7 Calligraphy practice tips you need to start using today! The tips I’m sharing in this blog post will help you make the most out of your calligraphy practice.
Yesterday, when I was organizing my old calligraphy work, I had an epiphany. I realized there are some things I do now when I practice calligraphy that I didn’t do when I first started. I had no clue they were so important. I know that making time to practice calligraphy can be hard, that’s why is so important to make the most out of.
7 CALLIGRAPHY PRACTICE TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
CALLIGRAPHY PRACTICE TIP #1: SLOW DOWN!
Going 100 on a 55 won’t do you any good when you’re practicing calligraphy. This tip might seem obvious, but it definitely wasn’t for me when I first started. I was teaching myself how to do calligraphy. I thought that going fast was going to help me learn more in less time. I was wrong!
It wasn’t until I took a calligraphy class that I learned the importance of slowing down when I’m practicing calligraphy. This tip alone helped me improve my calligraphy immediately.
Going slow will help you get better letter forms and sharper strokes. Even now, I still go slow. Calligraphy is not meant to be fast. Take your time when you’re practicing your calligraphy. I like to think about it as a relaxing me-time, where I get to wind down and take my time to practice my calligraphy skills.
CALLIGRAPHY PRACTICE TIP #2: PAUSE BETWEEN STROKES
This goes hand in hand with going slow when you’re practicing calligraphy. Pausing between strokes will help you have even spacing between your letters. It also gives you the ability to concentrate better on the letterforms, which helps you build up muscle memory.
Lift your pen or make a small pause between each stroke as you’re practicing.
Modern calligraphy is different than cursive writing. When you are writing in cursive, you tend to write fast and continuously. When you are doing calligraphy, you have to write slow. Pausing between strokes will help you get better thick and thin strokes that differentiate calligraphy from cursive.
CALLIGRAPHY PRACTICE TIP #3: HOLD THE BRUSH PEN CORRECTLY
Yes, calligraphy is a form of lettering. But that doesn’t mean that it’s done the same way. There are many quick assumptions we make when learning calligraphy, holding the brush pen the same way as we hold a regular pen is one of them. If you to see some improvement in your calligraphy, make sure you adjust the way you’re holding your brush pen.
Here are three things to keep in mind when holding your brush pen:
- Make sure your brush pen is at about a 45-degree angle from the paper. This is what’s going to help you master the thick and thin strokes as well as help you get smoother transitions between them.
- Your pen grip is loose. When you hold your pen too tight, your hand will get tired faster and you won’t be able to move your pen freely.
- Hold the pen a little bit away from the tip.
This is what I recommend based on my experience with calligraphy. I know many people hold the pen differently when writing. Find a grip that’s comfortable enough for you.
CALLIGRAPHY PRACTICE TIP #4: BE MINDFUL OF THE PEN PRESSURE
What’s that even mean? It means that in calligraphy it’s crucial that you are in sink with the pressure you put on your brush pen. One of the things that differentiate modern calligraphy from cursive writing is the marked variation in the width of the strokes; thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes.
Use light pressure for the upstrokes (when you’re moving the pen upwards) and heavy pressure for the downstrokes (when you’re moving the pen upwards).
Light pressure for the upstrokes is what’s going to help you reach those hair-like strokes. Heavy pressure on the downstrokes will help you with the thicker lines. The more pressure you put on your downstrokes, the thicker they’ll be. It all depends on how thick you want your downstrokes, and that’s the amount of pressure you will put on your brush pen.
Don’t worry about putting too much pressure on your pen downstrokes. You won’t break the brush pen. It was designed to resist the pressure!
CALLIGRAPHY PRACTICE TIP #5: BODY POSTURE
It’s so important to find a comfortable position when you’re practicing calligraphy. Check your desk or table holding your paper is neither too low or too high and aim for your back to be straight.
Adjust your page and posture from time to time.
Find a comfortable position and take breaks. If you’re practicing for a long time, make sure you don’t go over an hour without taking a break. Breaks don’t have to be long either. A bathroom break or a quick stretch will do. Practicing for extended periods without a break in between is not as useful as you think.
CALLIGRAPHY PRACTICE TIP #6: DATE YOUR PRACTICE WORK
Putting a date on your practice worksheets might not seem as important. And I know we tend to forget. I didn’t realize how relevant it was to put a date on my work at first. But I’m telling you, this is a great way to see your improvement.
Refer back to your older sheets often. Especially when you start to get into the comparison trap. Or when you think you haven’t improved in your calligraphy journey. We are our worst critics! We often forget to give us grace and celebrate our accomplishments, no matter how small they are.
Whenever you think you haven’t improved in your calligraphy, go back and check your beginner work. I promise you, you’ll see some improvement.
I now feel like kicking myself when I find a practice sheet that I didn’t date. When this happens, I go to Instagram and see if I can find a post relating that practice sheet. Most times I can find it in there. This is one of the reasons why I’m glad I started an account to share my calligraphy work. I can look back at my older posts and see the improvement I’ve made over the years.
This leads me to my next calligraphy practice tip…
CALLIGRAPHY PRACTICE TIP #7: KEEP RECORDS OF YOUR WORK
I know some times it can be tedious to keep all that paper saved. But you don’t have to save it all, just a few essential pieces for reference. For the work or practice sheets that I decide to toss, I usually take a picture and save it on a folder on my computer.
When I got brave enough to share my work with the world, I started posting it on Instagram. I started a separate account from my personal, so I wouldn’t annoy my friends and family with my calligraphy obsession. I recommend you do the same. Even if you make the account private, it’s good to have a record of your work. Having a social media account to share your work gives you free storage space. It might even serve as your portfolio later on.
The best way to get better at calligraphy is by continuous practice. Make sure you set aside some time to practice your skill. If you need help with making time to practice, check this blog post. Start using these today and make the most out of your calligraphy practice.
- Slow down
- Pause between strokes
- Hold your pen correctly
- Get the right pressure
- Pay attention to your posture
- Date your practice work
- Keep records.
Don’t know where to start? I always recommend starting simple. Like using a regular pen and paper to learn calligraphy. My resource library is full of free calligraphy worksheets and tutorials to help you with your practice.
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Thank you for reading today’s blog post. I hope you find some helpful calligraphy practice tips and start putting them into action right away! Have any other calligraphy tips? I’d love to hear about them! Comment below or get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also share them with me on social media on Instagram or Facebook.
WANT TO REMEMBER THIS FOR LATER? SAVE THIS 7 CALLIGRAPHY PRACTICE TIPS TO YOUR FAVORITE LETTERING PINTEREST BOARD!