Home Design & Photography How To Calligraphy 101: An Easy Beginner-Friendly Guide!

How To Calligraphy 101: An Easy Beginner-Friendly Guide!


If you are looking for super simple ways to learn how to Calligraphy, then take a look at this beginner-friendly guide, and you will get to know all the basics of Calligraphy. It only seems hard when scrolling through social media and looking through some great works of other artists. Actually, this beautiful art form is not that hard to master.

In the literal sense, Calligraphy is the visual art of producing beautiful handwriting or lettering with a pen or a brush. There are numerous different styles of Calligraphy to choose from. Mainly there are three types of calligraphy styles- Arabic, western, and eastern. The Modern calligraphy that people are using these days differs from traditional calligraphy, which was used back in the time. But the Modern calligraphy used these days is undoubtedly no less of eye candy.

Photo by tifanie chaney from Flickr. /Copyright2021

The Calligraphy fonts look prettier than the usual fonts; they can make your handwriting look much more elegant. And the good news is mastering calligraphy skills is not a difficult task. It can be self-taught. Just a little consistent Calligraphy practice for a few days and a lot of experimenting is what you need to do, and you are good to go.

For fast-tracked learning, you might want to go for some formal classes or workshops since teaching yourself can be a little slow process.

This elegant art form can have a very calming effect on your mind. Since we live in a way too fast-paced world, we all need to develop some habits that can relax our minds once in a while.

If you are still figuring out where to start, here is everything you need to know about modern Calligraphy and hand lettering!

What to know before beginning the Calligraphy journey?

Before proceeding to how to Calligraphy, let’s get an understanding of the difference between cursive writing and Calligraphy. Many people think that cursive writing is equal to modern Calligraphy, but that’s not true.

Cursive writing is primarily taught in schools to make students write neater, quicker, and without lifting their wrists from the paper. Whereas, Calligraphy is the art of writing beautifully. It comprises of different strokes and isn’t meant to be quick.

You do not need to make any unnecessary purchases in the name of starting Calligraphy. You can use essential tools like a pencil, a sharpie, and a Crayola marker when you are just beginning. You do not need to buy any expensive stuff to start Calligraphy.

Calligraphy is all about technique and practice and not about the expensive stuff you see on social media sites.

You do not have to be an artist to start your Calligraphy journey; you have to have a little creativity inside of you. Also, you need the right technique and the right kind of tools.

It does not matter if your handwriting is good or bad. It Turns out your handwriting has nothing to do with calligraphy. So, even if you are not very proud of your handwriting, you can still get started with learning how to Calligraphy.

Now that we have a clearer understanding of calligraphy, let’s start learning how to Calligraphy and master this art form.

Master The Art Of Faux Calligraphy

Photo by Diykl 2020 from Flickr. /Copyright2021

The calligraphy that we do with regular pens is called Faux Calligraphy. Faux means fake or artificial Calligraphy. It is recommended that the beginners start the journey of learning how to Calligraphy by learning Faux Calligraphy first since it gives you the ability to create calligraphy without purchasing any particular kind of calligraphy pens or brushes.

You can use your normal pens that you are comfortable using for the faux calligraphy. Starting simple will be less intimidating to you, and you will quickly learn the basic thick and thin strokes. Once you are comfortable with the writing, you can switch to special Calligraphy pens.

To learn how to Calligraphy that is Faux, you can check out this video for a super easy tutorial and great tips!

Some supplies you would require before you jump into how to Calligraphy!

Although it is not necessary to purchase any special tools, people like to buy special Calligraphy supplies because of how cute and pretty they make the writing.

So, let’s jump into the list of all the tools you might want to learn how to calligraphy… shall we?

  • A Pencil
  • A Ruler
  • Some Colorful Markers
  • Brush Pens
  • Classic dip pens and a jar of ink
  • Broad nib pens (Parallel pens)
  • A few practice sheets of good quality

However, if you do not wish to make any special purchases for calligraphy brush pens, you can even work with just a marker with a conic tip. The conic tip will help you achieve the thin and thick strokes you need in Modern calligraphy practice.

There is a whole ocean of markets filled with Calligraphy supplies that claim to be the “best.” But finding the right tool for yourself is a crucial step and a very confusing one before beginning to learn Calligraphy.

In the beginning, you do not need all the tools; you just need the right and essential ones. Here are some beginner-friendly recommendations from our side to help you choose the right kind of tools.

Recommended Brush pens for Beginners-

  1. Add Gel Little Artist Brush Pen – These Little Artist brush pens are super affordable, and each color has two tips – a thin tip as well as a thick tip, making it easier to use and control for Calligraphy.
  2. Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pen – This brush pen has a large tip hence very flexible and soft to use.
  3. Tombow Fudenosuke hard tip Brush Pen – This Fudenosuke brush pen has a small and hard tip that is flexible but not flimsy, which responds well to the pressure and makes it easier to use.
  4. Camlin Brush pen – These brush pens come in various vibrant colors and give a nice ombre effect.

Recommended Markers for Beginners-

  1. Crayola Markers – The Crayola markers are considered the best ones if you are not using brush pens.
  2. Ohuhu Watercolor Brush Markers – You can use these ones if Crayola Markers are not available to you.

So these are the basic tools you should look out for before starting to learn how to calligraphy.

How to Calligraphy: Learning the Basics of Calligraphy

Here are some simple steps you need to follow to start your beautiful Calligraphy journey!

Photo by Roger Johnson from Flickr. /Copyright2021
  • You should start by holding the pen at an angle of 30 to 60 degrees. 45 degrees is usually the most comfortable angle for right-handed people.
  • We will begin by learning how to make basic Calligraphy strokes. First, we’ll start by making upstrokes (when your pen goes in the upward direction) in a diagonal motion. Your hand should be very soft while going up so that you get very thin upstrokes.
  • Now, we will move on to the downstrokes. For downstrokes (when your pen goes in the downward direction), the pressure has to be a little harder. You need to apply pressure hard enough that it can give you a thicker line.
  • Next, we will make an overturn. In this stroke, you would have to use gentle pressure as you go up in your stroke and then transition down into heavier downstrokes. You have to do this over and over again to get used to the motion.
  • Now onto the understrokes, which means doing the same thing as the Overturn, just in a reverse motion. In this one, you start by making much heavier downstrokes and then transitioning into soft, thin upstrokes.
  • Now we will move on to the Compound curve. In this curve, you will blend in those two motions together, starting with putting light pressure and then going up and transitioning into the downstroke while putting a little harder pressure, and then again turning to go up with a soft hand, making a thin stroke.
  • Next, we will be making the Ovals. You will be starting these on the right-hand, then putting in a little hard pressure while going for a downstroke, and then putting light pressure while coming up to meet the ends of the Oval.

Practice! Practice! Practice! After All, Practice Makes One Perfect!

So, when you are comfortable with making these strokes, you can move on to making it with a brush pen. Then keep practicing just these strokes till the time you are all warmed up with making these. Doing these basic drills is very important for your practice and will help you build the foundation of Calligraphy.

It can seem a little monotonous and boring to keep on doing these basic strokes again and again, but this practice will be very helpful in your learning process. Learning how to calligraphy is not hard but consistently practicing the basics is where you need to work hard.

Also, stop mindlessly copying in Calligraphy. You have to observe the mistakes you are making to learn how to Calligraphy properly. If you won’t notice these little details, you will not be able to solve the problems and will continue to practice the wrong stuff, and you won’t be able to master the right technique.

After that, start with the basic alphabets. Practice each and every alphabet using the strokes that we’ve just been practicing. You can begin your alphabet practice on a grid paper, pre-lined paper, or even a sketchbook would do. But yeah, if you have got a grid paper or a lined paper, it would be the best thing to start with.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels /Copyright2021

Keep your practice of learning how to calligraphy fun because if something is not fun, why would you keep going, right? You can also download and print out the worksheets readily available on the internet to practice the basic Calligraphy strokes and alphabets.

Follow some pages on social media platforms or maybe a blog or a YouTube channel or anything to keep you invested in the art. There is a huge warm Calligraphy Community on the internet that will help you learn how to Calligraphy. You can join Facebook pages, Instagram pages, YouTube and share your journey with them.

After you are done practicing with every letter, you can practice making the letters fancier and finding your own personal taste while experimenting with words and phrases.

You can move on to modern pointed pen calligraphy and the essential tools you will need for modern calligraphy. Tools are easily available in the market- A speedball plastic Oblique nib holder, Nikko G nib, a jar of ink, and of course, a high-quality paper.

After prepping all the supplies, you have to practice the strokes and the alphabets with the nib pen. Because holding and using the nib pen is not what you are comfortable with, it would take some time to get used to. You can download and print out a worksheet or do the practice on a simple paper.

So, this is all you need to know about how to Calligraphy. Now you can start creating some ultimate masterpieces and flaunting your beautiful writing!


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