Modern Brush Calligraphy: Learn the Rules and Break Them | Jennifer Chandra | Skillshare

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Modern Brush Calligraphy: Learn the Rules and Break Them

teacher avatar Jennifer Chandra, Calligraphy, Watercolor and Design

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

12 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Basic Rules, Guide, and Strokes

    • 4. Lowercase Letters

    • 5. Uppercase Letters

    • 6. Connecting Letters

    • 7. Break the Rules 1: Bouncy

    • 8. Break the Rules 2: Spacing

    • 9. Break the Rules 3: Flourish

    • 10. Layout a Phrase

    • 11. Bonus: Watercolor Splash

    • 12. Project

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About This Class


“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” —Pablo Picasso

The art of calligraphy is getting more popular these days. You might have seen plenty of gorgeous artwork out there and wanting to try it on your own. Good news is, yes, anyone can learn it!

The best thing about learning modern brush calligraphy is that you learn the rules for the purpose of breaking them later on. The rules are not merely for you to follow, but to understand the basic so that you can explore ways to beautifully write the letters and find your own style.

In this class, you will learn about the basic of modern brush calligraphy, such as basic strokes, writing lowercase and uppercase, and how to connect letters to form a word. You will also learn ways to break the rules to infuse personality into your calligraphy.

By the end of the class, you will have the knowledge of the basic rules and ready to break it like a pro! You can use this skill to create your own DIY cards, wall art and more. I also hope you will be able to find your own joy in doing calligraphy after taking my class.

Let’s get started!


Upon completing the class, let me know what you think about this class by leaving a comment on review section. Don't forget to follow me on SkillShare for future classes and also on instagram @glimpseofblessings for daily inspiration. You can also reach me via email at [email protected] and visit me at :)

Have a blessed day!

Meet Your Teacher

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Jennifer Chandra

Calligraphy, Watercolor and Design


Hello! My name is Jennifer, founder of Glimpse of Blessings. I am a graphic designer by day and calligrapher at night (well, actually any other time!). I have been doing calligraphy since 2017 and create custom calligraphy artworks for many lovely clients. I started Glimpse of Blessings when I was working in Singapore. After I got married in 2018, I move to Bay Area in California, USA and continue doing calligraphy here.

I specialize in modern brush calligraphy, often pairing my artworks with simple line drawing and watercolor elements. I also love to explore writing on various materials. I believe that it is always community over competition, and it is rewarding to share the knowledge and blessings to others. So here I am, sharing with all of you here on SkillShar... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello, everyone. I'm Jennifer from glimpse of missings will come to my modern breast calligraphic class on Scotia. There is a quote from public because so that goes like this. Learned the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. The best thing about learning, what's worse, clicker. You learn the rules for the purpose of breaking them later. The rules are not nearly for you to follow, but to understand the basic so that you can explore ways to beautifully write letters and find your own stuff. This class, you learn about a basic modern brush calligraphy, such SP six trucks fighting lower case and upper case and know how to connect letters for work. You will also learn ways to make the host in his personality. At the end of the class, you have the knowledge of basic rules and ready to break it can use the skill to crater on the I Y carts. Will are more. I also hope you've been able to find your own joy in doing calligraphy after taking my class, so let's get started 2. Supplies: many off. You might wonder what paper and burst Spence you should use because there are so many options out there I'm going to share with you. Starting reaches in your paper for breast spend calligraphy practice. You should use paper of its most with proofs or face. You're Inc will last longer, and it will also profound your freshman from fraying or wearing off so quickly. I like to use hitch be premium to 32 paper because it is stick its most and has great value . Considering the price and quantity that you get. You can use this paper to print officiates, using any printer that you have as well. Another option is Rhodia dot It comes with the grid, so it is great for driving guidelines. You can also use cancer in marker pen. This paper is dinner so you can lay this on top off your printer. Practice shit so you can reuse the British it over and over for breast bands. Toretto Times for Sonus Malta and the 2nd 1 is large, small, depressed. Spence are great for beginner because there are much more easier to control. It is perfect if you want to write smaller size matters or longer freeze recommended brand for small depress pants are Trumbo for the notes. Okay, hot tip and mental match. Freshman. There are two types off Dumbo for the notes. Okay, the 1st 1 is the heart. We just a blue collar, and the 2nd 1 is the soft tip. Just the green color. You can buy this best as a set. The heart dip man is easier to use because it's firmer and not as flexible as the software Bendel touch Brush Spend is my personal favorite because it is slightly weathered and tumble makes it glides smoother on the paper. When buying this pen, make sure you get the one with breast because they also have another very similar Ben. We just felt it felt that Ben's cannot produce thick and thin lines on calligraphy. The most popular brand for large dip Crespin Istanbul. Dual breast this Venice. Great, because you can blend the colors nicely. Another option that you can try is Crayola. It's not exactly a brush plan because it doesn't have flexible tips, but the broth tip makes it possible to create the signature contrast off thick and thin strokes and calligraphy for consistency. I will use mental touch brush spent in this class. I have also created a set off Brooke ships. Were you to follow along? You can print out a pretty she it under your project. If you only have flash step rush man with your now. No worries because I have also created the blank British it for latched it so you can follow along. Let's start learning the rules. 3. Basic Rules, Guide, and Strokes: like what I explained in the beginning. Off the class in modern calligraphy, we learned the basic rules to break them afterwards. So what are the rules? Rule number one, which is the ultimate rule, is thick, dumbstruck and thin. Abstract. We want if a nice contrast in our letters, hold your pen comfortably in 45 degree angle, put heavy pressure and make a down stroke. The more tips service touch the paper ticker. It will appear for a nice and thin. After all, put very little pressure and just let the tip brushed the fence lately. This way you will have, unless contrast between your down struck and after we will learn more about the basic strokes later on. Rule number two is consistent spacing. We want to have consistent spacing between letters. To achieve this, we have to go slowly in writing our letters and lift up the pen after its stroke so we can estimate where we want to comic our next letter. - We will learn more about connecting letters. Also later on Rule number tree is consistence. Lend Some people like to write their work straight, and others like to have its lantern ankle doesn't really matter As long I see all your letters have the same angle, so they will look like they belong to one family. You can set your desired angle. You see your first letter the next night. There were followed this land off the first letter again. Let's go slowly and lift up the pen after its stroke so we can carefully write them in the same angle. So that's it. Those are the basic rules in modern brush calligraphy. Now let's move on to our guide and basic stroke to see how we apply the Buffels. I created this place yet so you can use it for practice. U. S. C. Four main lines here. This is how a basic grip looks like The thick line here is called Baseline. It is where your letters will sit. The dotted line here called Excite It is the height off your lower case. The villain on top is called a center line. It's where they let Thurston extent above Ex high like the letter B are you touch? This is also the height off your upper case and the last one. The deadline at the bottom is called the center line it's where the thirst that extend below the baseline like Let RG letter. Why real touch When creating your own artwork on a blank paper, you can create your own gut line. Roughly. Draw your guidelines using a pencil. You may, Georgia baseline on Lee are all of the guidelines. It's your choice, and you can erase the pencil marks afterwards. No, let's more fun to the basic strokes. Practicing using basic strokes is very good to build your muscle memory. I like to turn my paper a little bit, so it is easier for me to draw the letters in slammed. The first basic straw is don't stroke. Like what I have explained. We want to have a nice, big down stroke. Put heavy pressure as you make your down stroke. Next is abstract. You want to have a 10 obstruct very like pressure as you make your upstroke. So just let the tape off your pants. Watch the paper. The next is the under turn. We start with a heavy Don stroke and continue it alive. Absolute Some letters that used the strokes, our letter you and leather. Why next is the overturn. We start with a light up strong and continue with a heavy down stroke. Some letters that use destroy our mother, H and M Next it is the combination off under turn and overturn. We start with a heavy dose stroke life ab straw and heavy down stroke. We used us to connect letters. For example. Let their A and end. Next it is combination off overturn and under turn, we start with a lion upstroke, heavy down stroke and light upstroke. Use this to comic letters as well. For example, at the end, and I next it is the sender. Restart the upstroke from the X height, make a loop down with Adele struck and finish it with a light. Absolute. Some letters that used to stroke our letter B and D Lex is the D sender. We start with heavy down stroke from the X height, make a look up upstroke and have a crossing point at a best line. Some letters that used to stroke our letter G and J. Next, it's the over start with a tiny upstroke heavy, dull stroke and complete the circle. This is the base off a number off letters such as A and D in the last one is the horizontal stroke. When drawing a horizontal stroke, use light pressure like how we draw on upstroke. This used for the lower case T. Don't worry too much about making the exact strokes like mine. The most important thing is to train your muscle on the take and thin strokes so they can be consistent and you can have a nice contrast. Next. We're going to learn how to build our letters using those basic strokes. 4. Lowercase Letters: Now that you have learned about basic strokes, let's start forming our leathers. Remember to go slow and lift up your pen after it struck, so you can focus on getting the consistent thickness and angle. I will demonstrate each lower case so you can see it being written step by step in real time. 5. Uppercase Letters: Let's move on to the uppercase. Uppercase is a nice touch in writing a phrase. The height off upper case is from baseline to send their line the game. Remember to go slow and lift up your pan after its stroke. I will also demonstrate each uppercase leather so you can see it being written step by step in real time. 6. Connecting Letters: we have control all the letters was lower case and upper case. Hey, so I stand to connect them and to create a work, I will use common greeting card phrases at the sample zoo. Can Eustis for your project later on. First, let's try with the word thank you like how we wrote it off the leather. You also want to go slow and lift up our pen after it struck and leather. - You want to stop each leather at around the same point so the spacing can become system. Let's do another break. This with congratulations. Like the rules that I have mentioned earlier. It is nice to have the spacing An ankle consistent in the last one. That's too heavy. Birthday, as you can see here, used a combination off under turn and offer turn to connect the letter, for example, like A and P transition looks most when you have a car like this. So yes, here is the basic of connecting letters. Next we're moving to the exciting part which is breaking the rules 7. Break the Rules 1: Bouncy: you might notice that until now all of our letters sit on the baseline. Francis Tower is the easiest way toe at more fun to your calligraphy and break away from the baseline. There are a few ways to do this. First variation is to extend the end of letters. Let's use the word thank you. You can extend the end off its letter slightly beyond the baseline, and it can give the impression off need yet fun competition because basically there are still sitting on the baseline by the pills that settled on Scientific. Second variation is to break away completely from the baseline. You can alternate the up and down off the letters. For example, the first letter we go down mix one is up and then down and then up next one is up and then down. I didn't up perforation. You can also vary the size of the letters. Notice that in this example my letter a smaller than the previous examples Well, I still maintain the same high for the ascender and sender for bonds. Sick, like coffee. Don't be afraid to break away from the baseline. You can just suddenly extend the letters are exaggerated up and down 8. Break the Rules 2: Spacing: If you want your calligraphy to look more elegant, play with wider spacing between letters is a great direction as it gives more breathing space. I used a word. Congratulations for why their spacing. Pull the tail off your letter for Ger before connecting it to the next level. Way can also infuse our bonsai calligraphy into this space. That work. You can vary it, exploring tighter spacing as well. Doing this, it means our letter so narrow are because we want less base in big letters. - Having it in bonsai calligraphy looks great, too. - In conclusion, you can either make your word wider or narrower, depending on how you pull the tail off your letter. If you wanted to be whiter, will it further if you want it to be narrower with closer. 9. Break the Rules 3: Flourish: flourishing is heading decorative elements to your lines. Simplest way is to add more loops or Carl's in your Ascender are descend er, such as letter B N G. Of course, you can also add it to your other letters. Let's try it on the world Happy Birthday. Instead of starting from the baseline, I started Look from around the X height. A letter B. I add a little loop at the sender. Same thing with the wife. I do not at the horizontal stroke for letter T, but instead I combine it with the sender off letter H. This is a good way to give a slightly different look to your work. Also at the little for letter D too much toe earlier on Letter P and why we can also start to flourish from the bottom. This is one of my favorite variation just adding a big look on my D sender for the letter B. I started strong from the top off the previous work here . I had a little bit off curve off the horizontal stroke. Do not be afraid to play with curves and looks. You can add a little bit off bones here, too. - I can even flourish letter without the sender like our. Since we are breaking the rules here, you don't have to connect every single letter. There are a lot of ways you can explore with flourish Let your creativity flow. Wait flourished sender asunder enough word and also your horizontal light. 10. Layout a Phrase: to create more interesting and dynamic artwork. Let's learn how to lay out the phrase Let's use have a blessed day. It's an example. First, we need to identify which one is the most important work. No word that you want to highlight in this race. I find the word blast is the highlight because blessed is the most important work. I wanted to be more prominent than other words. I will join the best line greed and have that work at the center of my work. After our letter, the work blessed, I can add the rest of the world with smaller scale. One option is to have it in modern click Orpheus well, and in second option, you can have the rest of the attacks in block letters. This will create a good contrast and also form a nice composition. Another option. You can also have the block letters and thick and thin, like how we do our calligraphy earlier. - Feel afraid to play with your layout. It is not around to get all your words in the same size, but the emphasising certain worked. You can create more dynamic at work 11. Bonus: Watercolor Splash: while black and white calligraphy ISS minimalist and pretty. Sometimes I want to add a slice off color into my artwork. In this bonus video, I will teach you how to add a watercolors, plus background effect with Tom Bode. Well, breast. No real watercolor needed materials that you need our watercolor paper to model brush men's sprayer and ziplock back. I use watercolor paper because it is thick and kept a weather very well if you do not have a ziplock back, and a transparent plastic bag works, too. First draw lines on the Ziploc back using your chase off colors. Draw them close to each other but known it for them. Toe touch because they will blood once we at the water. I usually used to our tree colors to create more interesting color combination. Next, Starting from the top, spread the water while making a quick movement. Of course, the colors to get it all equality wet. Rip it while going down the plastic back. Try to find the balance and make careful not to put too little or too much water. Lastly, today the plastic back and place it upset down on the quarter color paper gently breast the plastic around and you will see the beautiful, planned off colors. You can also press the plastic back, expend the area off the watercolor, splish much. It is dry you can at your calligraphy on top of it. 12. Project: congratulations for making it this far. In this class, you have controlled the basic rules off modern brush calligraphy, such as basic strokes to form the letters, consistency and spacing insolent and how to conduct letters to fall over. We have also learned about ways to break those basic rules, such as adding pounds to your letters, just spacing and decorate with flourishes. You have already have rich but them that's up in our class project for your project that's create that reading card. Just a work or a short phrase letter it the way you like. You can stand by the rules and keep it in our Britain, most with something more playful and experiment. You can also combine it with water colors, post growth for one life. I am gonna choose to show the project with the rest of the way. We can learn from each other and build one. I'm so excited to see what you will create. All of the work sheets of this class is available under your project in Resources Section for you to referred to what we have just learned to get. Don't forget to follow me on skill share for future classes. Also on instagram things inspiration. You have a blessed day