Learn Modern Calligraphy!

 Learn Modern Calligraphy With Greylily

    Hi! I'm Lisa of Greylily Calligraphy, and I am so excited to help get you on your way to learning the beautiful art of modern calligraphy! 

    I began my journey into pointed pen calligraphy in 2010, and found at that time there were almost zero online resources for learning calligraphy. (I was deeply honored to be interviewed for our local paper, and you can read more about my journey here if you are interested). So I began my search then for teachers and learning materials...a slow and laborious process that left me frustrated and discouraged beyond belief. 

Skip ahead to 2012 when I found my now friend, Melissa Esplin, creator of calligraphy.org. I took her online full course, and that began my foray into the beautiful art of pointed penmanship which is founded in the historical hand of Copperplate. 

Modern calligraphy is based in the traditional hand of Copperplate Calligraphy (learn about that here). IAMPETH (International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting) is a wealth of information and really the main hub of all things calligraphy. You can join for $35 a year and have access to all of the historical templates and histories of the hands, as well as all other resources. It is the place of your calligraphy dreams. 

Having practiced modern pointed pen calligraphy after beginning Greylily Calligraphy in 2013, I have assembled a mass of materials and have made many, many trial and errors. I have developed my own favorite style over these years of practicing and am now offering my standard, most-oft used and loved hand, Lily Style. 

This blog post is to provide the basic information you will need to get started in learning Lily Style. You will want to gather a few supplies before you begin so I am linking the basic supplies needed for your convenience. You will only need a nib, a nib holder, ink, and practice paper to begin!! 

These items will get you started and provide long-lasting materials to give you plenty of practice!! 

Getting Started

To simplify your learning, think of your practice in terms of 3 steps:

  • 1. Learning the basic strokes that make up all letters. Each letter is composed of particular strokes. Calligraphy is actually a form of drawing, and you will be forming your letters with strokes and pressure. First, you must learn those letter-formation strokes and the more you practice, the better you will be building muscle memory to create the letters. Consistency is key and the more you practice these strokes, the better your spacing (called kerning) and consistent letter forms will get. This can be practiced in pencil as well as your dip pen and ink, so I always like to keep a good drafting pencil and lead on hand. 
  • 2.  Learning the strokes of each letter to compose the letter. This step is putting the strokes together to form the letters. Again, the more you practice each letter, the better your muscle-memory to build that letter will become. 
  • 3. Putting your letters together to form words and sentences. At this point, you can create anything you want! Poems, art pieces, invitations, the possibilities are endless! 
To get started on your journey, you might consider purchasing the Lily Style worksheet set!!! This set is a comprehensive breakdown of how to form the letter strokes, practice lines, as well as each letterform breakdown. I will include letter-to-words and then sentences as your practice progresses. I am very excited to share this with anyone wanting to get started in pointed pen calligraphy! I will be here for you if you need assistance or pointers, and will also give you a page of calligraphy tricks included in the set!