Hi, I’m Maureen Vickery, the calligrapher behind PenDance Studio and the creative force behind Calligraphy Crush Magazine! When your friends and family know you are a calligrapher, they expect your holiday cards and envelopes to be lovingly decorated in beautiful lettering. Flourished calligraphy designs certainly add a festive touch, so why not flourish a reindeer for your loved ones’ holiday enjoyment? Below I’ll show you step-by-step how I flourished a reindeer for my upcoming holiday card. I’ve also included a downloadable template of a reindeer (find it by clicking here) and flourish designs for your reference.
1. Make a Pencil Draft + First Strokes
Before you do anything, trace the reindeer outline from the downloadable template very lightly onto your paper with a pencil (you will erase the pencil lines later). Then, use your favorite pointed pen and ink to draw the outline of the deer’s face and ear, then fill in the eyes and nose. Next, draw the flowing ribbon on the reindeer’s neck. Now, write “Merry Christmas” to start filling the reindeer’s body. (Feel free to use other greetings or a person’s name here instead.)
2. Fill In the Antlers
After the first flourishes are dry, you can flourish the antlers. I chose a tight pattern of small loops because I wanted the texture of the antlers to appear different from the rest of the reindeer. You can experiment with simple loops if you prefer.
3. Fill in the Neck
Next, use different flourish patterns on either side of the neck. Stop when you come to the “Merry Christmas” calligraphy.
4. Embellish the Front Legs
Draw simple loops to define the reindeer’s elegant legs, then switch to a larger overlapping swirl for the thicker part of the leg near the body. The hooves are a simple line then a swirl — like half a heart shape.
5. Flourish the Tail and Hind Legs
Now, finish with the back legs. Some simple “S” flourishes and curlicues should do the trick, then you’ll fill in the hooves with the same half heart shapes you used for the front legs. For the tail, make a sweeping stroke to the right, then end with curlicues and a little embellishment in the center.
6. Add Embellishments
Once you finish flourishing the deer, you might want to add a few accents to fill in empty spots and give some interest to the design. To do that, draw small open dots and tiny stacked hearts inside the larger loops to fill in negative space.
7. Enjoy Your Flourished Calligraphy Reindeer!
If you want to add some bling, outline the words and ribbon with a sparkly gel pen, and use a small red rhinestone to glue to the deer’s nose for a Rudolph touch. Then, once all of your ink has dried, erase your pencil guidelines with a quality eraser!
This little guy is right at home on holiday cards, mail art, and Christmas-themed decor for your home! The project looks complicated, but you’ll be surprised at how simple it is if you follow the step-by-step instructions above — I promise.
Tag me @calligraphycrushmagazine on Instagram so that I can see your flourished calligraphy reindeer designs. Wishing you and your loved ones rich blessings during the holiday season and new year!
Thanks for reading,
Houston, Texas-based calligrapher Maureen Vickery has been a professional wedding calligrapher and hand engraving artist since 2001. After Maureen took private calligraphy lessons to address her wedding invitations, she soon received requests from her friends to address their invitations as well. Maureen’s calligraphy services turned into a part-time vocation while she was working full-time as a technical writer and information architect in the oil and gas industry. Now, Maureen creates calligraphy for a living at PenDance Studio and is the creative force behind Calligraphy Crush Magazine, where TPK recently enjoyed a feature!