So finally you have made up your mind to discipline those wayward letters by learning calligraphy. Good choice! But now as you sit with all those new calligraphy tools and gear, looking for easy ways to master hand-lettering at home, it is only natural, to begin with, some easy warm-up exercises. 

This meditative age-old art form is the most satisfying hobby and activity on the internet currently. There is nothing better than the expressive visual experience of calligraphy. While there are fabulous ways to improve your calligraphy skills, some beginner calligraphy drills will surely be helpful. 
Pull out all those fancy pens and brushes. It is about time you impress people with beautiful hand-lettering. 

What are Calligraphy Exercises?

What are Calligraphy Exercises

Source: Justine

Calligraphy exercises formally called "calligraphy drills" or "lettering" are must learn foundational strokes when you start. These include zigzag, oval, loops, chains, and straight-line strokes. 
No skilled athlete makes the mistake of going for a sprint without a good warm-up session. But you can be like this professional person when you loosen your muscles with a couple of random strokes. 
These calligraphy drills are useful to practice for they:

  • acclimatise you to the art, and the tools  
  • builds consistency and establishes the flow 
  • loosens the arm and hand 

You are here because you want to start correctly with modern calligraphy. Here is how: 


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While there are plenty of practice sheets to exercise your calligraphy strokes, it's always beneficial to learn under the guidance of a skilled individual. Moreover, seeing the progress of your fellow learners is always a motivational nudge. Look no far as we have come up with a one-of-a-kind learning and upskilling app to cater to the needs of avid learners and seasoned professionals. Let's begin learning in a social skill-sharing atmosphere with 200+ global skill communities to choose from. Download Kool Stories now.

Calligraphy Exercises

Give yourself some time. Maybe wait for the creative juices to flow. When you find that right comfortable spot, kick off with the following:

#1 Circular Strokes

Calligraphy Exercise - Circular Strokes

The oval or circular stroke is one of the seven basic calligraphy strokes. It is fundamental and is incorporate in lettering. Therefore, practice the oval stroke by: 

  • Holding the pen or marker at an angle.
  • Rotating the pen in a circular grinding fashion by using more of your arm. 
  • Ovals are extremely important for they are exhaustively in use for alphabets like g, b, d, p, etc. 

As a beginner, you are probably tempted to learn the copperplate script calligraphy for it is easy to follow and aesthetic. But this calligraphy script is also all about basic oval shape. So, attempt this drill to develop a thorough foundational understanding. 

#2 Line Strokes 

Calligraphy Exercise - Line Strokes

Making horizontal and vertical lines is how artists warm-up during initial drawing lessons. 
But you calligraphy learning creative minds are no less. Start your warm-up by making straight lines. Here are a few tips:

  • Etch some straight like in a horizontal, vertical, and at an angle. 
  • Put some arm work into it to glide the pen. 
  • Adjust the weight on the lines by tightening the grip. This is an excellent calligraphy technique to add contrast. 

#3 Loops and Chains

Calligraphy Exercise - Loops and Chains

The goal of this calligraphy exercise is to become consistent with loops. This is super helpful for modern calligraphy. Begin by:

  • Making loopy cursive alphabets like the letter L.
  • Try making both ascending and descending loops. 

Calligraphy Handwriting by Justine

Source: Justine

Calligraphy is also about making chains. Practice making ovals in a continuous series so that your hand gets used to the pattern and remains consistent. The idea is to know how to increase and decrease pressure for thick or thin effect. The same principle applies when you use Procreate for calligraphy or hand lettering. Are you intrigued by these practices? They will certainly get the creative juices flowing and will get your hand prepared to create those marvellous flowery alphabets. 

Frequently Asked Queries

You can easily learn calligraphy at home all by yourself without enrolling in online courses. Here is how you begin:

1.Research the different types of calligraphy and pick the one you feel is easy to learn.
2.Select the right beginner tools like nibs, pens, and ink.
3.See videos and read blogs to look for free sources of learning.
4.Start from scratch and begin by learning how to write each alphabet.
5.Give attention to individual loops and curves that come by practicing the pressure on the pen.
6.Print out practice sheets and exercise daily.
7.Analyse your progress and identify gaps.
8.Get in touch with fellow calligraphers on social media to get first-hand information, tips and hacks.

Calligraphy is not hard to learn when accompanied by rigorous practice and calligraphy drills. Once you get the hang of it, you will easily curate your own style, reflective of your creativity.

As a beginner, roundhand is the easiest calligraphy to learn. It is the simplest and the most basic place to start with your calligraphy journey.

The time taken to learn calligraphy depends on the script you choose to learn. Since each script is unique in itself with different stylistic attributes, your calligraphy progress is defined by how well you practice and the type of calligraphy you choose. As a beginner, practising calligraphy at least five hours a week for two months will do the trick.

The three most common types of lettering styles include:

1.Modern calligraphy
2.Brush lettering
3.Watercolor lettering