I have one philosophy when it comes to art and calligraphy: it should be fun. Life is too short to do things that you don’t love, so if you’re dedicating time to learning how to use a dip pen, you should enjoy it! With that in mind, I decided to develop these calligraphy drills, which are unlike any drills I’ve ever seen. I like to think of them as Sudoku for calligraphy lovers (and learners)! They offer a bit of a challenge and a big feeling of accomplishment once you’re finished. Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills: Under the Sea Edition boasts 16 pages of artistic, fun calligraphy drills with a unique marine theme!
Why Do Calligraphy Drills?
Calligraphy drills are helpful for several reasons. First of all, they provide a space for you to practice without the pressure of making perfect alphabet letters. Filling out these artistic Under the Sea drills helps you to explore all sorts of different pen movements: circles, long downstrokes, short downstrokes, curved upstrokes — you name it!
Different pen movements help you to become comfortable using a calligraphy pen. For those who feel intimidated by their dip pens, doing drills can develop a familiarity that helps you to become a better calligrapher. I love these particular drills because they remind you that dip pens are capable of making art. As you fill out the Under the Sea drills, you’ll learn a few little techniques that you may want to employ on beautiful calligraphed envelopes, incorporate into invitation design, or explore in sketchbooks. Remember, too, that you can use these drills to warm up before a couple of hours of calligraphy creation!
About Under the Sea Calligraphy Drills
This printable collection of calligraphy drills is my very favorite thing on the TPK website right now. I promise that you will love using it, and you will notice an improvement in how you handle your calligraphy pen! To achieve that, I designed these calligraphy drills to become progressively challenging. The first section features straightforward rectangular drills. My favorite drill there is the “Sub Windows”; I think it’s relaxing to draw all those “O”s!
Next comes two pages of square drills. These drills are a little more involved than the rectangular drills, but red and green arrows will walk you through exactly how to create them! My favorite square drill is “Splash” because it reminds me of a mermaid’s tail.
Next comes the circular drills. Again, they start off simple …
… and become more detailed and involved as you work through them! I love all of the drills on the last page of the circle section, especially the octopus and the jellyfish.
After you finish the smaller drills, you move on to two large drills: a sea turtle, and a stormy scene at sea. I think these are just the coolest — especially the storm at sea!
Finally, the drill sheet ends with instructions and practice covering how to draw a flourished beta fish. The fish incorporates some of the techniques and movements that you explored in previous sections of the worksheet! Once you learn how to draw the fish, try using it to add embellishment to an envelope or for making framed art to display in your home.
How to Use the Drills Sheet
You can purchase the Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills: Under the Sea Edition ($5.00) by clicking here. Make sure that you print it on high-quality paper (32# laserjet paper is best; you can use laserjet paper in any printer), and use your favorite pen and nib combination to fill it out. If you’re a beginner, I would recommend using a Nikko G nib and a straight holder. As far as ink goes, I like to use sumi, but you can use any ink you like!
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to fill the worksheet out — one to two weeks is ideal. Some of the drills are quite detailed and will take time to create! Remember to keep a light, positive attitude as you work. Not every drill that you write will be perfect … which is perfectly okay. That’s how practice works: you mess up a bit, which helps you learn for next time!
As with all TPK printables, you are welcome to print off the drills sheet as many times as you need to. If you want to practice a certain page over and over again, please be my guest! I encourage you to do the drills until you’re comfortable with them.
Other Things to Note
I really love the way that this drills sheet turned out, and I’d like to release more themed drills in the future. If you have any suggestions for themes, I’d love to hear them in the comments or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)! Similarly, I would really value feedback as you use this drills sheet. Let me know what I can improve on, and I’ll be happy to make updates.
For every paid printable that I release, I like to make sure that there’s a free alternative. If you aren’t quite ready to invest in the Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills: Under the Sea Edition, you can always download the simple one-page Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills sheet for free!
Thanks very much for reading TPK, and enjoy your new drills!