Easy Guide to Brush Pen Calligraphy: Get Started, Write Away! | Seow Ting (HAY studio) | Skillshare

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Easy Guide to Brush Pen Calligraphy: Get Started, Write Away!

teacher avatar Seow Ting (HAY studio), Content Creator at HAY studio

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

10 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies You'll Need

    • 3. The Guidelines

    • 4. The Basic Strokes

    • 5. The Lowercase Alphabet

    • 6. The Uppercase Alphabet

    • 7. Connecting The Letters

    • 8. Find Your Style

    • 9. Project Details

    • 10. Last Tips (Don't Skip Me!)

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About This Class

HEY! Been wanting to get started on modern calligraphy? This course is a great starter pack for you! 

"Easy Guide to Brush Pen Calligraphy - Get Started, Write Away!" is armed with all the necessary information you'll need as a beginner calligrapher, from beginner's supplies to the basic strokes of each letter.

It covers BOTH the uppercase and lowercase alphabet (yay!), as well as THREE ways to shake up your lettering style! 

So get started, write away, and create some insta-worthy art for yourself and your loved ones! *throws confetti*

About the course creator: 

Seow Ting has been delving in modern calligraphy since 2016 using various mediums - the brush pen, pointed pen, as well as watercolour.

She is now managing HAY studio, a blog and YouTube channel dedicated to art and lifestyle content to inspire creative and meaningful living. 

Say hi on her Instagram, and check out her works here!


Meet Your Teacher

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Seow Ting (HAY studio)

Content Creator at HAY studio




My name is Seow Ting and I’m a content creator from sunny Singapore. I’m a multi-passionate introvert in love with music, calligraphy art, DIYs and all things creative!


After discovering the binding element in my passions, and that is the ability to express and create, I launched HAY studio, a blog and YouTube channel. Over there, I create and curate art and lifestyle content to inspire creative and meaningful living. 


“HAY” stands for “How Art You?”, signifying the eagerness to greet life with a dose of creativity and a sprinkle of positivity. 


Check out&... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello, I'm glad you're joining me on this course. The easy guide to Brush Pen Calligraphy. My name is Seow Ting and I'm from Sunny Singapore. I've been into modern calligraphy since 2016. I've tried my hands on brush, pen lettering, point pen calligraphy, watercolor art, and so on. I'm really excited to share my knowledge with you guys. This course is great for beginners and it covers everything you need to know to get started on brush pen calligraphy. I'll be introducing the supplies and materials you'll need. The guidelines that will help shape your lettering, the entire lowercase and uppercase alphabet and how to connect the letters on words. I'll also be sharing how to get creative and explore other lettering styles. So do stick with me till the end. At the end of the course, you'll be able to calligraphy your name or your favorite word in a variety of styles. There also plenty of resources that will help you in your calligraphy journey. I would love to see your unique lettering. Hope to see you in the course. 2. Supplies You'll Need: Let's get started. In this section, I'll be recommending a few calligraphy supplies that are suitable for beginners. There are two brush pens which I recommend. The Pentel Touch Brush Sign Pen, and the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen. I find both pens pretty similar in terms of how flexible the tips are. Not too firm but not too soft, which beginners will find easy to control. They have similar price tags where I live. The tips are quite long-lasting as they do not fray easily. Yes, brush pens can fade if you do not use the right kind of paper for your calligraphy practice. Always work on smooth paper and stay away from using textured papers. These are the papers that I recommend, Rhodia pads, Canson marker paper pads. Always check that the papers you use are smooth, bleed-proof and has low absorbency. So head over to your local stationary store to gather your supplies. I'll see you in next section. 3. The Guidelines: In this section, I'll be introducing the guidelines that help shape your lettering. One of the most important aspects which will make your calligraphy beautiful is proportion. The guidelines help to ensure your letters are constructed according to proportion. Let's start with the baseline. The distance between the waistline and baseline is called the x-height. Letters like a, c, m fill up the x-height. The two lines on top are the ascenders. Some examples of letters that fill the x-height and the ascenders are b, d and h.The two lines below are that the descenders. Some examples of letters that fill the x-height and descenders are g, p and y. You'll find a PDF printable in the resource section. You can print it out on smooth paper and practice by writing directly on it, or you can put it under your audio or concern pad as guide. I'm sure you're all ready to start writing away. See you in the next section. 4. The Basic Strokes: If the guidelines are like the blueprint of a building, then the basic strokes are like the bricks. You will find that each letter is made up of a combination of the basic strokes somehow. The crafts of calligraphy is a combination of thin strokes and thick strokes. Typically up strokes are thin and down strokes are thick. Let's start practicing. Hold the brush pen in a comfortable manner. Create a thin line upwards by applying little pressure on the paper. Take note that although little pressure is applied, the line should still be stable and continuous. If you find that your line is wobbly and uneven, you may be using too little force and control. Let's practice some down strokes. This time, create a thick line downwards by applying more pressure on the paper. Similarly, although more pressure is applied, take note not to press down too hard and cause the line to become jagged or uneven. Next, let's combine the upstroke and the down stroke to create an overturn. Go slow and apply more pressure as you're curving downwards. The opposite of the overturn is the underturn. Start with the thick down stroke and slowly apply lesser pressure as you're curving into the thin upstroke. If you find that this looks familiar, you are right. This is a building block of letter U. Next, I'm going to show you the combination stroke of the overturn and the under turn. This requires a bit of concentration and control, but you will get to it in no time. Let's move on to the next basic stroke, the C curve. It's literally a letter C by itself. For this one, try to gradually increase the pressure so that the transition from thin to thick looks natural and smooth. Lets try the reverse C.The oval is closely related to the C stroke. Start by creating the C stroke. Don't lift up your pen yet, simply continue and connect the oval. Take note to start slightly from the right instead of the left as that will create an unnatural looking connection there. The next ones are my favorites, the loops. From the waistline extend upwards nearly to the second ascender, and finish off with a thick down stroke. Let's try the downward loops. These are the basics strokes which you will need to be familiar with to start writing some letters. I recommend you to pause the video and practice all the strokes about ten times each before heading to the next section. It's going to pay off, I promise you. Happy practicing. I'll see you in the next section. 5. The Lowercase Alphabet: In this section, I'll be going through all the lower case letters. You will find the strokes familiar, as they are the basic strokes covered in the previous section. If you haven't watched it, do go through that before moving on. By now, you should know the draw. Practice each letter about 10 times each before heading to the next section where I'll be going through the upper case letters. See you there soon. 6. The Uppercase Alphabet: In this section, I'll be going through all the uppercase letters. They are slightly more challenging than lowercase letters, in my opinion. But there is more room for creativity for uppercase letters. I'll be going through the letters more quickly this time. But feel free to pause the video if you need more time to practice any of the letters. That's it for uppercase letters, before we proceed give yourself a pat on the back for the great work. In the next section, I'll be focusing on how to connect letters which is an important section. So let's get right to it. 7. Connecting The Letters: One of the reasons why calligraphy is so charismatic is how the letters seem to fit so seamlessly. Think of how we space out letters when we are writing. Somehow, we manage to make the spacing between each letter pretty even and we also keep the size of each letter of the same. We are going to apply the same principle in calligraphy. The spacing between each letter should be even and the letter size should be consistent. I'm going to caligraph the word dream as an example. Notice that the last abstract of d touches the next letter r. That last abstract is also called the exit stroke. So always connect the exit stroke to the beginning stroke of the next letter. Knowing how to connect different combinations of letters requires practice. My suggestion is to come up with a theme and caligraph as many words related to the theme as possible. This way, you'll be practicing a variety of words with various spellings. I hope you're enjoying the course so far, and in the next section, I'll be showing you a few ways on how you can find your personal lettering style. So stick with me and I'll see you in the next section. 8. Find Your Style: We've been following the guidelines and the alphabet examples so far, but sometimes breaking the rules gives room for more creativity and self-discovery. Next, I'm going to share three ways how we can break the rules to change up our lettering style. One, change the slant. The letters all have a slight slant in my examples, but sometimes I remove that slant and have all letters written straight for a look at that's more fun and cartoonish, in my opinion. On the other hand, you can try for a more elegant and classic look by slanting all the letters more extensively, so which style you prefer, straight or slanted? Two, ditch the baseline. I've been stressing the importance of the guide lines as they really have our letters stay in proportion and neat. If you're feeling adventurous, try this method by itself by having varying baselines in a lettering. It really helps our calligraphy to look more creative and playful. Three, unusual proportions. The last way to create a different lettering style is to change the lettering proportion. Make all the letters wide and short. This is a really cute lettering look. Alternatively, you can make on the letters narrow and tall, so do you prefer wide or narrow letters? Guess what? You can even use a combination of the three ways to create your own lettering style. I'm really looking forward to seeing your work. Let's move on to the next section where I'll be sharing more about calligraphy project. 9. Project Details: As this is a course meant for beginners, I'm going to keep the project really simple. Simply calligraph a name or your favorite word in two steps. The first being the basic style, while following the guidelines and the alphabet examples. The second style will be your own. Show me how you will calligraph a name or favorite word using your unique lettering style. Take a photo of both styles and upload, it's that simple. I'm looking forward to see your stuff. 10. Last Tips (Don't Skip Me!): [Music] I'm so glad you joined me on this course and I sure hope that you enjoyed it.This is just the beginning of your telegraphy journey so keep writing and keep practicing and you will definitely improve. If you have any queries, you can always pose your question and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. You can also find more content on my social media pages like Instagram and YouTube so do follow me for more updates If you've enjoyed the course and found it useful, do leave a review in a review section as that will support me to create more content. Have fun telegraphing, enjoy the ride. [MUSIC]