3 Calligraphy Instructions That Will Drastically Improve Your Calligraphy

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Did you know that there are three calligraphy instructions that you should never follow if you want to learn how to do calligraphy?

Different people have different ways of learning and so, different advice to give, but these are the three calligraphy instructions that you should ALWAYS follow when you’ve just started out learning calligraphy:


1. Start with the basics.

Think that the basics are unimportant and boring? Think you can do calligraphy without knowing the basics?

Unless you're some sort of calligraphy prodigy from outer space, that would be almost humanly impossible!

If you skipped the basics totally without following step-by-step calligraphy instructions, learning how to do calligraphy would be a long and frustrating process.

I once attempted to skip the basics when I first started out learning calligraphy and the end result was disastrous.. Not to mention the time wasted practicing the wrong things!

The basics, such as how to hold the pen and form letters, all set the foundation for the more advanced calligraphy techniques (such as letter formation etc.) later.

Learning how to do calligraphy is a step-by-step process, and without learning the basics, you will take a much longer period of time than needed to successfully learn how to do beautiful calligraphy. Yes, these basic calligraphy instructions might sometimes seem boring and uninteresting. But if you are to learn calligraphy in the shortest time possible, NEVER skip them.

If you want a proven, effective step-by-step method that starts with the basics, read my article How To Learn Calligraphy In 5 Easy Steps.

2. Follow the order of strokes.

In almost all calligraphy hands, each letter is formed in a standard order of strokes. For Italic calligraphy, this is especially so. For example, an “e” is formed in two strokes in the order as shown below.

calligraphy instructions - follow strokes of letters
2 strokes are needed to form an "e"


There are two reasons why following the order of the strokes is a calligraphy instruction that you have to heed.

Firstly, it will enable you to grasp the form of the letter more quickly.

Secondly, writing them in the standard strokes contributes to a unique, enjoyable flow and rhythm that you will experience when you start writing calligraphy.

Beginners who try writing them in a way that they feel more comfortable with (habits perhaps from their regular handwriting) will find it significantly harder to grasp the correct letterforms.

So, you should always remember to follow the right order of strokes for each and every letter.

3. Practice guides are troublesome and a waste of time

Unless you are able to get the height of your letters all nice and uniform, you should be using a practice guide! A practice guide to an aspiring calligrapher is like trainer wheels to someone learning how to ride a bicycle; you need it to learn how to write beautiful calligraphy.

FOllow the calligraphy instructions of using guidelines
Calligraphy guidelines for practicing


Practice guides are your calligraphy instructors and guides on paper, always reminding you to keep your letter size consistent.

You might feel that practice guides are restrictive and do not allow you to be 'expressive' in your calligraphy through varying the sizes of your letters, but this is not entirely true. Wanting to be expressive without even learning how to write basic letterforms in their correct proportions is like wanting to run without knowing how to walk. Learn the basics first before you want to go freestyle, and you'll see yourself soaring in no time at all (I learnt this the hard way!)

So, unless your letters already look perfectly uniform in height and proportion, use a practice guide!

If you want to learn how to set up these practice guides, you can get my eBook "How To Learn Calligraphy At Home In 5 Easy Steps, Even If You Are A Beginner!", and it's all yours for free!

Or you can watch this great video by Paul Antonio of www.paulantonioscribe.com teaching how to set up calligraphy guidelines. (Video starts at the 1:22 mark)


Summary of Calligraphy Instructions To Follow

So now you know what are the calligraphy instructions to NOT follow, avoid them! Instead, here these are the three calligraphy instructions that you should always keep in mind:

1. Start from the basics

2. Follow the order of the letter strokes

3.  Use practice guides when practicing, always!


Now that you know which calligraphy instructions to always follow, apply them well and you'll realize how much faster you'll master calligraphy!

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to drop them in the comment box below!

About Henry Wong

A calligraphy-lover who defied the odds and finally managed to write calligraphy, he now teaches beginners how they too can write beautiful calligraphy in the fastest and easiest way possible. You can read more about him here: www.howtodocalligraphy.com/about or drop him a message to tell him how awesome he is at henry@howtodocalligraphy.com

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