How to start calligraphy writing: the art of writing

Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by National Pen.
How to start calligraphy writing: the art of writing
Calligraphy is one of the most satisfying artforms of today, with beautiful lettering and elegant flicks giving it something that everyday writing doesn’t have. Whenever we see a piece of calligraphy writing our minds go into awe and a state of “I wish I could do that”. Well good news, you can! Follow our tips in this post to make sure you have everything you need to get started.

Calligraphy writing equipment

Before you can get started with calligraphy, you will need to purchase the right equipment. To start with, you will need:
1. A pen, or nib
2. A penholder – if you have chosen to go with a nib
3. Ink – choose one that is specifically for lettering, others can be a bit sticky or watery which isn’t great for writing
4. Paper – you will need a smooth paper with a tooth or edge so the letters are sharp

How do I know whether to go with a pen or nib?

If you want to master the writing style before worrying about the different tools and types of ink and paper you need, then you can start with a standard pen. This is often referred to as “faux calligraphy” but some experts swear it is the best way to get started.
A standard pen is familiar, so you don’t instantly feel like you are having to start something completely new. You can get to grips with the writing style before moving on to a modern nib, having already practised lettering and mastered the pen stroke to create the flicks.
If you want to dive straight in, a nib is perfect. If you find a penholder that has a universal clip for the nib you can try a variety of different nib styles to find the one that is comfortable and easy for you to use. Some experts have said that the Nikko G nibs are the best ones for beginners as it is a pretty strong nib which means you won’t need to worry too much about pressure application when you are writing. This can then help you avoid getting frustrated at ink blotting, or flicking when it isn’t meant to, as it might if you were using a more sensitive, flexible nib. The Nikko G nib also holds a good amount of ink so you won’t need to keep dipping it into the ink, alleviating one of the more tedious parts of calligraphy for beginners.

How do I practice calligraphy?

You can practice by purchasing lettering sheets and number sheets which will help you master the different lettering styles and cases as well as numbers. Some retailers also sell calligraphy books, which are compilations of practice sheets and occasionally projects for you to work through. These are good if you want to take your equipment with you, keeping all your work in one place to refer to or continue progressing through. With these sheets and books, you can also try out different weights for the lettering, for example using a thin nib to create wispy, elegant lettering or using a thicker pen to fill in down strokes and add emphasis to the lettering. Exaggerations are a big part of calligraphy, so take your time to experiment with what works for you – you could even try to develop your own style to add a bit more personalisation to your work.

Now you know what you need and how to get started with calligraphy, be sure to check out some video tutorials to help you on your way. Remember, calligraphy is an art that will only get better with practice so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right straight away. Part of the fun of calligraphy is that it is such a unique skill to possess, and you will really appreciate the hard work you put into it when you see your beautiful finished projects.

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