Common Mistakes

Common Mistakes When Writing Calligraphy

Do you sometimes find that your calligraphy work does not look right, or looks crooked or wonky?  Do you look at your finished work and feel less than satisfied?

There are many common mistakes people make, especially when they are beginners at writing calligraphy scripts.  Even well experienced calligraphers can have ‘off’ days when their work simply is not up to scratch.  It is a little like having a ‘bad hair day’.  You persist in writing the letters, but the calligraphy work does not look right, no matter how hard you try.  When you feel tired, it is better to put the pen down and wait another day when you feel up to it. 

Why Does My Calligraphy Look Crooked?

The most obvious mistake people make is when they do not draw a straight guide line before writing their scripts on the line, or the line is not horizontal to the edge of the paper, or margins are not vertical to the edge of the paper.  It is important to draw nice, straight lines, using a set square to ensure the lines are perfectly parallel to the edges of the paper before writing.

Another common mistake, especially with beginners, is when they do not hold the calligraphy pen in a steady, consistent angle.  Some people hold the pen and allow it to slip into different angles, which can end up with letters looking wobbly, odd and amateurish.  

Check Your Work When Writing

It is very important to check your spellings before writing, especially when writing a person’s name.  Ask for the correct spelling, never assume, as names can be spelt in so many different ways.  It is frustrating to find that after working hard on a piece of calligraphy work, you find a glaring spelling error in the writing script.  This can be very annoying and exasperating for the calligrapher, especially when they have worked hard on a piece of artwork for hours.  Tiredness can be another cause of unsatisfactory calligraphy work, or it is time to invest in some new art equipment or a new pair of glasses!

What About Work Surfaces

If you use an uneven or unstable work surface, this can profoundly affect your calligraphy writing standard.  The paper quality can affect your work too, such as cheap inferior paper quality or paper that allows the ink to smudge or bleed.  Some paper can affect the calligraphy ink.

Dos and Don’ts When Producing Calligraphy Work

Never use tippex or other mediums to cover up a mistake, as this will make your work look botched and cheap.  Other common mistakes are painting over an error.  You will always see the covered up mistake, because the ink behaves differently over the medium used.  You know the mistake is there, which is irritating.  It is better to start again, from fresh.