Calligraphy is an art that never dies. You see it coming back into style with hand-lettered invitations and in high-end magazines. It's a great way to jazz up your correspondence and impress people.
While most people think that calligraphy is difficult to learn, it's really made up of two simple strokes, which we're going to learn in this lesson before we start our series on "Mastering Calligraphy".
This calligraphy fonts practice will teach you the basics of this art. Now, if you're looking for the best font for calligraphy to use in your digital project, scroll down after this tutorial and find our selection of premium calligraphy fonts from Envato Elements.
What You Will Learn in This Calligraphy Tutorial
- How to pick the right pen tip
- How to dip and hold the pen
- How to do the basic calligraphy strokes
What You'll Need
- Black ink (preferably Speedball or Higgins waterproof ink)
- Practice sheet
- Pen holder (the black part of the pen above)
- Pen nib (the shiny gold part of the pen above)
1. How to Pick the Right Tip
There are many calligraphy pen tips for you to choose from. To start out, it's best to have a flat-tipped nib that is about 1/8" wide (the tip in the top left of this photo). This gives you a nice variation in your line work, and it's bold enough to be very different from your normal ballpoint pen. Insert the tip into the pen holder, and you're ready to go!
2. How to Dip the Pen
Dip the pen gently into the ink until the ink reaches 3/4 up the tip. Too little ink and you'll run out faster, leading to scratchy lines and constant interruptions. Too much and you'll overflow the tip and cause the ink to drip out in spurts.
3. How to Hold the Pen
Hold your pen like you would a pencil, gripping it gently. If you grip too tightly, you'll be more likely to shake as your hand fatigues.
Place the tip of the pen flat onto the paper. Placing the tip flat means you will get more variations in your lines and you won't scratch a hole through your paper with the corners of the tip.
4. How to Do Calligraphy Strokes
Let's be honest: starting calligraphy is daunting. So for starters, I just want you to play on the back of your practice paper. Make some big loopy lines and some straight lines. Practice dipping your pen into the ink. There's no right or wrong here; you're just getting the feel of the pen.
5. How to Do the Basic Downward Stroke
There are only two main strokes in calligraphy: the downward stroke and the curve. So let's start with the downward stroke! If it feels easier to you, you can draw each of these lines first with your pencil. That way, you have a line to follow.
Using your practice sheet, place your pen at the top line. Keeping the tip of your pen flat against the paper, move your hand downward to the bottom solid line. You don't want to keep perfectly straight, but rather, if you are right-handed, let your line slant right (like mine below), and if you're left-handed, let it slant left. You will have a little 'foot' on the bottom of your downward stroke as you finish.
Practice filling the entire line of your practice sheet with downward strokes. You'll be surprised by how quickly your lines will improve.
6. How to Do the Basic Curve
The basic curve is essentially as simple as drawing a letter 'c' without its top. Place the tip of your pen flat on the middle dashed line. Then make a curve moving down and left, pulling back up slightly after you reach the bottom line. If it feels easier to you, you can draw each of these lines first with your pencil. That way you have a line to follow.
Practice filling the entire line of your practice sheet with curves. Again, you'll be surprised by how quickly your lines will improve.
Your Basic Calligraphy Fonts Practice Is Done
Calligraphy is much easier than you think, once you have the basic strokes down. With these two simple strokes, you can make nearly every letter in the alphabet. In future tutorials, I'll be teaching you several different alphabets using multiple pen nibs and showing you how to create your very own font.
5 Best Fonts for Calligraphy From Envato Elements
I hope you liked this calligraphy fonts practice tutorial. Next up, I'll share with you a hand-picked selection of the best fonts for calligraphy from Envato Elements.
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1. Metalurdo Copperplate Calligraphy Font (OTF, WOFF)
Looking for a classic copperplate calligraphy font? Matalurdo is an elegant calligraphy font, perfect for logos, invitations, stationery, and more. This copperplate calligraphy font includes swashes, alternates, ligatures, and multilingual support.
A nice copperplate calligraphy font never goes out of style. Check out Elisabetta, a nice mix of copperplate calligraphy and hand-lettering style. This is a contender for the best font for calligraphy as it features more than 340 glyphs and 160 alternative characters, along with multiple language support.
3. Makise Japanese Calligraphy Font (OTF, TTF, WOFF)
Japanese calligraphy fonts are a hot trend. If you're a fan of the Asian calligraphy style, you'll love Makise. This Japanese calligraphy font was created with a natural handwriting brush, and you can use it for many types of projects.
4. Oriental Chinese Calligraphy Font (OTF, TTF, WOFF)
Continuing with the Asian calligraphy trend, check out this Chinese calligraphy font. This strong typeface features an authentic Chinese traditional calligraphy feeling. This Chinese calligraphy font includes a normal and bold version, along with numbers and punctuation.
5. Bouncy Calligraphy Font (OTF,TTF)
The Bouncy Castle is a modern calligraphy font that will look great on your stationery. This bouncy calligraphy font includes four sets of alternative letter styles for maximum creativity. The fun and modern calligraphy font family includes the original style, three stylistic sets, a bold style, and more!
Discover More Fonts and Resources
You've learned the basics of calligraphy fonts practice and checked some of our top modern calligraphy fonts. Now, if you're hungry for more fonts and interesting resources, we've got these for you:
- Fonts35 Best Calligraphy FontsMelody Nieves
- Fonts25+ Best Free Calligraphy Fonts (Free Downloads)Nona Blackman
- Fonts25+ Best Free Hand-Lettering Style Fonts (Designs for 2021)Melody Nieves
- Fonts29 Best Japanese Style Fonts (Calligraphy, Tattoo, and More!)Nona Blackman
- Fonts40+ Best Swash Fonts and Fonts With Tails (Download Now!)Nona Blackman
- Fonts30+ Beautiful Modern Script Fonts (Typefaces for 2021)Melody Nieves
- Fonts30+ Free Signature Fonts (Script Fonts to Download Now)Nona Blackman
- Fonts28 Best Brush Fonts (Script, Paint, and More!)Melody Nieves
- FontsThe Must-Have Fonts for Graphic Designers and Font LoversMary Winkler
- FontsWhat Fonts Are Trending Now and Font Trends for 2021Grace Fussell
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