The other day, I was packaging up a gift for someone. I knew I wanted to enclose a card with a calligraphed envelope in the package, but time wasn’t on my side: the mailman was going to be here any minute, so I didn’t have time for ink to dry. Frantically, I looked around, wondering how I was going to write my recipient’s name beautifully but quickly. The answer came to me after a quick rummaging session through my desk: brush pen calligraphy. Deftly, I calligraphed “Katie” on the card, stuffed the card in the package, and put the box outside just in time for the mailman to pick it up.
Efficiency is only one of the perks of brush pen calligraphy. Other positives to learning how to write with a brush pen include:
- Approachability: If you’re new to calligraphy, a dip pen and ink can be intimidating. Brush pens are, essentially, markers with long, flexible tips. Since you’ve probably used markers before, brush pens are a fun variation.
- Portability: Compared to dip pens, brush pens are super-portable because there’s no risk of ink spilling or tines splitting. If you’re going on a trip somewhere, they are a great addition to your suitcase.
- Pressure Practice: Most brush pens are super sensitive to the pressure you exert on them. Exert a lot of pressure, and you’ve got a very thick downstroke. Don’t exert much pressure, and you’ll be rewarded with a delicate upstroke. For this reason, you should feel free to use brush pen calligraphy as a stepping stone between faux calligraphy and “the real deal” (dip pen calligraphy). When you want to start dip pen calligraphy (which also utilizes pressure for stroke variation), you’ll have the pressure thing “down”!
The obvious reason for loving brush pen calligraphy is the aesthetic appeal. You can use brush pen calligraphy with any of the Learn Calligraphy for a Latté styles, as I have done with Amy Style calligraphy below. Just remember that brush pen strokes are thicker than dip pen strokes, so your words will take up more space!
While dip pen calligraphy and brush pen calligraphy share basic principles, they are different. Accordingly, in the past few months, I have had requests to make a brush pen calligraphy worksheet. While I’d like to make a premium worksheet set in the future, I decided to make this free printable brush pen calligraphy worksheet set available in the meantime.
The worksheet was formulated to help you perfect your strokes, as well as practice an alphabet (the alphabet I included is Kaitlin Style calligraphy). After you print out the worksheet, I encourage you to watch the video below (if you can’t see it, you may view it on Vimeo by clicking here). In the video, you’ll get a closer look at brush pen upstrokes and downstrokes, learn about the grip to maintain on your pen, and see how to make the curlicues featured in the worksheet.
An addendum to the video: while I love to hold my pens nearly upright, that may cause the nibs to fray a bit over time. This Instagram post by Sharisse (@piecescalligraphy) explains a bit more about that. Regardless of your preferred way to hold your brush pen, this worksheet should only take half an hour or so to fill out. You can print it out as needed for additional practice!
Once you’re finished filling out the worksheet, I would recommend creating the project pictured below for extra practice. To make it, take a relatively large piece of paper (mine is 8″x10″) and use Kaitlin Style calligraphy to write the names of cities you’ve been to. Feel free to cut city names in half to account for space, as I have done:
While I love brush pens for art (a sentiment shared by practically all of Pinterest), I think where brush pens really stand out is mail art. Check out the neat, creative package that Brittany Luiz of Tombow sent me the other day! I love how she switched up an upright script with sans serif lettering; this is a nice example to keep in mind for your next package.
If you’re new to the TPK blog, you might enjoy two previous posts about using brush pens:
Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned TPK visitor or a new guest, I hope you enjoy learning with the brush pen calligraphy worksheet! Thanks very much for reading; I appreciate you being here!