Calligraphy

Starting Calligraphy From Scratch

May 26, 2015

Recently, before the second semester ended, I bought myself a starter kit for calligraphy.

Starting Calligraphy From Scratch

Before, I was really trying to scribble something good but nothing seemed right up until I was inspired by other calligraphers lurking in different corners of the world posting their awesome works through social media. Then and there, I decided that since I do not have my piano here nor the time to explore and do photography, might as well try calligraphy.
For starters, I did not have prior knowledge up until recently. I studied through tutorials online and tips from the calligraphers out there whom I known through social platform, Instagram. I discovered their photos through hashtags which are really help by the way! So when I got my kit, calligraphy started its way on me.

By the way, the starter kit I got was bought from an online shop on Instagram, @thecraftcentral. You may try looking at their shop for items regarding calligraphy. There are other shops that you may know like: @pensgalore, @createcraftsph and many more.

Photo from Craft Central. I lost my copy!

Honestly, I was really excited about this new hobby that I am doing. Beforehand, I was really onto DIY / design stuff since posts from Pinterest, inspire me to recreate things in my room that need a lifting. My bookshelf is just a DIY bookshelf that I got from Pinterest. At first, I was a little skeptic since it might not work but I still gave it a try and it is still standing in my room housing my books (law-related, fiction and nonfiction).

The starter pack has:
  • six (6) nibs
  • two pen holders (one straight, one oblique)
  • Walnut ink (50 ml)
  • two jars of pearl pigments (3g each)
  • one bottle of China ink
  • two empty jars that could hold 30ml each
  • Scribble manual
  • Scribble pad
  • Black scribble pad
Other than that I also bought (separate from the starter kit):
  • Higgins Eternal ink (black)
  • Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay Black India ink
  • Pen cleaner
  • Extra straight pen holder and oblique pen holder
  • Extra nibs
  • Liquid chalk pen

Since there is a scribble manual included, I began to read it. The content was really basic and easy to understand however, I was a bit disappointed since there were no details about calligraphy for lefties. I have been personally searching for guides or tutorials for lefties since I am too, a lefty. I have encountered articles that say calligraphy and lefties do not mesh well since the angle of the paper or orientation of how the pens are how the pens are held may cause some discrepancies with the work itself. However, I did not let it stop me. I tried and practiced really hard (even if there were still exams then) just to have my letters written well.


At first, it was really hard scribbling or writing without the blotches, drops and smudges but as soon you get the hang of it, then it’ll be easy as 1-2-3.

 

 


Search for Leftie Calligraphers

This was the time that I was really searching on Instagram on people who are lefties that are using oblique pen holders for their calligraphy. I may call it a success in finding one posting about their experience but also it may be creepy to the owner since I may have browsed up to 57 weeks ago. But meh, it was posted there to help people like me so it is up to the people like to search really hard to be able to find and use the resources or bits of information that they have posted. By the way, credits to @theleftieadvantage for posting this and other pieces of advice on your social media account. I am really lucky to found a fellow lefty like you who have helped others may it be through workshops or your posts online. But honestly, her piece of advice was indeed helpful in my journey with calligraphy. Next up will be another work of mine a day before our final exams started.

 To say good luck to my fellow back then was a great feeling since I did it through calligraphy and boy, there were no blotches or smudges at all! This was a proud moment for me. Also, credits to my partner, Sam for telling me the right paper to use for calligraphy. And it is, acid-free paper! For that, I wrote it on a Canson acid-free watercolor pad and it really was great!

Paper

The one on the left with the “Oh, Canson” caption is the page where I literally just scribbled whatever came into my mind. It was written on a 12×18 Canson acid-free watercolor pad. One of the best feelings ever other than passing and surviving my first year law school! Of course, there was freedom since it is a big pad where I could just vent out whatever I think of into a canvas that will not tear easily nor blotch ink. On the right is the scribble pad included in the starter kit I bought from The Craft Central. It has guidelines which made it easier during my first few days of doing calligraphy since writing freehand would have been a great mess since I do not know anything (like Jon Snow!) about calligraphy back then. It was really helpful as well since the paper (I guess) is acid-free because there were no blotches, smudges nor stains on the next page when I used it. The tricky one is the black pad since I did not have any white ink, mixing the pearl pigments was really tricky. But thanks to the liquid chalk pen, I was able to scribble my name on that black pad. Nevertheless, I still have to practice mixing the pearl pigments soon.


Freehand

The previous photos were freehand and part of my best works while still a noob with calligraphy and being a lefty! I may have conquered part of the myth about lefties not being able to mesh well with calligraphy. On the left is a photo of my practice sheet (scribble pad) during the wee hours while taking a break from studying for finals. (Yes, I balanced everything.) I not only study my lessons for the finals but I also studied something new during those days. That is, to learn how to be good in calligraphy. Sooner or later, I will have my own calligraphy alphabet that I will use in my works or in different things. I also hope that even if law school is always a go and a priority for me, I would still have time to develop my creative side and not lose it for the sake of being studious just because of law school. Well, I guess the saying: “Pag gusto may paraan, pag ayaw maraming dahilan” best applies to me right now.

Sooner or later, I will have more posts about my journey with calligraphy but for now, this shall do.

P.S. I’ll update this soon with the photos! 🙂

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  • Reply SiennyLovesDrawing February 9, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    You know calligraphy! Awesome! One of my new year resolutions is to learn up calligraphy. Thanks for sharing, am gonna get myself a starter kit too, wil try to learn up myself, as calligraphy workshops in Malaysia quite pricey though…cheers, SiennyLovesDrawing

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