In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how NOT to hold a brush pen.


If you’ve ever wondered what the right way to hold a brush pen is, you’re in luck because I’m sharing my tips on what to avoid when holding a brush pen!

First Things First…

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Books Mentioned

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The truth is, you’re going to have to experiment with what feels the most comfortable to you, while still being able to produce the thin and thick lines that modern calligraphy requires.

Don’t #1: Worry about how you’re gripping the pen

Hold your brush pen the way you would normally hold any other pen. Some might hold it higher or lower, but the sweet spot for me (and most of my students, is right here:

If that doesn’t feel comfortable for you, move your hand around to find the best fit for YOU!

Don’t #2: Ignore the angle of your pen

You want to make sure you’re not holding your pen at too much of a vertical OR horizontal angle. You want to keep it at more of a 45-degree angle.

If you’re holding your pen too vertical, your downstrokes won’t come out quite as thick as they will at a 45-degree angle.

Don’t #3: Hold your pen parallel to the page

Perpendicular = YES.

This rule is for the same reason above – you want to get that downstroke to be nice and thick.


And that’s a wrap!

So remember: make sure you have a comfortable grip, you maintain a 45-degree angle, and you’re working perpendicular to the page! I hope these “don’ts” make a difference in your lettering. Now that you know how to hold them, you can learn how to use them.