In January 2017, I wrote another article that was also titled “How to Learn Calligraphy in Two Months”. The response was interesting: beginners were encouraged, but a small handful of seasoned calligraphers were outraged — I remember one fellow on Facebook got angry and vowed to stop following TPK. “You can’t learn calligraphy in two months, and furthermore, not just anyone can learn it!” he scoffed before his exit.
I’ve always found that exclusive attitude perturbing. Calligraphy is a relaxing and beautiful art form that should be accessible to anyone who wants to learn it! And, you know what? I truly think that you can build a solid calligraphy foundation in two months. It just takes a bit of self-discipline and the will to stifle any negativity that you feel about your work. In short: if my Facebook guy lives in your head (“You can’t learn this!”), shut him off — because you are capable and you can learn! This blog post will give you a timeline to guide you through it.
1. Enroll in the Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Online Course
Listen, the last thing I want to do is make you think that if you don’t buy the Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Online Course ($25), you won’t learn calligraphy. If you put in the time to research, you can find all sorts of tidbits of information for learning calligraphy online for free! However, the course saves you time in that it guides you through learning in a clear, organized way. It will also help you to steer clear of frustrations that calligraphy beginners generally experience!
2. Compile a Three Ring Binder for Your Practice Materials
The Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Online Course includes a worksheet, so put that in your binder first. After you finish the course, you can use the binder for additional worksheets, free calligraphy printables (like drills), and general practice. Keep the binder materials in chronological order! It’s gratifying to flip through it to see your progress.
3. Get the Proper Supplies
In the case of calligraphy, success comes easier when you have the right tools. If you DIY a starter kit, your cost will be $25-35. You can also buy a gorgeous pre-assembled kit (that includes some cool extras) from The Paper Seahorse for around $75.
4. Pace Yourself to Finish the Online Course in a Month
Dedicate at least five hours per week to filling out the course worksheet and watching the videos. I’d try to disperse the five hours over a span of 2-3 days so you can keep your practice consistent!
5. Take a Week-Long Break to Test Out (and Enjoy!) Your Skills
After you finish the course, take a week to test out your new skills on a real-life application: envelope calligraphy! Choose two special recipients to send mail to (you can always check out the More Love Letters letter requests), and calligraph envelopes for them! Try to create both of your envelopes within a week.
6. Learn a Specific Calligraphy Style
In the Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Online Course, you learn the principles of calligraphy in general. The focus isn’t really on making a particular style. That’s why, at this point, I would recommend dedicating three weeks to learning a specific calligraphy style. If you like one of the worksheet styles in the Learn Calligraphy collection, then pick that one! I have five different modern calligraphy styles available that you can learn. If you’re drawn to traditional scripts, check out Eleanor Winters’ Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy or Joe Vitolo’s free eBook Script in the Copperplate Style.
7. Continue to Use Your Skills
The work that you put in for the last two months will all be for naught if you don’t use what you learned. So, try to make a goal to create one calligraphy-related project every week or two. It doesn’t have to be a big project, just something to keep your lettering fresh! Here are some suggestions:
- Calligraphy Ampersand Art Tutorial
- Abstract Watercolor Bubbles Creative Envelope (from the Three Creative Envelope Design Mini-Tutorials post)
- Calligraphy Quote Art
- Artistic Watercolor Birthday Card Tutorial
- Lace Envelope Art
- Watercolor Calligraphy
If you follow the steps in this article, you will be comfortable using a dip pen within two months. Remember, though, that you will never stop improving as long as you are creating projects with your dip pen! I first picked up a dip pen seven years ago, and I still find myself getting better at the art. Every single calligraphy-related project that you make is a building block, so keep creating! I know you’ll be impressed at what you can achieve with some time and patience.