• More Calligraphy Tips and Musings {Includes Videos + Giveaway}

    You’re going to be all video’d out after reading/watching this blog post … but sometimes it’s helpful to see someone creating calligraphy in action! I hope that observing the videos will help you with your own practice. Also: Rodger’s Pen Box is giving away an oblique calligraphy pen! Have I made your day yet?

    More Calligraphy Tips and Musings {Includes Videos + Giveaway} | The Postman's Knock

    I know I write about calligraphy tips all the time, but a recent conversation with Rodger Mayeda {of Rodger’s Pen Box} inspired me to share even more information with you … with a couple of videos to boot! I really hope you like them because I painted my nails for them — and, trust me, that’s something that doesn’t happen often {they’ll be horribly chipped within the next six hours; I’d bet money on it}. As if my painted nails aren’t exciting enough, there’s another artisan calligraphy pen giveaway afoot! You can enter at the bottom of this blog post.

    Before I get to the videos, I’d like to say that one of the most important points of my talk with Rodger is we agreed upon the best nib for beginners: the Nikko G.

    More Calligraphy Tips and Musings {Includes Videos + Giveaway} | The Postman's Knock

    I also think the Blue Pumpkin is a great contender for a beginner nib. However, we decided that the Nikko G is king because it isn’t finicky, holds a lot of ink, and works wonders in a straight pen or an oblique pen. If you’re just starting out, either of these would be a great choice {but they are not required, by any means; if you have a nib you like, stick with it}!

    In all my Learn for a Latté worksheets, I recommend that beginners start with faux calligraphy. After that, I personally think it’s easiest to move into the dip pen realm by using a straight calligraphy pen. However: it can be intimidating to use a dip pen. After observing a video of a learner trying to create Kaitlin style calligraphy with a bit of struggle, I thought it may be beneficial for you to see a video of me creating calligraphy with a dip pen {fitted with a Nikko G nib} and sumi ink.

    Note that the video was sped up! It takes me longer than that to write calligraphy, let me assure you. What I really want you to take from the video is the fact that I am gliding the nib across the paper without moving the nib itself at all: meaning — the nib is always facing north, and the tips of both tines of the nib are always evenly on the page. If you internalize this principle, the rest of your calligraphy journey will be gravy.

    As I said, I am using the Kaitlin style calligraphy worksheet in the video. I printed the worksheet off on 70 lb. Strathmore paper {cut to 8.5″x11″} so the ink wouldn’t bleed {as it does on normal 20 lb. printer paper}. However, in the course of my conversation with Rodger, he told me that he uses 24# printer paper to practice on, and 32# printer paper for formal letters. I haven’t tried writing on nice printer paper as he describes; but if he says it works, I don’t doubt it! He always has great calligraphy tips.

    Once you’ve practiced a bit with a beginner nib, it’s a good idea to try one of these nibs:

    More Calligraphy Tips and Musings {Includes Videos + Giveaway} | The Postman's Knock

    I’ve written this a few times before; but in the words of my great-grandma, “Just sit still because I’m going to tell you again!”: I like the Leonardt EF Principal nib because it can make itty-bitty hairline upstrokes. The caveat is this: because the nib is so sharp, it does have a tendency to catch on somewhat fibrous papers. The Brause EF 66 is my favorite because it has the capability to create thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes. The Brause Rose is great for thicker inks and writing with watercolor because it’s got a thicker stroke that can handle non-standard inks.

    When I use the Brause EF 66, I prefer to use a right oblique holder. It gives me a bit more control on the slant of my letters, and also allows me to write for long periods of time without becoming uncomfortable. Since I’ve never posted a video of me creating a lot of calligraphy with the oblique, I thought I’d show you how I address a letter using one:

    {I address most of my envelopes using this style of calligraphy … it’s wonderful not having to use guidelines!}

    More Calligraphy Tips and Musings {Includes Videos + Giveaway} | The Postman's Knock

    If you watched that video and thought either “What is that thing?” or “Why is she using a wooden oblique with a metal flange vs. a plastic oblique?”, read this blog post. If you watched that video and it made you want an RPB pen, it’s your lucky day {well, hopefully}! Rodger has agreed to give away an oblique calligraphy pen holder to the winner of the giveaway below. The calligraphy pen will be made with either a left flange or a right flange — your choice!

    More Calligraphy Tips and Musings {Includes Videos + Giveaway} | The Postman's Knock

    The pen Rodger is giving away is made from bocote {say: buh-coh-tay} wood. This is a wood that is native to the American tropics with an absolutely beautiful grain.

    More Calligraphy Tips and Musings {Includes Videos + Giveaway} | The Postman's Knock

    The giveaway is open to all entrants regardless of country of residence. The giveaway will end at midnight {Mountain time} the evening of Saturday, March 14th, and the winner will be emailed/announced on Sunday, March 15th. Your pen will be sent up to two weeks after winning, depending on Rodger’s schedule. You may enter below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    One last thing I would like to tell you is the Kaitlin Style Premium Worksheet set has been updated {if you’ve already heard this on Facebook and Instagram, ignore me}! I had gotten feedback that users were having issues connecting the letters once they learned them, which, of course, is problematic. In response, I created eight additional pages for the worksheet that cover letter connections. If you already own the Kaitlin worksheet, there are two ways to obtain it:

    • If you have a TPK account, sign in. Once you are signed in, you will be presented with a list of TPK downloads you own. Simply click on your premium Kaitlin worksheet, and that will initiate the update download.
    • If you do not have a TPK account, search your email for the order confirmation email you were sent when you ordered your premium Kaitlin worksheet. That email contains a link to download the worksheet: click on that. The resulting download will be the updated worksheet.

    If neither of those choices are an option, feel free to email me at [email protected], and I will send the worksheet to you at my earliest convenience. If you do not yet own the Kaitlin Premium Worksheet, you may purchase it for the price of a latté by clicking here.

    If you have any questions, feel free to comment! I hope this blog post helped you to understand a little more about creating calligraphy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, too, that you win the giveaway! I love Rodger’s pens, and I know you’ll really enjoy one.

    Thanks again for reading!


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