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Beginning Calligraphy Tips

Hand Lettering | Calligraphy Tips for Beginners | AZ Photographer

Alli Newman
December 2, 2017

Calligraphy Tips for Beginners

Hey everyone!

Something I’ve picked up within the past year and a half is hand lettering, or modern calligraphy.

This kind of style is new and fun, and it’s different from the kind of calligraphy you may have seen from hundreds of years ago. With the help of a bunch of different YouTube videos and Pinterest posts, I have become obsessed with improving my hand lettering! I am no expert and am still learning, but here are some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned, along with some product and Instagram suggestions!

Make sure you are writing correctly.

For this style of lettering, it’s important to do a thicker line on the downstroke (more pressure with your pen) , and a thinner line on the upstroke (less pressure with your pen). This is key to modern calligraphy, or really any type of calligraphy. It’s hard to get the hang of this at first, so try some exercises like this:

Choose the right brush.

For this style of lettering, I use the Tombow Dual Tip Brush Markers. They come in loads of different colors and are super fun to play with! Each marker has a brush tip, and on the other side has a bullet tip for faux calligraphy or any other type of writing. They are fantastic. (Pro tip: use a smooth marker paper or sketchbook if you want to buy some Tombows. Believe it or not, regular printer paper is rough on the brush tip, and can leave it frayed!) A cheaper alternative are Crayola markers, or the Crayola Super Tip Markers. Below you can see how you can achieve a similar effect with the Crayola markers for a fraction of the cost. You may want to consider starting out with these, and if you are interested further in hand lettering, check out the Tombows.

Fake it till you make it!

I started off without using any type of brush markers or Crayola markers. I used a regular pen or pencil to create my hand lettering. I’m glad I started off this way. I got the hang of what the lettering should look like, and I had so much more control over the letters. For this, you add another line and fill it in next to the downstrokes. It’s hard to explain, so look at the picture below for help!

Be Patient.

It’s hard at first to make your lettering look like all those pictures you see on Pinterest and Instagram. This is something I’m still working on! Especially when you start out with brush markers, it’s easy to get discouraged. It all looks so easy, and then you go to try and make your letters, and it looks horrible. Don’t give up! Keep trying and practicing. You’ll soon see that you are more comfortable. For inspiration on different designs, check out Instagram and Pinterest. They have loads of cute quotes and words to replicate. This is mainly what I do, but am starting to branch out and create my own designs.

Want some ideas on who to follow on Instagram? Here are some of my favorite accounts!

@amandaarneill, @calligrabasics, @calligraphy_by_drew, @calligraphynerd, @hellotosha, @itskateshandwriting, @krystalwhitten, @lesliemaedesigns, @makewells, @oncewrite

Best of luck in your hand lettering journey!

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