Tips for Beginners in Calligraphy
When you’re new to calligraphy, or the beautiful art of writing as its Greek name means, you don’t need a background in art to be good at it. Like most arts and crafts, all you need is constant practice.
Once you have all the necessary materials for calligraphy, it’s time to learn the basic techniques in the art.
Know Your Pens and Nibs
Before you even start writing, you will need to get to know the materials you have purchased, such as the pens and nibs. The nib and nib holder are two separate items.
Examine the parts of each item so you will know how to hold the nib when writing. Don’t forget to prepare your workspace, so that you have enough room to move your arms and no chemicals from the ink or the nibs will be left on your items.
Holding Your Pens and Holders
Try holding your pens or nib holders to get the feel of each item before practicing the different strokes. Holding pens will be easier, because you will be practicing calligraphy pretty much in the same manner that you’re writing your notes.
When it comes the nib holder, however, artists recommend that you hold it at a 45-degree angle. Don’t forget to clean your nibs and pens according to manufacturer’s instructions after each writing session.
Practice Different Strokes
Try dipping the pen in the ink then practice writing different strokes. With more practice, you will get an idea how much ink you will need to create a desired stroke and you’ll also be able to control the thickness of each line much more easily.
One thing that separates calligraphy from ordinary writing is the former’s focus on the parts of each letter. Practice writing straight lines, curves, and thin and thick lines before you start with the letters.
Try applying less pressure on the upstrokes and more pressure on the downstrokes. As much as possible, the thin and thick strokes should be consistent. You can achieve this by practicing constantly so that you don’t have to always think how much pressure each stroke needs.
Once you have mastered the upstrokes and downstrokes, you can start forming letters. Repeat each letter carefully until your letters look nearly uniform. Then try connecting each letter without losing their basic shapes.
Use references for letterforms to help you and don’t hesitate to try different lettering styles. This will allow you to build muscle memory when writing letters, the same way you can automatically create thin and thick strokes without making mistakes.
If you want to keep improving, there are guides, worksheets, and workbooks for calligraphy that feature different styles.