When practicing calligraphy, you really can’t get any cooler than a calligraphy medallion. I love calligraphy medallions because they’re wonderful for understanding how to make simple shapes. Furthermore, they really help you to understand how to bring components together in order to make something gorgeous. If you’re new to calligraphy medallions, try this simple tutorial. If you like what you make, consider upleveling with one of TPK’s two calligraphy medallions worksheets: Dancing Pens and Birds & Botanicals, which are 15% off through Wednesday, January 25th, with code PRETTYPRACTICE.
1. Make Calligraphy Medallion Guideline Circles
First, find a round object that you can trace around. The object should be 2″-3″ (50-76 mm) in diameter. If you’re at a loss for what to use, look no further than your refrigerator! My circular object is the lid off of a jam jar.
Once you have drawn the first circle, locate a smaller circular object, like a roll of tape. Use your first circle guideline to center this new object, and trace around it.
Conclude your guideline drawing by making a small dot in the center of the circles.
2. Draw “Almonds”
Once you have drawn all your guidelines, use your favorite dip pen to draw an almond/teardrop shape. The shape should start and end at the dot in the middle of the circles. Make sure that the blunt end of the almond touches the inside circle guideline.
Now, draw a second almond to the right of the first almond. The left side of the second almond should pass through the center of the first almond. The start and end point of the second almond will also be that center dot.
Use the technique described above to draw almond after almond. As you draw, rotate the envelope to make it easier to add almonds without smudging the ink!
Continue to draw almonds until your envelope looks like this:
3. Draw Curved Lines
For this step, you can use the same ink or opt for a different ink. First, pick one almond shape. Place your pen at the dot in the middle of the circle. Then, applying minimal pressure, pull the pen down to draw a line through the middle of that almond shape. Curve the line that you are drawing such that it runs parallel to the right side of the almond. As you get closer to the edge of the outer circle, apply pressure on your nib so the stroke gets thicker.
Work your way around the circle in a clockwise motion.
When you’re finished with this step, your calligraphy medallion will look something like this:
4. Add Dot Embellishments to the Calligraphy Medallion
This step is optional because the calligraphy medallion is nice as-is! However, for a bit of extra oomph, you can add dot embellishments to one side of each curved line.
Keep on creating embellishments until every line is punctuated with dots.
5. Erase Guidelines and Enjoy
Give your ink a few minutes to dry, then carefully erase your guidelines. You should be left with a gorgeous calligraphy medallion that only took 15-20 minutes to create!
There are many ways to modify this calligraphy medallion concept. For example, you can use one color throughout the entire process, which results in a more subdued elegant look.
Instead of dots, you can experiment with adding stars. Of course, extra flourishes are never a bad idea! I encourage you to take creative license and customize this calligraphy medallion to fit your personal style. If you’re not there yet with a dip pen, it would also look wonderful created with faux calligraphy! Give it a try … you won’t be disappointed. Then, if you enjoy the process, dive into the world of more intricate calligraphy medallions with the the Dancing Pens and Birds & Botanicals Calligraphy Medallion Worksheets.
I hope that you enjoyed today’s tutorial! Of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. Thanks so much for reading TPK, and have a fun and creative weekend.
This article was first posted in July of 2017. It has been updated to include clearer instructions.