I love calligraphy. I recently got into it. I don’t have the right tools, but I use what I can. I know I’m not the best, but I’ve gotten much better these past few weeks. I’m here to share some of my artwork with you, and teach you how I started and how I’m getting better.
So here I was, scrolling through instagram, laughing at tumblr posts, when my eye catches a collection of satisfying videos. Pens that look like paint brushes gliding up and down a piece of gold paper, beautiful letters coming out the end. I always thought calligraphy was some type of ancient Chinese art, meant for the people who obsess over the old ways. But here I was going from video to video, entranced by the fluid movement of the pen. I started my research right away. Brush pens, ink pens, lettering, curves, lines. It was like a whole new world was opening up. Then I decided to try it myself. A few months ago, I had gotten a brush pen kit. They’re basically water colors stuffed in a pen with a brush tip. My favorite was the black, cause it was just like the ones I saw in the videos. My first words were… wobbly. Ok, they were like the first time a third grader learns cursive in school. But I got better in just a few weeks. I have learned “the ways” and am here to share them with you.
- Start with a marker- I made the big mistake of starting with a brush pen. The problem with this is: the ink runs out, and by the time you get good, the ink is gone and you have to use cheap markers with your amazing newfound skills. Use markers that fray a little at the end. I prefer sharpie (I loved silver but you can get any you want) or crayola markers. After your starter stage, go for brush and calligraphy pens. I suggest the micron brush pens, which are awesome.
- When going up, use thin lines, when going down use thick lines. So I understand this is hard at first, but after a while it gets easy and natural. You get depth in lettering by making lines thicker or thinner. So have a pattern to know when your lines will be think or thin, and stay consistent. I make my lines thicker when they are going down.
- Have round letters. I think, but it is just my opinion, but have round letters so the ink doesn’t clash together. Make o’s rounder, and y’s curvier. Things like that help you develop your own style.
- Use good paper. Smooth paper and a nice pen equals great calligraphy. Usually, smooth paper is coated by plastic. So try drawing paper, it’s usually the smoothest. Or you can do what I do. I take watercolor paper, paint the background, then write on it. But make sure you don’t go out of your watercolored boundaries because the letter will be half smooth and full, and half rough and textured. Also, do not use pen on wet paper, trust me.
Follow these steps and I promise success. Ok that was cheesy and not true. But if you work on it, you’ll get there. I carry my favorite pens around in my school pencil pouch so I can practice whenever I get bored. Now go out there and start lettering!