3 Simple Things You Probably Don't Know About Calligraphy

#1 Cursive handwriting is NOT the same as Calligraphy.

Calligraphy consists of a series of individual, separate strokes in order to create each letter. Cursive on the other hand is a continuous writing style focused on completing each word.

Photo by  Diana Bode

Photo by Diana Bode

Lifting the pen matters!

  • In calligraphy it’s important to lift the pen often, unlike when writing in cursive. It improves your overall consistency and precision. Also, some strokes may begin from a different point where your last stroke ended. 

How you hold the pen or brush matters!

  • Properly holding your pen while following through on your strokes helps to maintain consistency. It also reduces the wear and tear on your equipment that lead to frayed brushes or broken nibs. Not to mention it reduces the strain on your hands and wrists when you hold your pen or brush in a comfortable position.

Stroke consistency is key in calligraphy! 

  • Did I already mention that consistency is IMPORTANT in calligraphy? The precision and manner in which you implement each stroke greatly affects how well your overall project will turn out. Like any skill, there is no substitute for constant practice and repetition.

#2 Basic calligraphy can be broken down into 9 simple strokes.

Yes, it’s hard to believe that calligraphy can be broken down into a couple simple strokes. I thought so too, until I came across this helpful video. According to the folks over at The Happy Ever Crafter, you can create the all the letters of the alphabet in calligraphy using just 9 basic strokes! After watching this, I must say that I’m feeling eager to start learning some calligraphy! Check it out!

There are 9 basic strokes that create the letters of the alphabet in calligraphy. This video covers all the basic strokes and how to use them! In this video I also cover the main, biggest mistake beginners make when learning calligraphy and how to correct it!

Video Source: The Happy Ever Crafter

The 9 Basic strokes are:

  1. The Upstroke

  2. The Downstroke

  3. The Overturn

  4. The Underturn

  5. The Compound Curve

  6. The Oval

  7. The Ascending Loop

  8. The Descending Loop

  9. The Comma Dot

#3 Calligraphy has many different scripts to choose from

Based on the “nib” or tip that is used, there are TWO popular groups of calligraphy—Broad (wide) nib or Pointed nib. Each group contains several popular scripts or styles as well.

Photo by  Kelly Sikkema

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

Broad or Wide nib calligraphy scripts

  • Blackletter (Gothic)

  • Italic

  • Roman capitals

  • Uncials

Pointed Nib calligraphy scripts

  • Copperplate

  • Spencerian

  • Modern

“We are a community of artists and professionals that believe art is powerful, especially in the way that it impacts our society.”

— if you’re reading this and have tips of your own to share, please do so in the comments! Thank you!

Thumbnail Credit: Photo by Diana Bode

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I’ve always been a “jack of all trades” kind of person. I consider myself to be a true generalist and a bit of an autodidact with constant thirst for knowledge.

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