Whenever people take my workshop they always want to know what the secret is to becoming proficient in calligraphy. Practice! It’s that simple. There’s nothing better.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear Master Penman, Harvest Crittenden say the same thing. Many people at the recent IAMPETH convention ( International Association of Master Penmen and Teachers of Handwriting) that I attended a few weeks ago were commenting to her that they would never be able to do what she does. Now, she is a master, but she still breaks it down stroke by stroke. She implored everyone who took her pictorial flourishing class to do the same.
That really inspired me. Always looking to improve my hand skills, I decided to dedicate 1 hour, 3 times a week to practicing. Since I started, I’ve actually done it every day and sometimes for more than an hour! I found it so relaxing in contrast to my commissioned work, to just allow myself the freedom to play and learn.
So I thought I would share my practice sheets. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to practice something you hope to get better at. Whether it’s calligraphy, a foreign language, computer skills…whatever! Practice really is the key. I would also like to learn to speak very basic Italian for a trip next fall. I bought the DVD. Now I need to set up a weekly time to watch it. What skill would you like to improve? I’d love to know.
You’ll notice in the pic above that I have “copied” the bird flourish that Jake Weidmann, newly inducted Master Penman, created in the class I took from him. When you are practicing there is nothing wrong with putting a sheet of paper over a drawing or lettering that someone else did to get a feel for how they made the strokes. It’s not okay to do that and then say it was your own. But to help “put the memory in the muscle” it’s fine to do this for practice. One day I will come up with my own bird flourish!
This Milk Vase with Florals is a sample of a technique taught by Linda Schneider, another extremely talented calligrapher and artist. Linda is best known for her work on Papyrus greeting cards.
This floral design was inspired by some of the flowers I see on my daily walk.
The above pic is a mix of basic strokes used in creating feathers and plants.
Just a quickly lettered “Thank You”.
Sometimes something I’ve come up with in a practice session finds it’s way on a hand written/illustrated card. This one will go out in the mail tomorrow.
I hope I’ve inspired you to play and learn at the same time!
Until August 20th all new subscribers will receive a JPEG of my original artwork of a Welcome Banner ( for personal use only). This is the first of many giveaways for my subscribers! If you’ve used it to create anything, send me a pic so I can post it!
I’m thrilled to say my calligraphy font, Belluccia of the”Correspondence Ink” type foundry is still #2 on the Hot New Fonts list and #3 on the Best Sellers list on myfonts.com. In addition it will soon also be sold on Fontbros.com. I’ll let you know when.
By the way, my next “Intro to Calligraphy” class will be held October 8 from 1-4 pm at Paper Source in North Park Center. There is limited seating and the class fills up fast. So get a spot now. Call Paper Source at 214-696-4400.