The Beginner’s Help guide to Modern Calligraphy

January 15, 2020

When you are attempting to create calligraphy but do not know how to start, this is strictly your blog publish for you personally! I’ll take you step-by-step through which gives to purchase, how you can contain the pen, videos on set up and employ, and the way to practice.

In the last couple of years, I’ve trained several beginners’ modern calligraphy workshops and clarified numerous calligraphy questions via email. Individuals encounters have trained me that there’s an excuse for your blog publish such as this one: a publish that teaches you how to start gaining knowledge from scratch! Within this blog publish, I’ll take you step-by-step through how you can learn modern calligraphy inside a couple of easy steps.

1. Master Faux Calligraphy

Yep — this “create” was written using the gel point pen proven! Discover more on how to make faux calligraphy within this tutorial.

I have faith that “faux calligraphy” — modern calligraphy produced having a standard (ballpoint, gel, etc.) pen — is the greatest summary of dip pen calligraphy. I advocate beginning with faux calligraphy for 2 reasons:

  1. A typical pen is approachable and non-intimidating. You have been utilizing it all of your existence, and may utilize it to begin building calligraphy muscle memory that will be handy later!
  2. Faux calligraphy isn’t only for beginners. Regardless of what your level is, faux calligraphy comes in handy for various projects like place card below!

This Amy Style place card was written using faux calligraphy. When I required commissions, I frequently made place cards just such as this one!

The recently-released TPK Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Web Based Course starts by instructing you on faux calligraphy. All TPK printable calligraphy worksheet sets also begins with a faux calligraphy section! It’s a terrific way to start since you understand letterforms without getting to navigate a brand new writing tool. Once you have been practicing faux calligraphy for a few days and understand it, you are prepared to proceed to dip pen calligraphy.

2. Assemble a contemporary Calligraphy Dip Pen Starter Package

You will find a detailed starter package guide within the Ultimate Modern Calligraphy Starter Package publish, but here’s a fundamental summary and links to the thing you need:

  • 2 Nikko G nibs – Read about why I believe this nib is the greatest beginner nib within this blog publish. (Wondering how you can tell nibs apart? Consider the etching around the barrel from the nib. That will explain exactly what the nib is, e.g. “Nikko G”, “Brause EF66”.)
  • 1 straight pen – I personally use Manuscript pens, which have a universal insert, within my workshops.
  • 32# laserjet paper – This paper is cost-effective and prevents ink feathering/bleeding.
  • Sumi ink, along with a screw-top container to keep a lot of it in. (You may also use India ink.) Both sumi and India inks are opaque inks having a smooth viscosity.
  • “Art water” – Essentially, just fill just one cup with water. You’ll make use of this water to wash off your nib in.
  • Non-” floating ” fibrous cloth (like a dinner napkin) – A paper towel will act as well, however the fibers may catch inside your nib from time to time.

This is actually the Ultimate Calligraphy Package in the Paper Seahorse … it arrives with virtually all you need, aside from a potato. 🙂

Should you not wish to DIY your package and wish to purchase something, you can buy a package in the Paper Seahorse. I lately labored The Paper Seahorse to create an important Calligraphy Package (including everything in the above list) as well as an Ultimate Calligraphy Package (including everything above along with an oblique pen, a container for water, along with a nib tin).

3. Clean Your Nibs

All nibs have manufacturer’s oils in it to ensure that they’re well-preserved because they are waiting to become offered. Prior to using your nibs, you need to clean the oils off. I generally stick my nibs inside a potato to eliminate the oils! Discover more on how to clean your nibs and why within this blog publish.

Make certain you ready your new calligraphy nibs before you decide to use them (find out how here). Otherwise, the oil around the nibs will foil your time and efforts!

Washing the manufacturer’s oils from your nibs will make sure smooth, seamless ink flow. Should you not clean the oils off, you’ll most likely have difficulties with ink blobbing in your paper, or even the ink might not write whatsoever.

4. Assemble Your Dip Pen

Though use a Speedball plastic pen having a Nikko G nib, I suggest investing in a dip pen having a universal insert. A universal insert has four metal “petals” along with a rim it ought to seem like the photo below. A pen having a universal insert can accommodate a number of various sizes of nibs versus only a couple of nibs! To discover different types of straight pens, read this web site publish.

This is exactly what a pen having a universal insert appears like.

In case your universal insert looks such as the one below, you will want to push the petals back inward. Pens frequently arrive searching such as this!

To learn to push the petals inward, you can view rapid video below.

Once your’e ready, it’s time for you to insert the nib within the pen. The bottom of the nib should slip right underneath the split within the lip from the rim, as pictured below.

Make certain you slip the blunt side from the nib within the holder *under* the split within the rim!

If that’s a little confusing, assistance you to definitely watch this video over nib insertion:

For those who have properly placed the nib, it ought to feel secure it shouldn’t wobble whatsoever.

Should you review your pen straight-on, this is exactly what you need to see.

Your pen has become prepared to write!

5. Contain the Dip Pen

Try holding the pen such as this. You’ll find detailed instructions over just how to carry and employ a dip pen within the Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Web Based Course.

Your grip around the dip pen will most likely be like the grip you utilize for the standard pen. You’ll desire to use your thumb and index finger to pinch the holder, then keep the middle finger behind for support. You are able to let your pinky and ring finger to gently continue the paper while you write.

To learn more on how to hold a dip pen, read this blog publish!

6. Dip the Pen in Ink

It doesn’t matter what nib you’re using, you need to dip it to simply over the vent hole (that is that hole in the heart of the nib). You shouldn’t go any more than that otherwise you’ll must much ink in your nib, and it’ll pool in your paper while you attempt to write!

Dipping to simply about here has another advantage: you will not have any ink in your pen. You shouldn’t gunk in the universal insert with ink because that could allow it to be hard to replace nibs!

When you dip the pen within the ink, provide the nib a strong little shake over your art water to obtain any excess ink off.

7. Make Modern Calligraphy!

This is actually the “Intensive Word Practice” area of the Jesse Style calligraphy worksheet set.

Okay, making this where dip pens and regular ballpoint pens especially differ: when you’re making modern calligraphy having a dip pen, you’ll wish to keep your position from the nib with regards to the paper constant. Never contain the pen vertically rather, you need to aim for a 45 degree position between paper and pen. Should you contain the pen too upright, the nib will become popular the fibers within the paper and affect your ink flow. I understand that the idea of utilizing a dip pen can be difficult to understand without really seeing it, and so i chose to make this short video that will help you understand:

Prior to taking on any modern calligraphy projects, I would suggest finishing the Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Web Based Course. The program starts on your own to educate you important calligraphy concepts and make sure that you don’t make common beginner mistakes! Discover more concerning the course within the video below:

Common Problems

Teaching modern calligraphy workshops has provided us a unique chance to know beginners’ calligraphy problems and frustrations firsthand. This is a listing of six problems as well as their solutions:

  • The nib catches in writing – Try holding your pen in a tighter position towards the paper. The greater upright you possess the pen, the greater items you will encounter trying for doing things.
  • Ink flow is erratic – Same solution because the issue above: try holding your pen in a tighter position towards the paper.
  • It’s hard to acquire a thick downstroke – Make certain both tines of the nib are evenly around the paper, which you’re holding the pen properly. It might be useful that you should have a video course.
  • A lot of it is bleeding – Ink bleed occurs with lower quality papers. Make certain you use a higher-quality paper (for example 32# laserjet).
  • Your hands is trembling – See Calligraphy Troubleshooting: Nib Pressure and Trembling Hands.
  • Other issues – See Five Modern Calligraphy FAQs.

What to do Came From Here

The key factor to keep in mind — in modern calligraphy and lots of other activities — is practice will build up your skill tremendously! Everybody starts somewhere, which is where I began:

I produced this piece this year, before I even understood steps to make faux calligraphy (not to mention using a dip pen!).

As you can tell, my calligraphy skills have become considerably since writing the Rumi quote. I still improve, just because you will!

The best way forward I’m able to give about learning calligraphy is you need to enjoy your practice. Yes, use structured sources as an web based course or perhaps a worksheet, but additionally allow yourself to have some fun. While you begin to get used to using a dip pen, undertake engaging projects. Make mail art, calligraphy-centric projects (such as this birthday card), and/or make place cards for the following gathering you’ve! As lengthy as the practice is enjoyable, you’ll still hone your talent!

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this beginner’s help guide to modern calligraphy! For those who have any queries, you can ask within the comments. Thanks greatly for studying The Postman’s Knock, and revel in all of your day!

Meet Lindsey

Welcome! I am Lindsey, the designer + illustrator + calligrapher behind The Postman’s Knock. I think you’ll enjoy studying my blog around I like writing it!

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Sares Dustan states

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Sana states

This publish is completely amazing along with a great source of beginners to obtain began. After I was learning calligraphy your site was my number 1 resource and solved the problem work through all of the confusion available. Even today I personally use your site like a resource whenever I’ve got a question.

Lindsey Bugbee states

I’m so glad you like your blog- thanks!! 🙂

dawnd states

Congratulations in your newborn! I really like your projects and am enjoying testing out the various alphabets. I simply purchased the TPK Holiday Calligraphy Worksheets 2016 & 2017 along with the Letter Writer’s Complete Resource and also the New Kaitlin Style set. Thanks for the do.

Nancy Kvorka states

Congratulations for you, your husband as well as your new addition!

Roseanne Sabol states

Many congratulations and benefits to any or all 3 individuals!♥️

Cindy Peabody states

Congratulations around the birth of the boy, Remi!

netphile2 states

I’m so glad which i discovered this website. It’s so informative and it is inspired me to consider calligraphy again. I’ve bought supplies, your Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Course Worksheet and (re)began my new journey. Appreciate this excellent resource!

Lindsey Bugbee states

It’s my pleasure! I’m so glad you want your blog 😀

kpolahar states

I simply experienced my starter package! So excited to obtain began! Thank you for helping put this package along with the Paper Seahorse!

Lindsey Bugbee states