Avoiding Calligraphy errors

It will happen that when working on your final workpiece you make an ink blob, smear, spelling error, or anything else that would be considered an error, which will cause you to consider trying to correct the error, or start over again. So it goes without saying that the best way to be error free is to not make them (easier said than done). Below are some ways you can prevent calligraphy errors.

How to prevent errors

1  Try not to work on your final workpiece if you are tired.  It can be difficult to concentrate and this can be where  many calligraphy errors occur.  Most calligraphers have a “best” calligraphy work time – this could be in the morning or the evening – find the “best” time for you and try to work on your final workpiece during that time.

2  Keep food, beverages and other “spillables” away from your work area.  Your bottle of ink needs to be handy, but try to place it in a way that it will not be easily knocked over.

Note:  An old calligraphy trick is cutting a hole in the middle of a kitchen sponge to fit your  ink bottle and placing the bottle in the hole.  The sponge will help to keep the bottle from tipping over and spilling, it  can also be used to blot excess ink from the nib

3  Use some scrap paper to mask areas around the workpiece area. This will avoid smearing and possibly also save the paper from ink splatters.

Note: Use a removable tape for taping masked areas on your workpiece and for layout positioning with drafts because these types of tape leave no residue on the surface.and it is easy to reposition without damage to your paper. 

4 Write out a draft of the text a few times. paying particular attention to any letters you might have difficulty with, and spend some time practicing them.

5 Keep a printed copy of the text close to your work as a reference while you are working.  It’s easy to be concentrating so hard on the final workpiece, that sometimes a letter, word or entire line can be skipped.

6 Test your ink on a sample of your final workpiece paper.  This is especially important if it is a paper you have  not used. 

I am sorry to say it is hard to avoid making errors (especially when you are new to calligraphy), but taking the time to think about your workpiece, making a few drafts, organizing your work area and familiarizing yourself with your tools will assist you in making error-free workpieces.