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practicing calligraphy

    Two years ago I took a fabulous online calligraphy class called I Still Love Calligraphy. I practiced during the month of learning, getting slightly better, and then filed the supplies away and haven’t done much since.

    For some reason this week, I had the urge to bring out the pen, nibs and ink and practice calligraphy once again.


    I am not great. Who knew this lovely art was so difficult?! But it is fun to try perfecting one letter or word at a time – writing it over and over and over. calligraphy-practice

    I like to first sketch the words in pencil and then use tracing paper over top for writing in ink. As I get more comfortable and figure out my calligraphy stye, hopefully I will be able to freehand a little more.

    You only need a few basic supplies to get started. Here’s what I use:


    nib // pen holder // ink // pencil // eraser // tracing paper // blank notebook

    If you are interested in learning calligraphy, I highly recommend the class I took (I Still Love Calligraphy). And if you do take it, promise me you won’t hide your pen away for two years. Practice, practice, practice!

    20 thoughts on “practicing calligraphy”

    1. I took Calligraphy classes in college and they were some of my favorite courses. But once kids came, I tucked my supplies away and have had them boxed up ever since – after all, there’s a saying among calligraphers: “Once you’ve spilled ink, you’ll never cry over spilled milk.” I also have a collection of Chinese lettering inks and brushes that I think I need to revisit. My oldest is turning 18 soon…I think it’s time! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

    2. I took a class a couple of weeks ago…had SO much fun, but you’re right, it’s so much harder than you think it’s going to be!

      I was there for 3 hours, and I learned all the lowercase alphabet and then practiced a few words….

      I need to pull everything out and practice some more!

    3. Taking this course soon! Just need my calligraphy tools to come in!! I’ve been doing “fake calligraphy” for a while now (inspired by your post) and have tried using nibs on my own…but am hoping the course will be really fun and inspiring! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    4. I do the old fashioned Uncial and a few other styles. Id love to learn the modern take. It takes awhile for me to get loose- goosey thou. Another reader mentioned your blog about setting goals for this year. It really hit hme for me, I’m an artist but rarely take time to sit down and create. So I thought, ” Hey self! What’s one hour?,” seriously. All the hours we spend on other things we have nothing to show for the next day. So I just started and told my peeps on FB. each day I’ve painted I’ve shared what I did that day. I cannot tell you how emotional I feel. So many people have asked me to sell my little drawings that I could really see this helping my family financially. Thanks for the encouragement!

    5. Thank you, Emily, for so generously sharing your incredible talents. I am the proud owner of two of your graphics and am now seriously considering taking the course on calligraphy you recommended. Years ago I taught traditional calligraphy, but love your free style, swirly forms. Is this your personal style, or something that is taught in the class? Thank you for being such an inspiration and a blessing.

      1. Thank you, Jill! The course teaches a modern take on calligraphy and then encourages using flourishes and developing your own style. I’m still figuring out what type of lettering I can do … it’s fun to play with words and letters to see what I can create!

    6. Growing up, my mother only wrote in calligraphy. Reading your blog has brought back memories of my mother and her pens, bottles of ink and permanent ink stained fingers. My 4th grade teacher thought she had beautiful writing and asked if she would be willing to writing our reading charts (those large lined charts of paper that hang on a stand). Three nights of writing went into creating these beautiful charts. It was a great idea, until my teacher realized non of the children could read it. It is a memory I will never forget.

    7. Thank you for the reminder, because I did the same thing!! I find that I like a more playful, modern font, kinda like the one you show in your post. Is that something you had a template for or did you develop it yourself?

      1. I was just playing with lettering styles. Look around at images of writing you like and study what the artist did with forming letters – this is the best way to figure out how to get a style you like.

    8. Remember the post at the beginning of this year about setting goals? Well, a new skill I have been wanting to learn is hand-lettering. I always appreciate when you share the tools and sources you have found useful. Thank you so much!

      (btw… since your blog re-design, I don’t think the sources link on your sidebar is working anymore — just in case you didn’t realize)

    9. I too have tried calligraphy. An art that is seldom seen today, but one so unique and I beautifully artistic. My success has been very limited. I do have a treasured, framed piece done for me by an artist in calligraphy that I treasure. Thank you for sharing this today.

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