Introduction: Calligraphy for Beginners

About: Hi! I'm neon_bunny, and I love food, making stuff, and art. I especially like bullet journaling, calligraphy, crafts, and drawing cartoony foods. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me!

This is a guide for calligraphy for people who are just starting off. Modern calligraphy is very different from calligraphy back then. Modern calligraphy has turned into cursive in a way that looks like art. I have seen many of my friends interested in calligraphy, but did not know where to start. Well, here's a great way to!

This is my first Instructable, so please excuse my pictures. I know they are not the highest quality, so if you have any questions about them, feel free to ask a question.

Most importantly: Please do not skip any steps. I know that this does not seem important, but in calligraphy, it really is. Calligraphy is an accurate example of "Practice makes Perfect," so practice until perfect!

Also, disclaimer: I am not the best at calligraphy. I am not a calligrapher, not a professional. I especially have not spent my whole life on calligraphy. There are many websites and books out there with more advanced information, but this Instructable is good for the basics of calligraphy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please comment down below, and I will try to answer if I can. Now please enjoy the guide to calligraphy!

Step 1: Supplies

There are many, many supplies that may be used for calligraphy. However, these are the ones that I tend to use on a daily basis:

1. Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens. They come in different colors, but I have the 2 pack ones. I also prefer the hard tip more, because it is easier to control. These pens are on the smaller side, so they are great for writing in a journal, or taking notes.

2. Tombow Dual Brush Pens. You have to take note that these are GIGANTIC. However, I find the colors beautiful, and love the smoothness of the pen. These have a smoother ink flow, while Tombow Fudenosukes have a more un-consistant flow.

3. Crayola Markers. These markers are cheap and great for calligraphy for beginners. These are actually what I started out with! Both the Crayola Supertips and the regular ones work, but the skinny ones do not, because they do not have a thick side.

For the paper, I usually use scratch paper as practice and I design on printer paper. However, you can invest a little on paper, and buy giant notepads or add calligraphy in your notebook as a touch.

Step 2: Basics

If you have not done any calligraphy first, I recommend the warmup above a couple times. The upstroke should be thin, and the downstroke should be thick. This practice is to find the right angle for calligraphy, which is about 45 degrees. With a brush pen, make sure that you do not use the tip, as this will quickly ruin your brush pen. Always try to use the side of a brush, so it's easy to get a think line. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Step 3: Alphabet

Assuming that you know how to do cursive and practiced the warm up, let's practice the alphabet! Yay! Try to practice this at least 4-5 times, but if your short on time, 3 will do. Remember, the downstrokes are thick, and the upstrokes are thin. One reason to practice so many times is to find which way you like your letters. Everybody has a different style, and in calligraphy, there's no right way.

Step 4: Connecting the Letters

Now, as the title suggets, you're going to connect your letters and create words. If you really have been practicing, this should come pretty easy to you. Find a bunch of scratch paper, and then fill it up with words.

Step 5: Tips and Tricks

Remember, calligraphy is art. There's no one correct way to do it. Now, you can add additions to your lettering, to make it more fancy! This is all of the simple tricks, though, not too advanced. Everything I mention will be up here.

  • First, just change your lettering up! Instead of doing it in a line, allow your lettering to bouce up and down, and change in size. This will give your lettering more personality, and more of a handwritten feeling.
  • Connect the "t" and the "h." This is one of my favorites. In the picture, you can see that the top of the "t" will connect to the beginning of the "h." It may seem confusing, but you'll understand from the picture.
  • Add a beginning! This is also pretty fun to do. Each time you start with "d" or "a," add a wavy line in front.

Step 6: Calligraphy Without Brush Pens + Next Steps

Maybe you don't have brush pens lying around at home. That's fine! Here are a couple ways you can do calligraphy without needing brush pens, and most of them are materials you can find at home.

  • Pencil Calligraphy. I actually do this when I am bored. All you need to do is cursive, and then press harder on the downstrokes, to give it a darker stroke.
  • Faux Calligraphy. This kind only involves a pen. Do the cursive, and then add another line on the downstroke, to show the thick lines. You can just leave it like that, or fill it in to make it really look like modern calligraphy.
  • Dip Pen Calligraphy. I have personally never tried this kind of calligraphy, because dip pens are hard to find. However, dip pen calligraphy is basically the same as brush pen calligraphy.
  • Watercolor Calligraphy. This is probably the hardest of all. For this kind of calligraphy, you should get a non-bristle brush, like the Pentel Aquash Water Brush Pen. However, instead of holding the pen at a 45 degree angle, it should be at around 20 degrees. In other words, almost straight.

If you want to continue your path with calligraphy, here are some great links and YouTube videos you can check out: