Project 7

Doing Calligraphy Out in the Wild

There’s been an underlying theme this week of writing about things that actually happened last week: making Law Review, Abbey’s birthday, and a reflection of some of the books I read last week. Today’s post doesn’t fall into that category. Instead, this happened two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend with my parents. My mother, in her endless pursuit to make her life easier, was reorganizing the pantry and had some labels. She asked me to do my magic and make them all cute. After all, she’s a frequent reader of the blog, so she knows what I’m up to – hi mom!

So I gave it a go. Here’s what we ended up with:

Minus my test stickers, I was pretty happy with the execution. It’s always going to be difficult to write in white on a slick surface, but I was patient.

This was also my first attempt at doing my own thing. Because I am a beginner, I pre-space the sheets I do calligraphy on and really focus on consistency. Calligraphy isn’t really a font, it’s a way of writing. It’s focused on letters that are spaced evenly and sized the same.

I did prepare my sloppy little font ahead of time.

Now, I was running out of ink (let’s call it an ink explosion from the hot, humid weather), but you can see what a difference the surface can make.

My font ended up being something similar to the font I had been learning:

But I think I added a little personality from that. All in all, it was exciting that someone trusted me enough not to mess it up. I’m not sure what my point is today, but maybe one day I’ll get to do wedding invitations?

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: next up is learning a new more cursive-heavy font. Stay tuned!

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Project 7, Uncategorized

How To Learn a Basic Calligraphy Alphabet in a Few Hours

My calligraphy journey has been off to a great start! I’ve probably committed about 7 hours or so to it so far but I’m really proud of my progress!

The Skillshare class I’ve been following has been fantastic (not sponsored!). It’s meant for beginners and is a perfect introduction into lettering. Additionally, he shows you how to make a calligraphy pen out of a soda can and a popsicle stick, so if you’re unable to get a pen, he’s here to accomodate.

The first few classes were centered around learning basic strokes. For each stroke he taught you, he asked that you do a full page. At first, I was hesitant since it seemed like so much work. But I did it nonetheless. I’m so glad I did, because it really steadied my hand. It also taught me to recognize how much ink is on the pen and how often I need to refill.

The basic strokes ended up looking something like this:

And because I’m a child, I colored on some of the exercises. Sorry, but I’m not sorry. Note that the smudging on these came from my coloring, not from my ink which was strange since I colored the images days later.

I was really satisfied to see improvement across these images. I was starting to feel really confident with these basic movements.

From there, I tried my first alphabet. It turned out like this:

I apologize for the shortened video, I usually use my boyfriend’s phone but since he’s at work I used mine and well, I ran out of storage. Oops. I’m a professional. I’m also hoping I can make this videos higher quality soon. I’m doing the best I can here.

I’ve got a long way to go – especially with letters that are not within the parameters of the basic strokes I learned. Letters like g, k, p, w, w, x, and z all need a little workshopping. But for a first try, I’m pretty happy. It’s not wedding invitation worthy, but it’s definitely fridge worthy.


So there you have it: progress. Nothing more satisfying than seeing growth, right? Next I’ll tackle uppercase letters.

How do you think I did? Would you ever want to learn calligraphy? Let me know in the comments down below!

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Project 7

My First Attempt at Calligraphy

This week, I received all my calligraphy supplies for Project 7! There’s no better way to decompress after finishing a massive task than to get a little creative, so upon finishing our law journal writing competition, we decided to blindly test the materials.

The Materials

I chose this set from Amazon (not sponsored!). After redeeming a coupon, the set went from $15 to $9. The set included one pen, eleven nibs, and some ink. While I don’t have anything to compare it to, I did like the pen and thought it was easy to use.

Without any instruction whatsoever, I blindly tested the nibs. Each one is different in both shape and size. Some have a pointier tip where others create a brush effect by a flatter edge. Some also are longer than others, I have yet to figure out what the effect of that is. Here’s what each of the nibs looked like:

As I was using the pen, I realized it was easier to use than I expected. The ink was easily controlled by the nib which surprised me. I thought using a calligraphy pen would be like writing with a needle – scraping the paper. But it really wasn’t. It felt just as natural as any other pen.

I Tried My Best…

From there, I decided to try writing a little bit of print and a little bit of script. I didn’t look up any sort of instructions – I wanted to start at the absolute beginning. While I will learn actual technique, I just wanted to mess around. I’m hoping that as I get better, I can look back on where I started and see some progress.

I also made a time lapse of my first attempt. (Yes, I did have to set up an Instagram just to post this, expect more content there in the future!). Check it out:

All in all, I was not disappointed. I expected more smudging, but I was careful not to overload the pen with ink. I’ve always had decent handwriting, but I’m looking forward to learning calligraphy fonts. I know consistency is the most important part and my handwriting has never been very consistent.

…And Then My Boyfriend Blew Me Out of the Water

My boyfriend also gave it a go. He might have been the underdog being a lefty, but he was able to pull together something very impressive. He’s always been a bit snotty about his pens, always using only a certain kind of pen because he liked the way the ink flowed. Before trying the calligraphy pen, he was already an accomplished doodler. Here’s some of his older stuff using normal roller-ball pens:

Needless to say, he couldn’t wait to get the calligraphy pen in his hands. He managed to make this on his first go:

(To see a time lapse of his work, check out the second slide in the Instagram post above!)

He also had an absolute blast. I made the executive decision to leave the calligraphy materials at his house so he could dabble whenever he wanted.

I’m excited to take on this project and I can’t wait to get into the real stuff! Playing around was fun – but now it’s time to craft an actual skill. We’re looking forward to both learning more and discovering a new world we know nothing about.

How’d we do? Share your thoughts with us down in the comments below!

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