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How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days | Back to Basics

How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days - learn calligraphy on your own with this step-by-step series & free printables

Happy Friday! You know what that means – it’s time to learn calligraphy! Today, we’re getting back to basics. When you first learned how to write in elementary school, you used lined paper & started with basic strokes. The same applies when learning calligraphy. Today, we’re going to get used to the feeling of writing with the pen, learn how to apply the pressure that results in beautiful strokes, & practice, practice, practice!

It’s time to get out your practice grid, tracing paper, pen, ink & damp paper towel {to blot excess}.

How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days - learn calligraphy on your own with this step-by-step series & free printables

1. Start with straight down strokes. This will help you get used to the feeling of it. Do a line without applying pressure, followed by a line with light pressure {don’t get too carried away}. Notice that you get different thicknesses according to how much pressure you apply.

How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days - learn calligraphy on your own with this step-by-step series & free printables

How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days - learn calligraphy on your own with this step-by-step series & free printables

2. Let’s practice upstrokes. Create a loop {letter “l”} without pressure going up & light pressure going down. Fill a sheet or two with these beauties!

How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days - learn calligraphy on your own with this step-by-step series & free printables

How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days - learn calligraphy on your own with this step-by-step series & free printables

Now if you’ll recall, I’m learning with you, so don’t judge! I’m sharing one of my practice sheets so you can see the strokes. Madi was pretty impressed with my “l’s”! Okay, she was just being nice, but we all have to start somewhere! Just remember, it takes practice to perfect, don’t be scared to lift your pen, & this is just our first lesson.

How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days - learn calligraphy on your own with this step-by-step series & free printables

These basics may not seem like much, but they’re essential to learn before you develop a style of your own. You’ll come to appreciate how each letter is formed. The next 2 weeks are much more intense, so get ready for some fun!

How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days - learn calligraphy on your own with this step-by-step series & free printables

How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days - learn calligraphy on your own with this step-by-step series & free printables

You won’t want to miss a lesson, so subscribe here & have them sent directly to your inbox. Thanks to Emmy Ray of Handmaker of Things for the gorgeous flowers, Jenny Wheat for photographing my journey & of course, Madi Sanders for teaching me!

Learn calligraphy from the comfort of your home with this step-by-step tutorial at julieblanner.com

The series, in order:

How to Learn Calligraphy

Getting Started

Back to Basics

The Calligraphy Alphabet

Practice Words

Practice Makes Perfect

Calligraphy Resources & Left Handed Calligraphy

Minuscules & Numerals

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LET’S CONNECT!

53 comments on “How to Learn Calligraphy in 5 Days | Back to Basics”

  1. You two look gorgeous, as always!

    I’ve been meaning to learn forever, so I will definitely be following along. What a fun series!

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  4. Can you also teach basic calligraphy for the left handed?

  5. I signed to get email and DID but no link to get pratice sheets or links. Help?

    • There are links in the email…click on “free printable upper case”. My apologies that the links weren’t differentiated with color. Don’t hesitate if you need anything else! Happy day!

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  8. I subscribed to your website to learn calligraphy, but I haven’t received any of the emails. I’m looking to start on uppercase and I don’t have a printable. What should I do?

    • All of the printables are currently available within the posts. They were initially sent once a month. Look for additional free printables in upcoming newsletters! Enjoy!

  9. What kind of pen and ink do you recommend?

  10. Julie and Madi, thank you so much. I’m left handed and started two days ago and could not get the hang of this. Looking at your photos I realise I was holding the pen wrong! It’s looking so much better already! Thank you again!!

  11. Pingback: Calligraphy Resources & Left Handed Calligraphy

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  14. what is the thickness of the nib you’re using? i am trying to learn with the calligraphy set i was given which uses ink cartridges and the lines seem to be a lot thicker than the ones you’re doing! xx

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  17. Hi Julie!
    I started this series a few weeks ago, bought all the same supplies, and for the first few times I was practicing, everything was great. However, the third time I went to practice the ink would not adhere to the nib. Everytime I dipped it in, it would come out clean. So weird. So I just wanted to know if you or Madi had any thoughts as to why this would happen?! Ive tried different nibs and ink and am still having trouble 🙁 Any thoughts would be appreciated! I am excited to get back to it! This is a great series!!

    • Try re-inking several times. It can take a bit to ink the first use. I’ll see if Madi has any other ideas!

    • Hi. I realize I’m late with this, but if you’re still having trouble:

      The problem is that brand new metal nibs have a layer of varnish/lacquer on them to keep them from rusting. Ink won’t stick to the varnish. There are a couple ways to get the varnish off: you can clean the nib with rubbing alcohol, or you can heat the nib in a candle flame for a couple seconds (not so long that the metal glows, though!). Some people say that cleaning the nib with your own saliva will work too, but I’m not sure about that.

      Any way you do it, this will get the varnish off, and the ink will now stick! Hope this helps.

  18. Hi Julie,

    I am always fond of beautiful handwriting and it’s happened I saw your blog. And, I’ve always really wanted to learn calligraphy and it is one on bucket list for 2015..Hopefully I can make it for the basic steps first for 5 days.

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  23. What pen do you use?

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  25. Hi Julie! Can you tell me what straight pen holder and nib you are using in this post? I read the “Getting Started” post, but I think you are using something different here!

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  27. I HAVE BEEN SEEKING OUT WAYS TO LEARN THIS AWESOME WORLD OF CALLIGRAPHY, THANK YOU I’M SO HAPPY.

  28. I’m excited about learning calligraphy. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Thanks for offering the course. Happy Fourth!

  29. I want to start Calligraphy and I was wondering where you get your practice grid sheet please.

    • It’s in the first lesson. Just follow the links at the bottom of each post from the beginning to complete the series in sequence. Enjoy!

  30. Hey, I am so excited to start this series!! I was just wondering, I bought the speedball dip pen from Michael’s and I was curious if the tip was going to be too fine for this learning process? I can definitely do strokes, but the loops are what I’m worried about. I don’t think the nib is removable as well. I was just buying a starter to see how it works and if I can even try this little passion I’ve tucked away. Thoughts?
    Thank you again for this series!!

  31. Hi,

    I’m a Lefty too, after dealing with very bad hand writing for…well for ever and having tried to improve it with little success, I’m now trying a new approach… using my right hand! Progress has been slow & i come back to it every so often but hopefully it will come with time. Where did you get the practice grid paper from? that would be really handy.

    I was recently recommended a Pilot Parallel pen to practice with… i love it

    Thank you for your lessons Julie 🙂

  32. Hello! Whip out a ballpoint or gel pen, and follow the instructions in the faux calligraphy blog post . The reason I advocate learning faux calligraphy first is it gives you a feel for letter forms and teaches you about the different strokes involved in dip pen calligraphy. As a bonus, a mastery of faux calligraphy will allow you to write on non-paper surfaces with any tool. For example, say you want to create calligraphy on a chalkboard; you can do so with faux calligraphy!

  33. Late to the game here. Loving the lessons though! I am having to constantly push my nib back into the pen, about every half line of writing or so. I feel like I’m losing precious ink every time. Any suggestions?

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