As the title suggests, I recently started learning a new kind of writing: calligraphy! I made it a goal for myself this year that I would learn it, and I started a really great online course earlier this month. How I stumbled upon the course is a funny story – I was looking at Instagram one day and someone asked what was something you spent money on that you regret. The answers varied from an Apple Watch to a wedding (yikes!) The comment that caught my attention was one about a calligraphy course. It got people talking about a course they had tried and really enjoyed called Show Me Your Drills. It’s a free course taught by Becca Courtice, aka The Happily Ever Crafter. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had followed Becca on TikTok a few months ago after watching her decorate an envelope. I’ll admit that I fell down a rabbit hole and watched probably all her videos on TikTok and then followed her on Instagram.
A few years ago I downloaded some free calligraphy worksheets. They weren’t a part of a course, so I had no idea what I was doing. I was essentially just tracing what was on the worksheets and wasn’t learning anything. Not to mention I was using computer paper, which you shouldn’t use because it can damage your brush pens. Becca’s course is different. There are directions on how to do each stroke and videos where she shows you how to do them. You also have lifetime access to the course, so you can refer back to the basics whenever you need to.
When I signed up for the course I got an email with instructions on what to do next. I created an account with Teachable, downloaded and printed the workbook, and bought my supplies (she does a great job of explaining all of this and more in great detail, so I won’t get into that stuff). I ordered all my supplies on Amazon, but I think the next time I’ll go to a local art store.
The first day of the course was the easiest in my opinion. We worked on upstrokes, downstrokes, and curved downstrokes. Each day we learned a new stroke, some of which were easier than others (the oval really gave me a headache!) When I first started I thought there was no way this is something I’m going to be good at but I’ve seen improvements every day! I even wrote a few words last week and it’s crazy to see how each stroke is used to create a word. Who would’ve thought I would be writing words in calligraphy the second week?!
An additional challenge for me personally is being left-handed. My hand drags across the paper and I hold a pen differently than others. When I write normally, I naturally turn my paper. I learned that this is beneficial to do when writing calligraphy as it helps prevent smudging. I also find that turning the paper allows me to work at an angle that creates the best strokes. I turn the paper differently depending on what stroke I’m working on.
Becca also offers other courses, but recommends completing the Show Me Your Drills course first because you learn all the basic strokes that are eventually used to form words. I purchased her workbooks for her other courses so I can learn lowercase and uppercase letters, letter connections, and more. I’m super excited!
Check out some of my work below to see the progress between days/weeks.
Here is the link to her course: https://courses.thehappyevercrafter.com/smyd
My preferences while practicing:
- I prefer the soft tip Tomboy Fudenosuke Brush Pen
- I use tracing paper that way I can reuse each page if I want to
If you’ve learned calligraphy, do you prefer to use a brush pen or a pointed pen? Do you enjoy writing traditional or modern calligraphy? Do you have your own flair you add to your writing?
Have a great weekend!
Wow, your day one strokes are already amazing. It’s as if you’ve practised so many times before. I myself prefer practising penmanship in general, so it’s fountain pens for me (Palmer Business Method), but I’ve dabbled with Spencerian with a dip pen, and it’s by far one of the hardest skills I’ve ever tried mastering. Anyway, wishing you the best on your journey!
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Thank you so much!