Regardless of your pointed pen skill level, you’ll enjoy TPK’s free “Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills” worksheet! Not only will the drills help you to gain a mastery of calligraphy, but you’ll also glean plenty of artistic inspiration from exercises like “Holidaze” and “Fish Scales”.
If you’re new to using a pointed pen, calligraphy drills can help a lot! They give you a nice opportunity to practice fluidity and pressure exertion without having to worry about letterforms. That said, I’ve always found drills to be a little bit drab and dry … until today.
I want you to enjoy doing calligraphy drills, so I decided to design a worksheet for you that is actually fun to use. It’s compatible with any pen and nib combination, especially if you print it out on 32# laserjet paper (affiliate link). Regardless of your skill level, you can use this worksheet for a number of applications, including:
General practice – If you’re a beginner, doing these calligraphy drills will help you to gain better command of your pointed pen.
Warmup – If you need a couple of minutes of writing before you delve into a project, this is a great resource to help get your hand acclimated to calligraphy for the day!
Creative inspiration – You can incorporate any and all of these drills into mail art and project designs.
How to Use this Calligraphy Drills Sheet
First, download and print the Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills Worksheet by clicking here (it’s free!).
Now, take a moment to look at the worksheet. You’ll notice that on the far left, you have squares with black examples that show you what you want the drills that you write to look like. The second box on the left has dots and arrows to show you how to form the drills. Each drill starts with a dot, and it goes from there with arrows. The next two boxes have light gray impressions of the drill for you to trace over. Go ahead and trace over the gray impressions on the “swirl” drill to get started. Be sure to exert pressure on your nib for downstrokes and maintain a soft touch on the upstrokes and the horizontal strokes.
Once you’ve traced over the gray impressions, it’s time for you to try making the drill all by yourself. Try writing the drill four times, and feel free to reference the box with arrows if you get confused about its formation.
Continue to fill out all the light gray and blank boxes for all of the calligraphy drills. If you mess up, do not berate yourself! I read a great Malcolm Gladwell quote the other day that you should keep in mind while filling out today’s worksheet:
It’s important to understand that this is only practice, and as such, it shouldn’t look perfect.
Why This Calligraphy Drills Sheet is Unique
I researched several calligraphy drills before making this sheet for you, and there are a couple of notable things that set it apart from the rest. First of all, I included quite a few designs that don’t appear on other drill sheets — like “tsunami”, “geometry”, “fingerprint”, and “fish scales”. These are all fun drills that teach you how to regulate the pressure on your pen!
Secondly, if you own any of TPK’s calligraphy worksheets, you know that I believe in showing you exactly how to make characters and providing you with “training wheels”. You don’t go into these calligraphy drills cold. Instead, you can observe the arrows to see how these forms are made. Tracing over gray impressions of the drills gets you acclimated to them. Then, you’re ready to try making them on your own!
I especially encourage you to try these drills if you’re just beginning your calligraphy journey! Doing these drills will give you a break from writing the alphabet and provide you with valuable pressure exertion practice. You’ll also get more comfortable with making circular motions with your pen.
Need more convincing? Find six reasons to add drills to your calligraphy practice sessions here.
The “Not Your Average” Calligraphy Drills Series
When I first released today’s free worksheet in 2016, calligraphy learners clamored for more. That lead to the development of several longer drill worksheets that are unique and engaging! Those worksheets include:
Again, you can download today’s free calligraphy drills sheet by clicking here. I hope you like it, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments — I’m always glad to answer!