Modern Calligraphy: Getting Started, Tools & Exercises | Sheila B | Skillshare

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Modern Calligraphy: Getting Started, Tools & Exercises

teacher avatar Sheila B, Letterer + Maker

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

    • 1.

      Class Intro


    • 2.

      Tool You Need


    • 3.

      Learning The Practice Strokes


    • 4.

      Lowercase Letters


    • 5.

      Uppercase Letters


    • 6.

      Putting It All Together


    • 7.



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About This Class

This is an introductory class on modern script calligraphy. You will learn about the tools, different types of nibs, holders, inks, papers and how to use each of them. It's for everyone who wants to write in modern script calligraphy for their creative works or just for fun. 

We will start by discussing the tools that you need to get started. Then we will look into different curves and practice strokes to get you started. Then I will introduce you to the letterforms, and how you can form ligatures, upstrokes and downstrokes for each individual letterforms.

I have attached a practice sheet too. You can find it in the project description page for this class. You can print it and practice it again and again. You can try different styles based on the basic letterforms. You can find it here.

At the end, I will discuss and introduce you briefly how you can form different words, phrases and quotes to apply what you have practiced and learnt. We will do lots of flourishing and writing in this short 40-minutes class. Overall, it's a fun and easy way to learn modern script calligraphy.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sheila B

Letterer + Maker


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

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1. Class Intro: I am Sheila, a letter and maker, and this is modern calligraphy tools, exercises and getting started on skill share. And in this class you will learn about the tools and supplies for modern script calligraphy , how to use them, how to practice it. You will learn how to write different letter forms using these tools. Then we will move on to something more basic but important stuff that will get you started with modern script calligraphy. You will also get a practice sheet with this class for you to practice this impressive style. As this is the first class in this short Siri's everyone is welcome to try hands At this trade. You can use these techniques to design your own piece of script, calligraphy, composition or a quote or anything that you can imagine way. Have some easy to follow exercises that is more about working your way up to writing beautiful modern script pieces in your own style. So let's get creative 2. Tool You Need: So let's begin the session by knowing what kind of tools will need for modern calligraphy. You'll need papers. I usually use my sketchbook for practicing. I suggest the thicker paper, then your regular copier sheets air else the ink is going to bleed. Later, I'm going to show you the difference and the results that you might get from such papers. The best quality for doing modern calligraphy is sheets with thickness of around 1 50 grams per meter. To you'll need drawing Inc or artists ink. You can also get them at any kind of art or hobby shops. I suggest the cheapest one just for starting out, because once you start practicing, lots of ink will be used for that. You can find it in several colors and keep a couple of them for practicing. But what sets apart modern calligraphy from other forms of calligraphy is the most important tool. Never with a pen holder thes air easily available at any art shop or hobby shops. I don't prefer any specific brand, and I try each of them to get a taste of it on. I have some. I'm going to show you different types of nips, you can also get a bunch of them and look for different results that they can give you. A handkerchief is also recommended because we need toe wipe the Unnecessary Inc and washed the Nibs frequently. And unlike water brushes, we have to use just a little water for the washing of these tools. As I mentioned, I'm going to show you different kinds of Nibs and how they look on paper from left to right . 1st 1 is a pointed nib, mostly for thinner writing. Second is a pointed nib, but for a little bit thicker. Writing Third is a chiseled nib, beautiful for invitation cards or letters, and you see me using these quite a lot. Fourth is a drawing them, which is great for technical drawings and illustrations, for example, and finally, the 5th 1 is appointed. Browse a nip, which is my favorites. I'm going to use this during this class, so these are the tools we're going to use in the next lessons. And as I mentioned, I'm going to use the pointed browse, a 3 61 blue pumpkin nib. I think it's the most popular invest for modern Kala graphic writing now Let's take a look at how to clear your nib. First, dip the tip of your pen in the ink and clear the unwanted ink with a gentle shake. After you write something, dipped the nib into the water and wash it clear. Then just sponge up with your handkerchief and it's Freddy. I showed the different color of a drawing, Inc Usually you confined the basic colors, but you can mix them. Of course, if you want a turquoise shade, for example, it depends on you which color that eat like in the next lesson, we will start practicing the basic lines and strokes. That's your starting point. 3. Learning The Practice Strokes: So in this lesson, I'm going to show you how to use your nib and pen. I picked the brow shot Nibs, so here's how to start with the process. First, you have to hold the pen correctly, and the best way to do this is to keep your fingers at the final third of the holder because it's going to be more comfortable this way. And the other thing to take care of is the position I hold my nib at about a 45 degree angle from the paper off course. You don't have to measure it. It's just a rough angle, and you'll feel it. When you start writing, you can vary it according to your preference, so to start with the writing first, you have to open your drawing inks calf and dip your nib into it. If the dip it's too deep, don't worry. You just have to clear the rest at the site of the little container. The first move that you need to learn is the simple and curvy line to feel how to hold the nib form strokes etcetera. Usually after two or max three letters or lines, you should dip your pen again in the ink, or else it will become dry and repeat the movement. Did the nib and clean the extra egg and practice these lines. Try to follow along with me watching these videos. This way you will not get lost, and it will be easy for you to understand how to hold the pen holder. What angle results in what kinds of strokes and how to control the thickness and other things. So let's continue with the curvy forms, which reminds us of an E or an L and practice. How to apply pressure into the naval little to have that thicker stroke as the down strokes up. Strokes are always thin and down. Strokes are always thick, and it's going to add this beautiful character of the modern calligraphy. Repeat every stroke two or three times, at least, and then check for any heirs or imperfections. Try again. If you're not satisfied with those forms, you cannot get great results the first time. But after a few attempts, you will get an idea of how things are working. Then you can apply those learnings to perfect your forms, so the process is simple. Remember, you don't have to push the never when you draw the up strokes, but you have to push and they have a little. When you write the don strokes, repeat each of these curves and forms multiple times. The most common fault is if we use too much ink, let me show you what it'll look like. The down strokes will be too thick, so it's not nice and you will get smudged off to the next. One. I write is the correct one. With the right amount of EQ. Practice the curvy lines again, and after that we'll try some forms that remind us of the upper case and lower case letters . Try to gain control over the up strokes and down strokes individually when you are practicing these strokes and the variables that you need to worry about are the angle at which you hold your pan, the pressure that you apply at the down stroke movements and how to move the niv on paper. How much ink to use and where you're holding the pen. By these varying factors, you can adjust and perfect your telegraphic letters, and don't get frustrated. The first few times Remember the first time you held a pen in your childhood, you never worried about how the letters will feel or what they would look like. So and be passionate about it. You'll learn quicker and better that way. After this, let's practice some Flora shing. Just use your imagination and form curving lines as you want. Then practice the most popular flourishing. Try your nib and how to hold your pen. Push down on your nip at the right timing. Here we practice the most popular flourish ings. Then we'll start some upper case letters. Keep practicing two or three times, at least for each stroke type. You can look at some specific flourish. Ings online, too, just in case you want to try out new stuff, but keep it simple and just keep practicing. Now try some complex flourishing that will start with an uppercase letter. I chose the letter B, then an L and a lower case be and for finishing this lesson. Let's do beautiful flourish, which is starting at an upper case. A. Try the lines and you'll see which ones look great with these letters in the next section. We will continue with the lower case letters so keep on practicing and gain some control 4. Lowercase Letters: Now we're ready to practice the lower case letters after we know how to use our pen first, as we learned deep your nip into the Drawing Inc and clear the unwanted ink. If you feel like it's too much, anyway, you can use a handkerchief and sponge it up with the gentle moves. While working with these tools. Keep a cloth or a tissue with you always cause you will need them frequently. We're going to start with the lower case alphabets. So first with the A push the nip a little. Just when you reached the down strokes and you see that don't put you, don't push it too hard because the event is going toe open too much and the ink is going to bleed onto your paper. Try a little flourishing if you'd like, but you can write just the basic forms First. These rules follow with B. Also, whether you are creating ABC or any other letter, the same rules will apply here. I showed the difference between the thicker paper and the simple, thin copy paper. You can use it if you'd like, but I suggest choosing a quality paper for practicing. It's worth it in terms of paper. Now I suggest you to work with different paper and this this way you will understand different paper, its quality and which type of paper you should use in the specific project. Like here. Ah, working with thin paper. When we take a closer look, we see that it's going to bleed after a few seconds and it's not beautiful. So forget it. That's why I always suggest to work with premium quality paper and premium quality tools just to get the best results. Continuing with the alphabets, I will try now more complex lower case letters like F or G and H. For example, I'm following the same technique. But to achieve that precision and perfection, you need to practice a lot to control the pressure and movement of calligraphy pen. Now, in the next line, I will create HH only here you can see that I pushed a little more. My nip and the down stroke of the age is too thick, so the ink comes through the vent hole. So right next to it, it's the right one. Always formed the letter slowly. For all these reasons, you should practice a lot you have to understand the structure curves of each alphabet. Then only you will be able to create precise alphabets. The EQ is going to run out after two or three letters, so you have to keep on refilling it again and again. Here, you could see that it took three H letters for me to dip the nib again in my ink. If it happens to you during writing, don't worry, because you can continue writing beautifully right after you have the ink on your nib, and that's why I always recommend having any tissue or cloths with you. You will need them in every shore interval. I've made a modern calligraphy practice sheet for you to train what you learned from the previous sections, and you could see how to use it. Just print it out and try to copy the letters after one another. Try to follow the thickness and curves of each letters, and don't worry if it's not the same. It's just for practicing the method and keep on practicing, and with time you will be able to achieve the perfection that you're looking for. Now, in the next video, I will continue with creating upper case letters 5. Uppercase Letters: let's continue with the upper case letters, and it's not going to be so hard, but the method will be the same. I will just start with the simple ABC, as it was in the previous video. Try to add some flourishing to your letters because you can practice to techniques at the same time. You can figure out the forms during the process, so when you will be good enough, you can create a whole new ABC to alter or customize any alphabet. You first should try to understand its basic form. Then, on Lee, you will be able to customize it correctly after A, B, C and D. I continue with G. Now here you can see that I pushed the nib a little bit more, and the curvy part of the G became a bit wavy. I showed the right one next to it, where I didn't push the nib into the paper. I have applied different pressure on this G. You can achieve any style once you have control over your pressure and movement of your pen . Let's continue with K and M. I'm going to show you two mistakes. The 1st 1 the down strokes of the M isn't so nice because I didn't use the same curve reform here, and it looks weird right next to it. I write the M again like I pushed the NEB too hard, so it's bleeding. Finally, at the last one, you can see that it's going toe work if you use the same method and style with correct using in calligraphy. Precision is so important, and you could customise your calligraphy, but it should not look weird. Let's move on to the practice sheet like lower case. I did a practice sheet for uppercase alphabets to so you could use the same process here, like in the previous lower case alphabets printed to any kind of paper and practice the letters I showed you earlier and continue and repeated as much as you wish. So now we're ready to move to the next level. In the next video, we'll write two words and a phrase 6. Putting It All Together: in this video, we do a short project. We will write a small quote, but before that we will try to write a word with some flourishing. First, we have to practice how to transition one letter to another. We begin with the simple ABC because this is the most common way to practice the transition process. First, I will show you a B C then D E f and finally G h I. You can repeat it at least twice before continuing a riding a word. First, let's get comfortable with each step and then Onley move into the next. It's the best way to practice and learn and take all the time you need. While you connect each alphabets. Try to maintain the the flow of the letter. It should look consistent everywhere. Be slow and precise. Concentrate on slow movement and precise pressure. Now we will create a word which will be beautiful. Usually when I do a final version of a word or a phrase, I do some sketches to check that what I imagined is going toe work great on paper to I doodle in various ways to see which will look best in final design and I did the same here . But now I will just show the final calligraphy. We write the first word during the process so you can play with the letters like make one a bid bigger Andi, make one of its smaller and transition them to each other. Try to enjoy the process while calligraphy takes time, you will be proud of the end results. If you are able to achieve the design that you're looking for, they look so beautiful when you're ready with the lettering. Add the flourishing at the end of the writing and use your imagination to try to see which form is going to look beautiful with your calligraphy. I just did some curvy lines here to show and train you how to do it. A flourishes will enhance your design. Every artist has their own ways to use flourishes. Then that's what makes every artist different. Now I will show you another letter. Our next word will be holidays. You can play with this too, because the first age and the last s letter it's really suitable to do some flourishing. In the end, the method is the same. First, finish your word and do the flourishing at the end. And as an artist you should have your own individual style, which will make yourself different from the other artists. Your personality should be visible in the design that you create, and that's a recipe of becoming a successful artist. Here. You can see that I drew a little curvy line at the top of the D because I knew that I'm going to add beautiful decoration. For my word, try to be gentle with the why when making the up strokes from the down strokes. Finally, we're going to write a whole sentence. It's going to be your my sunshine started gently with an upstroke that you can continue later with the decorating lines. Push the niv a little and continue with the next letters. And when we write a sentence or a phrase, we have to position the words, so try to see where your next word is going to fit and put it there right after you'll see where the next one can go. While creating a calligraphy project, you should work on lay outing, spacing and alignment of your phrase. You should create your own process in which you will feel comfortable here. We are using the same techniques we have learned in previous videos. And if you're not comfortable with your pen yet, please practice more until your confidence to work with the calligraphy pen. So that's how you create kala. Graphic phrase practice creating different phrases with different style. And the more you practice, the more you will master the skill. Try to see other calligraphy artists work to get inspired and to get motivated and try to copy them to develop the skill, not to copy the design. Keep yourself motivated, and you will develop yourself as a great skill. A graphic artist. Lastly, if you finish the writing next step is to add the flourishing here. I will show you that the curvy line comes from the end of the E, and it's better if you continue the underlying from the left side because the nib is going to get stuck in the paper. At the end, I show where I put flourishing at the end of the E. You can see that it's not matching totally, but I think it's a vanishing mistake. So that's how you use flourishes. D create relationships between letters and maker calligraphy more connected, more interesting 7. Project: so it's time to say thanks to you all for taking my skill share class. I hope you now have had great fun with modern calligraphy, and you can use them in creating various projects. I hope you've understood how the tools work and how you could gain control over them and techniques that I have shared with you. Practice them to take your skills to the next level and be a great Cal. A graphic artist, I have created this project in a way that you can use everything learned in this class. So for your class projects, you have to showcase the use of modern calligraphy by doing a simple project on creating a beautiful composition out of a phrase or a quote. You can be creative and fresh relative to color, style and decoration. You can add some flourish ings, and you could use any tool that you already own or wanna try. I would love to see you using various color inks. I am leaving the creative part and taste at your disposal. You can decide on the dimension of the composition, the color quote style or any other elements you want to add and upload your beautiful projects. I can't wait to see it. Leave your feedback in the community discussion or you can also leave a review for the skill share class. In case you feel it was helpful to you. Have fun with this project And don't feel intimidated the first time. There is a lot to learn. I will do a few other classes on modern script calligraphy toe help you on this creative journey. So see you in my next class. Bye.