Three Common Brush Mistakes (And How You Can Fix Them!)

It’s time to improve your brush calligraphy!

Today, I wanted to share with you guys the three most common mistakes I see in brush calligraphy.

Prefer to watch than read? Feel free to skip right to the video and see these mistakes in real time! ??

First things first…

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Now, let’s get to the 3 problems.

Pesky Problem #1

The Tip Flip (I’m not really sure why I’m calling it that, but let’s just go with it ?). What I mean though, is that your pen sort of flips over itself.

It’s tough to see from a photo, but this is what your oval would look like if you experienced the “tip flip”.

The Mistake: The tip flip happens when you hold your pen too vertical.

The Easy Fix: Simply adjust the angle of the pen to a 45-degree angle.

Tip flip who?!

Pesky Problem #2

This is what I lovingly call “the soggy bottom.” ❤

Can you say soggy bottom problems or what?

The Mistake: The soggy bottom happens when you don’t let the pressure off off your pen early enough in your oval’s downstroke (on the left side).

The Easy Fix: Simply let the pressure off of your pen about halfway/three quarters of the way down the left side of your oval.

No more soggy bottoms!

Pesky Problem #3

The Gap Top. No, I’m not talking about your basic top from The Gap store ?. I’m talking about the little gap you get at the top of your strokes.

Notice that weird space there at the top?

The Mistake: The reason this happens is because you are going waaaay too fast, transitioning strokes too quickly. I most often notice this specifically with a Tombow Fudenosuke (the smaller black pen).

The Easy Fix: Sllllllooooooow down! Keep the same speed the whole way through the oval.

So to recap…

Check out this graphic– the left side shows “good” ovals, the right shows common mistakes!

Now if you want to keep rolling with improving your brush calligraphy, make sure you also check out this video, where I go over The 4 Most Common Mistakes I See Beginners Making in Brush Calligraphy.


  1. I also have a problem with the beauty line. I can not seem to get my beauty line to thicken up
    And. Narrow up to give that beautiful line look. Just do not have that precision on control of
    Widening and narrowing like it should. Thanks, Bo

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