Western-style calligraphy has recently moved back into popularity thanks to artists using it in their drawing techniques. been around for thousands of years and can be dated back to the handwriting used around 600 BC in Rome. In fact, calligraphy was likely the first style of handwriting after people moved from chisels and rock to using paper to write down ideas. Although it started to fall out of favor because of the printing press and then because of the creation of modern pens, a resurgence is making calligraphy far more popular again. It’s more and more common to see calligraphy used in small parts of books, in artwork, and in lots of other designs.
If you love the flowing letters used in calligraphy and want to add some flourish to text you write or use in designs, you may want to learn calligraphy. You have many different styles to learn from, including everything from more basic styles to incredibly complex styles. With a small number of supplies needed to get started, you can choose a tutorial and start learning how to calligraphy like a pro in no time.
Calligraphy Is Coming Back into Style
During the 15th century, the printing press was used for creating manuscripts instead of calligraphy, and the usage of calligraphy began to decline. Fountain pens that could not be used to create the pressure needed for calligraphy became more commonly used by people learning to write. Then, modern pens became available, and calligraphy declined to a relatively small number of people who used calligraphy writing for fun or to add style to designs instead of using it as their main handwriting.
Now, more and more people are starting to use calligraphy again. Though it’s not how a person would normally write, anyone can take lessons on how to learn calligraphy to start learning how to write with a flourish. Calligraphy can be used on signs, in logos, or in just about any design you might want to create. It’s also great for practicing how to write and for helping to improve penmanship so your normal handwriting improves.
Different Types of Calligraphy to Learn
When you want to learn calligraphy, you’ll need to figure out which style you want to learn first. There are many different styles for you to consider, some far more popular than others. Gothic calligraphy is one of the most well-known styles of calligraphy and has been used for hundreds of years. This is a boxy type of calligraphy and is often seen in old religious documents and bibles. It’s also the style that was used for the heading on the Declaration of Independence.
Roman capitals are the oldest type of calligraphy and have been used for thousands of years. This style directly influenced many of the more modern styles of calligraphy you might see today. Copperplate is an italic style of calligraphy that is also well known and is a preferred style of calligraphy for many. It’s typically easy to learn and is similar to the English Roundhand calligraphy used for most of the Declaration of Independence.
Looking around online and through the available tutorials can give you a better idea of what the different calligraphy styles look like so you can choose the one you want to try. Whether you go with the oldest one or a newer style, you’ll learn a lot while you’re learning how to form the letters and you can then use what you’ve learned to try out different styles later.
Choosing the Right Supplies to Get Started
Calligraphy classes are available so you can easily learn how to do the style you prefer. However, you cannot practice and learn how to do calligraphy with a modern pen and plain paper. You will not be able to create the thick and thin lines needed for the calligraphy to turn out right. Instead, you’ll want to invest in a few basic supplies and learn how to use them during your calligraphy class.
- The Calligraphy Pen – For many years, special brushes or feathers were used as calligraphy pens. Some specialty stores still sell feathers that are able to be used as calligraphy pens if you want to try to write the way people did many years ago. You can also purchase special calligraphy pens that have a flexible nib to make it easier for you to form the letters properly.
- Choosing Ink to Use – Because of the resurgence of calligraphy in art and other designs, there is actually a wide selection of calligraphy ink available. You will want to make sure you choose an ink that is intended for calligraphy because other types of ink will be too thick. However, you can choose whichever color you might prefer.
- Selecting the Right Paper – Standard paper isn’t as smooth as it needs to be for you to practice your calligraphy. If you use printer paper, you may notice your lines tend to spread out. This is called feathering, and it’s something you’ll want to avoid if you want the crisp, clean letters calligraphy is supposed to have. Instead, look for the smoothest paper possible.
- Optional: Digital software – Some people prefer to mix their calligraphy with digital software to achieve their desired effects, or get their calligraphy ready for printing. A popular program for this is Adobe Illustrator.
Why Use a Calligraphy Tutorial?
You can likely find images online of the calligraphy style you want to learn, but it’s a far better idea to check out the calligraphy classes available online. There is more to calligraphy than just copying what you see when you look at the alphabet. If you’re a complete beginner, you’ll need to learn how to use the calligraphy pen, how to form the lines, and how to use pressure appropriately so the lines are thick when they should be and thin when they should be.
All of this is difficult to pick up just by looking at an image of the alphabet. Plus, you could get into bad habits that are difficult to correct later if you do not understand how to form the letters properly. A tutorial enables you to learn everything you’ll need to know to make sure your calligraphy is done right and looks perfect.
Choosing the Right Tutorial
An abundance of tutorials available today makes it much easier for you to learn calligraphy. However, you are going to want to make sure you choose the right one so you can learn the style you prefer and so you can learn how to do everything properly.
If this will be your first time learning calligraphy, you’ll want to start with a beginner tutorial that goes over all of the basics, not just how to form the style you’re interested in. It’s important to know how to fill the pen with ink, how to hold the pen properly, and how to use the pen to create the strokes.
You’ll also want to learn how to care for your pen, what supplies might be best when you’re just getting started, and how to practice so you can keep improving. The tutorial you choose should then take you step by step through the different strokes you’ll need to learn and how to form each of the letters of the alphabet.
Once you’ve mastered a style, you can move onto a new one. You won’t necessarily need to review the beginner materials at this point, but you will want to still find a tutorial that takes you step by step through the formation of the letters so you’ll learn how to do each one properly. Furthermore, if you want to learn about colors and pigments, or even adding additional media such as watercolor to the mix, you’ll want to find a tutorial that encompasses that as well.
Keep Practicing to Keep Improving
A tutorial is going to show you how to learn calligraphy, but you won’t want to stop there. Just knowing how to form the letters isn’t going to be enough. If you’d like to do calligraphy like the pros, you’re going to need to practice. The more you practice, the more you’ll improve and the more you can learn.
If you want to learn how to do calligraphy as fast as possible or you’d like to learn at least a few different styles, you should sit down and practice for at least a few minutes every day. You can write the alphabet, write sentences, or just practice writing words until you have mastered not only the individual letters but how they work together to form words.
You may want to play around with different pens, different colors of ink, and different ways of writing, such as writing in a circle instead of a straight line, to have fun when you’re practicing. If you’re interested in learning calligraphy for designs you might make on your own, you can even practice using the calligraphy in designs until you’re confident you can do it well.
Calligraphy can be incredibly fun, but it does take time and practice for you to master it. If you’d like to start learning how to do calligraphy like the pros, look into the calligraphy classes that are available today. There are many different tutorials that are designed to help you improve penmanship and help you master the art of calligraphy. Start practicing and it won’t be long before you’ve not only mastered one style of calligraphy, but you can use a few different styles depending on the look you’re after.