In today’s tutorial, I’ll teach you how to make the ultimate springtime calligraphy medallion! It features decorated eggs, blooming tulips, and branches full of leaves. Don’t let its looks deceive you: even though it’s a beautiful piece of artwork, this calligraphy medallion offers fantastic calligraphy practice!
I am a big calligraphy medallion fan. I love how calligraphy medallions offer a creative way to practice calligraphy without actually writing, “A, A, A, B, B, B” ad nauseam! There’s also the coolness factor: calligraphy medallions look awesome on the backs of envelopes, as part of invitation designs, or in sketchbooks. Today, I’m going to show you how to make a springtime-themed medallion … just in time to celebrate the beginning of spring, which was March 20th!
1. Draw Pencil Guidelines
First, use a ruler and a pencil to make two perpendicular lines that intersect where you want the center of your calligraphy medallion to be. If you own the Birds & Botanicals Calligraphy Medallions Worksheet, cut out the “donut” template on page 2. Then, center the template over the intersection, and trace around it on any piece of paper! (If you don’t own the worksheet, no problem! Follow the instructions in step 1 of the Simple Calligraphy Medallion Tutorial to make your own two circle guidelines.)
Once you’ve traced around the template, use your ruler and a pencil to draw an “X”. This will divide the guideline circles into eight equal parts!
2. Draw Eggs
Now, get out a dip pen fitted with your favorite nib and the ink of your choice! In this step, you’ll use your dip pen to draw four eggs. To make the first egg, start by placing your nib very close — but not quite on — the center of the guidelines. Push your pen up, curving to the left, to make the left side of the egg. Once your pen reaches the small circle guideline, pull your pen down with a right curve to make the right side of the egg! Repeat this three more times.
3. Make Tulips
You’ll kick off this step by drawing four downstrokes that taper near the center of your template. Each downstroke should start on a straight guideline about 1/8″ (3 mm) under the big circle template. You’ll curve the downstroke to the right, then back to the left to finish on that same guideline between two eggs.
Next, use your dip pen to draw a simple left-leaning tulip at the end of a stem line. To draw a tulip, you’ll start with a teardrop shape, then flank that shape with two additional teardrop shapes. You can then draw a half circle at the top of the flower to visually tie it together!
Continue drawing tulips until each stem has a flower.
To finish up the tulips, draw leaves. First, make one short leaf on the left side of your tulip. This leaf will (roughly) run along the vertical pencil guideline that is closest to your tulip. Then, make a longer leaf that curves to the right on the right side of the stem.
4. Draw Branches
Now, use your dip pen to draw three curved lines. The first line should start above an egg, at the upper left. It will curve down and end to the right of the egg, near the egg’s center. The second line should start on one of the vertical guidelines and curve to the right as it goes down. The third line should start near the large circle guideline and curve to the left as it goes down.
Repeat the line-drawing process to the right of each egg. Once you’ve got all your lines, draw little leaves and stems coming off of them!
5. Add Embellishments to the Eggs
At this point, you can use your pen to add curlicues and dots to your eggs, which will transform them into Easter eggs!
6. Add Swirls
To finish up this calligraphy medallion design, you’ll fill in the space between your tulip stem and the leaf on the right with a calligraphy swirl! The swirl should have three loops that start off small and get bigger. The right end of the swirl should touch the larger pencil guideline circle.
7. Erase Pencil Guidelines
Once your ink has dried, use an eraser to carefully erase any pencil guidelines. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how professional and artistic your calligraphy medallion looks without the guidelines! Once you complete this step, you’re finished. 🙂
I hope that you enjoyed today’s tutorial! If you have some time this weekend, give it a go — I know you’ll enjoy the results! You can use this medallion to accent mail art, add some personality to your bullet journal, or to simply challenge yourself in a sketchbook.
If you like the idea of calligraphy medallions and want to try out making a few others, check out these articles:
Thanks very much for reading TPK, trying out tutorials, and simply being your creative + wonderful self! If you’re a subscriber, I’ll be in touch on Monday with a newsletter. If not, check back on Tuesday for another TPK blog post! Have a great weekend, and happy spring!