It is possible to learn calligraphy right in your own space. Not only learn it, but to develop a skill and a style of your own. All you need is desire and a few materials. If you have that desire already, you must if you are reading this, then all your need are a pencil and notebook paper. With these, you can learn some basics that will be automatic when you change over to calligraphy writing instruments and markers. Let’s get started.
First, let’s take a look at how to hold your pencil. I hold my pencil different ways depending on the position I’m in when I’m writing. If I am writing quickly, I usually hold my pencil as in the picture to the left. However, this hand position would not allow the ink to flow well when using a calligraphy pen because of the angle.
When I hold my pencil as in the picture to the right, I am usually writing slower while putting thought into what I am writing. This hand position is not relaxing enough to use in calligraphy and would cause my hand to cramp during a practice session or a calligraphy project.
This is the recommended hand position that I use. It allows me to apply pressure to the pen allowing the ink to flow well while my hand stays relaxed to enable me to write in calligraphy for as much as three hours. It didn’t start out as a relaxing position, but continued practice will make it so.
In your first writing lesson, you may find it reminds you of writing in elementary school. Begin with short downward slanted strokes. Concentrate on even spacing, consistent slanting, and smooth strokes. As in the example, if you don’t get it right at first, try, try again, without erasing. As the strokes become more perfect, work on relaxing your hold on the pencil and writing. This is a basic stroke is in several alphabet: a, i, m, n, r, u, and y. Through repetition, the hand is trained to do the stroke consistently. Practice this stroke every day.
Next, take that stroke and curve upward and then make another downward stroke to form the “u”. Notice the first row of u’s in the example are pointed at the bottom of the curve. Practice this until able to write it consistently the same. Then, make the curve slightly rounded at the bottom of the u. Keep the downward strokes parallel to each other. The curve of the u should touch the second downward stroke about midway the stroke. The curve of the u is a basic stroke that is also in the a, d, g, q, and y. As with the downward stroke, repetition will train the hand to do this stroke consistently. Practice this stroke everyday.
Now, to learn the flip side of that letter, we move on to the letter “n”. When making the upward curve, begin the curve about halfway up the first downward stroke and make it pointed at the top. This will help you become consistent in taking upward curve up to the line. As before, no need to erase the imperfect letters. Your progress will become clear as you keep writing. Once consistent in height and width, begin rounding the the point at the top of the upward curve, keeping the downward strokes parallel. The upward curve is a basic stroke in these letters: b, h, k, m, n, p, and r. Practice this stroke every day in order to train the hand to do this stroke consistently and automatically.
In the beginning, keep your practice sessions to about half hour a day. Master these strokes before moving on to the new strokes. It is possible to see improvement every practice session, but keep trying if you have trouble at first. Date and keep those practice sheets so you can see your progress. Check back with this blog in two weeks for the next lesson.
Are you taking this lesson? Do you enjoy your practice sessions? Do you need any help with them? Have an opinion or suggestion regarding this lesson? Your comments will be greatly appreciated.