Calligraphy, is one of the things a lot of people want to learn lately. Some people think that it's just as simple as getting a pen and a paper then writing down what you want to write. But if you have tried calligraphy, you know that there's so much more than scribbling letters on paper. In this entry, I have decided to list down the most basic calligraphy tips and tricks that you need to know.

1. Know your pen.
  • In calligraphy, we don't just use a single type of pen. Little do people know that there are so many different types of pens you could use in calligraphy. 
Here are the most common ones:

- Nib and Straight Holder / Oblique Holder : Nibs are a small piece of metal that you put on the nib holder then dip in ink for you to be able to use it. For beginners, nibs have two lines that split apart so that you could achieve thicker down strokes. Nib holders come in two different styles, the straight holder which is recommended for beginners and lefties, and the oblique holder which is used by the ones who want to upgrade their tool. When I started using dip pen as a medium in calligraphy, I first used the straight holder for practice but I found the oblique holder easier to use because it saves me time to find the right angle when writing.

Recommended Nibs: 
- Nikko G (perfect for beginners. not super bendy but could give you the look you are after)
- Hunt 101 (takes time go get used to but is perfect for beginners for pressure practice)
-  Brause blue pumkin (very durable, produces amazing thin strokes)
- Hiro 41 (a little flexible | gives you that perfect down stroke)

Recommended Nib Holders:
- Speedball Straight holder
- Speedball Oblique Holder

- Brush Pens : I conduct Brush Calligraphy workshops, that is why I had a venture of finding the perfect brush pens for my beginner students. For those of you who do not know, brush pens are like paint brushes that come in a body of a pen and already has ink in it. There are different kinds of brush tips: Fine, Felt, and Bristle. There are so many kinds of brush pens available that it's very hard to decide on what fits your style the most. Always remember that not all brush pens are the same. It could get frustrating at time but take time to know your brush better. :)

Recommended Brush Pens:
- Kuretake Fudebiyori (perfect for beginners. very firm, easy to control)
- Artline Brush Marker (a little harder than your typical brush pen but is cheap and could also help you with pressure control)
- Zig Brushables (a little like Kuretake Fudebiyori but a little more elastic)
- Tombow (for level up)
- Zig Clean Color Real Brush (for level up) 
- Zig Cocoiro (for level up)

*to know more about BRUSH CALLIGRAPHY and the different types of brush pens, join me on my workshops or enroll for a private class. Ask me how!

2. Know your strokes! Warm up!
  • When you want to learn calligraphy, the most important tip that I could give you is that you should always know your strokes first before writing letters and words. Doing drills will help you progress faster because as you learn your drills, you realize that all these strokes you've been practicing can form letters all along! It is also important to warm up before you write to avoid your hands to get tired easily. 
a peek of some of the drills I give my students.
Join me on my next workshop! :) 

  • It is the most known rule in basic calligraphy, light pressure for upstrokes, full pressure on downstrokes. Always take note that being able to do your thin and thick strokes right would make all the other drills and rules easier for you. 


4. Know your angle.
  • Figuring out the right position for your arms, hand, and paper when writing is probably one of the hardest things you would encounter in learning calligraphy. 
Position, Angle, and Holding the Pen:
- Hold the pen comfortably between your thumb and your finger. 
- Try writing by holding the pen on the middle of the body rather than near the tip for easier control.
- Hold the pen on a slightly slanted angle for easier pressure application.
- Sit straight. Let your head and shoulder be supported by your spine for you to be able to move your arms and hands freely.

5. Know where to get your supplies.
  • This will really be tricky specially when you're still on the stage of trying different tools. Below, I've listed down some stores where you could get your supplies. 
Online Stores:
  •  Space Craft - Space Craft is an online shop created by friends who would want to sell art materials at an affordable price. Most of their items came from Japan and are being sold with a small mark up to help aspiring artists start their passion. To view their products, click HERE.
  • The Craft Central - you could get almost all your arts and crafts needs here at The Craft Central. From nibs to watercolors and paper.
Physical Stores:
- Print Cafe
- Invitation House
- National Bookstore
- Scribe Writing Essentials

For some, calligraphy may look easy but in reality, it is harder than it seems. I made this post to help beginners figure out the basic things that they should know. Since I've encountered lots of people who ask about the most basic things about calligraphy. If you guys have questions, let me know! I'm always willing to give a hand to those who want to learn. :)

Sabrina Escoto