These are some of the basic brush calligraphy tips that any beginner needs to know before they get started.
Here are my 5 best brush calligraphy tips for beginners, with an extra bonus tip that not everyone will tell you. Check them out below.
Brush Calligraphy Tips for Beginners
Maybe you have already started learning brush calligraphy or you are still gathering information for beginners. If so, today I am sharing my best brush calligraphy tips for beginners. These are some things I wish I had read about when I started brush lettering, so I hope that you find them helpful!
Start with the Basics
When you are just starting out with brush calligraphy, it can be very tempting to go out and buy all the things, and just jump in. I would really caution you against this! Make sure you start with the very basics first. You can start with just a Crayola marker, or if you would like to practice with an actual brush pen, I highly recommend a Tombow Fudenosuke. They are inexpensive and have a nice sturdy brush tip that can take some abuse.
Then when you are ready, start with the 8 basic brush calligraphy strokes. Get those 8 basic strokes down, and then you can move on to letters. I started lettering in 2016 and almost 5 years later I STILL practice the basic strokes and my basic alphabet.
Sit up straight with your feet on the floor. This will not only help with the flow of your brush calligraphy but will also keep you from getting a stiff neck, back or shoulder. I will also say, LOOSEN THE DEATH GRIP ON YOUR PEN. Sorry to shout, but this is a lesson that I really had to work at. I tend to grip my pen like it’s going to save me from falling off a cliff, which only causes pain in my hand, arm, and wrist. Loosen up, do some hand/wrist warm-ups, sit up straight and then loosely grip your pen before starting. Seriously, your neck, back, and wrist will thank me later.
Hold Your Pen Correctly
This may be one you weren’t aware of, but it really matters how you hold your pen while lettering. I’m not talking about how you grip the pen, but how you position the pen relative to the paper and the lettering.
You should be holding the pen to the side of where you are writing, and at an approximately 45-degree angle to the paper. Avoid placing the pen straight up and down, or to the top or bottom of your writing. I made a short video to demonstrate this, which you can watch below.
Use the Right Paper
This is a huge one, especially if you will be using expensive brush pens to practice with. The type of paper you use both for printing worksheets for practice, and for making finished pieces, definitely makes a difference. Printer paper or notebook paper can easily ruin brush pens, especially felt tip pens. The best paper to print practice sheets on that I’ve found is the HP Premium 32 Printer Paper. This paper is very smooth and feeds nicely through the printer.
Read Next: The Best Paper for Brush Lettering
Practice Makes Progress
The number one piece of advice I can give to beginners for learning brush calligraphy is PRACTICE. Practice until you’re bored, and then practice some more. You will only get better with practice and time. I personally have been lettering since 2016, and I still do some form of practice every day. Yes, every day.
Read Next: How to Find Time to Practice Lettering
Stop Comparing Your Work to Others
This one is the biggest tip I can give beginner brush calligraphers! The urge to compare your work to others is a strong one. Believe me, I know. Comparison is definitely the thief of joy, as it only serves to discourage you on your journey. Resist the urge to compare your beginner work to those that have been lettering for years. It’s not a fair comparison, and it’s not fair to your incredible work!
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