Modern Calligraphy for Beginners: Resources

BOOOOKSSSS

I’ve covered the supplies, now I’ve got the resources you’ll need to fine tune your calligraphy game! Modern calligraphy and lettering in general is becoming more and more popular so there are a lot of great places to find useful information and tutorials.

Worksheets

This is my number one suggestion in terms of resources. Worksheets are the best! They can be printed at home and used right away and are also usually quite affordable (or free!) I can’t recommend them enough.

The Postman’s Knock – I used the Katilin worksheet when I was first starting out and it was very helpful. They are very inexpensive and very comprehensive. TPK goes through every letter in the alphabet (uppercase and lowercase), numbers and some symbols. There is also lots of space for practice.

Kiley in Kentucky – KIK’s “50 ways” series is AMAZING and free. I printed out the letter B because I still have a hard time with that letter despite the fact that my name starts with a B. I even got my husband to try a couple as a complete beginner and the results were amazing. This is a tracing worksheet so don’t forget to practice on plain paper as well!

By Dawn Nicole – Dawn’s worksheet is very straightforward. It’s free and offers several different styles of writing so it’s great if you’re looking for new ideas. Same as KIK’s worksheet above, remember to practice on plain paper.

Books

I like having books on hand because it’s nice to have references close by. Books are great resources because I find they often have projects and tips that you may not think to search for yourself. Here are a few of my recommendations:

Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe – This book is primarily for learning how to use a pointed pen (aka dip pen) but is a great resource nonetheless. It has a great section that shows different ways to write the each letter, which is very useful when you’re stuck in a rut or lacking inspiration. My go to reference book.  Indigo

Creative Lettering and Beyond by Gabri Joy Kirkendall, et al. – To be honest, I don’t love this book but if you were to get one, get this one. I say this is because while it doesn’t cover any one topic extensively, it does have a lot tutorials and projects. You may need to do further research separate from what is offered in the book, but it is good for what it is. Indigo

Hand Lettering Ledger by Mary Kate McDevitt – (Pictured) This book is about lettering, which is not the same as calligraphy. Lettering is the drawing letters while calligraphy is writing letters; think drawing bubble letters vs. writing in cursive. Lettering and calligraphy go hand in hand and there is a lot to gain by incorporating it into your practice. This book is primarily a ledger – it has a small section of lettering lessons but the majority of the book is practice space. Indigo

Getting Started with Brush Lettering by Jenn Coyle, hellobrio.com – I haven’t used this book yet but based on the sample pages, it seems like very comprehensive and informative. It includes worksheets and can be purchased electronically, which is great!

Instagram

While Instagram doesn’t offer tutorials in the traditional sense, I think it is valuable in its own right. I often go on just to watch videos of the process. This gives me an idea of how to move the pen to achieve certain shapes or flourishes. Don’t be shy to try to replicate what you see as practice! Just don’t steal ideas and post them as your own – that’s not very nice. Make sure to take advantage of the new ‘Save’ feature on instagram and save anything that sparks inspiration.

Here are some accounts I follow:

@amandaarneill
@calligrabasics
@mollyjacques
@mdemilan

Websites / Online Courses

There are many online courses that you can take for all kinds of calligraphy. Personally, I haven’t used any courses because there are so many free resources but I think that they can be very useful, especially if you’re a visual learner. I’ve compiled a list of online courses that seem interesting but because I can’t personally recommend them, don’t forget to read reviews and do a bit more research before committing!

Pieces Calligraphy
The Postman’s Knock
Brit & Co.
Creativebug
Creativelive

Workshops

Workshops are probably the best way to get started, though they do tend to be a bit on the expensive side. To find one near you, simply search online for modern calligraphy workshops in your area. Another way to get updates on upcoming events is to follow local calligraphers on social media – that way you can find out about new workshops as soon as they’re announced.

YouTube

I can’t forget to mention YouTube videos! Another great option for visual learners, videos are great because you can see calligraphy in action and it helps to see how calligraphers use their tools to create their art. I’ve included some videos below but there are so many online that you’ll definitely find something for you.

So there you have it! If you have any questions about the resources listed or just about calligraphy in general, feel free to contact me by email or through social media! I have one more post about modern calligraphy for beginners. In the final post, I’ll give some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the past couple of years. Stay tuned!

Thank you for reading!

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