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Art Lessons

Scroll With It: Calligraphy Basics

From 100 Things Every Artist Should Know

If you're looking to try your hand at calligraphy, 100 Things Every Artist Should Know is a wonderful place to start. Consider it an artist's guide to becoming familiar with all mediums and styles, including calligraphy tools and learning to hone impeccable penmanship.

The calligraphy section begins with keys to having the "write" stuff: intro to calligraphy tools and materials; how to assemble a calligraphy pen; setting up a work area; and techniques for getting started. Much like any great skill, calligraphy takes plenty of time and patience to master.

After patiently practicing basic shapes and carefully crafting even pen strokes, it's time to proceed to some basic calligraphy terminology to learn how to form each letter. The section includes five basic guidelines−ascender line, descender line, waist line, base line, and cap line—which will help you place your strokes properly.

At the core of this craft is a valuable lesson: patience and practice can produce impeccable results. While you won't become a professional overnight, you can make significant progress by implementing some of these suggestions:

"Calligraphy, like dance or yoga, requires practice to achieve grace and flow. Relax and enjoy a peaceful time as you train your hand to shape each letter."

Quotation and images excerpted from 100 Things Every Artist Should Know

Ready your workspace, take a deep breath, and just scroll with it. The beauty of the written word beckons.

Have you ever attempted calligraphy? For those who have, what tips would you offer beginners?

Beth Bauer

Beth is a freelance writer residing in Fishers, Indiana with a background in print journalism. Her full time job as a stay at home mom allows her to explore the beauty of art and life through her two young daughters' eyesone finger painting at a time.

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