• The 5 Simple Steps to Learning Calligraphy

    If you’re looking to develop a beautiful new skill, consider learning calligraphy! In today’s article, we’ll discuss how to get started, follow through, and continue to improve.

    The 5 Simple Steps to Learning Calligraphy

    Learning calligraphy is an incredibly satisfying endeavor that will exercise your creativity for a lifetime! In this article, we’ll go over the five simple steps to getting started. Follow the steps, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the calligraphy style of your choice!

    1. Identify What Kind of Calligraphy You Want to Learn

    There are three main types of western calligraphy that you can learn. They include:

    Brush pen calligraphy

    You create brush pen calligraphy with a tapered marker called a brush pen.

    "Juicy" Brush Pen Calligraphy Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Many calligraphy learners like to start with brush pens because they don’t seem intimidating. Brush pens give you quick, colorful results!

    Pointed Pen Calligraphy

    You create pointed pen calligraphy with a pen and a piece of pointy metal called a “nib”.  You dip the nib into ink, then you either exert a lot or a little bit of pressure on the nib to control the width of your strokes.

    Janet Style Envelopes | The Postman's Knock

    Pointed pen calligraphy is known for its delicate look and pleasing stroke contrast. Some strokes are very thin, while others are thick. While pointed pen calligraphy has been around for centuries, it’s mostly used in modern times for special events.

    Broad Edge Calligraphy

    Broad edge calligraphy is created with a nib that ends in a blunt edge. Instead of varying the pressure that you apply on the nib to control stroke contrast, you vary the nib’s rotation.

    I actually don’t know how to write using a broad-edge nib. Credit for this work (and this photo) goes to my friend Albrecht!

    Like pointed pen calligraphy, broad edge calligraphy has existed for many years. If you’ve ever seen old English manuscripts, you probably will recognize broad edge calligraphy on them.

    2. Figure Out What Supplies You Need

    When you’re learning calligraphy, it’s important to start off with high-quality supplies. Less than ideal writing tools generally translates to less than ideal success!

    The TPK Modern Calligraphy Starter Kit | The Postman's Knock
    My favorite type of calligraphy is pointed pen calligraphy, so you’ll find a lot of pointed pen tutorials/supplies on the TPK site! This is TPK’s pointed pen Modern Calligraphy Starter Kit.

    Here’s a list of articles you should read to find the supplies you’ll need:

    3. Make Yourself a Curriculum

    Once your supplies are on their way, it’s time to find resources and make a plan for learning calligraphy.

    Brush Pen Calligraphy Curricula

    Janet Style Brush Pen Calligraphy

    In my experience, many people find brush pen calligraphy fairly easy to begin learning calligraphy with. Don’t get me wrong: it will take some practice! However, brush pens aren’t too complicated to use, especially since you really only need a brush pen and smooth paper to get started. TPK has two brush pen learning resources that will walk you through how to write:

    I also recommend taking a look at Pieces Calligraphy. Sharisse, the creator of Pieces, has tons of resources for learning brush pen calligraphy there!

    Pointed Pen Calligraphy Curricula

    Printable Calligraphy Worksheet Set (Janet Style) | The Postman's Knock

    There are two categories of pointed pen calligraphy: traditional and modern. Examples of traditional calligraphy include Copperplate and Spencerian. If you want to learn traditional pointed pen calligraphy, here are some fantastic resources:

    Kaitlin Style Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock
    This envelope showcases Kaitlin Style calligraphy, which is an example of modern calligraphy with a bohemian feel.

    My passion, on the other hand, is modern pointed pen calligraphy. “Modern calligraphy” refers to any calligraphy style that isn’t traditional. I love not having rigid rules to follow, and the fact that you can take plenty of creative license to give your pieces a cool, personal feel. For modern calligraphy, one of the very best resources out there is TPK’s own Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Online Course.

    BroadEdge Calligraphy Curricula

    Interview with Albrecht Clauss | The Postman's Knock
    Again, credit for this photo goes to Albrecht Clauss.

    Like pointed pen calligraphy, you can write broad edge calligraphy in different styles. This website doesn’t have a wealth of information on learning broad edge calligraphy. That’s because I don’t have experience writing with broad edge nibs! However, when I have the time to learn, I will probably purchase one of Jake Rainis’s printable worksheets. I love the look of Fraktur, in particular!

    4. Practice

    All of TPK's Free Calligraphy Worksheets: A Master List
    Calligraphy drills provide a great way to build your skills and vary your practice.

    No matter what style of calligraphy you’ve chosen to learn, you have to stick to your curriculum and practice. The most important thing is to make your practice fun! Remember, practice comes in many forms. Maybe one day, practice means filling out worksheets. The next day, however, practice could mean making a cool project!

    Calligraphy Artwork Tutorial: Woman's Back | The Postman's Knock
    Making this Woman’s Silhouette artwork absolutely counts as calligraphy practice!

    Your calligraphy will only improve if you enjoy creating calligraphy. Do what you can to procure tools that inspire you, and try to make yourself a comfortable workspace! I love to create calligraphy in the mornings when everyone else in my house is asleep. I sit at a sunny window, put on a good podcast, and brew myself a cup of tea to make the time special. For more practice tips, see:

    5. Give Yourself Projects or Take Project Requests from Others!

    Once you feel confident about the projects you’ve created for practice, consider taking your calligraphy a little more seriously. This might mean volunteering to address envelopes for a family member’s wedding, writing out place cards for a special dinner, or making miscellaneous projects.

    Woodland Watercolor Wreath Tutorials: Part III | The Postman's Knock

    Even after you reach an advanced skill level, every project that you tackle increases your skills! As a result, each calligraphy creation session will help you to improve and flex your creative muscle. Enjoy this new challenge, and happy writing!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock