Let’s just go ahead and address some of the most frequently asked questions right here, right now. Some (if not most) of these questions will lead to a related blog post that should really help answer the question.
How do I get started with brush calligraphy? Do I need a guide?
First of all, yay for starting a new hobby! Here’s what I will tell you. I got started without an actual guide book (would’ve been way easier if I had one). I had a couple of practice sheets with basic strokes and the alphabet that really helped me to get started. When I started there weren’t very many guides, which is why I ended up creating my own.
Here’s my advice: grab a Crayola marker, practice thick & thin lines, and get used to transitioning before moving on to creating letters. I even have a (free!) tutorial right here!
What basic strokes should I be practicing?
There are a lot of basic strokes to practice, but you’ll want to start off simple. First, you’ll need to work on thick and thin lines. Once you’re able to create those, practice transitioning between thick and thin. Then, move on to an o shape. Different letters require different basic strokes. Check out some of them here!
I’m having trouble with making a difference between the thick and thin parts of my letters. What should I do?
This could mean that you’ve jumped into letters to quickly – calligraphy is not done fast. It may look like it on Instagram, but most videos posted by calligraphers are sped up at least 2x’s so that they can show the whole phrase. It also might mean you need to practice basic strokes more than you have. It’s always a good idea to warm up with basic strokes before every time that you start lettering!
My upstrokes are SO shaky. What should I do?
Don’t worry too much – this happens to calligraphers even if they’ve been doing it for a long time! In some cases, you may have had too much coffee or too little food. Check how shaky your hand is! In other cases, you need to warm up a little bit longer with basic strokes (getting tired of that answer yet?) to help steady your hand.
I’m left handed. Can I still learn calligraphy?
YES YOU CAN! There are A LOT of left handed calligraphers who create some beautiful things. You’ll have to learn how to hold the pen differently and how to move your pen across the page, but hey, you’re used to that! One of the best articles I’ve found for lefties is found here!
What are the best brush pens to use?
There are SO many amazing pens out there. My goodness, it can get overwhelming! So, I’ve done a little bit of work for you. You can start off with Crayola markers, which you may have laying around the house. Here are my three favorite pens for beginners– they’re great because they are small and easier to manage. You’ve probably seen Tombow Dual Brush pens all over the internet – let me warn you, these are difficult to manage and easy to fray! If you’re looking for colorful pens for beginners, check these out! Here are some of my favorite brush pens compared!
What paper do I need to use for lettering? Does it really matter what kind of paper I use?
It might sound silly to you, but paper really does matter! When I first started using brush pens, I would use whatever paper I could find. Even if a paper doesn’t feel like it has texture, it can still mess up your brush pens. This is especially true of Tombow Dual Brush pens. They are easily frayed even by regular printer paper. Learn more about my favorite paper here!
Don’t see your biggest question answer here? Leave it in the comments and it may be added!