Saturday, 23 February 2013


You may wonder why your calligraphy work does not look up to scratch.  There may be many reasons for this, for example, using the wrong calligraphy nib or the wrong paper.  Even skilled calligraphers can have ‘off’ days where their calligraphy work looks less than pleasing.   Tiredness, or simply not being in the mood to get the calligraphy pen out can cause undesired results.

Use the correct materials for calligraphy
Why Does My Calligraphy Work Look Amateurish? 

A common mistake for new calligraphers is allowing the calligraphy pen nib to slip and wander into different angles when writing.  This can make the work look wobbly and amateurish.   Try to hold your calligraphy pen at a steady angle, preferably between about 45 degrees.  Keep practising until this becomes a habit.

Another common mistake is using the wrong paper.  Shiny paper can make the calligraphy ink smudge or not set on the paper.  Some paper allows the ink to bleed and this can make the letters appear ‘furry’.  Try to use proper calligraphy paper or hot pressed smooth paper.

Other Common Problems And Trouble Shooting

Many beginners will be tempted to write calligraphy without using guidelines and this can make the letters appear uneven and shoddy.  To encourage more even writing, draw some very faint horizontal, even guidelines using a hard nibbed sharpened pencil and a ruler.  Use a set-square to draw the margin on the left side of the paper.   The guidelines will encourage you to write the letters neatly on the lines and make your work look straight and true.

Stick With One Style At A Time

Some beginners may be tempted to rush and learn more than one style at a time.  This may work for some people but a common problem for many is that the calligrapher may write one style, and then slip into another style unintentionally.  As a result, the work appears clumsy and unprofessional.  Try to master one style at a time until you are confident before learning another style.

Using The Wrong Sized Nib

As a general rule, you can use any size width of nib to write any calligraphy style for different effects.  However, when writing very large letters, it is preferable to use either a thick marker pen or a very broad nibbed calligraphy pen.  This can make the writing more readable.  When writing very small letters, choose a fine nibbed calligraphy pen.

Double Check Your Research!

Some people stumble at the first hurdle when it comes to checking the most basic details.  It is always important to check your spelling before writing.  There is nothing more frustrating than to write some beautiful calligraphy work, only to find out at the end that a word or a name has an incorrect spelling.  Always check your spelling first.  If there is another way to spell a name, check with that person before writing the name.

A simple calligraphy project


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