Honestly, I would love to start this post and say…
“Here’s your exact to-do list if you wanna learn calligraphy. Step #1: Go sign up for my free course, Show Me Your Drills. The end. No more steps.”
Because honestly, I have a free course, and it’s the course that I’ve been running and refining for the past five years for beginners. It takes you literally from knowing nothing about calligraphy to being able to confidently understand and do it.
You get access to a FREE online course that has full of step by step videos and guides and printable traceable worksheets. There’s also a community of other beginners, as well as me and the mentors, answering your questions all along the way.
However, this wouldn’t be a very helpful post if I just told you to go do that and left it there. So while I do think you should go and join my Show Me Your Drills course, if you landed on this post and you want to learn calligraphy, I’m also gonna give you the steps I recommend.
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.
Rather watch than read? No problem! You can watch me explain the three things you need to do in real-time by clicking the video below!
Let’s Get Started!
If you want to learn calligraphy but for some reason don’t want to take the free course and prefer to piece it all together yourself, here we go.
To Do #1: Get the right tools.
This is the part that gets most people hung up because it can be a little overwhelming navigating all the different options for learning calligraphy.
And in my course, there’s a full guide and all sorts of videos explaining all of it.
But if you’re just looking for the quick answer: Get this pen. It’s called a Tombow Fudenosuke and comes in two different versions (soft tip and hard tip). Both are perfect for beginners, so whichever you can get your hands on is great (they might be sold individually or in a two-pack).
If you can’t find this exact pen, go to your local art store and find any flexible or brush tip pen they have. Don’t let not having this exact pen stop you. As long as it’s flexible, you’re good to go. (Or if you can’t even find brush pens, use a pencil!)
Next, get a pad of marker paper. This brand is Canson XL, but any brand is fine. Marker paper is just a super smooth semi-transparent paper that’s great for brush pens. A pad like this should cost you about $10.
This type of paper is great because you can put it right over top of any guide sheets that you’re using and can do the tracing. This brings me to to do #2…
To Do #2: Get some traceable worksheets.
Again, in my free course, you get exactly what you need. I have a whole workbook for you, but if you wanna just do some Googling, you can probably find tons of other options out there.
Make sure that you find traceable worksheets with the basic strokes – do not jump right into worksheets of letters. I repeat: do not jump right into worksheets of letters. You need to start with the basic strokes, or you’re gonna get frustrated and give up. I can almost guarantee it.
You should be looking for sheets that look like these that teach you how to do all of the basic strokes. This is the exact workbook with the exact sheets that I include in my course.
Once you find some of those, get them printed either at home or at your local print shop and just have them print on whatever paper they have. It doesn’t matter because you’re gonna put your marker paper right over top.
Once you’ve printed your worksheets, that brings me to to do #3…
To Do #3: Learn how to hold the pen and then start tracing and practicing!
You know what I’m going to say next: In my free course, I show you in depth how to hold and how not to hold the pen. But if you want a shorter blog post version, click here.
Once you know how to hold your pen, put a piece of marker paper right over top of your guide sheets and start tracing and practicing the strokes.
This is the part where I highly, highly, highly recommend having some videos that walk you through the specifics of each stroke. Yes, worksheets are great, but you don’t actually know if you’re making any crucial mistakes without seeing the strokes described and shown on a video.
And that’s a wrap!
To summarize… The easiest to do is to sign up for my free course.
If you’re not interested though, you need to find your tools and worksheets and then learn how to hold the pen and start practicing the basic strokes. And that’s pretty much it.
After you do those things, the rest will come naturally. Once you learn, keep practicing! Eventually you will want to find more advanced workbooks with letters, words, style, etc.
And yes, I have all those things. Would you just come join me already? 🙂 Seriously, I’m going to say it one more time. Cut out all the legwork I just described and join my free course at showmeyourdrills.com
My course gives you exactly what to do, and it tells you exactly when to do it and how to do it. Everything is included in that course, and it’s all completely free.
Find everything you need at showmeyourdrills.com
And finally, your dad joke…
How do you ruin a dragon’s birthday party?
…Tell it to blow out the candles on its cake.