(Closed) DIY calligraphy. Any tips?

posted 10 years ago in DIY
Post # 3
Member
73 posts
Worker bee

I started off with the calligraphy pens with the liquid cartridges.  They were ok but they were messy and if you didn’t use consistant pressure with them, it would come out a little sloopy.  So I went to Michaels and got the calligraphy markers and they worked great.  I started with a font I like and practice but then just modified it more to my taste and made it easier.  I would say practice by wrinting everyone’s name and address on scrape paper then use that as your guide.  Don’t try to do them all on one evening because you will get tired and it will show.  I did about 25 each night.   Oh yeah, make sure you have extra envelopes.  Good luck!

Post # 4
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Practice, practice, practice!  Also, remember that you will be hyper-critical of your work, but when you show it to others they will not notice most of the flaws you see.  I disagree with Luxe about the pen choice, but that is personal perferance.  For me, one of the enchanting things about calligraphy is that you can see the ink flow, the light and dark tones in the ink change when you overlap and as you move the pen.  You do not get this effect with a felt tipped calligraphy pen.  Also, the cartridge pens give you more nib choices, whereas I’ve found felt tips to be either too wide or too skinny.  If you are holding a fountain pen correctly you should not be applying much pressure, in fact the ink should glide out without much pressure at all (after you get it flowing).

Have fun, I started doing mine this way (I’ve been doing calligraphy for a long time), but I got lazy and ended up running them through my computer.  I just didn’t give myself enough time.  So that would be next advice — give yourself time and expect hand cramps!

Post # 5
Member
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Yay for calligraphy!  I too am attempting this.  I bought Margaret Shepherd’s "Learn Calligraphy" from Amazon and about a week’s worth of practicing the italic exercises can really improve your writing.  It also has some good examples of calligraphy worth attempting to imitatate, (no Copperplate, though (the really fancy style with all the crazy swashes) but Copperplate seems to be quite difficult to attempt without a lot of time for practice.  Italic is much more like regular handwriting and can be fairly easily mastered).

The calligraphy markers are okay, but I  have two problems with them.  The first is that the tips are fairly wide and can be difficult to use for smaller writing, which may or may not be an issue depending on how big your envelopes are.  The second is that the tips tend to blunt rather quickly, which means that your letters will lose that thin/thick contrast.  So if you go this route you may want to buy several to switch them when this happens. 

I bought a Manuscript calligraphy set for about $16 at Michaels and I love it.  It’s basically your average fountain pen (but with a bunch of different nibs) and if you’re used to writing with a fountain pen it should not cause many problems.  The different sizes of nibs are great for giving you the right line thickness for all different sizes of writing.  The downside is that the ink is not waterproof, which may or may not be an issue when addressing/sending envelopes.

Hope this helps!

Post # 7
Member
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2007

I highly recommend you get markers at least for practice (practice lots and lots!) but you may find they aren’t fine enough for addressing your envelopes.  The only pens I’ve ever used are Schaeffer cartridge pens and I find the flow to be nice and consistent.

I was first taught uncial, which does not have separate upper and lower case, but I found a basic gothic easiest to master with it’s fairly angular and regimented style.  however, it’s a little hard looking for wedding invitations, so I practiced a basic italic script for my invitations.  Gothic is still a good early one to practice with, I think because you can work on making your letters nice and parallel and even.  You’ll feel the rhythm after a while.

Also, relax your grip!  good luck.

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