Artistic writing part II Calligraphy and brush lettering – the art of beautiful writing.
Calligraphy, where the main focus is on the aesthetic, is usually characterized by working in a steady sweep, with the elegant, ornate and curved lettering emerging as an expression of the movement of the hand.
Why use calligraphy?
Calligraphy helps you to bring a letter or card to life and turn it into a work of art. Use calligraphy for special people on special occasions: your parents’ wedding anniversary, your sister’s birthday or your nephew’s baptism. Your unmistakable, personal greeting is a sign of your special appreciation.
What do I need for calligraphy?
In calligraphy, in addition to a sheet of paper or a card, you typically use a quill with ink or a brush. But there are also pens that you can use. For beginners, a sheet of ruled paper is also recommended. You place the ruled paper under your actual writing paper, and the lines show through, helping you to keep your writing straight.
Practice makes perfect
To master the decorative art form of calligraphy, you need practice. To learn the craft from scratch, a course is recommended. An extensive range of courses can be found on the Swiss Calligraphic Society website.
Brush lettering – artistic lettering for everyone
Brush lettering, a technique belonging to hand lettering, means writing using a brush or brush pen. While beautiful writing with a fountain pen is the key to calligraphy, lettering is all about the letters. Characteristic of brush lettering is the calligraphy effect, which is created by the interplay of thick and thin lines and brings the writing to life. The different thicknesses can be controlled according to the pressure exerted on the paper with the brush pen. Anyone who wants to become a brush lettering expert will need plenty of practice. It takes some time to master this craft. Otherwise, there are no requirements to become a brush lettering pro: anyone can learn the technique. For brush lettering, all you need is a brush pen and satin paper – and a bit of perseverance.
- A basic writing principle: various degrees of pressure are applied to achieve the calligraphy effect. The thin upward lines are drawn by pushing your brush pen with little pressure in an upwards motion. For the thick downward lines, move the brush pen with a lot of pressure from top to bottom.
- The tip of your brush pen should always have the same orientation.
- Unlike “normal handwriting”, brush lettering does not write a single word in one go. Instead, a word is drawn form by form, and sometimes even letters are drawn in multiple steps.
- To achieve nice transitions between the thin and thick lines, slowly build the pressure in up and down movements.
- Connections between the letters are always thin lines.
- Try to keep the spacing between the letters as constant as possible.
- And take your time. It pays to work slowly and precisely and to keep the letter shapes constant.
- Above all, brush lettering is a matter of practice: keep at it and do not give up if it does not happen right away.
- Get some inspiration from the pros, for example here.
Brush lettering is ideal for giving special joy to special people. A letter that was written using the brush lettering technique conveys a special appreciation and expresses the fact that you have taken time for someone. It’s time to send a letter or a card in lovingly crafted script.