Creative Expression | November 16, 2020 |

Learn Modern Calligraphy for Beginners

3 minute read
Learn Modern Calligraphy for Beginners

Learn Modern Calligraphy for Beginners

When I talk about calligraphy to others, their first reaction would be I have very bad “handwriting”.

Handwriting is totally different from calligraphy. Someone who has a bad handwriting does not mean they cannot do calligraphy. Handwriting means you pick up a pen and you write. Calligraphy means you follow basic rules and form the alphabet with basic strokes.

You can see the below picture of my “Handwriting” vs “Calligraphy”. As you can see my handwriting does not look that great and my calligraphy is just another world.

test alt text

How to get started with calligraphy

If I have convinced you a little, then you may ask what’s the next step?

There are many different forms of calligraphy – Foundational hand, Italic, Roman, Gothic, Copperplate, Spencerian etc. When I first started my calligraphy journey, I was overwhelmed by all these terms. So, what are they? These are many different scripts bounded by strict and heavy rules. I decided to skip all of these and went into Modern Calligraphy – A more casual style of writing, and it does not adhere to traditional rules and can be done with markers and pens.


  1. Forget about handwriting
  2. Forget about cursive
  3. You should write in a very slow pace, don’t rush
  4. You lift your pen up or pause after each stroke
  5. Downstrokes are thick, upstrokes are thin
  6. You should practice everyday in a short duration rather than doing a long one once
  7. ENJOY!


There are tons of articles online about all the supplies. Before you buy all these random supplies, I want to share my favourite and basic tools with you. All of these are economical and affordable if you are a beginner.

1. Paper

test alt text

I am not a paper expert, but after all these experiments, here are some general ideas.

  • Choose paper that are in higher weight, so the ink does not bleed
  • Choose paper that do not have too much texture because it will catch your brush tip

Here are some suggestions

  1. HP Premium Choice Laser Paper
  2. Rhodia Graph Pad
  3. Canson XL Series Marker Paper Pad

2. Brush pen

test alt text

These following pens are designed for writing calligraphy. They come with the choice of hard tip and soft tip. When you add pressure in your downstrokes it automatically creates thickness to the strokes.

  1. Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen
  2. Pentel Pen Touch

3. Guide sheet or exemplar

test alt text

There are many free guide sheets out there, but I highly recommend you do some research on the author. I have seen people using wrong basic strokes and it would be hard to correct once you follow the practice. Given the fact that

  1. Calligraphy is different from your handwriting
  2. It’s a super therapeutic leisure activity
  3. It is an economical form of art, my question is (have I changed your mind about calligraphy?)

If you would like to learn, I offer workshops through Boomerang on a regular basis in different levels.

Introduction to Calligraphy – Basic strokes and lower cases

Intermediate Calligraphy – Basic strokes and upper cases

Connector & Spacing in Calligraphy – How to connect letters, what is bounce letters

Calligraphy & Flourishing – Decorative strokes to elevate calligraphy skills

Calligraphy Beyond Paper – Once you have mastered calligraphy on paper, there are infinite projects you can do to execute lettering beyond paper (such as mirror, glasses, wood etc)

I can’t wait to see you in one of my workshops and the pleasure to share my passion with you!



About Margaret and Sincerely.Bo

Hello! This is Margaret from Sincerely.Bo – I am a lettering artist based in Toronto Canada. My journey began back at a young age when I wrote and painted on a school door as an art project. I rediscovered my creativity when I wrote on holiday ornaments for my son’s teachers as holiday gifts. Since then, I have taken calligraphy workshops to brush up on my calligraphy skills. Calligraphy is a very therapeutic form of art which creates an opportunity to slow down and breath in with the rhythm of the pen on the page. I am so excited to have the opportunity to share my passion with you!To see more of my work, you may visit



*Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any of these brands, all of my opinions are based on my regular usage, experiment of supplies.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!