If you know exactly what are the things you should and should not do, you will know how to learn
There are no magical shortcuts or tricks that will help you master calligraphy in 24 hours, but here are 3 important tips that will make all the difference.
1. Follow A Step-By-Step Method That Covers The Basics
As the legendary Fred Eager said in his amazing book: The Italic Way to Beautiful Handwriting: Cursive and Calligraphic (which is sadly out of print), there is nothing more destructive than practicing the wrong thing.
And the thing is, that is absolutely true!
Practicing the wrong thing is destructive because it not only does it waste your precious time and effort, it also causes you a whole lot of unnecessary distress and frustration.
And if you do not master your basics, chances are you're going to screw up some time later and practice the wrong thing, the wrong way. I'm sure you wouldn't want that - no one does!
Imagine that you're building a house. If you lay a foundation that is wobbly, it will definitely fall no matter how nicely you try building the rest of the house. But if the foundation is sturdy, you'll be able to build the rest of the house in peace.
Similarly, if you don't get your basics right, skipping to the later steps such as forming letters won't work - that's definitely not how to learn calligraphy fast. However, if you get your basics right, you won't have to worry about wasting time and effort learning everything from the start again.
So, ALWAYS start with the basics.
The best way? Follow a good, proven step-by-step method. If you don't have one at the moment, this 5-Step Method might be a good guide on how you can learn calligraphy fast.
2. Trace and Copy
If you want to know how to learn calligraphy fast, this is one of the most important things you have to know. It is a proven, surefire method of learning calligraphy. Jim Bennett advocates it, Fred Eagers encourages it, Eleanor Winters too - it's an instruction all great calligraphy teachers give.
When you practice letters, just remember: Trace and Copy.
- Trace the model example of the letter to familiarize your hand with the shape and form of the letter
- Copy the letter, directly comparing your version with the model example.
This technique is seems easy, but you'll be surprised at how effective it is.
3. Beware: Don't Develop Your Own Style!
"Don't Develop My Own Style? Isn't Calligraphy all about artistic expression?"
Whoa whoa, chill out man, what I really meant was: You should not be CONSCIOUSLY developing your own style.
If you want to know how to learn calligraphy fast, this is one advice you have to heed. Concentrate on copying examples stroke for stroke, and making sure that your letters mirror the model examples first.
As you grow in confidence, sureness and speed, you will naturally develop your own style.
You'll need to learn how to walk before you can run so for now, be patient and just continue tracing and copying the model examples. Your style will come to you later.
Follow these 3 important tips and you will find yourself learning calligraphy painlessly (and also at a much faster pace!)