Beginner’s Guide to Calligraphy and Hand Lettering with a Regular Pen | Simran Sahni | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Beginner’s Guide to Calligraphy and Hand Lettering with a Regular Pen

teacher avatar Simran Sahni, Calligraphy and Hand Lettering

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (1h 11m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Project

    • 3. Introduction to Faux Calligraphy

    • 4. Tools Needed

    • 5. Guidelines

    • 6. Basic Strokes of Brush Calligraphy

    • 7. Alphabets

    • 8. Connecting Alphabets

    • 9. Step 1: Drawing Guidelines

    • 10. Step 2: Sketch the Quote

    • 11. Step 3: Identify and Outline the Thick Downstrokes

    • 12. Step 4 Ink it with a Regular Pen

    • 13. Fun with Faux Calligraphy

    • 14. Final Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Learn the basics of Faux Calligraphy—the first step on the roadmap to learning calligraphy and hand lettering. By the end, you’ll be able to confidently create professional artworks with a regular pen. So, let’s get started. 

What Will You Learn?

In this step-by-step guide, you will learn about:

  • Basics of calligraphy and hand lettering
  • The 4-step procedure from pencil sketch to final artwork
  • How to create consistent and professional-looking letters
  • How to use commonly available and economical tools to create high-quality artworks
  • Tips and tricks used by professional calligraphers
  • Behind-the-scenes of what goes into making an actual artwork
  • How to go beyond the basics to create unique work

Why Should You Take This Class?

If I had to give you only one reason to join this class, it’d be—Faux Calligraphy is the first step on the roadmap to learning calligraphy and hand lettering


Because it helps you develop a deep understanding of the structure of letters. Once you learn how to draw letters with a pencil, you’ll be able to draw them with any tool you pick. 

Yes, that’s true. 

In fact, this is how I got started in calligraphy when I was 15 years old. 

And today, I’ve made a career out of it which also helped me quit my full-time job and pursue my passion. 

So, yes, this method works and is tried and tested. 

Apart from this, you don’t have to break the bank to do Faux Calligraphy. All you need is a regular pen and pencil. 

Certainly, it’ll help you get started in calligraphy and hand lettering without the hassle of figuring out the right pens. I’m a calligraphy teacher and I know that’s such a pain. 

Moreover, if you learn Faux Calligraphy in this class, you can use it to write on surfaces like walls, glass, acrylic sheets, chalkboards, ceramics, and wood. Just imagine how many options it’ll open up for you! 

Either you can sell these artworks online or let it be a creative outlet to your thoughts—the choice is completely yours. 

One last thing. If you’re looking to relax and spend time off-screen, then faux calligraphy is the best art therapy that you can invest your time in. 

Having said that, I totally understand if you don’t have a reason to join this class yet. But, if you decide to join, no matter what, I promise it’ll be worth it. 

So, see you soon in the class.

Who Is This Class For?

This class is for absolute beginners

You don’t need any prior skills to join this class. Not even basic handwriting skills. 

Yes, I’m not kidding. If you think that your handwriting is bad and calligraphy is not meant for you, then I totally recommend that you join this class. 

It’ll help you break that myth and shut that negative self-talk. FINALLY!

As long as you can use a pencil and pen to write or scribble anything, you’ll enjoy this class. I promise. All you need is the willingness to learn, take risks and have a butt-load of fun. 

What Materials Will You Need?

Here’s a list:

  • Regular Pen / Sketch Pen / Marker
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Eraser
  • Paper (any)

Other optional supplies:

  • Fineliners
  • Watercolours
  • Brush Pens
  • Watercolor Paper
  • Bristol Paper

Again, I’ll repeat. You can start with any pen and paper that you have. Yes, you can use the same pen and paper that you use to make your grocery list or write down daily tasks. 

Remember this is a fun and easy class. So, relax. 

And, let’s do this. 

Come join me for a fun class! Let's get going. Check out the sample work below, and just imagine what you'll be able to create after taking this class. I can't wait to see what you create!





You can also connect with SIMRAN here: 




Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Simran Sahni

Calligraphy and Hand Lettering


Hello and welcome! I am Simran, a calligraphy hand lettering artist from Delhi, India.

And, I am the creator and designer behind The Calligraphy Raven—a design and calligraphy studio. 

I paint wall murals and teach calligraphy. 



I was introduced to calligraphy when I was 15 years old. It started for me as a meditative and relaxing break from studies and has stayed with me since then.

After an engineering degree and three years into UI-UX designing, I have come back to this art and want to share it with all who can benefit from it.


When I was three years into my job as a Sr. UI-UX Designer, I desperately wanted an out. I did not want to switch jobs as I was drained but could... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi, I am Simran and I run a brand called the Calligraphy Raven. I teach calligraphy and paint wall murals for a side hustle. Also, I like to write calligraphy blogs and make YouTube videos. Today, I'm going to share with you the first step towards starting to learn calligraphy, and that is faux calligraphy or calligraphy with a normal pen or pencil. I'll tell you a secret, a pencil is a calligrapher's best friend. Yes, that's true. It's the best tool for calligraphy and hand lettering. Trust me. You don't need expensive supplies to get started with calligraphy, rather, start with a normal pen or pencil, and this is what I suggest to all my students. Now, you must think, why should you start with learning faux calligraphy? That's because it helps you develop a deep understanding of the structure of letters. This comes in handy when you decide to pick up an actual calligraphy pen. Also, it takes off that pressure of buying expensive calligraphy supplies. Guess what? This is how I accidentally got started in calligraphy when I was 15 years old. I saw this book which had a lot of gothic script on it, and I started copying them with my pen and pencil. I had no idea that I needed special calligraphy tools to write those. With regular practice, I got good at it, and today I've made a career out of it, which also helped me quit my full-time job and pursue my passion. So yes, this method works and is tried and tested. For this class, you only need some basic supplies like a pencil and pen. Yes, any regular pen. With these simple tools, we learn to create beautiful quotes in faux calligraphy. In this class, I'll walk you through my entire process from the rough sketch to the finished piece, which I have broken down into four simple steps. You can use this framework to create any calligraphy or hand lettering piece of your choice. I'll also share a list of all the materials that I use and recommend. We'll also learn about the basics of calligraphy and the best practices to follow. If you take good of these simple practices, your calligraphy will get better in no time. Moreover, you'll learn about these techniques via carefully structured practice sheets at each step of your journey. Once, we have an understanding of the basics, I'll also share some cool techniques through which you can enhance the visual appeal of your calligraphy art piece. In the end, we will put together all of our learning to create beautiful quotes in calligraphy. You can use these to decorate your house, office space, gift it to friends, or even sell online. This class is the best fit for people who wanted to start learning calligraphy. If you are a beginner with zero experience in this art, you've come to the right place. Also, don't hold back if your handwriting is not good. Calligraphy and handwriting are not related and it will have no bearing on how your calligraphy will come out. [NOISE] Shut that inner critic down and get your pens and pencils in order, I really hope to see you in the next class. If you have any questions, feel free to ask it to the discussion section of the class. Do connect with me on Instagram and YouTube and tag me in your stories as you learn from this class so that I can see your progress and connect with you. Let's do this. [MUSIC] 2. Project: For this class, we learn how to draw a quote for calligraphy using a regular pen. Then we learn how to add these extra elements to enhance your overall project. Like adding patterns or florals and even these beautiful colors flashes. By the end, you'll be surprised to see how easy it is to do full calligraphy. I'll be drawing the quote, trust the process. You can pick any other quote that you like. I recommend you pick something that you really vibe with as it is going to give you that added motivation to push your project the extra mile. In case you are looking for ideas, I've added some of my favorite quotes in the resources below. Please feel free to use them. Also, no matter which quote you pick, you'll be able to follow along very easily trust me. That's because I've broken down the entire process of drawing a quote into four super simple steps. If you follow the process or should I say trust the process, you will be able to draw any code that you like in calligraphy. Don't worry about picking the same one as mine. Just follow your heart. Moreover, I've added practice sheets in the resources section that will help you draw all the letters. I would recommend that you download these to quickly get started. Also, to get the most out of this class, I'd really encourage you to draw along with me and keep sharing your progress in the project gallery so that all of us can see your calligraphy quote come to life. I've divided the final project into three broad sections. The first is understanding for calligraphy, where we learn about its basics and how it is used. The second is an introduction to the four-step process where we'll see how a pencil drawing transforms into a beautiful calligraphy quote. The third is enhancing your full calligraphy where we'll learn multiple techniques that'll take your calligraphy a notch up. Gear up to get started and once you are done, don't forget to post it in the project gallery. I'd love to see your final projects and share my feedback. I recommend that you keep an open mind and go along with the flow. In the end, you'll have a beautiful calligraphy quote that you can hang up on the wall, gift it to your friends, or sell online. Isn't that great? See you in class. 3. Introduction to Faux Calligraphy: You might wonder, is it possible to do calligraphy with a regular pen? Yes, it absolutely is. You can learn calligraphy with a normal pen. This technique is called faux calligraphy. In this lesson, we'll understand more about it. First of all, faux means made to look like something else. Therefore, faux calligraphy is a technique to imitate the strokes of a calligraphy style with simple tools like a pen or pencil. It is a fun and simple way to practice calligraphy. Once you have finished the artwork, it looks like it has been created using specialized calligraphy tools. But in fact, it has been created with a normal pen. Let me give you a bit of context so that you have a better understanding of the topic. Calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing. Depending on the scripter's style, it requires specific tools. Faux calligraphy is simply a fun and easy way of imitating the look of these specific tools. For example, if you decide to imitate a brush calligraphy script, your downstrokes will be heavier or thicker than your upstrokes. The best part is that you can use any writing tool that you have, whether it's a pencil, marker, fine liner, pen, chalk, you can use it to create faux calligraphy. Not only is faux calligraphy a great technique for beginners to learn calligraphy, but it's also a widely popular technique to write on large-sized canvases like walls for murals, and write on surfaces where you can't use regular calligraphy tools. As a matter of fact, you can use faux calligraphy on surfaces such as glass, acrylic sheets, chalk boards, ceramics, wood, and many more. In fact, I strongly recommend learning faux calligraphy as the first step on the roadmap to learning calligraphy. That's because it helps you develop a deep understanding of the structure of letters. This comes in handy when you decide to pick up an actual calligraphy pen. That's how I got started in calligraphy, and I've been doing it since I was 15 years old. Later when I picked up calligraphy tools, it was easy for me to understand the scripts. Faux calligraphy quickly gets you started on the path to learning calligraphy. Now, get your pens and pencils in place. In the next lesson, we'll see what are the supplies you can use to create beautiful calligraphy art pieces. See you in the next lesson. 4. Tools Needed: [MUSIC] For this class, we'll be doing full calligraphy on paper. You'll need some regular pens, any paper, some basic stationery like a pencil, ruler, and eraser. Yes, literally any paper and pen. For pens, you can use a regular gel pen, a sketch pen. Here's a Sharpie, basically anything that's just lying around. When I started, I used to use these 5-10 rupee gel pens and they work really well for full calligraphy. Trust me. Same for paper, you can use regular copy paper or printer paper for practicing. These are economical and very easily available. As far as this class goes, you don't need expensive supplies. But in case you're looking for some professional supplies, you can use fine liners. I'd recommend the Sakura micron pens. These are my favorite fine liner pens and I'll be using these for this class. First of all, they come in a variety of nib sizes so you can get really fine lines and thick lines with these pens. Apart from that, they're waterproof. This means that you can play around with these pens. For example, you can lay over a watercolor splash effect. Once you are done with your full calligraphy with these pens and the ink will not bleed. But don't worry, by the end of this class, I'll teach you a way to get this effect with regular pens too. For good quality paper, you can use any paper that is above 200 GSM. For example, you can use watercolor paper or bristol paper. Watercolor paper is a bit textured, whereas bristol paper is extremely smooth. Anyways, for this class, when it comes to supplies, you can use just a regular gel pen or any pen that's lying around on your desk and you're good to go. Same for paper. Use whatever paper you already have on your hands. I'm sure you must have some empty notebooks that you haven't used in a while. That's because this class does not require any expensive tools, like I said, any paper and pen that you have is good enough for full calligraphy. Now you must be wondering why I've included the pencil and ruler on the list. That's because we are going to use these for two very important tasks, drawing guidelines and sketching. I will discuss these in detail as we move along, but for now, add them to your kit. By the way, this is a rolling ruler. It has a roller attached to move the scale easily on paper. However, you can use your regular scale too. Also, I prefer using a black eraser over the regular white one. That's because it doesn't eat away the paper when you erase lines. Now that you have your basic supplies in place, we'll move to the next part. In the next lesson, we learned about how to draw guidelines. These will form the building blocks of our full calligraphy. See you in the next lesson. 5. Guidelines: [MUSIC] In this lesson, we are going to learn about guidelines and how to draw them. These are the pencil lines that you make underneath to draw your final calligraphy. But first of all, let me explain why do you need these guidelines? Guidelines as the name suggests, guide you when you do calligraphy. They help you form consistent letters. Wait, let me elaborate. As I said earlier, calligraphy and cursive are different. In cursive, you write freehand, but calligraphy is the art of drawing letters. Because we are drawing letters here, we need guides that will help us draw our letters beautifully. For example, let's say you're about to construct a building and lay bricks on top of each other. To make sure that the building is straight and well-supported, you will put scaffolding around it. Once the construction is over, you'll remove the scaffolding and reveal the building. Similarly, your bricks here are the basic strokes of calligraphy, which we learn in the next lesson. To put them together to form letters, we'll put scaffolding or guidelines around. This will make sure that our letters look consistent in terms of height, spacing, and overall visual appeal. That's why these guidelines are very important. Just imagine if you were to construct a building without any blueprint or scaffolding, you'd have no idea of what your building is going to look like in the end. Not only that, it will be impossible to construct it the right way. Similarly, if you draw four calligraphy freehand without any guidelines, your letters will be all over the place. In the end, you will feel frustrated because you'd have no idea about what's going wrong. But if your draw guidelines, you'll be able to construct beautiful letters very easily. Trust me. Let me show you this with an example. If as a beginner, you write freehand, your letters might look like this. [MUSIC] The height of the letters is inconsistent, the spacing is odd, and all the letters are inclining at different angles. But as soon as you draw guidelines, you know how high your letters should be, how much spacing you should keep in-between, and what slant to follow. Even though I've been practicing calligraphy professionally for over four years now, I still make sure to draw guidelines. Instantly they uplift the look of the entire artwork. Of course, you can erase them later on, I use a black eraser to erase the guidelines. This is a better choice than a white eraser as it doesn't eat away your paper. Now, let's learn how to draw these guidelines. First of all, you start by drawing a baseline. It means that the base of your letters will lie on this line. For example, here the base of the letter a lies on this line. Now, each letter has a certain height. Like this a is extending up to this height. This height is called the x-height, and this line that is extending up to is called the waist. You don't need to remember these terms. What's more important here is to understand the meaning of these lines. Now, there are certain letters that extend beyond the waistline and certain letters that extend beyond baseline. For example, letters like b. The base of b lies on the baseline, same as that of letter a and it has the same x-height. However, it has this extra height and goes up till here. This line is called the ascender line, and this height is called the ascender height. Similarly, let us write g. The baseline is the same and the x-height is also the same. This extra height that it extends below is called the descender height, and this line is called the descender line. Now, one interesting thing to note here is that you can change the ratio of these guidelines and in turn, it'll give you different results. Let me show you how. This one guideline that we've created has a 1:1:1 ratio. It means that the x-height, ascender height, and descender height are the same. Now, you can change this ratio, for example, you can keep it as 1:2:1. This means that the x-height is now double the height of the ascender and descender. Now when you write your letters, they look like this. Further, you can change the ratio to 2:1:2. Now the x-height is half of the ascender and descender height. This is what your letters will look like. Did you notice one thing? Just by changing the guidelines, you can create multiple styles of calligraphy. Similarly, you can keep coming up with new ratios to experiment with the look and feel of your letters. Also, you might be wondering how much distance you should keep in-between these lines. Well, you decide. It's completely up to you how big or small you want to draw your letters. Say if you are writing an envelope, you'd want to write small letters. Similarly, if you're writing on a big canvas or a wall, you'd want to keep the height of your letters accordingly. For our project, I'll be sharing the dimensions of the guidelines in the upcoming lessons so that it will be easy for you to draw along with me. Now, apart from these horizontal lines, I also like to draw vertical guides. These help in guiding the space and the angle four letters. Say if I want to write straight letters, I draw vertical guides at 90 degrees. This makes sure that all my letters follow the angle and look consistent. When I want to write in italics, I draw guides at an angle. Now again, you can pick the angle depending on the way you want to write your letters. In general, I pick an angle between 60 to 75 degrees. Here, I'm taking the angle to be 75 degrees. I hope with this lesson, you've understood the importance of guidelines. Basically, if you use these guides to draw your letters, your calligraphy will come out absolutely beautiful and that too, without any frustration. Now, it's time to move on to the next lesson. There we learn about the basic strokes of brush calligraphy. These will help us draw all the letters and calligraphy. Se you in the next class. [MUSIC] 6. Basic Strokes of Brush Calligraphy: [MUSIC] For this class, we've picked up the brush calligraphy style to create faux calligraphy. In this lesson, we'll have a look at the basic strokes in brush calligraphy. This in turn will help us create consistent and beautiful letters in faux calligraphy. Now, you might wonder, what are these basic strokes? Let me explain. Each calligraphy script from A-Z is made up of some common basic shapes. It means that if you combine these few basic shapes, you'll be able to draw all the letters in that script. Likewise, brush calligraphy has eight basic strokes. If you just master these eight basic brush calligraphy strokes, which are a combination of simple lines and curves, you will be able to draw any letter in brush calligraphy. For example, the letter A can be written as a combination of an oval, a downstroke, and an upstroke. Moreover, these shapes make your letters look consistent and as if they belong to the same family. Now that you know why you should learn basic strokes, let's see how to draw them. I've also added the practice sheets for basic strokes in the resources section. Writing faux calligraphy, at least this particular style is a combination of upstrokes and downstrokes motions. Basically, when your hand movement is from bottom to top, it's called an upstroke. Likewise, when you move the pen from top to bottom, it results in a downstroke. In other words, upstroke is thin and downstroke is thick. If you were drawing these with a brush pen, you would've used the tip of the pen to create an upstroke and applied pressure to the flexible tip to create a thick downstroke. But here, as we are using a regular pen, will create an extra thick line with our pen and fill it in. Now, it looks like it has been made with a brush pen, but in fact, we've made this downstroke with a regular pen. Similarly, we'll draw all the other strokes of brush calligraphy with a regular pen. Simply by filling in the thick downstroke, you'll be able to create beautiful calligraphy without having to buy a brush pen. Now, the third basic stroke is called an overturn. It starts with a thin upstroke, which gradually transforms into a thick downstroke. Also, you'll see this basic brush calligraphy stroke often used in letters like m and n. To check if you've made the basic stroke right, see if both the strokes are parallel to each other. If they're crossing over each other, it means that the basic shape is not right. One particular thing I see beginners struggling with faux calligraphy is adding the downstrokes. You have to be mindful about which side you add your downstrokes, otherwise, you will end up with inconsistent spacing when you start writing letters. Don't worry, it's not that difficult to figure it out. What I do and recommend is always add the thickness to the inside part of your strokes. For example, here in the overturn, I have added the downstroke to the inside part of the curve. Similarly, you can follow this for other strokes and letters too. However, if you wish to add them on the outside, that's totally fine as well. The important thing here is that you, then add all the downstrokes on the outside. This in turn will keep the spacing consistent. The fourth basic stroke is, the underturn. It's the exact opposite of an overturn. You will see this basic brush calligraphy stroke often used in letters like u and w. [MUSIC] Again, make sure that both the strokes are parallel to each other. The next basic stroke is the compound curve. It is the combination of an underturn and then overturn. [MUSIC] It's important to remember that all three strokes should be parallel to each other. [MUSIC] Also, make sure the hollow space between the underturn and overturn is equal. If the spaces are not equal, your letters will not look as beautiful. For example, this basic stroke is used in the letter h. If the spacing in the compound curve is not equal your letter h will look like this but as soon as you adjust the spacing, the letter looks like this. Now, this looks much better than the previous one. Additionally, this also makes sure that the spacing in-between letters is equal. Unlike this one where the next letter is too close to the previous one. The sixth basic shape is an oval. To draw this shape, you can start from anywhere. For example, you can start right from the top and come down while creating a thick downstroke and complete the shape with a thin upstroke. Or you can begin from anywhere in the middle. This is the most commonly used basic stroke in brush calligraphy. For example, you will be using the oval to draw letters like a, c, d, g, and many more. The second last basic shape is the ascending loop. It starts with a thin upstroke from the middle and comes down with a thick downstroke. [MUSIC] You'll see this basic brush calligraphy stroke often used in letters like b, d, and h. The last basic shape is the descending loop. It's the mirror image of the ascending loop. You will see this basic brush calligraphy stroke often used in letters like g and y. When I started doing calligraphy, I had no idea about these basic strokes and that's why my calligraphy looked like this. The spacing was inconsistent or the letters were at different angles. In conclusion, my calligraphy looked like it was all over the place. I knew that I was a beginner and I needed more practice. But I strongly felt that something else was wrong. As soon as I started following these basic shapes to draw my letters along with guidelines, it instantly uplifted the entire look of my calligraphy. From there on, I always make sure to get my basic strokes right rather than obsessing over single letters. Also, I make sure that I draw guidelines. I hope you now know that these basic strokes are the building block of letters, and they'll help you draw beautiful calligraphy. If you followed the class till here and drawn your basic strokes, I'd like to encourage you to share it in the project section. I'd love to see them and share my feedback. In the next lesson, we'll learn how to draw alphabets using basic strokes, so see you in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 7. Alphabets: [MUSIC] Now that you know how to draw basic strokes and full calligraphy, we learn how to combine these strokes to form letters. This approach is very interesting as it helps you see the difference between handwriting and calligraphy. Now you might think, what calligraphy and handwriting are different? Yes, of course they are. Let me explain. The purpose of cursive or handwriting is to write legibly for day-to-day communication. Also, you don't lift your pen off the page as much while doing cursive. Whereas calligraphy is the art of drawing letters by combining some basic brush calligraphy strokes. Note that the emphasis here is on drawing and not writing letters, unlike cursive. Interesting. Now let's look at the combination of these basic strokes. For this, I've created a set of practice sheets. Here, I've broken down all the letters into their basic shapes and I've also drawn these guidelines. No matter which quote you decide to write for your final project, you can refer to these sheets for drawing letters. I've added them in the resources section below. Let's understand these combinations now. Like I had shown you earlier, a is a combination of an oval, a downstroke, and an upstroke. B starts with an upstroke, followed by an ascending loop, an upstroke, and then a downstroke. You can also end it with an upstroke that waves outside. [MUSIC]. Similarly, you can see all these other combinations here in these sheets. For example, if you notice the ascending loop is being used in letters like b, d, f, h, k, and l. This means that if you learn to draw an ascending loop, you can easily draw six letters. Likewise, if you see the oval is being used in a, c, d, g, o, p, and q. Now, this doesn't mean that you have to memorize all these letters. Not at all. You just have to treat them as one way of writing letters. That's because brush calligraphy is the modern style of calligraphy. It means that you can draw your own letters in any way that you like, only if you take care of some basics. In brush calligraphy, these basics are, up is thin and down is thick. That's it. As long as you're making thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes, you can draw any shape for any letter. For example, rather than drawing a d that I've shown in the sheets, you can draw it in your own way. Say, let's draw it like this. To draw it like this, I'll first draw it with a pencil and break it into up and down hand movements. I'm doing this to understand the placement of thick and thin strokes. Here is an oval [NOISE] and its downstroke, then there is an upstroke that goes all the way up to form a loop and comes down, so it'll be thick, and then finally, a small upstroke. Now that I have all the hand movements, I'll sketch it again with a pencil first. Then I'll ink it. Finally, I'll add an extra thick stroke to the down hand movements and then fill it in. [MUSIC] If you see, we now have a new letter altogether by just following some basic principles of brush calligraphy. For your convenience, I've added some variations for all the alphabets. You can find them in the resources section. Also, you can use some references from here in your final project to give that extra oomph to your calligraphy. When you try it out, don't forget to share it in the Projects tab. I'd love to see your favorite variations. In case you're confused about where to add the downstrokes, remember I had told you that you can add them to the inside of the stroke. By always adding the thick part on the inside of the letters, we ensure consistent spacing between the letters. On some letters, you may want to leave a slight gap like the letter p, but this isn't a must. [MUSIC] Also, one last thing to take care of is consistency. When it comes to full calligraphy, it is important to keep your downstrokes with the same thickness. Of course, you don't need to go crazy with mathematical precision. Still, at the same time, you want to avoid a noticeable difference in the thickness of your downstrokes. For example, here, the downstrokes of the letter a have different thicknesses whereas here the thickness is consistent. You need to take care of that while drawing your downstrokes. I hope that with all this knowledge, you are now feeling confident about drawing letters. Just remember that up is thin and down is thick. In the next lesson, we learn about connecting these letters. This is the last step before we begin working on our project. I'm so excited to see your progress in the Projects tab. So see you in the next class. [MUSIC] 8. Connecting Alphabets: [MUSIC] In this lesson, we learn how to connect alphabets to form words. This is the last step before we begin with our project where we'll draw beautiful quotes and calligraphy. If you want to brush up on the things we have discussed before, now is the time. Now connecting letters is very simple. Let me explain. Let's say we have to write the word hello in calligraphy. If you were writing this in cursive, you'd have probably written it like this, but here in calligraphy, we draw letters. The emphasis here is on draw and not write letters. Let's have a look at how to draw the connections between two letters. For this, I'll first write the words separately at some distance. Now, to form a connection, you always take the last part of the letter and join it with the next letter. This last part here is called an exit stroke. It means that it is the last stroke that you make while exiting the letter. Now, your job is to extend the exit stroke and make it fall on the next letter. That's it. They are connected now. Similarly, to join all the other letters we'll extend the exit strokes and make them fall on the next letter. [MUSIC] For your convenience, I've added some examples of common letter connections that you can refer to. You can find it in the resources section. You might want to have a look at it in case you have picked up a different quote. I'm sure it'll really help you draw along with the rest of us. Now, you can get creative with your connections. For example, let's say you have to write the word peace. First, let's write all the letters separately. Now, the exit stroke of the letter p is pointing in the opposite direction of the next letter. How do you connect it then? Again, we follow what we've just learned. We extend the exit stroke in a way that it falls on the next letter. Now the connection is formed. Similarly, let's say you have to write the word sun. Again, you can extend the exit stroke of the letter s and make it fall on the next letter. You can decide if you want to keep the loop of the letters small, like this or as big as this. Just get creative and drawing it with a pencil first really gives you the freedom to explore the shapes. I told you it was easy, isn't it? Now you might be wondering, what if there is a capital letter. How do you connect that to the other letters in the word? In this case, I like to keep it subjective. It means that sometimes I connect the capital letter to the rest of the small letters in the word and sometimes I don't. For example, let's write the word dear with a capital D. Now to connect, we can use the same principle. That is, you can extend the exit stroke of the capital D and connect it with the letter e or you can leave the letter D as is, and connect the rest of the small letters. To me, this also looks fine. In this example, it was possible to connect the capital letter to the rest of the word, but there might be cases where you'll not be able to form a connection. For example, let's take the word peace again, but with a capital P this time. Here in this case, if I extend the exit stroke of P to connect with e, it looks weird and forced, so in this case, I'd rather not connect P with the rest of the word and it still looks fine. As long as you keep the spacing in between the letters the same as it would have been if they were connected, your word will look fine and not weird. In the end to connect the capital letter or not comes down to your personal preference. All you have to do is follow the simple principle, which is extend the exit stroke and make it fall on the next letter. If you've written some words, please share them in the projects section. I'd love to see your creative connections. Now, it's time to get started with our project. In the next lesson, we'll start with Step 1 of the four-step procedure of drawing for calligraphy and that is drawing guidelines. I request you to grab your supplies and draw along with me. That's because you'll be able to make the most of this class when you follow along rather than simply watching and in the end, you'll have a beautiful quote in calligraphy. See you in the next class. [MUSIC] 9. Step 1: Drawing Guidelines: [MUSIC] From this lesson onwards, we are going to start working on our project. I'm so excited. Get your pens and pencils in order. First of all, I'll request you to decide on the quote you want to write. If you haven't till now. That's because it'll help you plan the layout and draw guidelines accordingly. If you're feeling out of ideas right now, don't worry. I've added a lot of prompts in the resources section. Feel free to pick any to get started and draw along with me. Additionally, I've added practice sheets with layouts of these quotes. Hit the resources section right now and let's draw this project together. Or you can draw the same quote as mine. Like I said, for this class, I've picked the quote trust the process. I absolutely believe in this quote and would love to hang it on my wall right in front of my desk. If you like this one, that would work too. I'm guessing you already are filled with ideas as to how you're going to use your final project, so without any delay, let's get started. The quote that I have picked is a three-word quote. Here, I want to lay emphasis on these two words, 'trust and process'. I'll make sure that I write them big and bold enough. I'll squeeze the word 'the', in-between these two words like this. I can write it in small block letters or maybe in small for calligraphy. Let's decide this later on. If you see, I've drawn these boxes around the words I want to write. The words that I want to lay emphasis on are in bigger blocks and the rest are in smaller ones. By placing my elements in blocks, I'm judging how the overall layout will look like. By stacking these boxes together, I get an idea of the symmetry. Similarly, if you have picked up another quote, you can first highlight the words you want to lay emphasis on. Then you can arrange them in boxes, big and small, depending on the priority to get an idea of the overall layout and symmetry. If you are referring to the sheets that I have shared in the resources tab, you can take ideas for layouts from there. Also, one interesting thing that I'd like to share here is that you can change the shape of your boxes. For example, you can curve them like this to change the look of your layout, and then draw guidelines, insight to write letters. Or you can make them in waves like this. Basically, you can get as creative as you'd like with your layout. For this class, will follow straight boxes, but you are free to draw any layout and if you do, please share it in the projects tab so that all of us can see your experiments. Now, let's start drawing guidelines. Depending on the size of your paper, you can adjust the height of your guidelines accordingly. Here I'm drawing on an A4 size paper. Before drawing the final guideline, I like to write my dimensions roughly. I start with marking the center of this page. Here, I'll place the word 'the'. Now, since I have a large area to cover, I'll make my letters big. Here. I'm thinking of taking the x-height to be two centimeters and the ascender and descender height to be one centimeter. I've taken the one is to two is to one ratio guideline. That's because this guideline makes the whole quote look compact and this is what I'm going for here. But as I said, you're free to pick your own set of guides and draw along with me. For the smaller word, I'm thinking of writing it in all capitals. This would complement the brush calligraphy above and below. I think a total height of one centimeter would be good enough. Also, I'm thinking of keeping the distance between two blocks to be one centimeter. One last thing, I'm thinking of taking the angle to be 75 degrees. If you are wondering at what angle your slant lines should be, you decide. What matters is that your letters, actually, follow these guides. Now, let's start drawing these guidelines and if required, we can raise them and make adjustments. That's how I usually prefer to make these judgments. If you're wondering what this is, well, it's a rolling ruler. It has this roller that helps the ruler glide on the paper and it makes it easier to draw lines. But if you have a regular ruler, that will pretty much do the job too. Here are our guidelines and I think they look fine. They are covering most of the area while also leaving enough whitespace for the calligraphy to pop out. I'm sure you would have drawn your guidelines by now. If yes, then please share your progress with all of us in the project section. Don't worry about these lines showing up. Once we have drawn our quote and inked it with the pen will erase all of these. Now it's time to move on to the second step and that is sketching our quote on these guides. See you in the next class. [MUSIC] 10. Step 2: Sketch the Quote: Now, let's start sketching our coat with a pencil. You can use the basic brush calligraphy strokes to sketch your letters. For now, the words will be in a monoline format. Just make sure that you leave enough space for your downstrokes. Don't rush it. It's not a race. I suggest that you draw very slowly. It's better to take your time and get it right. You might want to draw it directly with a pen, but I strongly recommend against that, especially when you are a beginner. Rather, use a pencil to sketch your initial idea. This gives you a preview of how your final calligraphy is going to look like. This is not possible when you directly go in with the pen. Try to be mindful about your guidelines. Maintain the same heights and angles. If you make a mistake, it's all good. That's why we use the pencil first so we can fix these mistakes and get it right. Also, I have seen beginners feel confused about the space in-between letters. Then they try to fit in letters in-between the gaps of the guidelines. Well, you can use that, but it just causes more confusion. Remember that the angled guides here are to help you make sure that your letters are following the designated angle. For spacing, you have to remember that each letter occupies a different space. You first draw a rough sketch and then take a step back, look at your pencil sketch and then make a judgment if you need to adjust the spacing. That's how I do it and that's why I recommend drawing your letters with a pencil first, always. Once you do it a few times, you'll develop an eye for the right spacing. It gets better with practice. Here we are with our sketch. I hope you've drawn along with me and I can't wait to see your final projects. Now, in the next step we'll add downstrokes to these letters to make them look like brush calligraphy. See you in the next class. 11. Step 3: Identify and Outline the Thick Downstrokes: In this lesson, we'll add the thick downstrokes to our drawing here to make it look like brush calligraphy. As the name suggests, downstrokes are the thick strokes you create when you're hand movements are from top to bottom. This is the same as we had discussed while we were learning basic strokes. Up is thin and down thick. In this code, wherever I am pulling the pen down, I'll add a thick stroke. Let's identify the thick strokes here. These are all the hand movements where I'm drawing from top to bottom. We will now draw lines parallel to the downstroke. Basically, we will add weight to the down-stroke to make it thick, just like in brush calligraphy. As we had discussed, I'll add these downstroke to the inside of the letter for consistency. You're free to add downstrokes anywhere as long as you're making sure that the spacing in-between letters look consistent. This is what our code looks like after adding all the down strokes. I'm sure you are also at this stage and excited to move to the last step now. In the last step, we'll ink our full calligraphy with this regular pen to have our final piece ready. See you in the next lesson. 12. Step 4 Ink it with a Regular Pen: Now that you have created all the downstrokes, it's time to fill them in with your normal pen or marker. Let's get going. I first like to outline the whole drawing. That's because it gives me clean boundaries when I go in to fill the strokes. Now let's start filling it up. This is where you are full calligraphy comes to life. Make sure that you fill it in one direction. This makes the whole drawing look clean when the ink dries out. Also be slow, especially in the small corners where you have to be extra careful. This helps you stay within the line and keep your drawing neat. Now give a few minutes for the ink to completely dry off. This way you avoid getting those pesky ink smudges all over your fresh piece. Once it's dry, you can erase all the pencil marks and guidelines. Then if you want, you can add some extra elements like lines, borders, and tools around to fill in any extra wide space. It looks exactly like it has been done with a brush pen. The best part is that nobody can make out that you did it with a regular pen. If it didn't come out as you had expected it to be, it's all right. Don't be too hard on yourself. Even though you are learning calligraphy with a normal pen, it's important to remember that it takes time and practice to get better at it. Enjoy what you've created and give yourself a pat on the back for coming this far. Congratulations on completing your first project with me. I'm so excited to see your creations. Go click a picture and upload it right away, and then come back for the next class, where we learn various techniques to make your full calligraphy artwork pop out. See you in the next lesson. 13. Fun with Faux Calligraphy: [MUSIC] Now that you've completed your first project, you have a good idea of the basics of full calligraphy. Now it's time to enhance those basics to make your artwork look a lot more than just basic. For this, I'll be sharing five quick and easy techniques in this class. These will help you make calligraphy that stands out and is eye-catching. Later, you can mix and match these to create your style of full calligraphy. If you do, make sure you share it with all of us in the community. Now for some of these techniques, you can use your regular pen, colorful sketch pens or crayons, simply whatever you find lying around. For a few, you might need some basic watercolors. Don't worry if you don't have a palette handy right now, even if you have some brush pens lying around, you'll be able to follow along. Let's get started with the first technique, which is filling patterns. For this, you need your regular pen. You can use the same one that you used for creating your project. Now, rather than completely filling in your full calligraphy with a pen like we did here, you can add some cool patterns inside it. For example, you can fill it with lines. You can make an inclined line pattern inside your full calligraphy. This will make your artwork look like this. [MUSIC] Now instantly it looks so different and unique. Moreover, it takes less time than completely filling it over. Let's try another one, leopard pattern. I'm adding an image for your reference in the resources so that you can also follow along. This is something that I had tried when I was in school for a project. Since then, I'm really fond of this pattern. You can leave it as a black and white pattern like this, or if you have colors with you, you can add mustard in-between these dots to give it that leopard effect. Also, please don't mind this pen smudges. Similarly, you can experiment with multiple patterns and add that extra hoof to your full calligraphy. [MUSIC] Now if you've tried this out, you already know what I'm going to ask you to do next. Yes, click a picture and share it with all of us. The second technique that you can use is stippling. First of all, what is stippling? Let me explain. Stippling is a drawing technique in which areas of light and shadow are created using nothing but dots. The basic idea is simple. For lighter areas, you start with fewer dots and space them farther apart. Then for progressively darker areas, apply a greater number of dots and keep them close together. It's very commonly used by hand lettering artists. For this, you can use your regular pen. Here, we'll move from dark to light. Try to maintain the same pressure for each dot and don't press too hard. Darkness will be created by how many dots are there and how close they are together. We'll start placing dots closer to each other, and as we move up, we'll decrease the density. This way you'll get a nice gradient effect. It's important to remember here that using different pressure to create darker or larger dots is not useful for this technique. Also to get an idea of where I'm headed with stippling, I usually step back from my work oftenly. It can be easy to get lost in small sections. You can also take a picture with your phone to see how the composition is coming together and evaluate where you can adjust or correct any mistakes. Once you are done with stippling, you are full calligraphy will look like this. Interesting. Now, the third way to add beauty to your full calligraphy is by adding florals. Flowers make everything look elegant automatically, and that's true for letters too, plus, I'm a sucker for florals. I had to share this with you guys. For adding florals. You need to plan them while you are at the pencil drawing stage. Once you have your full calligraphy pencil drawing, you can start adding small flowers and petals around your letters. Don't worry, you don't have to draw perfect flowers, just to some simple flowers and petals, that's it. Make sure that you don't add too many, otherwise it'll look cluttered. Also it'll affect the legibility of your calligraphy. Add just enough so that it looks elegant. One way that I make sure of this is by replacing some of the upstrokes with wines of small leaves and curls. If you're feeling confused, you can try this too. Once you've added your floral elements, you can then follow the regular procedure. First outline the full calligraphy and then fill it in. [MUSIC] You can also outline the flowers and leaves with the same pen. If you're going for a monochrome look. But if you have colors around weird sketch pens, brush pens or watercolors, you can add colors to your florals. See how beautiful they make your letters look. [MUSIC] Now, the fourth technique that I'm going to share with you is to add a colorful gradient to your letters. For this, you'll need either brush pens or watercolors. Also, it'll be great if you can use watercolor paper as it is thick and can hold water without tearing up. You can keep a tissue paper handy for cleaning your pens. Again, for this, you need to plan at the pencil sketching stage. Once you have your pencil sketch ready, select the colors you want to add to your gradient. Here, I'm picking three colors. I'll be using brush pens to add the gradient, but you can use watercolors too. Now simply add the colors in the order of the gradient you want. Make sure that you leave some white space in-between the colors. This white space will be useful when you blend the top and bottom colors together. [MUSIC] Now, once you have added your colors, take a blending brush pen, it is a colorless pen used for blending. If you don't have this, you can use a water brush pen. It's a simple brush with some space to hold water in its barrel. Now start blending the colors out and use that white space to pull the colors from the top and bottom. Also use the tissue paper to clean the colorless blender regularly before moving into the next color. Also, please don't judge me for my poor blending skills. I know I need a lot more practice, and if you have any suggestions, please let me know. Now, do this for all the other letters. [MUSIC] Once you are done with blending, you can now add an outline to your letters. [MUSIC] This is how your full calligraphy will look like with a gradient. Don't worry if you're not satisfied with your blending. I recommend that you practice blending colors on a rough sheet first before directly doing it on your letters. This will give you confidence, and if you need feedback from me, please share it in the project section. I'll get back to you there. Now, the last but most fun thing that you can do is to add a watercolor splash effect. The most obvious way to do it, is with your watercolors. But here I'm going to show you how to add the splash with your brush pens. For this, apart from brush pens, you need a plastic bag, a paint brush, and some water. Also, you may use watercolor paper. If you don't have one right now I recommend that you use a thick sheet of paper that can hold water like ivory sheets. Now, there are two ways of adding this splash. Either you can first add the watercolor splash on your drawing sheet and then ink for your calligraphy, or you can first ink your full calligraphy and then add this splash over it. The second way is possible only if you have waterproof pens like the Sakura Micron ones. It means that even if I add water over these pens, they'll not bleed. But if you're using regular pens, I recommend that you first add the watercolor splash and then ink your calligraphy over it. Here, in this case, as I already have waterproof pens, I'll show you how to add this splash effect. For this, first, take the plastic bag and make sure that it rests flat on the paper. Now pick your colors. You can just pick one or as many colors as you like. As usual, I'll be picking three colors. Now, very gently start adding colors to the plastic sheet. I'm asking you to do it gently so that you don't spoil the tip of your brush pen. Once you've added one one, it's time to add the next one, but make sure that you leave some gap in-between the two colors. Similarly, add the third color. Now, take your brush and dip it in water, and then start dabbing it in one color. Your purpose here is to dissolve the ink in water to form small puddles. Also keep a clean boundary from the next color. Once you are done, thoroughly clean your brush before moving to the next one. Now, repeat the same thing. [MUSIC] Once you see all these puddles of ink, take your sheet and place it over the plastic bag. Now invert it and spread the color with your fingers. [MUSIC] Now remove the plastic bag and you'll see your watercolor splash that you made with just brush pens. Once it's dry, it will look like this. Doesn't it look cool? In case you are doing it with regular pens, first, make this splash effect, and later, you can ink your calligraphy over it. [MUSIC] These are some quick techniques that you can use to highlight your basic full calligraphy. You can add patterns, stippling, florals, gradients, and watercolor splash backgrounds. Remember that these are not the only techniques. This is just me nudging you to get creative and come up with your own beautiful ways to highlight your full calligraphy. I hope you found this helpful. If you've tried them out, please share it in the Project tab so that I can also see your work. Thank you so much for watching. [MUSIC] 14. Final Thoughts: Congrats on completing this class on calligraphy with a regular pen. I hope you're feeling more confident now to do calligraphy. Thank you so much for doing this with me. I had the best time creating this class. I hope you had just as much fun doing those class exercises and projects. I want to see all the beautiful work that you create even in the future. Please tag me in your Instagram posts so that I can see them. Like I said, this was the first step towards learning calligraphy. I aspire to create more advanced classes in the near future. Make sure that you follow me on Skillshare so that you are notified right away as soon as I publish a new class. Meanwhile, I leave you with a calligraphy learning roadmap in the resources section. By the end, you'll have a step-by-step approach to learning calligraphy for beginners. If you enjoyed this class, please leave a review and share it with your friends and family. Thank you so much again and see you soon. Bye.