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Growing up I had dreadful handwriting. I made it a personal goal of mine to improve my penmanship and along the way I picked up a few tips on how to write calligraphy. Cursive was a huge struggle, but with a bit of practice and a few tips on the internet, I was able to do some truly amazing things.

Basic Tools

I always thought that in order to do calligraphy that you would need fancy writing tools, which can be super helpful, but not necessary if you’re just getting started. In these first few examples I will be using crayola markers. Just regular old sponge tip markers that you used as a child.

 

 

I am using the most basic cursive in my calligraphy. The key to making basic cursive into something stunning is being aware of your strokes. There are upstrokes and downstrokes to all letters. To make the letters look beautiful, focus on making the downstrokes thick and the upstrokes as thin as possible.

 

 

Here is the thin upstroke of a lowercase “L”

 

 

Followed by a thick downstroke of a lowercase “L”

Here are a few other letters that were done in a similar way.

 

 

I am still a beginner myself compared to many and I would recommend starting with only lowercase letters. Uppercase letters are beautiful, but can be intimidating to the learner. I have included how all of my letters look as an example. I practiced these many times and have made them how best suit me. They can be adjusted to suit any style.

 

 

Then you just hook up the letters and make a word, and of course practice, practice, PRACTICE!

 

 

Advanced (By just a little bit)

I recently acquired a set of actual calligraphy tools so I thought I’d describe a few things here about them.

1. Ink:

India ink is the ink of choice. It is good quality and doesn’t fade over time.

 

 

2. Nibs

Nibs are the actual tips of the calligraphy pens and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Here are a few of the ones that I have along with an example of how they write. The nib holder is called the “stick”. To load the nibs just put them in the ink about half-way up the nib but not enough for the ink to touch the stick. This will make the stick part more difficult to put the nibs in when there is a lot of dried ink on it.

 

 

Where to go from here

After practicing for a little while and you feel comfortable you can make some lovely birthday or thank you cards or some other crafts. Here is one that I did in about 10 minutes using the India ink and one of the nibs. I added some watercolors for additional colors