A Short Introduction to Calligraphy

Calligraphy is the beautiful way of writing and is a visual art. According to Wikipedia “Modern calligraphy ranges from functional hand-lettered inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the abstract expression of the handwritten mark may or may not compromise the legibility of the letters.

Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may create all of these; characters are historically disciplined yet fluid and spontaneous, at the moment of writing”.

Quill in hand writing calligraphy

Choosing a Style

Like most art forms there are differing styles of calligraphy. The first step in learning how to write calligraphy is gaining enough knowledge so that you can choose a style that resonates with you. Calligraphy styles fall into two basic camps.


* Western Calligraphy: Was first developed in Europe, and is considered the predecessor of modern-day block print. Western calligraphy uses ornate, regularly-spaced and regularly-sized characters.


* Eastern Asian Calligraphy: Includes Islamic and Chinese calligraphy. Oriental calligraphy emphasizes spontaneous, flowing strokes, with a special emphasis on the width and the weight of each stroke. Oriental calligraphy is often used in paintings.


Like a painter needs brushes and canvas, a calligraphy needs some basic tools as well. Whether you are learning how to write calligraphy for fun or business, you will need a a basic set of tools in order to practice and produce.

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Like manuals, calligraphy pens and brushes are plentiful. The sizes and shapes of the pens can be confusing to the beginner as well as the pricing. Calligraphy pens can be expensive. As you are learning how to write calligraphy and developing your skill, it would be better to start with an inexpensive pen set that will allow you to practice all the basic strokes.


The calligraphy paper comes in all forms and varieties. The simple rule is: practice with inexpensive paper, produce with parchment. Since spacing is so important in writing calligraphy, your practice paper should include the top, bottom and center lines. Art supply stores carry practice paper and parchment, but I have found both in the school supply aisles of certain department stores.

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