I published the first version of this How to Learn Calligraphy in Two Months article in 2017. 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 Facebook Guy lives in your head (“You can’t learn this!”), shut him off — because you are capable and you can do it. This article will give you a solid game plan and a timeline to ensure your success.
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 ($35), 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 — mainly on YouTube — for free. However, TPK’s online course saves you time in that it guides you through learning in a clear, organized way without conflicting information. It will also help you to steer clear of frustrations that calligraphy beginners generally experience. If you’re on the fence, read the reviews to decide whether the course is right for you. You can also browse student work and testimonials here.
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, and general practice. Keep the binder materials in chronological order! It’s gratifying to flip through the binder to see your progress.
I want to reiterate how important it is to keep track of your progress. Otherwise, it will be tough for you, yourself, to see how you’ve improved. If you’re looking for motivation, you can browse some then-and-now calligraphy creations of mine here.
In the case of calligraphy, success comes easier when you have the right tools. If you DIY a starter kit, your cost will be around $40. Purchase a preassembled calligraphy kit, and the cost will be higher.
4. Pace Yourself to Finish the Online Course in Four Weeks
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. (If you’re not taking a structured online course, five hours of calligraphy practice per week is still a good rule of thumb.)
5. Take a Week-Long Break to Test Your Skills With Envelope Calligraphy
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 (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.
In the Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Online Course, you work on mechanics of creating pointed pen calligraphy. The focus isn’t really on making a particular style. That’s why, once you’ve mastered the pointed pen basics, I recommend dedicating three weeks to learning a specific calligraphy style. If you like one of the worksheet styles in TPK’s worksheet collection, then pick that one! I have six 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, make a goal to create one calligraphy-related project every two weeks. It doesn’t have to be a big project, just something to keep your lettering fresh! You can find project suggestions in the 26 “Real Life” Calligraphy Practice Projects article.
If you follow the steps in this article, you will be comfortable creating pointed pen calligraphy within two months. Remember, though, that you will never stop improving as long as you are creating projects with your pointed pen! I first picked up my pen and nib in 2012, and I am still adding onto my skill level. 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.