Calligraphy Practice

Have those of you who took Molly’s Skillshare class continued practicing your calligraphy? Over the past few months I’ve forced myself to slowly work on filling my entire pad of paper with practice, and at some point over the last week or two something clicked. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but all of a sudden using a metal nib doesn’t feel weird anymore. Instead of feeling awkward and stressed when I write, the motion and scratching sound of the nib over the paper is calming and enjoyable. I still have a long way to go, but now that I am more comfortable with the tools practicing is fun instead of drudgery. (By the way, the Nikko G nib is my favorite so far. It never catches on the upstrokes.)

It always amazes me how much of a difference practice makes, whatever the skill I’m trying to learn. (I’m sure my mom is rolling her eyes right now, since she spent years forcing me to resentfully practice piano growing up. You were right Mom, happy?!)

calligraphy practice

Here’s what my very first attempt at calligraphy looked like. See? I’m getting better! Practice works! I still haven’t figured out how keep ink from getting all over my hands though…

19 comments

  1. Pamela

    I took Molly’s class too and have been obssessed ever since. I try to practice at least once a day, even if it’s only a few minutes. I love the Nikko G, and also just tried the Zabra G and like it also. FYI though I tried the Brause Rose and almost threw my pen through the window. Ugh, it was not easy for me to work with.

    I totally get what you mean about getting used to the scratching sound and the upswings. It feels so unnatural at first. Now I put on my headphones and get lost in the motion of the letters.

    Your work so far is looking great. Keep it up!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Yes some of my nibs were so frustrating and ended up in the trash. It’s crazy what a difference the nib makes!

  2. Allison

    Wow, way to go! Looks great. I didn’t take the class but experimented a bit back in the summer and really loved it. Would like to take a class eventually!

  3. Ffion

    Your work is lovely! I’m glad you’re practicing again.

    I took Molly’s class and haven’t been able to put a pen down since! It takes so much practice though, it’s a slow process. I relied on the Nikko G for a long time then I got the Zebra G which is just as easy to use but I find it gives me thinner hairlines which i love. I’ve tried a few more flexible nibs and really didn’t have a good time with them – they didn’t hold the ink so well and I was perhaps a bit too heavy handed.

    I find it frustrating to get back into when I’ve been away from it for a while but a bit of perseverance, I get lost in it. I find it so therapeutic.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I had the same problem with the more flexible nibs. I threw them all out to make myself feel better. ;)

  4. lovedesignlife

    Even if it’s just practice, it looks so graceful and effortless!

    I’ve tried both Nikko and Zebra G nibs and find I much prefer the Zebra. I always reach for the Zebra when I get to practice.

    I’m curious about the notepad in your photo. May I ask what brand paper you’re using? I’m always on the lookout for good paper on which to practice. :)

  5. Leslie

    I took Milly’s Skillshare class too and was then super excited to take her 2 day calligraphy and hand lettering workshop in November. She is such a sweetheart and a fabulous teacher! I wish I had more time to practice. The Nikko G nib is by far my favorite!

  6. Mel

    Awesome!! It looks so great! I’ve been wanting to learn calligraphy for a while now, have all the tools, but hit a wall when every time I sat down to practice, I sucked. Thanks for the reminder that practice makes better :) I just signed up for Molly’s class and bought that nib, so let’s hope for an upswing!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      That’s how I was too Mel! Hopefully the class helps you get going too. Finding a nib that works for you makes all the difference.

  7. Monique

    I tried calligraphy early this year and I loved it! I’m on hiatus now though, so much work stuff to attend to. Try the Esterbrook 355 and Hunt 101, they’re my most used nibs :)

  8. karm

    love it, amanda !! looks like all your practicing is paying off already, and i can’t wait to see where the next year will bring you with your lettering & artistry :-)

  9. tania

    Wow your style is really coming along. I have not been able to practice as much as I would like but I’m hoping to do a lot more in the upcoming months. I tried a brush pen and kind of fell in love with ease I felt over a nib. All letterform practice is good practice though.

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