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Introduction to Calligraphy

Lesson 3 of 6

The Basic Strokes

Fullosophie, Bianca Mascorro

Introduction to Calligraphy

Fullosophie, Bianca Mascorro

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Lesson Info

3. The Basic Strokes

Lesson Info

The Basic Strokes

Now that that's taking care of we can get started with their pen strokes um we're going to start off with are down strokes and I recommend um basically in you know thiss downloadable sheep that you guys will get um I did just basic down should birthday six strokes that you're going to be forming of letters out of um and I like to d'oh tow warm up basically like a liner suit each and is your starting to get used to these strokes? I definitely recommend at least doing two or three lines if not, you know if you have the patients for like a whole page so like the o shapes for example are super important and calligraphy the oval shape is really going to be prominent in your letter forms so let's just just give you kind of an overview of how you want your down strips toe look um you're just going to start off with these lines if you can see them um go just I'll just be two lines just for the sake of practice so just start um place your plan down receiving unit down for us down and drag direc...

tly down and lift up so it's a very simple line it's more of a matter of pressure at this point and also getting your lines to line up with this fifty five degree angle so just do a few lines of those I won't do that now because I would be very tedious toe watch but I just recommend, you know, like I said, just do a couple of lines within just make sure you get the feel of the pressure of your pen, what you're going to want to just, you know, according to your own hand pressure so, um, your hand should be relaxed, your risk to be straight, you never want to do this, so you just want to angle your paper too. You know what, it's your body basically what? You know, if you hold your hand like this or like this it's going to affect your pen strokes, so don't try to change your risk to accommodate the paper, make sure that the paper angle is accommodating you. Um so that's, what we're gonna want to do these down strokes for the up strokes, same thing few lines and when you're going home and practicing that's, you know, just do a few lines of those but it's going to completely the opposite of what you're doing on the down stroke. So just instead of doing this, you decide to go directly up, so but not play any pressure whatsoever to that, um, so a little bit trickier on that upstroke just because not applying pressure is very strange for a lot of people, you know, it's like you just want toe have more control of with your pen by playing pressure so it's just it's going to take some getting used to but just do completely opposite just go up saying angle and no pressure uh your oval shapes like I said are hugely important in calligraphy um so really, really try to get the hang of those and it will make getting your letter forms you know that will just come a lot easier so what uh what are some common um, challenges that a beginner might have in in doing either the down strokes or the upstroke pressure? Okay, so you know, like I said it's just like kind of a natural tendency for people to apply pressure so you're going to be you know, once you do that if you start to apply pressure on the upstroke for example, you want to snag in the paper so like that basically and your ankle go flying and you know, this happens all the time anyway to me still it's not just because I'm not applying pressure doesn't mean that my new business not going to snag in the paper because still does to this day after nine years of doing calligraphy is still snag, so don't get frustrated with it if you're doing it a lot, it means that you definitely need it lighten up your pressure, but she'll also know like if you're if you're up strokes are looking a little bit too thick for example then you're obviously going to be I can't even do it think can give me an example of a bad upstroke but you know like a sick one is not going tio that just keeps getting stuck so but somehow I know it does happen you get like a really thick upstroke and it's just like, well that's not supposed to be like that so definitely lighten up and that's I think that is definitely one of the biggest issues that people that are just starting to learn how to use these nibs that's what they face because it's kind of counterintuitive twitter used to doing it it used to writing with pressure no matter what angle or you're going up or down it's just like you're applying pressure to your pen or pencil but you don't want to do it with this sharp pointy nib so um just try to keep that in mind also the grip of your pen if you grew up too hard it's gonna be exhausting so I just recommend lightning at my grip is about like this versus, you know, completely immovable um you'll start to shake pretty badly and get really tired so you know, just try to keep a nice light relaxed feel um again in your risk to sew and you're not going to want to do a lot of finger movement, you're going to want to doing whole our movement, which is also something that's, a little tricky to get used to and, yes, you will catch me doing finger movement. I'm not perfect. So, um, it I do it a lot when I'm playing the pressure for the most part, and I've noticed that's what I do more of the finger movement, but overall you'll see just a slight movement in my whole arm. Um, so again, let's, just start with those oval shapes. Um, hugely important again, I always warm up with ease, as you can see, I still need to be warm a little bit. So, um, that is your basic cable show big and just, um, an example of why this is important, tio really, master these shapes it's because, for example, you're o plus so this shape plus this shape, you're actually gonna be able to put that together for the most part and make, like a sow and, of course, that's the u shape right there. But just to give you an idea of how these actually apply to your letter forms it's not just like drills for no reason if they actually really do make up your letter forms, so, um there's those shapes there's the crescent shapes to the left and again these are always going to be same thing in that line so versus you know, doing like a c shaped like this you wanted to actually be about fifty five degree angle and you start off light, apply pressure in the middle and, um, light down at the bottom. So as soon as you basically start to move back to the side you're going to like, you know, lighten up on that pressure there. So do you have more time so light pressure, pressure down and then lighten up again? Same thing with that reverse crescent shape, the angle is gonna be the same and your pressure is gonna be the same. Um, next is sort of an upside down u shape that's gonna be starting up light on the upstroke and then apply pressure on the way down and do that one more time because this one is really you're gonna get a lot of this movement and your letters um and then actual u shape just the reverse of that pressure on the way down, lighten up as you go to the side and then like like pressure on the way up just to hear line again um, so again, just if you imagine these how they actually take place in as they take a part in the letters you can see that you're gonna be like this is going to turn into an end for example so to those shapes plus a little bit of that u shape on the bottom there's your end um versus you know so it's just like I said it's really important too figure out these shapes make sure that your hands get used to them um it's all about muscle memory in this case so as your is your hand is memorizing how to do these shapes your letter forms it just becomes so much easier and I even come back to them like mid project because it's just like all let's send him like you know things to start looking right and probably go back to my strokes so I do that come right back to my project and next thing you know, I'm doing a lot better at it so I'm sorry that that's actually what I was just going to ask you. So how often do you how long do you take warming up? Uh when you're getting ready to do a project because well, because I think it be a question would be interesting to know like what you do versus what you would recommend for some more ladies who are are beginners so ideally I would have at least a half a knauer every day just to do this and that's like a minimum um if I'm out of practice, I will do it for like two hours straight so but if I'm going doing clearfield lot sometimes I just like, you know we'll just do like a line of each and they'll take me like five minutes and I'm good to go so it kind of depends on how long I've been away from the whole thing like if I'm on vacation, which is never um you know, like comeback on like I can't do it so I've actually started to take like, a notebook with me uh, no booking depends if I'm on the airplane or by the pool, which sounds amazing right now we'll sit there and with my memos are, you know, decorate whatever just sit there inducing pen strokes and it's completely relaxing still it's not feel like feeling like I'm working, but you know, it's just just to make sure that my hand doesn't forget what it is I do for a living basically so um, you know, it really all depends on what you know like like I said, how long you've been away from it, how long you've been at it, but ideally I would like to do this if minimum for half an hour every day but that's a personal thing so you know, if, um if you're learning a new script for example, expense syrian that is really, really different and really difficult for me to do and I will have like ten pages of just the movements in the strokes um and I still getting used to it, right? So it's just it really like I said just depends on where you're at but it's definitely I always recommend doing a good amount of it in the beginning so um and especially for consistency so these next couple of strokes that's really going to be you're really going to notice your consistency there and this is something that can be quite frustrating, but it comes over time so let's see here so like this upside down and right side a few shape next to each other I didn't get the ink flowing again if I stopped to talk to you know, the kind of dries up so sometimes you just need to get the ink flowing again. Um so that shape is going to be coming a little bit tougher because you're doing identical shapes right next to each other and but it's really great for consistency practice? Um obviously no letter forms are made out of this shape so really is purely for consistency practice same thing with this s shape just kind of just getting used to getting these lines too mirror each other basically, um it's actually kind of fund one to do really I like that one just cause you kind of imagine. You can imagine it is like scroll shapes eventually, like under your letters or boards. Um, but that's, those your basic shapes.

Class Description

Calligraphy adds creative flair to correspondence, parties, decorations, art projects, and more. Learn more about this ancient art that is still popular today in Introduction to Calligraphy with Bianca Mascorro.

Bianca will introduce you to the basic calligraphy alphabet and teach you beginner techniques you can use to practice making letter forms. You’ll learn about the tools and materials every calligrapher needs and how to hold and use the pen, starting with basic strokes.

If you want to add special a flourish to your handwritten projects, Introduction to Calligraphy is the perfect place to start.

This class was produced in partnership with Fullosophie, an experiential and workshop-based business for creatives.


Catherine Moore

I was immediately drawn to this class because the camera work caught the find detail I was looking for. Love the calligraphy style itself and seeing each letter drawn with Bianca's explanation of why certain things are done, such as relationships to lines, was very helpful. I had been looking online for very specific information on pen angle AND nib angle, and this video cleared up some questions I had. Also, information concerning how much ink to use (covering the vent hole) solved another issue I was having. I also like that Bianca emphasized the basic strokes for daily practice. Also Bianca explained how she stops and starts for specific letters and this helped me figure out some issues I was having. This is my favorite of 5 online calligraphy courses I have done online! Thanks for offering it.

James McCullough

I would recommend anyone interested in Calligraphy to take this course. I liked that she took the time to explain the basic strokes and the importance of practice. I also enjoy her being authentic letting me know that with all her years of doing this she still does warm up strokes before tackling a project.

a Creativelive Student

I found this class incredibly helpful. In fact, after this class I hand-addressed all of my wedding invitation envelopes using the calligraphy skills and materials I learned here. They turned out beautifully, I got a ton of compliments, and I didn't have to pay a professional hundreds of dollars to do it! The course itself is focused and packed with information. I liked it so much I bought another course from the instructor. I haven't taken it yet, but I'm looking forward to doing it this fall when my work schedule eases up a bit.