I was really excited to get my networked learning project going. After reviewing my resources, I decided to make a shopping list of supplies based on what the bloggers and artists recommended. I took notes on which brand to buy and which not to buy. As a young teacher, I also didn’t want to break the bank and spend a ton of money on supplies. I kept the price in mind in addition to the quality. I wanted to have some great tools that would last. Once I had my plan, I headed out to Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabrics in high spirits. My first stop was Jo-Ann’s and I was surprised with what I found:
At home, I was overwhelmed with the variety of tools and did not know what to even put on my list. At both stores, I was unimpressed with the selection of calligraphy supplies. I spent some time reading the packages and looking around other parts of the store to make sure I didn’t miss anything. For future reference, Michael’s has them in two different sections, on opposite sides of the store. From Jo-Ann’s (where I had more coupons) I bought:
- Pen & Ink: Speedball No. 102 Crow Quill black (the fountain pen with acrylic ink container)
- Pen-touch 5.0 mm nib Calligrapher gold paint marker
- Black Calligraphy marker
- Sharpie brush tip markers- Who knew they made these for calligraphy? (8 pack)
- Artist Series 5×7 Canvas Panels (3)
- Artist Series 11×14 stretched canvas
From Michaels I bought:
- Black Manuscript italic calligraphy pen (thicker nib than the quill)
- Studio B brush markers (2)
- Strathmore parchment paper (50 sheets)
The first two blogs, By Dawn Nicole and Boxwood Avenue, provided me with some information to get started. However, the “free” worksheets were not free or led me to other blog sites where I found some other resources. Katrina Alana had some great basic calligraphy guide line practice worksheets that I slid under the paper I was writing on. The guide lines are very important because your letters should make a 55 degree slant. The lines also help make sure your sizes are accurate. Since no worksheets had letters, I needed to look up images and videos before beginning as I am a very visual learner.
Here are some awesome resources I found:
Calligraphy for Beginners gives very important basic information on fountain pens. The artist explains how to put the pen together and how to hold it (60 degrees with the paper and light pressure). I never knew that all of these little details were so important to calligraphy until I started practicing. They can make a huge difference in your strokes.
Jordan Moran’s Copperplate Calligraphy Basics teaches copperplate calligraphy in easy to follow steps. I learned that there are seven basic calligraphy strokes in this traditional style of calligraphy as demonstrated in this short video.
Lessons that I learned while practicing calligraphy:
- Open up the container of ink carefully. It could splatter all over your hands or your dining room table, leading me to my next lesson.
- Have paper towel available! You will need it.
- Nibs are more than just my favorite Twizzlers candy. They are the tip of the calligraphy pen and vary in size depending on how thick you want your lines to be.
- It takes time! You have to be REALLY patient and not get frustrated when you write. Ink will splatter, paper may get stuck in the tip of your pen, and you will have to keep refilling your pen with ink. Take your time and enjoy the ride.
- Parchment paper is much easier to write on compared to printer paper. Printer paper can rip with some down strokes and mess up the flow of the pen.
- Learning the basic strokes will help you form letters. Those seven basic strokes are a part of every lowercase letter in the alphabet.
- Just because something looks easy doesn’t mean it is. I thought that having good handwriting meant that calligraphy would come natural to me, however just like everything else, it takes practice.
The next step in my calligraphy journey will be continuing to practice my letters. Once I am more comfortable with the lower and uppercase letters, I will move on to experimenting with some of the other writing utensils. I am very curious to see how the Sharpies write! Stay tuned!