How to Practice Calligraphy – Tips and Habits

Last Updated on May 14, 2021

Whether you are learning something for the first time, or it’s been a while practice is a huge component to learning. Repetition is the key to improvement for any skill and calligraphy is no exception. I know from experience that you get rusty pretty quickly from lack of practice. From switching in between scripts or taking a break everyone can use a quick touch-up on their skills. So if you want to keep those clean and crisp letters consistent you will have to learn how to practice. Below are the 5 main steps to maintain or improve your skills by practicing.

1. Keep a Designated Space for Calligraphy/Crafting/Art

Keep a space clean and ready to write.

This is a very important step and should be done near the beginning of your learning to ensure the quickest progression within it. If you have a space set aside, you can quickly get into writing by removing one barrier (cleaning up) to picking up the pen.  Let me put it this way, instead of having your guitar in its case in the closet it was out on a stand a few seconds from reach. Maybe you have a half hour of free time you’ll play a few chords. Making it easier to just sit down and write will increase your frequency of practice. So clean off that desk space, or head to Ikea/thrift shop for a simple table for the house. Above you can see it is my workstation and I *try* to keep it as clean as I can.

2. Keep your Tools Clean and Ready

Similar to number 1 on this list, it is also important to keep your tools clean. If it is modern calligraphy, you must make sure to clean your nibs. Pilot Parallels need to be rinsed out with the provided tool to ensure there isn’t any clogging. Organizing your tools, or in my case drawer space, can remove a barrier to getting started practicing.

3. Practice the Basic Strokes of Calligraphy

Now on to the main way to practice. Depending on what style of calligraphy you want to learn you will have different methods and strokes to learn. If you are not sure what kind of calligraphy you want to practice check out the Complete Beginners Guide. Below you will see the two most popular styles of calligraphy: Modern Calligraphy and Blackletter Calligraphy. These pictures include the basic strokes that every calligrapher should practice if they are interested in learning the script. All of the strokes are the most popular strokes of the letters (lowercase and uppercase) so if you can master these then the letters come real easy. It just comes down to memorizing the stroke order.

Basic Modern Calligraphy Brush Strokes
Basic Blackletter Strokes

For more of a specific post (and Video)on each style check out their own posts here:

4. Download, Print and Practice with FREE Practice Sheets here!

What the title said. I have two posts for free practice sheets: Blackletter and Brushpens and Modern Calligraphy. You will find them there with videos showing me go through them. This will be your fastest path to improving your calligraphy abilities and is the most reliable way to practice.

5. Set Time Aside for Practice

Ah the most important tip, setting aside time. I get a lot of emails with people saying “thanks for the practice sheets but hopefully I have the time…. etc.” With anything new in your life you’ll have to make time for it as I know you are probably really busy, setting aside a half hour to an hour once a week is valuable for your progression. With learning any skill, practice time feels a little labourous at first but the mind is so incredible that you get the hang of it suddenly the time just flies by because its now a pleasure. I know for me it is my favourite thing to relax with, whether it be making cards for loved ones or experimenting with art. It is so worth it for you to get started now so you can enjoy the benefits of this wonderful skill.

Thanks for reading!

Now Over to you!

Did this list help you? How or how not?
What things help you learn that I didn’t include?
Where do you practice?

Let me know in the comments!
Take care! and remember that Progress>Perfection

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