Getting Started

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The beauty of calligraphy is that it is a relatively inexpensive hobby and easy to set up.  All you need is a few art materials, which are relatively inexpensive and a willing to learn.  The materials needed are simple and easy to find.

Materials Needed

If you invest in good quality materials, this would help you make a start with your hobby. 

You will need some hard nibbed pencils such as HB or B with a sharp nib.  The hard pencils are better because they draw fine lines that are easily erased.   The numbers and letters on the pencils indicate how hard or soft the charcoal is.  The softer pencils are 6B, 4B and 2B.  HB is the middle of the range.  2H, 4H and upwards are harder nibbed pencils.  The softer charcoal pencils are darker and wear down easier.  The harder nibbed pencils keep sharp for longer and they draw very faint lines.  The hard nibbed pencils are the best for drawing very faint guidelines for writing calligraphy letterforms onto.

You will also need a good pencil sharpener and some fine sand paper to sharpen the pencil tips nice and sharp.  Some people prefer to use a penknife to sharpen the pencils but it is a personal preference.

You will need some good quality smooth layout paper, not shiny or rough that repels the ink and cause it to run, or textured paper that may cause the ink to bleed.

You will need a long ruler, preferably a metal one.  Plastic ones tend to chip or warp and do not last as long as the metal ones.

You will need a set square (about 30cm or 12”) long and a T-square.  This is to ensure you draw even and straight lines.

You will need some blotting paper or paper towels to clean your calligraphy pens

Invest in a big board or desk easel to rest your work on


You will need on hand, a soft rubber or eraser so you can rub out the pencil marks after you have completed your calligraphy work.  A gum eraser is another good investment.  Always leave plenty of time for the ink to dry before using the rubber to rub out the pencil marks.

Shop around for good quality calligraphy pen sets. You will find many different kinds of calligraphy pens.  Some have cartridge and others are dip pens.  It is a personal preference.

Remember To Sit Comfortably

It is always a good idea to keep good posture.  Try to sit comfortably with the supporting board positioned in a slight angled position, about 30º from your lap and a table, or an easel. 

Relax and try not to lean over too much over the board as this will restrict your arm movements and your letterforms will look awkward and stilted.  You will also have neck ache if you lean too much.

Ensure your feet are placed flat on the floor.  This helps keep your body steady.  Relax and enjoy your hobby!

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