Calligraphy Style Writing: Can I do it?
There is concern over the need to teach cursive writing in today’s schools. With increased use of typing while using computers, many find that handwriting is not being used or is as useful as it was in the past.
While at a Dr. appointment recently, I was handed a tablet and told to fill out my information using this modern equipment. This was new to me. I am used to having a clipboard thrust into my face with a tiny little pencil to fill in the needed information before seeing the Dr. Not today.
Today’s technology may seem like it is getting us away from handwriting, but one art seems to be on the rise, and that is the art of calligraphy.
That Old Handwriting?
When hearing the word calligraphy, old style handwriting may come to mind. However, years ago, before we had the ball point pen, handwriting was done with the same tools that some use for calligraphic writing today, but it was not considered art back then, it was what was used because it was all they had.
Today, the art of calligraphy can be seen in everything from wedding invitations to funny quotes on our favorite social media sites. Many web designers learn calligraphy so that they can copy their font art into software programs such as Adobe Illustrator and turn it into vector based art, which is easier to use than pixelated artwork.
What is it then?
Calligraphy today is not called handwriting, it is hand-lettering or hand drawing. Unlike handwriting, you take your time and draw each letter slowly and patiently to get the desired result.
You see it and the first thing you think is, beautiful writing, artistic writing. With practice, it can turn into a business. Those that are good at it sell invitations, greeting cards, create logos, and freelance their work out.
Tools associated with calligraphy include:
- Fountain pens- those that do this every day will tell you to make sure you have flexible pen nibs, not the hard, stiff ones.
- Colored pencils or markers (even crayons)- you do not have to start off with the ink style pen nibs to practice calligraphy. You can start with low cost instruments.
- Sketchpads- when starting off, get a small sketchpad and use a page a day to practice the art of calligraphy. Take your time, go slow. It is unlike handwriting that you are fast and fluid with.
- Ink- if you are using pen nibs, buy low cost ink when you begin and as you get better at it you can buy more expensive ink. It is suggested that if your ink seems too thin, leave it open for a few hours to get it to thicken.
Are there tutorials?
Yes, and plenty of them. The following were the ones that I found to be the most helpful, and I began with the YouTube ones first. What was interesting was the fact that many of the calligraphic artists all agreed on one basic step that was the same across the board. When your pen strokes upward, it is thin, and when it is going down, it is thick. I practiced these strokes myself, and although I did not do to well, I know that if I keep it up I will get better at it.
Your Art, Your Style
Like all art, you will find your style of calligraphy. No two writers are alike. Much like handwriting, the thing about calligraphy is that you develop your own style once you get the hang of it.
Taking a class based on calligraphy is a good place to learn the basics, such as the pens types, paper types, ink types etc. However, doing the work is what is going to get you skilled at it.
Our suggestion is to take tutorials, and buy books based on the art of calligraphy. Amazon has many to choose from. Although we are not associated with Amazon, it did have the best selection of Calligraphy books for the beginner.
Be prepared to practice this art. It is not easy to do, but when you look back over your work, if you practice for 50-70 days straight, we can promise that you will see the difference, and you will improve. Have Fun!