Even once you’ve figured out how to comfortably hold your pen and when to dip your ink, you may find that your letters still aren’t coming out elegantly. It’s completely normal – and expected – for your first attempts to come out looking shaky and inconsistent.
The best piece of advice out there for any budding calligrapher is to practise – a lot! The more you practise, the more natural calligraphy will feel. Just like learning to knit, muscle memory plays a part here, and while writing letters may feel slow to start with, you’ll soon begin to get a feel for the speed, rhythm and pressure. Eventually, writing ornate words and letters will become second-nature.
How much you practise is up to you, but if you’re keen to progress quickly, then try to practise for at least 45 minutes, twice a week. To get practising, you can head over to YouTube and check out the wide range of calligraphy tutorial videos.
If you like to receive instruction and guidance while learning, you might want to consider purchasing an online course. Udemy’s Calligraphy for Beginners: Creating Strong Lines focuses on ensuring you’re comfortable using your tools and mastering basic strokes and lines before you move onto the more challenging art of lettering. You’ll learn how to angle your pen and develop your own rhythm.
Another online course with great reviews is the Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Online Course. For £20 you’ll get unlimited help and support, a 28-page printable worksheet set, and nearly two hours of video lessons – all of which are captioned for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Alternatively, head over to the Modern Calligraphy Co to check out live streamed workshops, pre-recorded online tutorials, and free mini tutorials. If you’re happy to spend a bit more, you might want to check out the four-lesson correspondence course with well-known professional calligrapher Gaynor Goffe, where you’ll learn letterforms and try some writing exercises.
If none of these take your fancy, then you can check out the wider range of calligraphy courses that are available on our site. However, with the amount of content on YouTube, you can still learn plenty without paying a penny.
If you like learning from books, you may also want to buy a calligraphy book. The Calligrapher’s Bible: 100 Complete Alphabets and How to Draw Them is considered – as the name suggests – to be the calligraphy Bible, and contains 100 different sections as well as plenty of handy advice on how to avoid mistakes.
Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy is another popular book. It delves into the fascinating history of calligraphy, provides lots of information on tools, and with clear step-by-step instructions and templates, shows you how to form letters, words and then phrases.