Basic Calligraphy Skills

The three basic skills required when using a wide-nib dip pen are

1.   Keeping a constant pen angle

2.   Leading the nib, don’t push it

3,   Practice parallel lines and curves

As with any skill the more practice you put in, the higher your skill level becomes.

Skill #1

Hold the pen at an unchanging angle For most fonts or alphabets the pen is held so that the nib points diagonally away from you to the left at between 30 – 60 degrees. These angles will vary depending on which font or alphabet you are using.

The nib should not turn as you form the lines and curves of the letter form. It should always point in the same direction and angle, whatever the pen and your hand is doing. This will give consistancy to the font or alphabets shape, and is the basic foundation for writing Calligrafic forms.

Skill #2

Lead the nib gently across the page, moving it backwards or sideways from the direction it is pointing in, Use little pressure with your hand barely touching the paper (try not to lean heavily on your hand, wrist or forearm). in order to produce an even letter form or layout.

Note:  By pressing hard on the nib you may damage it and then it will not work properly. If you push the nib forwards (away from you) it will tend to dig into the paper and cause splattering or blots, which again will damage the nib and also spoil the work piece. Beginners have a tendency to lean heavily on their arm which beside being uncomfortable over a period of time the pressure will make the letter form look stiff and clumsy.

Skill #3

Always strive to draw vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines parallel with each other

Note:  Remember drawing lines that are at the same angle (skill #3) is a different action from keeping the nib at a constant angle (skill #1). With the maintaining of a constant nib angle you are able to draw vertical, horizontal and sloping parallel lines