Here are some of the most common questions I get asked about lettering & calligraphy. If you can’t find the answer to your question, feel free to send me an email.
First of all, you should determine if you want to learn hand lettering or calligraphy.
These two terms are used interchangeably all over the internet but hand lettering and calligraphy are two very different things. Check out this article that will explain the difference between the two.
If you are more interested in hand lettering, drawing, and illustrating the shapes of the letters, then you should start off by reading this article.
In case you want to learn more about calligraphy and the art of beautiful writing then you can start off with this article
The best way to get you started (regardless of your choice) is to start off by learning the fundamentals and to build your knowledge and skills from there. If you are a total beginner start with basic shapes, single letters, and words, avoid jumping right on creating long quotes with complicated layouts and a bunch of different effects (like shades or 3D). Focus on the basics, and as you move forward you will start to expand your skills and knowledge.
Hand lettering and calligraphy, although look similar, they are not the same thing. The main difference is in the creation process and not the result. In short, hand lettering focuses on drawing letters, while calligraphy on writing letters. In this article, I discuss the difference between hand lettering and calligraphy.
It will take exactly 23 days and 15 hours.
Just kidding, you can’t really put a number on that question. Honestly, it all depends on you and on your attitude, but to make it a bit more clear let me put this in perspective. If you practice every single day for at least 20-30 minutes you will see great progress even within a few weeks.
However, if you practice 2-3 times a week even for a few hours, the progress will be much slower. Consistency is always better than intensity – ALWAYS!
Many will say that they are too busy and that it’s hard to find even 20 minutes every day, and in some cases that could be true.
But in many cases, people are great at finding excuses and the bottom line is always the same – if you want it, you will do it!
Calligraphy is a broad term and it has many different styles. Asking what is the best calligraphy pen is kinda like asking what is the best ball for sports?
First of all, we need to figure out what kind of calligraphy style you want to learn.
Lucky for you, I wrote this comprehensive guide that will guide you through the most popular calligraphy style and it will give you the best recommendation for your choice!
Even though you could learn a lot from an in-person class or workshop from a professional, with proper resources and consistent practice, you can learn lettering and calligraphy on your own. One of my goals with this website is to provide you with all the needed resources to learn calligraphy and lettering on your own.
I know that this is something a lot of beginners are struggling with, however, there isn’t a secret formula or a tip that will help you achieve this overnight.
Developing your own unique style takes time and lots of practice, and it’s completely normal to not have one at the very beginning. However, there are a few things you can do in order to make more progress in less time.
1. Determine your interests. Do you want to focus more on hand lettering or calligraphy? Do you want to learn modern or traditional calligraphy? Do you want to focus more on complex layouts or single words? etc.
2. Stick to it! Experimenting with different styles and new tools is a great way of expanding your creativity and stepping out of your comfort zone. However, if you are constantly practicing new styles with different tools, your progress will be much slower.
Try to work out a system where you keep practicing your favorite style and technique but that will also allow you to occasionally experiment with different areas.
In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn the fundamentals of shading + 5 different ways you can add shadows to your artwork!
I wrote a huge step-by-step guide that will teach you everything you need to know in order to get started.
I also included free downloadable practice sheets.
So far I can offer two amazing step-by-step tutorials that will teach you everything you need to get started, and on top of that, you can download the free practice sheets and start practicing right away!
Textura Quadrata tutorial
Fraktur calligraphy tutorial
Frayed brush pens, and ink bleeds, are just some of the issues you could face if you use the wrong type of paper.
I’ve written an in-depth guide on the best papers for calligraphy that you can read here.
Beginners often skip the “boring” beginner drills and immediately attempt to create words, quotes, and even advanced calligraphy flourishes. The best way to begin and to learn is by moving gradually from easy to more complex elements. My best advice is that you begin with the basic calligraphy strokes.
Although there could be many reasons for this, the most common one is due to the way you practice.
I always tell my readers that practice matters, but how you practice makes all the difference. I’ve seen some people making more progress in 6 months than others in 3 years, and the difference was exactly how they structured their practice sessions. Without seeing how you practice, pinpointing the main culprit slowing down your progress is difficult. However, you can check out this article where I’ve outlined some common calligraphy mistakes beginners tend to make.
In the UlTIMATE hand lettering guide for beginners, this is one of the 3 main questions that we covered.
You can read more about the essential tools here.
There is a TON of different brush pens out there on the market. Some of them are better while others are not really suitable for brush calligraphy. Different brush pens have different characteristics such as nib flexibility, size, color, ink flow, etc.
In this article, I review some of the best brush pens that you can find today based on their different characteristics. You can read the article here.
I have two great tutorials on this topic.
This tutorial will teach you the basics of layouts.
While this tutorial will teach you a great technique on how to improve it!
I’ve written an article on the 10 best calligraphy books for beginners. In it, you’ll find my top recommendations for calligraphy books.
Books are a great way to learn and improve your skills. I wrote a post on the best books for hand lettering beginners, and you should definitely check it out!
I wrote an in-depth article specifically on this topic. If you prefer to watch, I created a YouTube video as well. You can check it out here.
Presentation is very important especially if you are looking to build an online audience. This tutorial will guide you through the whole process step-by-step!
In this article, you will learn the key points of building an online audience, and on top of that, you will get actionable steps that you can start implementing today!
This other article gives you a more general overview of how to market yourself online as an artist. Both are great reads!
I thought that this might be an issue for some. This is exactly why I decided to create an article with tips for those who can’t afford new supplies.
Working with dip pens and nibs can sometimes be tricky. First, you must prepare your nibs properly (check this article). If you did that and still face issues, it might be due to the paper or ink you’re using. The paper, nib, and ink are three elements that need to work in synch for you to do dip pen calligraphy without any issues.