How to Start Learning Calligraphy

Calligraphy has been around for millennia, but many more artists are discovering and embracing it now. Calligraphy can be fantastic for wedding invitations, birthday cards, or just so that you can write a special message to someone you care about.

If you’re struggling with where to start to learn calligraphy, you’ll be glad to hear that you only need basic supplies to start on the building blocks for your calligraphy journey.

Below is a beginner’s calligraphy tutorial that will teach you all you need to know about the art form.

Calligraphy Types

Faux Calligraphy

This involves any calligraphy made using basic tools that look authentic.

We recommend basic calligraphy for beginners. It doesn’t require sophisticated equipment or paper like other calligraphy techniques. 

You can start with regular pens and paper. This technique helps you master letter construction before moving on to pointed pen or brush calligraphy.

Modern Calligraphy

Modern calligraphy is also great for beginners since uniformity, space, and formatting are less crucial. 

Thus, a beginner may focus on letter formations and pressure to produce the required stroke shape. It is popular on Instagram and has a distinct, whimsical look. Though pointed pen scripts exist, I recommend getting acclimated to them first.

Black Letter Calligraphy

This form of calligraphy is the second simplest to learn yet has great skill potential and many styles. 

Unlike the pointed pen, applying greater pressure does not change the line. The movement angle determines the final result. 

Choosing a Script

When choosing a calligraphy script, you should choose something straightforward.

This is so that you can avoid becoming frustrated with the more complex techniques that come once you’re more advanced. 

Find scripts that are popular across the internet. There will likely be YouTube video tutorials and other resources that you can use to gain additional tips for that specific script. You may also have an easier time finding calligraphy lessons that can help you learn the basics.

Learning Calligraphy

I suggest beginning by learning the basic strokes of your calligraphy script.

Each calligraphy script is comprised of these fundamental strokes (shapes), which combine to produce letters. 

If you frequently practice these, your letters will fall into place smoothly over time. The most effective method for doing so is to use traceable guides.

There are also eight fundamental strokes involved with brush calligraphy – If you master these eight strokes, you’ll be able to write every letter in brush calligraphy with precision.

Once you have mastered the fundamental strokes of your calligraphy script, you can begin combining them to form letters. Again, I advocate using traceable guides for this purpose. 

Unlike freehand drawing, they help you develop the appropriate muscle memory for calligraphy.

Typically, beginners immediately begin hand lettering. However, in doing so, they limit their knowledge of the script and become frustrated. Therefore, it’s important to get to grips with the basics before moving on.  All great calligraphy artists started learning calligraphy skills and using basic exercises to develop their skills.

If you comprehend these fundamental strokes, you will be able to fix faults in your calligraphy.

Recommended post: How to Write With a Calligraphy Marker


So, that wraps up our post on how to write calligraphy for complete beginners. We hope that you have a better sense of the different types of calligraphy and how to get started. 

Remember, master the basics and create faux calligraphy first. Avoid the temptation of getting carried away and learning the more complex strokes too early. Practice your calligraphy scripts as much as possible and make sure to have fun! 


What other calligraphy supplies may I need?

As you gain experience, you can start using other calligraphy tools, such as a dip pen, brush pen, and calligraphy pen. These will enable you to experiment more with thick and thin strokes to create modern calligraphy.

What’s the difference between modern calligraphy and traditional calligraphy?

Traditional brush and pen calligraphy has more rules to adhere to. The lettering is seen to be more elegant. Writing letters with modern calligraphy enables artists to be more creative and free with how they create words in their calligraphy books.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.