Modern Calligraphy II: Words, Phrases & Flourishes | Sheila B | Skillshare

Playback Speed

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

Modern Calligraphy II: Words, Phrases & Flourishes

teacher avatar Sheila B, Letterer + Maker

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

9 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Class Intro

    • 2. Quick Review of Modern Calligraphy: Getting Started

    • 3. Tools You Need

    • 4. Practicing

    • 5. Deep Dive Flourishing

    • 6. More Writing

    • 7. Planning Your Personal Manifesto

    • 8. Using Adobe Illustrator For Final Design

    • 9. Closing Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

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

This is an intermediate class on modern script calligraphy. Which is also the second class in this short series. You will learn more about the tools and how to use each of them. If you have just started with nib and ink, or you have gained some control, this class deepens your understanding.

We will see how you can practice different words and ligatures to develop different styles of calligraphy. These styles can be used to create different moods and eventually will lead you to develop your own calligraphic style.

As this is the second class in this series, I will teach you how to do beautiful flourishing as you might have gained some control. We will also digitize our calligraphic work in Adobe Illustrator. If you don't know the basics of Adobe Illustrator, then you would be surprised to know how many great classes are here on Adobe Illustrator. Go check them out if you need to. It will be fun.

If you are not sure about what modern calligraphy is and you are a beginner, then you can go to the first class in this series - Modern Calligraphy: Getting Started, Tools & Exercises

You will learn how to write and design a personal manifesto. You can flaunt it or get a print too. You can use these learning for different types of creative works too.

We will do lots of writing in this short 40-minutes class. Overall, it's a fun and easy way to continue your learnings. You can hit enroll and get started with this class. See you in!


Background Music:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sheila B

Letterer + Maker


I love doing calligraphy, lettering, illustrations and making things.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
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. Class Intro: Hi, This is modern calligraphy. Two words, phrases and flourishes on skill share Thesis the second class in this short Siris on script calligraphy. In this class, you will learn further about the tools and supplies for modern script calligraphy and how to use them. In this class, you will get a chance to deep in your knowledge, we will see how you can practice different words and ligatures to develop different styles of calligraphy. And these styles can be used to create different moods and eventually will lead you to develop your own calligraphic style. As this is the second class in this series, I will teach you how to do beautiful floor ish ing as you might have gained some control at the end of this class, we will work on an exciting project and how to make it look beautiful. You will learn how to write and design a personal manifesto, and you could use thes learnings for different types of creative works, too. You can hit in roll and let's get started with this class. Thanks 2. Quick Review of Modern Calligraphy: Getting Started: So, as you know, this is a second class in the short Siris of modern script calligraphy. For a second, let's take a look at what I taught you in the first class. If you are not enrolled in that class, then you can enroll in my first calligraphy class. Then it's easy to follow this class to. Firstly, you learned about the most basic tools that you need for modern calligraphy. You learned about the inks, papers, Nibs and new upholders. Then I took you through different types of nips. He learned about how to maintain and use these tools for best results and how to keep the Nibs clear of residue inks. Then you learned how to start applying these tools on paper. We started with some practice strokes. You also learned how to hold the pen and how to use its name for different results. And I hope you have practiced keystrokes as they will teach you modern skills for drawing flawlessly with nips and ink. After some more practice strokes, you learned about how to write a letter forms with these tools for writing in modern calligraphy, and you also got a practice sheet to help you practice these letter forms, he learned both the upper case and lower case letter forms. After these alphabets, we looked into the technique that goes into writing a word or a phrase. But in the last class, the goal was to get you acquainted with the letter forms and tools. So this was something that I will cover deeply in this class. In this class, your goal is to learn how to actually write in modern script calligraphy without much of hiccups. It's important for you to focus on how to go from one letter to another letter to form a word. More challenging for you is to learn how to keep that style, even from a word to different words of a composition. If you haven't followed my first class, then enroll in that one. And once you are confident about how to hold the pen and how do you draw different letter forms? Then you're good to go, or you can watch this class and come back again to get more out of it. 3. Tools You Need: let's start by quickly looking at a few of the tools will need for a beautiful modern calligraphy. First, you'll need some papers. I usually use my large sketch pad for this, and the most important thing is the thickness. I recommend a thicker kind of paper because if you use a simple copy paper, your ink is going to bleed, which is not very comfortable. The best quality is around 1 50 g. M. Two or more. If you're doing any professional work to 80 or 300 GM works well, we're going to use a nib and a paper holder for writing. This is the second most important tool for modern calligraphy. I use brows 3 61 alias Blue Pumpkin, Neb. Because this is my favorite, and I think the best for most of the artworks. You can get it at any art shops, as this is a very popular NEB. Third tool you'll need is the Drawing Inc. You confined it in several colors and mix, um, to get beautiful towns. But now I'm going to use the basic black one. Here. I recommend the cheaper ones first, starting and practicing. You also need something to clean like a handkerchief or a tissue. It's recommended because we'll need to sponge up the unnecessary ink and wash the dried pieces from the neb. It's very useful and comes in handy when you mess something. Of course, we'll need water for washing the Nibs and holder. So get a glass of water. For this step. I'm going to show you how to clean your NEBs. I just have to dip my nip into my drawing ink to show you how to clean your pen. First, Dip the new in the little ink bottle and clear the unwanted ink with a gentle move. Here's what it has to look like. Don't dip it too deep just till the vent hole. If you did it, don't worry. You can use your handkerchief. Despond it a bit, so put it in the water, wash it regularly, then just sponge up the nib and that's it. You're ready 4. Practicing: If you're following along with May, I would suggest that you get a warm up by doing some practice strokes. Then it will be easy to follow along. Here's what we're going to practice some words and letters and learn about styling. So, as I showed previously, just dip your nib into the ink till the vent tal, and we can start with the first steps. Let's see how to write the word heart. You will do all lower case letters here. Always write slowly and with direct moves or else your lines are going to be really wavy. It to will help you gain control if you go faster than you will lose your control. And that's not a very good idea. When you're starting out, I think you'll feel how much space you'll need between your letters. But here I am going to show you the different variations. You have to dip the nib after around two or three letters, so always pay attention to this. In the second version, the space between the letters is a bit less. You can see that the proportion isn't so nice, so it's the wrong way of doing things, But you can see how it reflects the mood. By varying these spaces, you can gain different results. In the 3rd 1 I will write the letters a pit whiter. I think it looks great, so it's nice as the 1st 1 As the character spacing is uniform throughout, make sure you take a pause around every one or two letters. This way you can write words which are a little dreamy in mood. The take away of this example is that you can vary the character spacing for creating different styles of calligraphy. Let's try another word. Our second word is inspire. It's a simple one and also good for practicing here. The method will be this same like it was in the previous heart word. When you are writing the letter s, make sure that you pay attention to the down stroke. It's a bit tricky to get it right the first time. First, the right one with neat space between the letters. Secondly, the tinier version and finally the wider one, which is also good and looks nice. In the second variation, the spacing is uniforms, so it still looks great, even though it's not that clean and wide You can also vary the height of the letters and gain different results. If you can control these two elements of the letter forms, you can gain lots of different results. Practice a word by varying these two things the height and the spacing between letters you will love to see the mood each one creates. Try to define what each style reflects by your own judgment. This will help you gain control on what you want a writing work to look like. As I said, a few letters such as S E and A needs some more attention when you want to write them perfectly. So let me show you how you could get good at them. We'll continue with connected lower case letters. One way to get better at these letters is by repeating some combinations. Even if they don't mean anything, they will develop your style and your motor skills. Begin with practice combination A s, A s A s. Begin with the letter A and connect it with s. Then take a break, then repeated again. What you need to worry about is that you lay down perfect up and down strokes. You can refer to the practice sheet that I gave you in the last class. You can compare your letters with those references just in case. Follow it with other combinations such as C h ch m. Why e y t h th t o t o t o and finally with T T T t and F R F R F F R R F F R r. So these combinations will really help you move faster in your writing skills while you're trying to build your style. If you feel confident at these letters but feel stuck in different letter combinations, feel free to practice your own combination. It's great to test and try what works best for you. Repeat it two or three times, at least, to feel your pen and how much space you should leave between your letters. Always pay attention to your nip. It has to be wet enough, but keep an eye on when it's going to get dry. Overriding is bad, so avoid it. If you feel like the ink dried too soon, you can dip it into the water just a little bit, and it will help. Sometimes Inc are not in the perfect condition and develop different consistencies. Using water can help a bit. Here, you can see that I didn't hold the pen strong enough during that letter F So the upstroke got a little wavy. Make sure you hold your pen distinctly in The next lesson will practice, um flourishing. 5. Deep Dive Flourishing: one of the best ways to beautify your artwork is by adding flourishes to your calligraphy. It might seem strange with other writing styles, but with calligraphy it goes very well. It offers a great way to differentiate your work as well as men to the gaps here will practice some beautiful swash is and flourishes that'll make your artwork great. We'll begin with the most popular ways to add flourishes, which you can follow. I will show you the differences between the pressures and the 1st 1 You can see that the down strokes are a bit. Then, in the second version, you could see that I pushed my nib a bit more so. The down strokes are thicker and better when you are doing calligraphy. It's important to maintain uniformity in your letter forms and flourishes. Here I will show you how to flourish from the ends line of your letters. I picked the most common age for this. You can do it right from the line, but usually when you write a phrase or a word first you just write it. Then do the flourishing and decoration in the end, because you'll see which one looks better When you have finished, you can even copy your calla graphic work and then tried different flourishes before finalizing the best one. Let's try the letter T. Usually we do some decoration from the cross line of this letter T so you can practice it from that stroke for different letters. There are different ways to do the flourishing. With more control, you can draw some complex flourishing to you need to hold the pen firmly to gain better control. If you hold too tight, then it will affect the flow of the flourishes. And if it's to lose, then it might wiggle in the way. So try some yourself and catch right amount of pressure needed. No, let's try. Some swash is that are usually for bottom line decoration. It makes your words or phrases look nice. It also adds a sense of ending between phrases, paragraphs or such elements in your artwork. Flourishes can be both lines and strokes, or it can resemble branches of a plants. I really like to use some floral decorations, so these are some of the basic ones and looks beautiful with your final writing. The key take away is to draw some flourishes with your letters and some without your letters, and then try some more. You will learn how beautifully the lines flows in such flourishes. Let's try some more and continue with simple flourishes that pops into my mind. Use your imagination and just draw those lines as you wish, while maintaining a good flow. Don't try too hard or else you might ruin your overall composition. I went to demonstrate an uppercase letter here. I picked H for this. Those curvy lines are good and nice for bigger letters. Continue it with practicing those curvy lines and flourishes. Repeat it as many times as you want. You can finalize the riding with these Here. I show you how to use the plants. Wash for your ending line. It's really great for words. For example, practices lines two or three times. At least just draw what you imagine, and we're going to continue with phrases 6. More Writing: Now let's move up the ladder by learning how to write multiple words un informally to make a phrase practicing this will enable you to write it in continuity. We continue with the phrase. Now it's going to be Don't be afraid to fail. First, I'm going to show you a very typical mistake that most of us make while starting out with calligraphy. When you write a phrase or a word with apostrophe, you shouldn't write it continually in regular writing were used Teoh such ways. But in calligraphy, you really should avoid that because it's not correct. The other reason is, it's not that beautiful. So here's the wrong way to do it. Now let me show you how you should actually write a word which has an apostrophe. Here is the right one. You can see the differences and which one looks better. Make sure you don't write your letters next to each other. That's why it's important to take a pause between them to avoid this error. It's easy to do it right now. Let's see how to write a phrase hair. After that, I'll teach you how to do flourishing for writing a phrase. It's important to understand the need of the creative project that you're doing. It should reflect the mood and character of the phrase, or it should reflect the usage scenario. You can vary the base sign of each word to create a playful effect, or you can just follow a straight line for a much more obedient effect. I'm trying to balance the overall composition by playing the angle of each words. That is another variation that you can work on. Once you're done with the phrase, you can make it even more beautiful by adding flourishes or ornaments. Let's see how to do it right When you start flourishing, make sure you are satisfied with the composition. In terms of spacing, balance, margin and everything else, I suggest you start flourishing with the last letters of your phrase. Here's the letters L then continue it with the first letter of your last word, which is F in this case. After this, check the last letter from the first line. It's an E here. Finally finish it with your first letter and it's enough. I didn't sketch the decoration here because I have a practiced of it, but I recommend you to dio with a pencil, because in the beginning you won't see and feel where to put those nice four Shing's so it's better if you just draw it roughly with a pencil and then erase it Afterwards, I suggest to follow the actual form of your final phrase when you play in your decoration. I mean, if you write it in a circular shape, then you should draw your swatches or flourishing in that sense of orientation. Sometimes if you decorate one or two letters, it's enough. You'll see that from the final writing. It's all about your personal preference and about its beauty. If you feel like you need more of those, go ahead and try. You could always redo it anyways. If you plan a more formal way of writing everything in straight line, then let me show you how to do it. It's much easier and obvious. Usually you need to pay attention to the bottom line or baseline of each letters and words , so I suggest you should check this one thing during your writing. As a beginner, I think it's better if you just draw a simple line with a pencil first to see how to put your letter next to each other and right continually in a row. That way you will get better at it. 7. Planning Your Personal Manifesto: Now you know how to write a word, a phrase and how to do flourishes. It's like you know most of the things to get started with a creative project. So let's do one together in this class will see how to write a personal manifesto and finally, how to draw a beautiful artwork with modern calligraphy and lovely flourishes. With that, a personal manifesto, by definition, is a declaration of your core values and beliefs. What you stand for in how you intend to live your life. The part. How you intend to live your life is something that's most special about thes. It functions both as a statement of principles and as a call to action to your day to day life. In case you feel down or you have lost focus, it works greats. And when you can shape that into a beautiful artwork, it's good to keep it in your home with you. You can just write it down in a piece of paper with a pen or pencil in for reference while finally doing calligraphy. All use my Kim mechanical pencil, but you can use any kind. I recommend the pencil because later it will be useful for the flourishing. There are different ways to write a personal manifesto, but everybody is not that great of a poet. Eso like me, referring to a great quote which resembles my values, is a good way to go. For me, the quote that really explains how I feel about life is this great one by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Just trust your cell. Then you'll know how to live. Thes quotes are already written by a great philosopher and poets. People love to read similar quotes because sometimes it helps them to see how to live their everyday life. For example, I really love them, too. Now to write a personal manifesto. It's important to transform it in a way that you are speaking these words to yourself because, hey, it's a personal manifesto, after all. But before doing that, I feel it can be useful to just write it down in modern calligraphy toe. Understand how these words will look together and how we can compose the final manifesto. I'm going to write my calligraphy sketch to another piece of paper because here it like to show how to imagine and draw your decoration around your writing. So first, all right it down in basic calligraphy than add the curvy lines. It's always better to start with some rough drawings. I am just getting a feel of how this phrase turns out. In basic composition. You can focus on spacing, margin balance, overall shape and weight of the letters. Here. I did a mistake and rev. Written the L L letters wrong. I just have to erase it and write it again. That's why it's recommended to sketch your long sentences, repeat it as many times as you want and until you're satisfied with the results. So when I'm ready with the whole phrase, I can start with flourishing. Just start where you want if you feel like you can begin from top to bottom. But it's also good if you make it reverse. It depends on you. I normally give preference to the type of work that I'm doing rather than the rules itself . It's about creative freedom. You can do anything if you feel like it. You can see that my lines are not so nice because it seems a bit square. So I better erase it and put it somewhere else. And don't worry. It'll happen a lot in the beginning, but if you practice and sketch your writings, it'll be great. Make flourishing, not just from the end of your letters. You can add more beyond those lines. It will make your artwork more beautiful if you use it wisely. Here's the final image, and it's a great way to start practicing the decoration and how to finalize your writings next. All right, my personal manifesto from this amazing quote. Using this and finalize the image with a digital touch, you can directly jump to the next step without doing this one. Once you have selected a quotes, but it's good for warm up and trying to make some beautiful ideas. 8. Using Adobe Illustrator For Final Design: In this final lesson, I will teach you how to write your personal manifesto, using the selected quote and finally digitizing it for the final artwork. Writing a personal manifesto from a quote is easy. You just have to change a few of its words so that it seems that you are saying those words yourself without changing the overall meaning of the quote. It can be just the principles, or it can be a call to action kind of stuff. Transforming the chosen quote. You can take your time, keep it short and direct. Previously, I picked a goo. Take quote. So here's my personal manifesto from that I trust myself and will listen to my inner voice . It's pretty short and meaningful. I already wrote it down on a piece of paper. One way to do good calligraphy is to use pencil to draw the letters. It's easy to control the overall composition as you can erase things. If you do that directly with your ink, it's not that easy to correct the heirs. Don't do this for your practice work, but for your client projects or serious work, try this as I am trying to finalize my manifesto. I feel it's better to do it this way. I have already written down my sentences to a right quality paper. It's not the same paper as before. I will do everything. As for the quote I did in the last lesson, as I have already brainstormed this style and overall layout, I sketched the flourishing to Now we can start with ink. I have tried to maintain a circular shape of overall composition. It works most of the time. You can try elliptical or oval to write your phrase As usual. You don't have to follow the sketch line strictly. If you feel like it's better to make longer line or curve e er, just do it. In this style, I'm going for a thinner down stroke. This makes overall composition less noisy and much more subtle. You can turn your paper if it's more comfortable, and try not to blur your ink on the paper. If you have a longer phrase, then you can take a minute break to maintain the consistency and toe. Let the ink dry in the end. When you see or feel like that, some down strokes aren't too thick. Just correct it I did it with my first letter L letter and t from the word trust as they were almost flat. Here's the final phrase. This is my personal manifesto now to make it look beautiful, such that I can take a print of it as a wall art. We're going to add a beautiful background to this. Let me show you the final artwork just to make it clear to you. You can see here that it looks much more subtle and beautiful than just a written work. Now, briefly, I'm going to show you how to digitize and vector eyes, the phrase that you have written and how to make a lovely piece of artwork from your manual designs. I will cover the digital part Maurin some other classes. But for now, let's just finish our personal manifesto. So first, scan your colleague graphic design and open it with the background image in Adobe Illustrator. I have my calligraphy image scanned. I recommend you to correct the brightness and contrast on your file to make the image trace option work. Well, it's important to have a high contrast and clear black and white image. Here's the two files I need. I'm going to use original background image as the main file, so I'm going to save my illustrator document and J pig from this. First you need Teoh. Modify the size of the our board to the background image or else the exported J. Paige file will have some white spacing. You can create a new document with your preferred dimensions if you want it for print and then resize the background according to that up. In your options, you can see the measurements used shift and oh, shortcut on your keyboard to see your artwork, make sure your changes are from the middle and copy and paste the sizes. Then press escape key. Now we need to go back to our calligraphy image. Copy and paste it to the background image with the shortcut control or command C and control or command the shortcuts. Move it next to the background image. I'm going to use image trace to vector. Rise my phrase. It's easy to transform the ink art into a vector Art. This way you can edit it as you want in digital form. You can see that on the right side of your tool bar or you can open it in menu than window than image trace option. It's always better to duplicate it. First, to compare your tracing to the original image file, it's important to maintain the details in calligraphy. Press Ault Key and move your coop cursor at the same time and pull it up to the left side of your our board. This way you create a copy of the image by dragging it. Go to your image trace panel and choose black and white logo through the preset options. Now you can see that it's pretty close to our original image, but you can refine it even more through the threshold option. Make sure that ignore white option is selected because we don't want the white background here. If you're happy with it, click expand up in the options, and this will create the vector needed. You have the vector image now, but to get on Lee the text, you have to delete the unnecessary, transparent parts for this first ungroomed fit by right clicking on the image and choose on group from the pop up menu. Then select just the background with your mouths and delete it. Look for any unwanted parts, then select and delete them till you have a clean vector. Now you can see that is divided into carts, so select all the group in the control or command plus G shortcut. There are still some unnecessary parts, so you can remove them if you double click into your layer with the selection tool after this, with the magic wand tools from the tool menus, you can select those parts at once and delete them. You can leave the layers by double clicking on the selection tool or outside the art board . To finish the artwork, we need to move this vector in front of the background image. For this, select the texts and the image with your mouths impressed shift. While you do this, we need the A line window here to position it right in the middle. If it's not open, you could do through Menu Window a line option. When everything is selected, click on the background image once again, and it's going to be the point of reference. Then click on the horizontal and vertical align center in the line window to position it in the middle. Now it's looking great, but to make it look more beautiful. You can modify a few things as this is a vector. You can add effects, colors and textures to it. I don't want to get that deep in this class, so I will just change the color of the vectored phrase. We just have to change the colors here because this black is a bit too dark. Click on the text and you can modify it with the fill tool. Double click on it and through the pop up window, select white or maybe a press tell yellow. It depends on what you'd like and could compare to your background image. Don't forget to click C M y que. On your colors window or else it'll be grayscale C M. Y que is good for print, too. For the final step, delete the original calligraphy image next to your our work. Then just save it with menu file, Save as or save as a jpg file with menu file export. We're done with the design. You can create such manifesto for yourself. You can get a print of it and full onto. It's the beauty of doing such projects. You feel good about it once you actually apply what you have learned, you can use these basics to create the other types of designs and artworks to. 9. Closing Thoughts: I hope you have learned a few things from this class, thanks to you all for taking my class. Hope you'll have great fun with modern calligraphy and you can use them in creating various projects. If you have any doubts related to how to do this stuff or anything related to this class, feel free to ask me for getting better at riding in modern script calligraphy. Try to practice them to take your skills to the next level until you get great at these. I have designed the class project in a way that you can apply everything learned in this class. So for your class project, you have to showcase the use of modern calligraphy by writing and designing your own personal manifesto. You can flaunt it by keeping it with you. It will keep you motivated to. You can be creative and fresh relative to color, style and decoration. Use everything that you have and be creative and use flourishing. Wisely upload your beautiful projects and I can't wait to see it. Leave your feedback in the community or discussion, and you can also leave a review for this skill share class In case you feel it was helpful for you. I will come back with another class in this series too. Till then, keep practicing. Creative people have fun with this project. Don't feel intimidated the first time. There is a lot to learn. I will do few other classes on modern script calligraphy to help you on this creative journey. See soon. Bye.