Monday, December 21, 2009

calligraphy for beginners

via project wedding
Calligraphy for Beginners article photo

When it comes to addressing wedding invitations, our first choice is to hire a skilled calligrapher for the task. Unfortunately, that isn't always in the budget. But learning some basics about calligraphy tools can help give your invitations a unique look. By using a pen with a calligraphers pointed tip, you can get the thick and thin flow that is impossible to get from just a regular pen, so even "regular" handwriting has a special look. The best part is the tools are very cheap! So round up all your friends with nice handwriting and give them a basic lesson in writing with a calligrapher's pointed nib.

Supplies needed:

-Speedball Oblique Copperplate Pen Holder $1.89 each
-Pointed Nib like Gillott 404 $.76 each
-Envelopes
-Calligraphy Ink or Goache-watered down $8

First, insert the nib into the pen attachment so it is facing down at a 45 degree angle. Next, dip pen into the ink until the hole is filled in with ink (the small whole on the nib holds a reservoir of ink so you don't have to dip it as often.) The pointed tip produces very thin hairlines, but when pressure is applied to the pointed tip (pulling down) the two sides separate and ink is allowed to flow in a thick line.


Important Tips:

-Only put pressure on the pen when you are pulling it in a downward motion, the rest of the strokes should be thin hairlines (that way the nib won't catch on the paper).
-Practice with the ink beforehand on the kind of envelope you will be using to make sure the ink sets (some envelopes are coated and repel the ink).
-It takes some time to get used to the nib, so spend some time practicing before you begin.
-Lighter inks and metallic inks show up best on dark envelopes.
-If the ink is left out on the pen for more than a minute or two when it isn't in use, you'll need to wash it with water and dry it completely.
-It is good to have a moist paper towel nearby to wipe the nib down.


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