• Flourished Calligraphy Reindeer Tutorial (Guest Post by Maureen Vickery)

    Today, I’m handing over the (embellished) reins to calligrapher Maureen Vickery! In this tutorial, she’ll show us how to make a flourished calligraphy reindeer that’s perfect for holiday cards.

    Flourished Calligraphy Reindeer

    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.)

    Step 1: Making a Flourished Calligraphy Reindeer
    I drew the top part of the reindeer’s neck ribbon with thicker swells, then I drew a thinner line underneath to echo the curves above.

    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.

    Flourished Calligraphy Reindeer Antlers

    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.

    Filling in the Neck

    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.

    Reindeer Front Legs

    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.

    Flourished Calligraphy Reindeer Hind Legs

    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.

    Adding Embellishments to the Flourished Reindeer

    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!

    Flourished Calligraphy Reindeer

    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.

    Flourished Calligraphy Reindeer Tutorial by Maureen Vickery
    I used white ink and a sparkly gel pen to make this festive holiday card. Feel free to use your favorite paper and ink combination to bring the reindeer to life!

    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,

    Maureen Vickery

    About Maureen

    Maureen Vickery
    You can see more of Maureen’s fabulous work on Instagram (@pendancestudio).

    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.