectly aligned which will make them look much better! Practice with different tools (ballpoint pens/brush pens). You’ll notice that each tool has its own unique characteristics when it comes to the lines it produces: ballpoints are thicker and will produce bolder strokes while brush pens create thinner strokes that have a bit of texture in them (see below for examples). You could use any tool for this exercise so long as you practice writing the same letter over & over again until you get used to how each tool feels when writing with it.

 I hope this post has been helpful to you. If you enjoyed it, make sure to share it with your friends! Also, please let me know in the comments below if this was helpful and if there’s anything else I should add to my next post about calligraphy.

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