Brush Calligraphy for Beginners
A look at Brush calligraphy – the tools you needs and how to get started.
Who is brush calligraphy for?
Do you ever wish you could write beautifully? Do you despair at your scrawled writing in a gorgeous invitation or birthday/thank you card? Well, what if I told you that with one pen and a quick read of this article you could have stunning handwriting in no time? (Ok, you’ll need some paper too.)
So, if you’re looking to improve your handwriting and find a fun, creative and calming hobby that has added brain benefits, brush pen calligraphy could be for you!
Calligraphy is for anyone, of any age, and can be a very therapeutic activity. It can help with mindfulness and mental health, concentration, creativity, confidence, cognitive thinking, and improving fine motor skills too!
What is Brush Calligraphy for Beginners?
Brush calligraphy for beginners explores the art of beautiful lettering. It shows you how to write letters in a modern free-style that can be done anytime, anywhere, and is perfect to do as a family for some quality time or your own as part of your ‘ME’ time.
Another great thing about brush pen calligraphy is that you don’t need any expensive equipment to get started, so long as you have some paper and a calligraphy brush pen, you’re all set.
Guide to the Best Brush Calligraphy for beginners pens
There are tons of calligraphy brush pens on the market, so how can you find the right one, and how do you find the best calligraphy brush pens without spending lots of money? Well, the great news is that calligraphy has become so popular, a low priced brush pen doesn’t necessarily mean it’s rubbish. And when you’re starting a new hobby you don’t want to be spending your hard earned cash on expensive equipment to begin with.
Here are five of the best value, non-toxic, kid friendly, brush calligraphy for beginners pens we’ve found that you might like:
· Tombow Dual Brush calligraphy for beginners pens
A great tool for practising the brush calligraphy for beginners basics is the Tombow dual brush. Again, this calligraphy brush pen comes in lots of different colors and, as the name suggests, is two pens in one.
The great thing about these brush pens is that they are water-based, which makes them fantastic for blending with other colors to make some amazing brush pen lettering art. As a bonus the tips are also self-cleaning, so you won’t end up spoiling the colors of your pens when blending.
The main downside to these pens, however, is that they ideally live longer if used on suitable calligraphy paper rather than cheap, everyday paper.
· Crayola marker
Top of the class is Crayola marker. The calligraphy brush pens from Crayola are extremely cheap compared to other brands, but do not lack any of the quality or longevity you would get with a higher priced pen.
As you’d imagine with Crayola, the colour range is extensive. The pen also has a narrowing tip so that you can create thin and thick lines with one brush, cutting the need of buying a variety of different brush sizes.
The best thing about the Crayola markers though is that due to their resilient nature, you can use these pens on virtually any type of paper without damaging the tips. This brand is probably the one with the best brush calligraphy brush for beginners.
Brush Calligraphy for beginners
· Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Calligraphy for beginners Pen
Another great brush pen for brush calligraphy beginners comes from the Tombow range. This brush pen has a lower range of colors but is much more durable than the dual brush mentioned above.
It is great for a wide range of calligraphy styles and is resistant enough to be used on normal paper, unlike the Tombow Dual Brush.
· Karin Brushmarker
Another great pen for practising brush pen lettering is the Karin Brushmarker. There is still a smaller number of colours to choose from and all the pens in the range are suitable for blending.
The Karin Brushmarker is extremely durable as the tip doesn’t fray easily and, while it can be used on normal paper, using thicker paper will give you better results.
· Pentel Fude Touch Brush Calligraphy Pen
Last, but by no means least, the Pentel Fude Touch Brush Pen is another brand with a small colour range, but it makes up for this with its amazing durability and longevity. Its small tip is easy to control to create a variety of brush lettering strokes, making it a great pen for beginners.
While this pen is in the higher price range it does work well on cheaper paper.
How to Get Started with Brush Pen Calligraphy.
To get you started with your calligraphy we’ve listed eight basic brush pen strokes to practice before you dive into your brush calligraphy alphabet.
Warm-Up Brush Calligraphy for Beginners Pen Practices.
To practice these brush calligraphy lettering strokes, we’d recommend using dotted or lined paper and a calligraphy guide (which is a piece of paper with diagonal lines on it going from right to left) to help you map out the height guidelines and create nice, consistent lines and 90-degree angles.
- The downward stroke: This is a thick downward 90-degree line. This line is created by using a constant pressure on the brush pen.
- The upward stroke: This is a thin 90-degree line you create with a light pressure moving in an upwards diagonal line.
- The curve under: This stroke forms a U shape. It starts with heavy pressure as you create a downward line, then as you curve under you transition to a lighter pressure to form a thin upward stroke.
- The curve over: This stroke is the reverse of the curve under to create an upside-down U. It starts with light pressure to create an upward stroke, then as you curve over you transition to a heavier pressure to form a thick downward stroke.
- The oval: This stroke forms a 0 shape. To start this stroke, you need to start a thin line halfway down the left-hand side of where the 0 shape will be, then draw in a counter-clockwise movement, moving from a light pressure to a heavy pressure and then back to a light pressure to finish.
- The curve over/under: This stroke combines the curve over and under in one stroke to create an N shape. To start, move the pen up with a light pressure then, as you start to curve over apply a heavier pressure. Keep the heavy pressure consistent on the downward stroke and ease off the pressure as you curve back up to form a thin line.
- The sender loop: This stroke creates a thin P shape. To make it start with a light pressure and move in a slight curve in a counter-clockwise motion. Once you have curved around you want to create a heavy downward stroke at a slight angle, which just overlaps the start of your curved loop.
- The under loop: This stroke is almost a reverse of the sender loop that creates an 8-type shape. Start with a thick diagonal line then curve round and lighten your pressure. Create an upward, thin diagonal line making sure your line crosses over the thicker line, however when you near the top of the shape leave a space so the 8 isn’t connected at the top.
Once you have the hang of these brush pen lettering techniques, you’ll be able to confidently tackle and master all the brush calligraphy alphabet letters.
How To Learn The Brush Calligraphy for beginners Alphabet – Brush Calligraphy for Beginners
When learning your brush calligraphy letters, there are lots of resources on the internet, from instructional videos, how to books, paid and free downloadable worksheets.
It may seem strange, but when you are practicing your brush calligraphy alphabet it is better to learn the alphabet out of order! This allows you to ease yourself into learning the trickier curved letters and get a feel for your pen. This is an especially good idea if you’re doing this with children who may get frustrated or annoyed at themselves easily.
Some great calligraphy alphabet letters to start with are I, T, N and M. This way you can just concentrate on controlling the pressure you apply to the brush without having to worry about mastering curves that transition in thickness.
Of course, once you’ve practiced your beginner letters you can start with a few of the letters that have small curves, such as K, J, and Y then O and D.
After that you should have the skills to tackle any remaining brush hand lettering.
What’s the difference between brush pen calligraphy and traditional calligraphy?
Traditional and brush calligraphy are two different and distinctive types of calligraphy. Traditional calligraphy is much more structured and comes in a variety of styles that have specific techniques and structures to follow to create consistent lettering.
Brush calligraphy is classed as a modern form where brush pens are used to create letters and words in any kind of swoops and curves you like. There are hardly any rules to follow, and you can really let your creativity flow.
Brush Calligraphy for Beginners
Your Brush Calligraphy for Beginners Pen?
What is a brush pen?
A calligraphy brush pen is a pen with a flexible tip which enables you to create different brush lettering strokes in many sizes, so you can create thick and thin lines in the same stroke. The size of the tip, flexibility and flow of a brush pen will all create different effects especially when pressure is added to the pen. A normal pen has none of these features and you would not be able to create different sized lines with pressure or movement.
Brush Calligraphy for Beginners – How should I hold a brush pen?
Whereas you would hold a normal pen about a third of the way up it is better to hold a brush pen close to its tip. This will give you the best amount of control needed to create different brush hand lettering styles.
With a brush pen it is better for the flow of your work to keep your arm to guide the movement of the brush pen, rather than your fingers and your wrist. This will help you to control loops better and give you better pressure control. What is the best paper to use?
You can use some brush pens on normal, everyday pad paper, but not all brush pens will fare well, so it’s best to check the manufacturer’s information.
However, even brush pens that work on normal paper will still last longer if used on quality paper.
The best paper for felt tip brush pens is marker paper or a heavy, smooth, printer paper, such as good quality printer paper. The thickness of these heavier printer papers will stop ink from bleeding through and a smooth paper will help to stop wear and tear on your pens.
Brush Calligraphy for Beginners
How do I look after my brush calligraphy pens?
To keep your pens in the best condition there are a few things you can do.
Fraying is a main problem with brushes and some tips to keep this from happening is to use a smooth paper to avoid as much friction as possible.
Sometimes a tendency to angle the pen incorrectly and apply too much pressure can destroy a pen tip. That’s why it is best to practice holding and using your pen before launching into full on brush hand lettering.
Finally brush calligraphy pens are usually always best stored lying flat, as this stops the tips from either drying out or becoming oversaturated with ink.
By following these tips your pens should last you a long while and stay in great condition.
Final tips on Brush Calligraphy for Beginners
Hopefully, this article has inspired you to have a go at the beautiful and soothing art of calligraphy with your family. The benefits to children and adults alike are worth trying calligraphy and can really help to improve the mind.
The best tip is not to spend too much on pens to begin with until you get your pen technique right, if the worst happens you wouldn’t want to spoil an expensive pen.
For your brush calligraphy alphabet, you can download some free worksheets or print off some calligraphy letters to trace. If you want to you can even buy some excellent value workbooks to work through to master those brush calligraphy basics.
Finally, practice first. A little bit of warm up exercise and letter practice will pay off, and you don’t need to spend days or hours on practicing either. Practicing may sound boring but tracing the brush calligraphy letters can be just as soothing as creating your own letters and words and help you understand how to comfortably use your brush.
Remember, practice makes perfect and the better you get the more enjoyable and relaxing you and your children will find brush calligraphy to be.
Brush Calligraphy for Beginners is a guest post
If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy this post on Easy Origami for Kids