INTRODUCTION TO CALLIGRAPHY
Calligraphy be one of the oldest art-forms in the world, but there’s no sign of this ancient writing technique going out of style any time soon. While classical calligraphy lettering has traditionally been used for wedding and other formal invites since the 19th Century, it’s thanks to more modern calligraphy styles that we’ve seen this writing technique become ever-more popular. We love seeing this elegant lettering used for beautiful logos, branding and signwriting as well as wedding invites, greetings cards and more!
We’re super lucky to work with some very talented calligraphers here at B.LOVED HQ, all of which have their own artistic flair, so a few weeks ago Claire popped into see our friends at Quill London for a quick introduction to calligraphy. This is one of those hobbies which doesn’t need a lot of equipment to get started – just patience and a lot of practise time!
YOU WILL NEED:
- Nib – we recommend Nikko G Nib
- Black ink – we recommend Higgins Eternal Ink
- Pen holder
- Practice paper
- Guide sheets
Try Quill’s Calligraphy Starter Kit (£24) which contains everything you need!
- 1. Insert the nib into the pen holder, press the nib lightly onto the paper and you’ll see the end split into two parts. This is normal and how the nib works – the width of this split will determine the width of the line you create. Dip it into your ink pot until the hole in the middle of your nib is submerged and full of ink.
TIP: Tap or wipe the nib on the side of the ink pot to get rid of excess ink. Don’t be tempted to shake off the excess ink!
- 2. Experiment with making some lines on the paper, to try and achieve different line widths – by pressing firmly on the nib, you’ll make heavier lines, and by hardly pressing at all your line will be very fine.
- TIP: You can turn your paper to make it more comfortable for you, but the nib needs to be pointing to the top of the paper always.
- 3. The rule to remember: when you’re making a downstroke you should apply pressure and when you’re going up you should relieve the pressure. So experiment with alternating upward light lines and downward heavy lines.
- Try some different shapes to get used to transferring pressure while going round a curve. This is hard, but these shapes will form your letters so it’s very important to get this right!
- Try some circular forms, aiming for a slanted oval shape.
TIP: This slanted oval shape will make up a lot of your lower case letters so it’s good to get into this habit early
- 4. Now it’s time to apply everything you’ve been practising to your letter forms. Pick a word and practice each letter until you’re comfortable with the shapes and there is clear contrast between your light and heavy lines.
- Now to practice the joins. Break down the word, practice each part and build it back up again when you’re happy with each part.
- 5. Finally, try several different ways to make your calligraphy more contemporary – try playing around with varying the scale, shape, spacing and joining of your letters.
TIP: Treat each word as miniature composition.
- There are all sorts of coloured inks, nibs and materials for you to explore!
- with thanks to: Quill London