When you set out to write long calligraphy quotes, you can count on spending the bulk of your time drawing guidelines and making a draft. Not anymore! Today, I’ll show you a shortcut for writing a perfectly centered pointed pen calligraphy passage. All you need is a printer, a light box, and your calligraphy supplies.
A few years ago, I posted a calligraphy quote art tutorial here on the TPK blog. That tutorial requires a sizable time investment because of all the measuring and drafting! For years, I’ve thought there has to be an easier way … and this morning, a new method popped into my head. Today, I’m going to show you how to efficiently create a centered pointed pen calligraphy passage. Note that this method works best with bouncy, slightly inconsistent calligraphy styles. That’s why I’m using Kaitlin Style calligraphy for this tutorial!
1. Print Off Your Quote
First, find a bouncy font style online that seems to roughly match the letter spacing of your own bouncy calligraphy. I chose a font called Silverweed, which I downloaded for free. Then, use a program like Microsoft Word to center your passage. Print the result, then use a ruler and a pen to draw an 8″ x 10″ (20.32 cm x 25.4 cm) rectangle around your passage.
2. Use a Light Box and the Printout to Create Your Pointed Pen Calligraphy Passage
Now, use four little squares of washi tape to affix an 8″ x 10″ (20.32 cm x 25.4 cm) piece of drawing paper to your printout. Place the printout and the drawing paper on a light box, and you should be able to clearly see the computer-generated font.
Next, get out some sumi ink, and fit your favorite pen with a Nikko G nib. If you’re writing a long-ish passage like my Romeo and Juliet soliloquy, it’s important to use a medium flex nib like the G so you can maintain fairly narrow strokes! Then, use the printout as a guideline for word width. Basically, every word you write should match the width of the printed word underneath it. Your calligraphy style will be different than the printout, but the width will be the same. Here’s a timelapse video that shows how I used my printout:
As a right-handed person, I found it easiest to use a right oblique pen to create this piece.
The printable proved to be extremely helpful as a centering tool! I was afraid that my natural inclination would be to trace the computer font calligraphy, but that wasn’t a problem.
3. Add Ink Spatters (Optional)
If you like a clean, no-frills look, you can call your project good after Step 2. If you like just a bit of artistic messiness, though, try adding some ink spatters! To accomplish that, I used an old nib, sumi ink, and a heavy piece of cardstock (in the form of a bookmark). It’s easiest to show you how to add ink spatters versus writing a text explanation, so here’s a short process video:
Once you add that first ink spatter, there’s no going back, which can make this step scary! I was hesitant to add ink spatters, but I’m glad I did. It gives the piece an artistic, confident look — and it reiterates that this calligraphy is an original piece that was written by hand!
Whether you choose to spatter or not to spatter, I hope that this pointed pen calligraphy passage shortcut comes in handy! I think it’s awesome for gifts, calligraphy quote art for your home, or sketchbook pages. In fact, I plan to use this technique to make a Mother’s Day gift for my mom this year … partially because I’ve waited until now to do something special for her, and this project is so quick!
Thanks very much for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!