Are just beginning your calligraphy journey and are wondering how to start and where to go?

Then the info-graphic picture below will give you tips and ideas to help you along nicely.

You should also read my ultimate calligraphy guide as this will let you know how to find more resources and material.

If you’re still struggling to get started, I provide evening classes and calligraphy workshops.

My Events Diary and Calligraphy Workshops pages should help you find one of my classes local to you.

Beginner's Calligraphy needs this

What you need to do as a beginner

Beginners – The Ultimate Guide To Creating Calligraphy

Creating calligraphy is often an overlooked area of creativity, but if you want to try it out here’s how!

You will need:

  • A ruler
  • Permanent Ink
  • Nibbed drawing pen
  • Gouache paint
  • Paper
  • Sticky tape
  • Chisel-tip black marker
  • A flat-edged paintbrush
  • Water, Old cloths or towels
  • Pencils
  • Tissues

Set up:

Tape your paper to the table to keep it steady.Work on a slanted desk if possible. Give yourself plenty of room. Make sure you’re comfortable. Don’t keep your ink right next to the paper, but it keep it within reach with the rest of your tools.


Tape two pencils together with tape, hold them at a 45 degree angle and practice making marks.

Filling Your Pen.

Using your brush, paint a horizontal line of ink or gouache paint across the pen’s nib. Never dip your pen straight into the ink pot!

Before Your Start:

  1. Put on some old clothes that you don’t mind getting ink on.
  2. Sit comfortably.
  3. Cover your lap with some old towels or cloths.

Preparing Your Paper:

  1. Draw your baseline.Align your ruler with the top of your paper, draw a line at the bottom of the ruler and you have your baseline.
  2. Create a nib ladder. This is for measuring the size and height of your letters. Place your pen parallel with the baseline and make square, then form ten of these squares.
  3. Draw the X-height. A typical italic typeface is 4-5 nib heights.
  4. Draw the ascender and descender. From your x-height draw 4-5 nib heights above and below.
  5. Draw the cap-height. This is the height of the capitals in your calligraphy, it is a line between the x-height and the ascender.

When you’re fully prepared you can practice using some of the letters in this infographic until you feel confident enough to begin creating your own calligraphy.

By kind permisson of  Siobhan Harmer

A great resource that I have found is from Scribblers Calligraphy. They have created a Guidline Generator which really does help when laying out your design or page. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Have fun!

Jane xx