Hopefully by now, you've ordered your supplies and you're ready to start learning modern calligraphy. If you haven't, swing back over here to get the full list of supplies you'll need. But great supplies are only half the battle. But before you can really start learning, creating and practicing, you'll need to learn some basics. I mean like the very basics - starting out, I was confused on the most seriously simple things, like ... which side is up on a nib? In the last couple of years, the number of great resources for learning calligraphy has seriously skyrocketed. When I started learning, there was not much out there - I literally started learning by tracing a scanned version of the Zanerian Manual from 1900. I could talk about beginning lettering technique literally all day long, but for some professional help, I'm going to direct you to two masters: Molly Jacques + Molly Suber Thorpe. These two resources are my absolute favorite for learning beginning and advanced technique.
This Skillshare class is ideal for Start from the very beginning including supplies, pen assembly and maintenance, and your first strokes; work through the complete lowercase and uppercase alphabet and into beginning composition. Jacques's approach is very straightforward and direct. For the very beginning of your learning process, video is ideal because you can see exactly how to hold the pen and produce the letters. Plus, she provides excellent worksheets for tracing, which is a great way to learn basic letterforms. To get a 3 month membership to Skillshare for $0.99, click here.
If you're looking for a resource in the form of a book to learn modern calligraphy, this one is the ultimate. Thorpe takes you from materials and first strokes through forming letters, words and sentences. What really sets this book apart from the others is the pages and pages of letter samples - for most letters, Thorpe includes 24 letterforms in various styles, which is extraordinarily helpful as you develop a style of your own. In addition, she includes step by step instructions for 20 beautiful DIY calligraphy and watercolor projects to get you started. I highly recommend having your book spiral bound - you can do this at your local Office Depot or Staples for about $2. That way, the book will lay flat when you have it open, making it much easier to refer to as you work. Order the book from Amazon.com here.
With these two resources, you can learn all the basic skills you'll need to get started in modern calligraphy. From here, the best way to learn is simply practice, practice, practice. Don't be afraid to experiment - there are few rules with modern calligraphy and it's all about creating your own unique style!
Friends, have you tried either of these resources for learning modern calligraphy? What are your favorite ways to learn?