Learning the art of calligraphy is a great hobby that is pretty easy to pick up but difficult to master. With a steady hand, a few tools and a lot of practice you can create alphabets, sell art, design tattoos or make wedding invitations. The problem for many new writers seems to be they do not have access to the tools to start practicing or they want to try out the hobby without spending any money off the bat. I totally empathize with this mindset because at first, I couldn’t believe some pens were $10 (even though there are much more expensive tools). Now, with practice, I can understand why they are worth that, but I would have never indulged in the art if I hadn’t tried inexpensive means of creating lettering.
To dip your toe in the water of the huge ocean of calligraphy, you could learn a good beginner script such as modern calligraphy. A good way to start learning modern brush calligraphy would be using something that you probably already have:
As you can see above, one of these cheaper alternatives is the classic Crayola marker. I bet you are like wait a minute, you can do calligraphy with those? I have some in a drawer somewhere! Yes, yes you can. Go grab them and let’s continue.
Learning Calligraphy with a Crayola Marker
Step 1: Learn the strokes
The first thing you will need to know is the two main basic strokes of modern calligraphy.
In the above image, you can see the two strokes: the thick downstroke (1) and the thin upstroke (2). It is that simple contrast of those two thicknesses that make calligraphy so appealing. Over at (3) you can see the combination of the two strokes (1 and 2) into one solid motion. From there you can start forming letterforms (4) and make the whole alphabet! We’ll get to the free practice sheets real shortly but I will briefly show you how the marker is supposed to be held in both the upstroke and downstroke:
Downstroke (1) – You will want to hold it more on the broad edge of the nib. You are trying to maximize surface area on the page (without sacrificing your comfort of course).
Upstroke (2) – You will want to hold it more straight up and down like you would properly hold a pencil.
Transitions (3) – This is better shown in the video above then I could ever take a picture of so scroll back up to the video
Step 1.5 (OPTIONAL): Get on the fastest track to learn calligraphy:
Above is a video demonstrating my detailed 50 page practice sheets that will teach any new calligrapher everything they need to know. I designed this 52 page PDF workbook to be a beginner friendly “one stop shop” for learning modern calligraphy with a brush pen. All of the information in one place and everything you need to practice to learn this script. Just grab a brush pen (I used a Tombow dual brush pen) and print this PDF on some paper, and in an afternoon you will be proud of how far you’ve come.
Step 2: Download the FREE Practice Sheets
If you would like to learn modern calligraphy but don’t have the tools readily available you can just pick up a Crayola marker and these practice sheets below follow along to the video above.
Step 3: Get Started!
I’d like to believe that everyone that reads this post or watches the video actually practices but I know there are some people that request the free practice sheets and not even open the email! Don’t make the mistake I almost did and miss the beginning to a great lifelong skill. Get started today, even for an hour and you will notice the crazy improvement. Then try to set aside time to practice your skills during the week or look at new calligraphy skills to learn. You won’t believe what you are capable of if you keep wandering down the rabbit hole that is calligraphy.
There you have it, you have all the basics of calligraphy with a Crayola marker! I hope that this will be the first stepping stone (of many) of your calligraphy journey.
Thanks for reading until the end,