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Calligraphy Basics

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Definition: The design and execution of lettering in a decorative style. Calligraphy is considered a visual art.

  • TOOLS:
    Practice grid
    Paper – smooth texture is best to start out with
    Pen and nib (or if less maintenance is desired, use a calligraphy marker - no dipping/cleaning
    Ink
    Small container with H2O
    Damp paper towel…better yet, a non-fibrous towel (fibers from paper will tend to clog nib)

  • TECHNIQUE MUSTS:
    Hold pen at an angle vs. straight/vertical (45 degrees)
    Dip nib in ink up to the nib hole/just past it
    • Too much ink will blob on your surface
    Try out on test paper/shake excess ink off into water container
    Experiment on test paper

  • YOU MAY FIND:
    Nib scratches and gets caught on the paper
    • Change angle of the pen…probably a tighter angle
    Ink bleeds
    • Use higher quality paper, i.e., 32lb laserjet paper (on the economical end)
    Left-handed?
    • There are left-handed nibs
    • Don’t quit! Practice and watch videos of left-handed calligraphers with out the smudging, etc.
    Just want to write with additional flair?
    • Use your own handwriting and write with a calligraphy marker or pen…again, it takes a bit of practice to get the feel for it

As in any type of art, practice and perseverance and the enjoyment of laying down ink or paint strokes is what it takes!