- Fudenosuke Tombow Soft Brush Pen
It is all in the stroke, the bend of the wrist, the fluidity of the pen.
Calligraphy is about the delicate yet elegant curve of the text and continuous stream of ink gliding across the page. This is the beauty of calligraphy that simply cannot be reproduced as perfectly through digital means, and that is what we will be slowing down for today.
Beginning anything new is undeniably not expected to be perfect, smooth, or one might assume even enjoyable. Although I am no expert in calligraphy, I assure you it will improve in time with practice and patience as most other things. All too often we give up before we see something truly beautiful happen.
I have had my fair share of distorted lines, haphazard strokes that seemed to lead to no where, but far more important, I learned from my failures and tried again, and I believe you can too.
This brief tutorial is not meant to make you into a professional by the end but a means to get your journey started. How far you'll travel is in your hands.
Of course, one does not need to own a brush pen to achieve the calligraphy beauty. A marker will do, but the brush pen unlocks a whole new experience.
With any skill, we begin at the basics stroke: up and down, up and down, up and down.
Allow your hand to adjust to the stroke, the vertical movement. Try long loops, shorter ones, angled ones. The crucial part lies in the pressure on the downwards stroke. As you pass the peak increase the pressure and don't be afraid to apply more strength than you think. Then release as you near the trough.
This is the simple motion to repeat over and over again.
Calligraphy is an art that takes time, that requires patience. At moments when you feel like quitting, push through. take another stroke. Keep moving. Or take a pause and resume again later. Take as long as you need, nothing is going anywhere.
When the strokes begin to be tedious, too easy, perhaps proceed then with the next step: the alphabet.
Before stepping too far by trying long curly edges and extravagant movements, apply the same basic stroke principle to each letter. Release on the up, apply pressure on the down. Become familiar to the pressure needed for each letter. Feel the curve of the
a, the length of the
h. Repeat the alphabet for as long as you need.
Then begin to connect the letters together one edge to the next, bridging them with the pen.
As you learn the quirks of each member of the alphabet,you’ll naturally find a rhythym, your own rhythym.
Before you realize it, you’re now dipping into the beginnings of the vast ocean of calligraphy. You begin to try different styles, sizes, speeds. Eventually finding the one that best fits you. I still have yet to find my own personal style, and I hope to rely not on others’ works to imitate or use as a guide.
I would like to be able to say,
This is my style.
Until that moment, enjoy the possibilities. Try something new. Keep writing.
I acknowledge this might have been no tutorial at all, but words can only translate so much for work done by the hands. I can only encourage you to explore for yourself and push yourself further.