Introduction to Modern Calligraphy Using a Dip Pen and Ink for Beginners | Nicki Traikos | Skillshare

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy Using a Dip Pen and Ink for Beginners

Nicki Traikos, Letterer, Watercolorist & Instructor

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10 Lessons (1h 5m)
    • 1. Intro Video Modern Calligraphy for Beginners

      1:36
    • 2. Tools & Tips Modern Calligraphy

      7:40
    • 3. Learning essential strokes while warming up Part 1

      13:57
    • 4. Essential strokes & warm-up Part 2

      10:02
    • 5. Lower Case Alphabet in Real Time

      9:57
    • 6. Dip Pen Upper case

      8:01
    • 7. Upper case example 2

      3:54
    • 8. Closing & Your Class Project

      2:58
    • 9. BONUS! Fun Project Ideas

      1:49
    • 10. Upper Case Example 1

      4:53
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About This Class

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This Introduction to Modern Calligraphy Using a Dip Pen and Ink was designed with the beginner in mind. 

A dip pen and ink was my first introduction to Modern Calligraphy and for me, it's one of the most beautiful experiences to write calligraphy with.  Writing with a dip pen and ink is a very organic and tactile process which allows you to express yourself through writing in a very traditional way but is very adaptable to our modern styles!

What you can expect to learn in this class;

  • You will learn about which tools I recommend and use in my daily calligraphy practice.
  • You will learn important tips on how to hold the pen to create strokes with ease and success!
  • You will get a PDF to download and use throughout the class and beyond sharing with you the exact warm-up strokes you need to learn and practice in order to learn how to form the lower case alphabet
  • You will also learn and practice, how to form each and every letter in the lower case alphabet, broken down by stroke, so that by the end of the class and your practice sheets, you will have more confidence and have built muscle memory to create letters easily and quickly.
  • You will learn the exact tips and tricks that I teach in my in-person workshops as I walk you through each video lesson.
  • At the end of the class, I will share with you some fun and unique ideas that feature my modern calligraphy lettering using different tools and mediums to help inspire you to explore your new or improved, modern calligraphy style!

My first introduction to dip pen and ink calligraphy was here on Skillshare many years ago.  I'm happy to share in this first class of mine, what I've learned along the way as I use Modern Calligraphy lettering in my every day life and in my creative business!

If you are interested in learning how to advance your modern calligraphy skill and would like to continue learning with me, I have created two more follow-up classes to help you build your skill and practice to form words and enable you to grow your modern calligraphy practice! 

Check out the next class that I recommend you watch here https://skl.sh/2MD5vVA - How to Advance your modern calligraphy skill.  Then when you are ready to learn how to master some common words, check out this class https://skl.sh/2EMSyWB.  

Cheers to learning something new.

Nicki

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Transcripts

1. Intro Video Modern Calligraphy for Beginners: Hello, my name is Nikki of Life By Design. Welcome to my very first skillshare class. In this class ill be teaching you all of tips and tricks that I teach in my in-person workshops hoping to help you with your modern calligraphy journey using a dependent Inc. I have been using modern calligraphy in my everyday design work for the last five years or so. I feel like I've got a lot that I can share to help you learn modern calligraphy more quickly and more easily and so that you can see improvement from the beginning of this class until the end of the class. I put together a really easy project for you. I really just want us to all of your practice sheets, all of your warm ups, your tracing of the lower-case alphabet that we're going to learn. Then I want you to letter the lower-case alphabet on your own. Put all of your practice sheets together and you will see an improvement instantly. I promise. When I teach my two hour in-person workshops, I encouraged the students to look at their very beginning sheets compared to the sheets that we've done at the very end. You really can see an improvement. There's line confidence, there's stroke confidence. There's an improvement just overall and in general. Welcome to this class. I'm excited to share with you everything that I can and hopefully introduce you to modern calligraphy or if you're not exactly a beginner, that's okay. Maybe you'll learn a few tips and tricks along the way. In this next video, I will show you some of my favorite tools, how to use them, and then we'll continue to go on to actually lettering. Welcome, I hope you enjoyed this and let's get started. 2. Tools & Tips Modern Calligraphy: Okay, so in this video, I'm going to share with you my favorite tools to use in my workshops and what I still use in my everyday practice when I'm doing design work. First off, get yourself a pen. This is a speed ball. It's a wooden one. Actually, these are both wooden pens. They're okay What I find is, they tend to crack if they get placed in water a little too much. You will be rinsing off your nib throughout because it will get a bit gummy if you've been practicing for a couple of hours, especially. The wooden ones are nice. They're nice to the touch but I feel again that they do start to split a little bit. Speed ball is a great source touchy color. I just like the feel of it. It's a little bit shorter so that one is a good option as well. Most pens have a universal opening. They are a little bit different. I'm going to see if I can get you at there we go. This one has claws, so it actually holds the nib within the claws and this one is made of wood. There we go, fun to navigate with the camera, so what you do is just apply the nib into that top there in the opening, okay? In terms of nibs, I'm going to show you two. These are dirty because they're actual nibs that I work with. Nikko G or a zebra G are good brand. I just got this gold one. Actually I've got a couple of them and I quite like them. But again, the Zebra G and the Nikko G, I find that I can create a nice thick down stroke as well as a nice thin fine upward stroke. If you are an illustrator, if you'd like to draw our sketch, these nibs are actually really great to use in your sketch work. The crosshatching that you can create in the line work that you can create is really nice and to work with an ink, I don't know. It's just a tactile experience when we're using technology so much to be able to do something that is very basic. It's a really gratifying form of expressing yourself in your writings. Hopefully you'll get that when you start using your tools. Those are the nibs in the pen. There are different types of paper that I like to use. Gordon and Riley is a brand that I use and will use it in my workshops. It has a very nice smooth surface. It's made from markers and ink so that's something that you want to look out for because you don't want the ink to start to spread on the paper with a lot of cotton papers. You won't make the finish of the ink. It'll spread and it won't be a nice crisp line. Look for something that is made specifically for ink and markers. That will hold your ink very nicely. Other types of paper that I've picked up, so of course the Rhodia paper, your paper will be a little bit more expensive. Its something that you'll go through. Make sure that you're not too worried about using it up. If you wanted to use maybe even a laser printer that has a nice sheen to it, that will hold the ink nicely. But for practicing, try to buy paper that's within your budget and price range and something that holds the ink really well because it makes a difference when you use a good quality paper. The type of ink is what I'll go on to next, so the Higgins ink is a really nice one. I like black. I just find that a nice black opaque finish. It's very gratifying on white paper so that's a good one to start with. Then this is just a speed ball. Black opaque India ink. I buy it in big quantities because this is what we use in the workshops when I teach my in-person workshops. It is a really nice finish. Again, look for anything that is black and opaque. Make sure it's made for calligraphy or pen marker so that it'll flow in your nib really nicely, okay? The other things that I recommend having is just a jar to fill with water because we would like to freshen up our nib and it actually helps to prepare our brand new nib as well and some paper towel because I get messy. Hopefully you won't get too messy but it gets everywhere often. I find that anyway. Those are the tools that I recommend that you have. What we'll do is in the next video, I'll talk to you about putting your pen together and giving you some tricks before we get started, okay? What you need for the class is a nib, a straight pen, some paper to write on. I'm using this Borden and Riley pad, but what I've done is I've cut it down. This size is 11 by 14. I just cut it down to a 7 by 11 sheet so that I can trace easily using the tracing sheets that I created for you specifically for this class. Those are one of strokes right there. We also need some ink, I like just to a black speed ball. This is opaque and it's really easy to work with. I find that it's quite fluid but not too liquidy. I also recommend having some washi tape on hand because what I'll be doing is taping my tracing sheets onto my practice sheets so that it doesn't move as much. I can support my upper body with my non-dominant writing hand, so my left hand in this case so that I can easily and freely move my writing hand. You'll also want just a jar of ink. Sorry a jar of water so that you can wash your nib off and some paper towels, okay? Because I tend to get messy. You may as well, but that's really all you need. Just make sure you've got a nice clean open bright area to work on. A coffee not a coffee table a dining table, a kitchen table. In my case, this is my desk in my studio, okay? Those are the tools that you need and then I'll talk about how to prep your nib. Get your pen ready so that we can get started practicing. Okay, so before we get started, you need to prep a brand new nib. The nips are shipped with a little bit of a waxy coating to them. You can't see them. It's invisible, but they are there. If you don't remove that waxy coating, your ink will slip off the nib and you won't be able to letter her very much without having to redip your pen. The way that I like to prep my nibs is I just take my jar of water dip it. Again, making sure you don't get your pen to it, but dipping just the nib into the water and then taking your paper towel. Always making sure to protect the tip of the nib. If that tip gets damaged, your nib is garbage and you don't want to throw a brand new nib or you want it to last a long time. Always used my forefinger and thumb and firmly but gently wipe the top of the nib as well as the underside. There's a bit of a curve to the underside of your nib so you can even give it a gentle wipe. But what you want to do is remove that waxy coating so that your ink will sit in your nib and in the tip and you'll be able to letter no problem. When talking about our nib, I want you to notice the vent at the top. The nib consists of tines and a vent. The tines are what open and separate and that's what allows you to create different consistency in line work. But the vent is what actually gets filled up with the ink so that you can letter. At the beginning you might only be able to create a few letters, then you'll have to redip but as you have a little bit more practice and experience, you will notice that you will redip your nib less often, okay? But that's just the construction of the nib. That's how the pen works. I will show you that as we begin actually lettering so that you can understand exactly how it's designed so that you can letter more consistently. I find that when you understand your tools and understand how to control them, you have more confidence with your line work and more control as you begin your calligraphy practice, okay? 3. Learning essential strokes while warming up Part 1: Let's start the warm up process. These warm-up sheets that I created for you, are basic strokes that you need to form the lower-case alphabet. The more you practice the warm-up strokes, which may look gibberish to you, it'll come together when we actually start working on the lower-case alphabet. The more you practice those warm-up strokes, the better because they are the exact strokes that you need to form that lower-case alphabet. Let's get started with our warm-up. Again, I've printed out the workbook that I have attached and created for this class, placed it on the table. Maybe what I'll even do is go ahead and apply some washi tape directly on to the warm-up sheet. I have my tracing sheet, maybe what I'll do is put it right in the center there, or we can turn it this way and I can move it down. We'll go ahead and tape that to the table because I want to make sure it's secure so that I have less to worry about as I start to warm-up. Grabbing again my dip pen and nib, go-ahead and ink. We're going to ink it so that you can still see a bit of the nib there. I'm going to wipe off the excess, make sure that I give myself some support with my upper body. My arm is supported on the table, which is great writing with the underside. Just with slight bit of pressure allowing that ink to flow, we're going to create that downward stroke and the thin upward stroke. On our downward stroke we want to create more pressure, open up the times, and then on our upward stroke, it's less pressure. Pressure on the downward, less pressure on the upward. That stroke is a compound stroke, it's a thick down and a thin up. I'll show you a few times, thick down and thin up. Pressure on the downward stroke, just like that, opening up the tines. I can see that my vent is starting to empty, so I don't want to run out of ink mid stroke, go ahead and I'll reload my pen. Again, making sure that the pen is supported into the neck back of my hand. You shouldn't hear any scratching, if you do, what you want to do is drop that pen. You'll hear like bit of scratching, that's the beauty with the dip pen and ink. It's very tactile the experience. It's an interesting feeling when you can feel that nib gliding down the page. It's interesting to see as well, just filling in a little bit there, the ink as it begins to flow out of your nib. Also the sound that it makes when you scratch those first lines, especially onto your paper. Again, going back to our warm up page, I just wanted to show you those basic strokes. In calligraphy, a thick downward stroke and a thin upward stroke is what we're looking for. We want to see the difference, especially when you go into lettering. It's a thin upward followed by a thick down, thin upward followed by a thick down, create a little bit of interest rate there. Modern calligraphy is all about thick downward strokes as well as thin upward and it is very similar to, of course, traditional calligraphy. But with modern calligraphy, our lettering is more playful. I'm going to show you that b again so a nice thin upward, thick down, and around. Very modern flowy. I don't like to conform to lines as you'll see going forward. Anything that's playful, interesting, stylized, that's my style of modern calligraphy. Back to warm-ups. On our next line it's called an under turn. We do a thick downward stroke, thin upward, thick downward stroke, thin upward. The more you practice a single stroke or a single practice of compound strokes like these two here, the easier that stroke becomes and the more quick you develop your muscle memory. If you can do a full line of that single type of warm-up stroke, the more you'll ingrain that stroke into your muscle memory. Connecting your hand to your brain. See how I've run out of ink, I can just go ahead and fill that in. Again, creating that muscle memory, I'm not tracing at this point, I'm just going in and creating that same shape. You can even vary the shape, so if you tend to slant a little bit or like that, slanted style, feel free. I didn't include lines on these practice sheets on purpose because I want you to feel confident that you can start writing on a line without having the line there. If you're off a little bit, I'll go ahead and exaggerate here. That's okay because, again, I don't want it to be perfect. Modern calligraphy should allow you some freedom to express yourself and create your own personal style. If your shape is different than mine, that's okay. As you're copying it, go with the flow, go with how you feel and what your personal writing style looks more like. I'll show you in this under-turn and overturn. Again, just going slow. Writing with dip pen and ink should be a meditative process that is a bit more relaxing, dropping your shoulders at this point, even breathing, applying pressure on the down. That's my personal style of under-turn, overturn. But if you wanted to make it a little bit more angular, like that, feel free. Don't feel like it has to be the exact same as my stroke, we have different hand lettering styles. Of course it would be different for us, or if you tend to write a little bit more rounded and flowy, express that. But for those of you who need to practice exactly, feel free to do that as well. The more practice you have, the more you'll be able to create your own personal style of lettering when you become more confident. Now the overturn, under-turn stroke can be a little challenging. You can see how I had to go over that upstroke a few times. What you'll want to do is just allow your nib to rest on the paper so that it encourages that ink to flow and then move your pen. Again, it's a really slow process. I'm going to go ahead and re-dip. If I went really quickly on that upstroke, you can see my line is jagged and my ink is very blobby. You want to be in control of that ink and nib. You want to make sure that you have just the right amount of ink flowing out of that nib and that your movement is very controlled and smooth. On your upstroke, some people tend to find that the upstroke can be a little bit shaky and jagged. I'm trying to make it shaky and jagged on purpose. That's okay. You're building muscle memory. You'll gain confidence and your line work will show once that confidence is there, and that comes with practice. Don't put too much pressure on your strokes at the beginning. What we're doing right now is we're building muscle memory. You're learning how to control that ink flow as well as your pen. There's a lot to think about with dip pen and the ink. Again, the speed, the pressure, how fluid the ink is, even the paper, we're getting used to a lot of different things right now and we're trying to focus on a lot of different things. With this hook, it's just a very slight amount of pressure going up and then nice thick controlled pressure going down. Slight pressure up, a nice thick controlled pressure down. Again, the whole time I'm still supporting myself with this left-hand of mine. It's supporting my upper body so that my hand can move freely across the page. If there's a stroke that may be you are having a tough time with like this one for instance, go ahead and practice it a few more times. I got a little heavy there and that happens. My style of modern calligraphy is I like personality. If you're looking to have your lettering look very precise, even that's something that you can practice, but I love flow. You can even go ahead and practice a few compound strokes like that, it's fun once you get the hang of the nib and the ink, just really relaxing to see that happen. Go ahead and play around. This is our warm up. These are the strokes. You have them for reference, you can practice them as much as you want. I recommend more than not because it just means that you get more confident and your skill develops a little bit more quickly. Now these ovals or circles as most like to call them, can be a little bit challenging. It's a little bit harder to create a rounded shape, but what I want you to do is not change the position of your pen. Your pen should actually be in line with your forearm this entire time. It's one tip that I probably should have talked about at the beginning, so you don't want the pen to jut out, so away from your hand or your arm. You want it to be in line with your forearm always. See how my pen is in line with my arm, not sticking out. What you want to do is make sure that you move your entire hand and your arm in one motion. My pen's not moving to create a circle, my entire arm is moving, that's why again, we support ourselves so that our pen can move around the page. It is a rounded movement, but my arm is moving with the motion, not my pen. Another tip. Make sure your vent is pointed to the ceiling always. You don't want it to turn to the side because then your tines don't open as much and you'll hear that scratching. If you're hearing that scratching, turn your pen so that the vent is facing the ceiling, so pointing to the ceiling. Again, we'll go ahead and trace that O shape. I tend to make a more oval O. If you wanted to make a more rounded O, you can go ahead and do that. Some people tend to start with teardrops, that's okay, because what you're doing is creating muscle memory and learning how to create that shape. Teardrops for now are fine, but you want your writing to be legible, so try to create more of an oval. If you want to put a slant on it, that's fine too. We want to create that oval shape. This is a shape that we use often for a lot of letters that have the ball. Again, with the letter b, it's an opposite, which is our next line. With our letter g, there is our ball, our letter d. Go ahead little bit heavy with the ink there. But you can see how that shape is really important. Practice it, it is a tough one. I promise that it'll get a bit easier with more you practice. With the second row, what you want to do is do the opposite. Create a pressure on the right side of the O, releasing pressure on the way up, so creating pressure down there and then light pressure up. Pressure, light pressure. Pressure, light pressure. Again, see how slow I'm going, this is real-time and I'm not even tracing my Os exactly. I just want to be a little bit more free as I am showing you my warm ups here. Maybe create some more ovals. Ran out of ink there and that's fine. What I'm going to do is change my tracing sheet and we'll continue with the warm-ups. Follow along with me. As I am showing you how to create the warm up strokes, I'm hoping that you have your pen and paper and everything ready as well so that you can practice along with me. Pause the video as much as you need, rewind it. If you work next to me side-by-side as I practice, again, it'll help with retaining tips that I'm sharing with you and looking at your own pen position and ink control. Let's move on to the next one. 4. Essential strokes & warm-up Part 2: I have put a fresh sheet of tracing paper over top so we can finish with that rows of Cs. At this point because I've been recording, I'm going to go ahead and jam freshen up my nibble a little bit in my water and just give it a good wipe. You'll find that you'll need to do this if you've been lettering for half-an-hour or so because the ink tends to dry on the nib. You can see there I've got some dry ink. You want to make sure that it doesn't restrict the flow of the ink along the tines and the vent there. Go ahead and reload, making sure again when I'm reloading, I always remove the excess ink on the edge or the rim of the jar there because that means that I don't have that pooling or peddling of ink as I start to letter. Okay? So going to the C shape is just a thin stroke, thick stroke down. Continue with that thin stroke up. Always when you see a healthier stroke, it's thick pressure down. When you see a thinner stroke, it's thin pressure up. Just very slowly. An C-shape should be a little bit easier for you now that you've done a few rows of O. I'd recommend doing a row or two of each beginning stroke until you feel very confident. So that's the C-shape. I'll go ahead and reload and then we'll create that backward C. The backward C, is a stroke that we use for the letters B, the letter P, as well as Q. So it is an important shape that we need to learn. Okay. Again, I would do two rows of each. Go ahead and you can remove your tape, pull your page up a little bit, and what I even did was I readjusted my tracing sheets so that I wasn't at the bottom of the table making sure that I have plenty of room to rest my forearm. I've moved that sheet up. I'm going to go ahead and do another practice line of my Cs making sure to control that ink. Making sure that my pen is in line with my arm, going nice and slow, supporting that upper body. Again, if there's a line that gave you some trouble, maybe I'll do a few more rows of this warm up stroke here to work on it, and that's what you should be doing. Here is our second sheet of warm-up strokes. These are the exact same strokes that I use when I warm up before and letter anything. It is good to have them on hand, and again, the more you do them, the better you become. So calligraphy is all about muscle memory and creating that muscle memory so that you can, let me do even just so that you can see better. I'm using a bit of light here too, there we go. The more you practice, the more you create that muscle memory. Go ahead and reload, and the easier the strokes become the more confident you become and it'll become even more intuitive. You'll think less about where your pen needs to go next, and your hand and brain will communicate easily so you can talk and letter just like here and I'm here. This stroke right here is the top of B, could be your L. Maybe I'll slow down a little bit so it's a thin upward stroke followed by a thick down, then upward stroke followed by a thick down. You should be getting the hang of your pen and nib and being able to control. If you find that you can't get as many strokes with a single dip as I am, that's okay. That's totally normal. The more practice, the better you become at controlling your ink flow, and the more letters you'll be able to write before you have to reload your pen. Okay, so it's perfectly normal. It's probably something I should have mentioned on the first page. I am able to get quite a few letters out because of the control that I have on the nib. This looks like it's the F shape. Let's go ahead and thick stroke up, thin stroke down with a little bit of a loop. Again, play around with it. If you wanted to create a larger, oops, I went too quickly. If you wanted to create a larger loop, feel free, nice and big and rounded. I want it to be expressive and personal. Start finding your style, as you practice and see what you like. If you don't feel confident yet to practice with strokes as you're still learning and growing, that's okay too. Just go ahead and trace my strokes that had created for you. Let me go ahead and show you what an exaggerated stroke would look like. Moving on to the next one, it's a nice thick down stroke. Very, very lightly up. You can see that I've got some heavy pooling. I'm going a little bit quickly and not wiping my nib off. But it happens and you'll find that you'll need to let your sheet dry because the ink takes a little bit of time to dry. If you're finding that pooling is happening too much, then you've got two things that you can do to help fix that problem. One is to remove more of the ink after you've dipped. So I'm scraping a few times and another is to go a little bit more quickly. So if you're going too slow, what's happening is that ink is pooling because you've just encouraged it to flow really quickly. You'll get that little bit of mess there and you'll see that my vent as nearly empty and I've only done one stroke. Okay. So move your pen a little bit more quickly, but still controlled, creating fairly little pressure on that upstroke. My pen is barely touching the page at this point. Thick down, moving slowly but making sure that my ink isn't pooling. Then also another tip is you want to make sure that you're holding your pen not too closely to the edge because that will be really hard to control and it'll create some scratching. See there how it's a little bit stiff, but you don't want to hold the pen up too high as well because you won't have control on your stroke. I feel like it's wobbling a little bit and it's almost opening up the tines too much. So you want to make sure that you have, I guess that's half an inch room and that creates a really nice amount of control on your pen, still allowing your nib to flex to create those lines. Just finishing up this practice sheet here. This is the bottom of the piece. So you can even practice creating that little flow, which I guess is very similar to the shape. That's the bottom of the P shape right here. It'll all come together. Right now they just look like lines and strokes, but again, I've broken down each and every letter for the lower-case alphabet so that you know what strokes you need to be able to draw because I find them when we do lettering, modern calligraphy, we're drawing strokes and letters versus writing. We're breaking down each and every stroke that we need, in order to write the lower-case alphabet. You'll find when you get to the bottom of this page, it'll be a little bit easier because we've stretched that muscle memory with our O shapes, our compound strokes as well. This shape should be much easier for you to do. Again, as I get to the bottom of this page here, I want you to remember to go ahead and letter each line or practice each line at least once or twice. The more you do it, the better you'll become. Keep these practice sheets because this will be part of your project that I'd love to see you upload to the gallery. I want to see how much you've improved from the top of the sheet to the bottom. It is amazing when I teach lessons, how quickly that improvement can be seen, and it's not until you look back at your practice sheets, do you see that improvement. So that's why I always ask my students to keep their practice sheets so that we can look at them and see how much they've improved from the top of the sheet to the bottom and even from the beginning of the workshop until we've completed the alphabet. 5. Lower Case Alphabet in Real Time: Hopefully you've had some time to warm up and to start your practice strokes. If you're not feeling quite confident yet to go on to the lower-case alphabet, that's okay, what I would recommend is do a little bit more practice. If there are strokes that are a little bit harder like that, oh, that, oh, for some reason it's really challenging to do at the beginning. That's forming that oval shape, the rounded shape, but keeping your pen straight. Anyway, it'll come. Here is our lower-case alphabet, I've gone ahead and applied some washi tape. I'm not going to take down my practice sheet for this one because I want to be able to move it across my lower-case alphabet. But go ahead and make sure that you have it attached with some washi tape to your table. So reloading my pen, what I want to do is practice each and every stroke. Where you see the beginning of the arrow and the exit of the arrow, that is one stroke, you're going to lift your pen and go ahead and move to the next. Always working left to right with our arrows and our strokes, making sure the downward stroke is thicker than your upward stroke. Let's go ahead and line up my sheath, maybe I'll give myself a bit of room to hold it with my other hand, making sure that my pen is aligned with my arm. Moving my arm not the pen, you'll see that happening. So for the a, it's a thick down. I was talking so much, so my ink has dried up a little bit. So it's a thick down followed by a thin up, and then the a is a thick down, followed by a thin up, and the tail finishes with a thick down, that's the stem and the tail. If I want to join the a, that's my first stroke, my second stroke, and my third stroke. That's what it'll look like together. So I'll do this with every single letter that we practice. So the b, the first stroke, then up, step down, that backwards C-shape followed by a tail. So these tails are what we use to join letters when we start to form words. So you want to make sure that you leave a bit of a tail. There we go, I'm getting a little heavy. So this is the c and then joining those three strokes, this is what it should look like. Lastly the d. So it's the tail, that C-shape, as well as our swell, and I'm just going to create an exaggerated tail for that part of the d. Then to complete the d by connecting everything. This is what it looks like. So let's move on to the e. So I'd like for you to do an entire row of a's, an entire row of b's. Even two if possible, I just want to show you how to form all the letters so that you can pause the video, watch it over again if you're unsure how to form the lower-case alphabet. Again, this is my personal style, you may have a different way of forming letters, that's okay. But for those of you who need help with forming some of the letters, I've created this video specifically for that purpose. There's the f, again, making sure we join everything. So our downward stroke will always cover the tail end of a thin upward stroke. Very important to think about as we letter words. Then that will continue and break that down so you can see that. So our beginning stroke, our backward o, connecting it all. Then as you practice more, you'll be able to create compound strokes more intuitively, like this h, I tend to letter now without really lifting my pen to make sure you can see that in the video there. So you've got to be heavy with the ink. The I-shape, again, you'll be able to do this in one stroke, the j is very similar, creating that tail. Always dot your i's, you're j's cross your t's at the very end. So the k, k is actually my least favorite letter. This one I've created has a little bit of that ball that thought it'd be a little bit more stylized. That's what it looks like when you join it all together. The l is very simple. Breaking down those strokes help you to visualize where you need to take a break with your pen, so that when you write in modern calligraphy, it still has that unique look. There's our N-shape, I connected that for you, so this is what it looks like, broken down. Then you just want to connect the upward stroke as you letter it again. There's our o, creating a little tail because that's how we connect our o to the letter beside it when we start to form words. Here is our p, so it's essentially four strokes when you break it down, but when you connect them, that can be a single stroke. Again, still going slowly, here's the queue. Those are all the strokes that you need, the ball going down over that thin upward stroke and connecting it there. R's my most favorite letter to draw. That's what it looks like when you put it all together. So again, lifting there and making sure to apply pressure on your downward stroke. If you're finding that your hands are a little bit stiff, go ahead and take a break, pause the video and stretch out a bit because you will tend to cramp up, I'm even feeling it now as I am lettering. So s's tend to be very personal, that's just how I personally style them. A t, this is what the strokes look like, and then when you join them together, obviously you'll go back and cross your t. Getting down now to w, w's and m's tend to be very fun letters to add personality to with modern calligraphy. Once you have a little bit of practice. There is our v, it should be quite easy. Again, joining those strokes, that's what it should look like. Our w, oh, did I screw up here? Oh, I gave you two w's. I'm going to go ahead and change that on the actual printouts. We'll do the w again. Here, I'll show you what a w looks like when I letter it now. See, break in the rules, I love bouncy flowy lettering. So when you have a bit of practice, you can play around with your style. Here's the x, that's what it will look like. So it's you're beginning stroke, the body of your x, and then crossing it with a thin upward stroke. Moving on to the y, here under turn o as well and your tail, this is what it looks like again when you join, and then you'll see at the bottom of my sheet here. I don't have the proper support. Washi tape comes in handy here. Creating pressure, there's your z. So that is the entire lower-case alphabet, just like on your practice sheet. Go ahead and practice a single letter to an entire row or two of a's, even an entire sheet. If you find that there is a letter that gives you a bit of trouble, the k's again, aren't my favorite. Go ahead and do a few more of those k's. Don't move on to the next letter until you feel confident that you have the letter beforehand done, or like I said, at least do a row of each and then you can go back and practice. So I hope that helped and I'll see you in the next video. 6. Dip Pen Upper case : Here's a little bonus video for you. I'll demonstrate a simple uppercase alphabet that you can start practicing to help with whether you're lettering some envelopes or perhaps writing a poem and calligraphy, you'll want an uppercase alphabet that you can use for reference. Here's a very simple one that we'll start with. Again, remember, thick downstroke and thin upstroke using a parchment calligraphy paper that has a little bit more tooth. Get used to that as I start lettering this alphabet for you. I'm writing these letters a little bit larger to help you see them on the screen. An uppercase letters can be a little bit more personal. You can play around with how much you create some interest with your loops or keep them very simple. I find letters that have a little bit more curb and interests to them. I tend to add a little bit of a tail just very simply. Letters that have just more straight lines, I will keep more simple. The letter F you can play around with how much you flow so I can leave a little bit of a tail. Then just crossed. I am dipping every time. I am lettering a letter only because again, I'm creating such large letters for you to be able to see. Normally they'd be at least half the size. H is traditionally just very simple with two straight lines. But here's a little bit more interest where you can add some loops to your letter H. Again, if you wanted to keep it more simple, you could just do a downstroke. There's a little bit of a variation if you're not into more of the loops in your letters. The letter I for traditional style and the J is very similar to the letter I. Can add a little bit of a tail there. Here's the letter K for you, and K is my nemesis. I'll try to add a little bit of interest with my downstroke. What I did is I varied the downstroke so it started thin. Then adding a little bit more pressure there to create a little bit more interested in that stroke because we all have a letter that we really don't love. Here's the letter L and M will keep it very basic or just create a tail, maybe a little loop. Let's have a little loop to the M. You can add as much interest as you'd like. Once you get practicing, you'll be able to play around with your letters and finding really what works for you. There's M and N. Let's add just a little bit of a loop there our O and a tail or a left my pen. Then the upper part of the P here. Q, we' ll just keep it really simple. Similar to the O, I'm just going to loop it down and add a tail there. You want your uppercase letters to be cohesive. If you are lettering things like envelopes, they all match when you bring it together. There's the letter R. Again, you know me I don't like to use lines, but if you wanted to slip aligned sheet underneath you draw them in, you could add them in quite easily. A very simple T and there is our letter, U and V. Can also just be nice and simple. There's our W, really you can add a little bit more interest there. There's my X, and the uppercase Y is very similar to lowercase so I got a little bit of trick there. You can see I got heavy, hope you are able to see that. But the ink is really just sticking on the nip so I'm going to go ahead and grab my water that I have here, handy, giving it a little bit of a wash in the water. Removing the excess. I think my ink might be a little bit dry. That's why it's bubbling up like that. There we go. Nice and fresh. Looks good actually. Let's try that Y again now that I've freshened up my nip, you can see it's much more smooth. Once you start to see that your ink isn't flowing properly, you can go ahead and just give it a rinse. I did do a bunch of warm-up before I started recording this video. There's the Z. I'll try that again for you. Sometimes traditionally Zs can look like this. Again, it's really just personal preference. Here is the upper case alphabet for you to play around with. I'll show you what it looks like, perhaps you're lettering off loops. Let's do Mr. and Mrs. really quickly, I'll put this down here so you can see our M and again, if you're addressing an envelope, maybe adding in your lowercase or uppercase M, and then adding your Mr and the and would be of course lower case. I don't have enough room. Just enough room, I squeezed it in there just so you can see the alphabet, the side, or if you're maybe lettering someone's name. How about we do the name Jack so you can see that. I'll go ahead and use my alphabet for reference and always leaving that space with the upper letter. There you go. I hope you enjoyed that and we'll use this uppercase alphabet for reference so that you can continue to practice as you build your calligraphy skills. 7. Upper case example 2: Here is another version of the uppercase alphabet for you, and I am just going to be playful and explore different letters, shapes, and forms and again just encouraging you to go with what feels natural. I'm making my letters fairly large here so that they're easy to see on the video. But if you feel like you want to create letters that are a little smaller, feel free. There's the letter E. Do something just very fun and flowy for the letter F. G's, I tend to just create a larger version of a lowercase g. My calligraphy style is pretty casual. That looks like an uppercase letter for me, I find it the better. Just because, again, my calligraphy style is a little bit less formal, and that's what I love about modern calligraphy. You can just go with what feels right. That almost looks like an uppercase R. K is, I have to say, one of my least favorite letters to do. I find that, for me, they're a bit challenging. I do have my favorites, but K's are definitely not one of them. [inaudible] I just buried the upper part of the M there. In my advanced modern calligraphy class, I give you some new examples of alphabets that we get to play with, as well as how to create. I got really blobby there I wasn't paying attention. There's the O again, as well as how to create some bounce and flow to your lettering, how do you join letters, we'll do a little q. Let's try that again. Create a little bit of a swirl, not crazy about that one when I like the first one better. But creating balance and flow, how to join your letters that would be the next step too to do better again. To practicing your calligraphy, if you feel like this is something that you'd like to explore as more than just a hobby maybe you'd love to become a calligrapher and create a little side income, maybe you're looking for a little bit of freedom with your time. Let's do that one again too. I want to explore, being in a creative environment, maybe watch a freelance and learning how to join letters and creating your own personal voice with calligraphy would be the next steps that I would recommend and practice of course practice is key. Just like when you're learning anything, whether it be an instrument, a new skill, the more you practice, the more time to dedicate to your practice, the quicker you'll see improvement and the more successful you'll be guaranteed and then Z's, I love to add, very similar to the last one. Just to give you another variety, that is another option for the uppercase alphabet. 8. Closing & Your Class Project: I hope the lower-case alphabet was something that came a little bit easy for you since I've broken down exactly how to form the letters. What I recommend you do going forward now is maybe re-watch that video again or that part of the class and practice your lettering along with me. Choose one letter to practice a day but to an entire sheet of it. Maybe trace a little bit from the practice sheets that have provided you with and then create your own lettering as well. Vary the size and the shape may be your slant play around so that it becomes more modern and feel and more stylized to your personal skill as well as your personal taste. If you're still developing your personal style, what I like to do is just play around again with mimicking others whose work that I admire. Don't copy but mimic and then try to create your own personalized style into your lettering. For the tips, remember everything that I've shared with you along this class. Remember your arm position, how your pen should be held as well. Making sure it's in line with your arm so that your tines open, nice and smoothly and evenly. Go slow. Modern calligraphy is a slow practice. It isn't something that I want you to rush. I really want you to breathe and get into the meditative mode of how we hand letter using a pen and really enjoy the process. Again, taking away from the technology and the texting and the typing. As much as I love my technology, I actually crave paper and the pen and just expressing myself that way. Hopefully that introduction or maybe it's something that you're growing as well. For your project, what I'd like for you to do is share with me all of your practice sheets I want to see your beginning strokes and how much you've grown in the process of this class and your practicing and show me your alphabet. I don't want it to be traced. I really want it to be your personal lettering. Then that will give you a baseline. As you start to practice more and work on your lettering, look back at your beginning strokes, you'll see a difference, I promise you. The more you practice, the bigger that difference will be. I hope that you do that with me. I want to thank you for taking this class with me. It's been an incredible experience. I've learned so much about producing an online class and I hope to share many more actually, I've got some ideas. If you have any input, if there's anything you'd like to see, please let me know so that I can incorporate them into my classes that will be upcoming, hopefully soon. Thank you again for taking this class with me. Please connect with me because I am inspired by your work in your practice. I hope you've enjoyed the introduction to modern calligraphy using a dependent for beginners. Thanks again. 9. BONUS! Fun Project Ideas: [MUSIC]. For this little bonus video I wanted to share with you some fun project ideas, that maybe will inspire you to use your new modern calligraphy skill in your everyday life. Perhaps with your business and your social media posts. Once you learn how to form the letters using modern calligraphy, you can use different tools like a small brush pen, like I used for this project where I created some interesting wrap for my lavender that I picked up the garden, made for a great social media posts. I know it is in line with my business but again, just looking at some unique ideas for you to use and different projects. These water bottles are just from right here. I used oil markers and created some fun verse and lettering for when we were entertaining. Again, the signs are signs that I created for an event that we had. There's a wedding sign, again picking up different materials and getting creative with ways that you can use modern calligraphy lettering. This is a leaf that I picked for my garden using acrylic ink and a small fine brush. These are the same strokes that I teach with how to form letters but changing up the medium can make some really interesting, fun and unique projects. I hope this little video has inspired you to maybe explore your lettering skill, grow your style of lettering, and also play around with different tools and mediums. It can be fun once you've learned using a pointed pen and nib , picking up a brush or a felt tip marker is a really easy transition. I hope you enjoy, I hope you're inspired and I'll see you in my next class. 10. Upper Case Example 1: Before we get started on our uppercase letters, I'll go ahead and take some of this washi tape and just get my practice sheet down, so that it doesn't move around when I am practicing. This tracing paper that I'm using has a bit of a slip to it, so that the ink doesn't get completely absorbed onto the paper. It rather sits on top of the paper. There we go. We have our tracing paper ready to go. Maybe move this ink out of the way here. Go ahead and start working on forming the uppercase alphabet. Now with the uppercase alphabet, it really is personal preference in terms of how flourish you'd like for it to be or how simple. My personal style for calligraphy is less flourish. I prefer bounce and movement in my lettering. This uppercase alphabet, that I've given you in your practice workbook, is a very good one to start with. I feel like I tend to keep my uppercase lettering just a little bit more simple because I don't want it to compete with the balance in the flow of my lowercase alphabet. What I'll do is show you how to trace each and every letter. Perhaps, you're following along with me, tracing as well. You can see that the letters, I've made them really large on your tracing sheets. My E, for instance, my downward strokes aren't as thick as the ones that I'm creating here with this nib. I may have used a nib that had a bit more flex when I was creating this tracing sheet for you. Then when you digitize, I tend to make things a little bit larger, so that you can see the lettering better, so the strokes aren't exact. I should have probably put some washi tape on there. Don't worry about making your downward strokes as thick as what's on your practice sheets and even remember that we have different hand lettering style, so it won't be exactly the same as my example, just as long as you understand the flow of each letter. Whenever you see a thin stroke you know that you would go upwards, a thick stroke, of course, is downwards. I'll show you some variation after I'm done tracing this alphabet for you. L is one of my favorite uppercase letters to do. You can lift your pen after each stroke if you choose. As you become a little bit more advanced, you don't need to worry about lifting your pen as much. Again, the more you practice, the more you create that muscle memory and your hand automatically knows what direction to go to next without really having to communicate with your brain as much. Again, these practice sheets are really good to use with a small brush pen, if you're not only using a dip pen. I actually created the worksheets, so that they are flexible. I love to give options and value. If you're using a small brush pen, you can go ahead and use the exact same tracing sheets as this dip pen glass. The more you practice your lettering with varied tools, you'll notice you'll improve even more quickly. There are different ways of creating uppercase letters just like lowercase; however, I find there is more variety with the uppercase alphabet that's why I've given you two options for the letter Z. There you go. That's how you would trace the uppercase alphabet if you're using the tracing sheet that is available in your workbook. Now, what I'll do is I'll give you an option for an alternate uppercase alphabet that you can try along with me here in the class.