I finally had a good reason to learn calligraphy after we got engaged in January 2015. That way I could address our invitation envelopes and letter some small paper goods for our wedding day. I had some notes I had taken from a friend with suggestions on how to learn on my own so I dug them out and that’s where I started. After completing all the calligraphy for our wedding day (which looking back at it now was definitely NOT great - see photo above!) I didn’t pick up the pointed pen again until the start of 2016.
After stepping away for more than 6 months, it was almost like I was starting over again. Except this time, I started a new instagram account just for calligraphy and discovered so many resources! I thought it would be helpful to share what resources I used when I first started learning compared to what I wish I knew when I started. Now, this doesn’t mean that the tools I used when I started were bad, I just think there are BETTER resources for someone that is just starting out.
I hope that you find the following information helpful! Of course, everything comes down to personal preference at the end of the day and what works for me may not work for you. In any case, learning new things should be fun. So however you get started, just starting is the most important thing!
The 3 Things I Used to Start Learning Calligraphy
- Skillshare Class: Molly Jacques (no longer available) | This was the class that was recommended to me. I enrolled in Skillshare and completed Molly’s class during the free trial period. Molly’s lettering style is beautiful and she is very talented. The class covered all the necessary basics: supplies, basic strokes and all the letters. Not a bad overview of calligraphy for beginners.
- Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy - Eleanor Winters | I can’t even remember why or when I bought this book, but I had this when I started learning but only referenced it for basic strokes since this was teaching a different script (Copperplate script). I had taken Molly’s class (Modern script) and wanted to letter in that style for our wedding. I did return to this and reference it when I learned Copperplate later and found it helpful.
- Basic Supplies | I bought basic supplies that Molly recommended in her Skillshare class. However, I would replace all of these with a "better" basic supply list that is only marginally more expensive (my list below + a helpful graphic). Starting with the right tools is very important and plays a huge part in whether or not learning calligraphy is enjoyable!
- Borden and Riley Marker Layout Paper - 9x12, 100 sheets
- Speedball Straight Holder and/or Speedball Oblique Holder
- Higgins Eternal Black Ink
- Nikko G Nib
Total Cost: Approx $22