How To Learn Calligraphy

Calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing. You probably have seen wedding invitations, greeting cards or award certificates written in this very elegant pen-and-ink handwriting. Whatever your reason for wanting to learn calligraphy, there almost certainly are opportunities to learn this ancient art near you.

There are three major styles of calligraphy: Western or Roman, Arabic, and Chinese or Oriental. The Western or Roman calligraphic style of writing includes forms such as Italic, Carolingian, Uncial and Copperplate. Most of these scripts are done using a broad-edged (chisel point) pen. Beginning students of hand lettering might want to start with the Italic alphabet, in order to learn the basics of proportion of the letters and control of the pen, before attempting more complicated alphabet forms such as Carolingian or Uncial.

Here are some ways you could proceed to learn calligraphy:

  1. You could opt to teach yourself calligraphy from a book which includes style-samples of letters of the alphabet. Accomplished instructor and author Maryanne Grebenstein has a book, Calligraphy: A Course in Hand Lettering, published by Watson-Guptill, that you may want to explore. This book has information about the supplies you will need to get started.
  2. Another option is to buy a calligraphy kit from an art supply store and trying to learn calligraphy on your own that way. These kits usually include pens and nibs, ink, a practice tracing pad and an instruction booklet.
  3. Calligraphy CDs or videos might give you the lessons you are looking for. You’ll need to buy calligraphy pens, ink, and paper separately.
  4. A local art school might offer a calligraphy course under the heading of typography courses.
  5. Oftentimes, training in calligraphy is offered through an adult continuing education course at your local high school or community college.
  6. A local art museum frequently has studio art courses and may offer calligraphy.
  7. If there are no classes in your vicinity, you might want to investigate online calligraphy courses.
  8. In addition, there are also local independent instructors providing calligraphy lessons.
  9. Private arts and crafts studios sometimes offer calligraphy classes.
  10. There are calligraphy workshops that are sponsored by various calligraphy guilds.

Whatever means you decide to use to learn calligraphy, you will need to develop patience. It takes time and effort to develop a fluid stroke. Remember that the more you practice the basics of pen angle, letter slope, spacing and proportion, the more professional your results will appear.


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