Thing-A-Day #1 – Adventures in Brush Calligraphy


I’ve never really liked my own handwriting, so I’ve long explored ways to disguise it with what I used to call “fancy writing.” This highly technical term has been replaced by terms like “faux calligraphy” and “hand lettering” as its increased in popularity.

I’ve long admired the brush calligraphy that I’ve seen on places like Pinterest and for my birthday this year I decided to treat myself to a small set. It is clear that Tombow’s are the preferred marker of serious brush calligraphy artist – and while I dream of owning this set..


So beautiful!

…it isn’t really financially feasible right now. And I wanted to make sure that I enjoyed brush calligraphy before making too much of an investment. I opted for a set of Michael’s in house brand, Artist’s Loft.

It should be noted that this is not my first time exploring calligraphy. I might have been the only 12 year old ever to ask for a calligraphy set for Christmas. At that time I used felt tipped calligraphy pens, and primarily practiced ancient styles of calligraphy. A prime example of my work can still be seen in a “Best Grandpa” award in my grandfather’s office. I’ll take a picture of it next time I’m visiting.

So, with that experience in mind, the first thing I learned about brush calligraphy was how incredibly different it was. While in classic calligraphy you can rely on the angle that you hold the pen to deliver the different widths in the strokes, brush calligraphy relies on you physically applying pressure on down strokes and minimizing pressure on upstrokes. This is the most difficult part of the process and the thing that took the most getting used to.

Initially, I got a little frustrated with this but found an activity where you just repeat downstrokes and upstrokes over and over. Practicing the change between the two helped me the most and I filled a full pad of paper with simple stroke work.

Luckily, the internet is full of tutorials and practice worksheets. I’ve relied heavily on the resources available at Dawn Nicole Designs – especially her 30 Days to Better Brush Calligraphy tutorials. She’s great.

While I’m committed to 30 days of practicing to improve my skill – I was a little too excited to just do one letter a day as she suggest, so I did an average of 3 letters a day. I really enjoyed them and think that you can see improvement as I worked my way through the alphabet.


The entire set.


Alphabet work put to work!


For today’s “Thing-A-Day” activity, I continued practicing by repeating the full alphabet over and over. And creating the “Thing-A-Day” image at the top of the post.


Practice, practice, practice!

So, that’s Day #1. Expect to see more brush calligraphy as I work through the month, but I have other projects in the works as well. I look forward to sharing them with you.


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