The FIRST 3 Things You Need to Know to Learn Calligraphy

Over the years, I’ve taught calligraphy to hundreds of thousands of students (virtually and in person).

Over the years, I’ve narrowed it down to 3 main things that you NEED to know right off the hop in order to learn quickly and not frustrate yourself.

I’ll give the general overview below, but be sure to watch the full video for detailed explanations on each step.

First Things First…

The links below may be affiliate links where appropriate. This means that your purchase through these links may result in a few cents in payment to me, to support creating further resources like this one! That being said, I will never suggest supplies that I do not personally use and fully recommend.

Supplies Used

  • Writing Tool
  • Paper

Be sure to watch the full video by clicking the video below!

First Thing to Know: The Correct Supplies You Need

Let’s keep it simple: You need a writing tool that is flexible and paper.

In terms of writing tools, the tool you choose needs to be flexible (for most people, that’ll be a brush pen). Flexible means thinner lines if you press lightly and thicker lines if you
press hard.

In terms of paper, I suggest either Rhodia paper (or a similar nice thick/smooth brand of
paper) with guidelines OR using marker paper if you’re learning from a calligraphy
workbook and want to trace.

That is literally it for supplies. A writing tool. A paper. Good to go.

For all brand recommendations and links, my full 50-page supplies guide is linked here.

calligraphy supplies guide becca courtice

Second Thing to Know: What the Basic Strokes Are

The basic strokes are my bread and butter. What I LOVE to teach. Because so many people miss it at the start (myself included) and you literally cannot do calligraphy without knowing this.

I go into so much more detail on this in my free course, Show Me Your Drills, but in a nutshell,
these are the basic strokes.

They just look like little squiggles. Upstroke, downstroke, overturn, underturn, compound curve, oval, ascending loop, descending loop.

You need to learn how to do these. Really really well. Then, they turn into letters.

Here’s an example: Take the upstroke, the oval, and the underturn, and you get the letters a.

There is a bit more to it than this, and not all letters are quite as simple. But the important thing is that you learn these basic strokes, or as I like to call them, drills, INSIDE AND OUT before you ever start writing letters.

Third Thing to Know: How and What to Practice

There isn’t one specific way you should practice, but here’s the order in which I also built my courses and workbooks so people could move from one to the other in a useful order.

  • First, you learn the basic strokes.
  • Next, you learn the minuscule (lowercase) letters – understanding how to build each letter.
  • After lowercase letters, you learn how to do majuscule (uppercase) letters.
  • Then, you learn how to connect your letters into words. It’s a whole new world (being able to actually write stuff), but this requires tons of practice to understand how letters really connect together nicely.
  • Once you feel confident in letter formation and connections, you start learning how to do “bouncing” and stylizing to develop a little more of your own personal style.
  • The last step is flourishing. This one’s kinda a bonus add-on, if it’s something you like.

That’s a Wrap!

I hope this was helpful! I mentioned it a few times throughout but if you’re looking for a super
quick and easy way to get started with alllllllll the info in one spot, you can take my free 90-
minute crash course. It truly walks you through everything in one spot, no fluff. You can find that

And I hope to see you in there! Good luck with your learning and prepare to be obsessed!

And finally, your dad joke…

I’d like to start a diet
…but I’ve just got too much on my plate right now.


Tell me what you thought!