Since I joined the study and bullet journal community two years ago, I have become aware of the world of calligraphy and I thought I would share my tips with you. I am in no means an expert but I hope these tips are useful to those of you wanting to do calligraphy.
1) Familiarise yourself with down strokes and up strokes
Down strokes are the lines going towards you and up strokes are the lines going away from you. In calligraphy, down strokes are much thicker than up strokes. Get used to these terms and practice using wave like motions, making sure that any line that’s coming towards you is thicker. The picture down below illustrates what I’m talking about.
2) Move on to faux calligraphy
It might seem tempting to move straight on to calligraphy using some fancy brush pens but I would highly recommend using faux calligraphy. You may be wondering what faux calligraphy is and that’s where you make the down strokes thicker yourself rather than by using pressure from a brush pen. This gets you used to seeing the strokes in lettering form which leads on to….
3) Write out the letters in a step by step process
Calligraphy is generally in the font of cursive, so it’s important to get used to writing in that font. Taking into consideration the picture below, start by writing out the letter normally (in any medium, pen, pencil) just so you’re aware of how you want your letters to look.
On the down strokes, add another line to give the appearance of thicker line. You can actually leave these unshaded and it gives a cool hollow calligraphy effect. However, if you want your faux calligraphy to be similar to brush calligraphy, fill in the down strokes and boom, you’ve got it.
You can then write out words with faux calligraphy. Practice by lettering random word. Song lyrics, inspirational quotes to name a few ideas.
4) Brush calligraphy time! Pick the best brush pen for your needs
Once you’ve become confident with faux calligraphy, it’s time to move onto brush calligraphy. The first step in this process is to invest in the best type of brush pen. If you’re a beginner, you want the tip to have little flexibility so that you have the best control with putting pressure on the pen for down strokes. The Pentel Fude Touch Brush Pen and the Stationery Island Dual Brush Markers are good for this. Check out My favourite stationery items to get a more in depth idea of these products!
5) Practice with the brush pen in a wave motion
Again, before we move onto the lettering, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the down strokes and up strokes using a brush pen. When you’re using a down stroke, put more pressure on the pen to create a thicker down stroke. When you’re using an up stroke, put less pressure on the pen to create a thinner up stroke. Practice this a few times in the wave like motion until you feel comfortable. See the picture below.
6) Write out the letters with the brush pen
Write out each letter of the alphabet with your brush pen, remembering to make the down strokes thicker with pressure and the up strokes thinner with less pressure.
Now you can start to use calligraphy with the brush pen! There’s no magical secret on how to improve your calligraphy. The only way forward is to practice. You will get better over time.
I hope this helped!