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Modern Calligraphy


Modern calligraphy
I took a modern calligraphy workshop over the weekend. I’ve been interested in hand lettering for a while now. A few years ago I took an online lettering class where I used a brush marker – a Tombow, which is a flexible marker that can produce thin lines as well as thick lines when you apply pressure.
My brush marker practice sheets:
brush lettering with a Tombow marker

This weekend was the traditional route with a calligraphy pen with a nib, ink, and an ink well for dipping. It was interesting, in this day of online learning, to be sitting at a table, chatting with a group of strangers. It’s one of the elements you don’t get with learning online. The person on your left saying to you, “That looks great!” Although three hours seems long, the class flew by. The teacher, Christie Jones of Swell Anchor Studios, was really nice and thorough, demonstrating the steps to create each letter on a blackboard. Another benefit to learning in person, Christie and her sister, walked around answering questions, and offering help and suggestions as we worked – things like proper posture, holding the pen correctly, and the amount of pressure to apply.

The main takeaway was – as with anything – if you want to get good at it, you have to practice. The workshop included all the supplies and materials needed to practice at home, which is great. Christie also has a closed Facebook group for those that have taken the class. She encouraged us to share our work online and reach out to her whenever we hit a snag.

If you are interested in learning calligraphy and an “in person” workshop doesn’t work for you, Christie recommends the book Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy by Molly Super Thorpe.

Supplies you’ll need:

I want to incorporate lettering into my paintings. I’m hoping to use what I learned and apply it to lettering with a brush and watercolor. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!


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Author: Eileen McKenna {my creative resolution}

Watercolor Artist, seascape painter, collector of creative inspiration. Sign up for my newsletter for a weekly dose of creative inspiration and to receive the free pdf "Watercolor Basics" – Visit:

11 thoughts on “Modern Calligraphy

  1. This is awesome!! I just put this book in my Amazon order today and that was BEFORE I read your blog! 😃🎨👍 I would love to learn a more modern style. Thanks Eileen! 💜

    • That’s such a coincidence! I was looking on YouTube and there are tons of great tutorials for both calligraphy pens and brush pens. I want to create a list of good ones.

      • I think pens were on my brain because Carla Sonheim’s class assignment yesterday was to experiment with making lines with a pen and she was using the Pilot Parallel pen which is a calligraphy pen. Oh, and I looked up the book – it wasn’t the same author but the same title. 😄 I will have to check out YouTube, thanks!

  2. Sounds great! Can’t wait to see what you make!

  3. Well, we had to do it a lot in Europe when I was young, so, I still remember how to use different styles, etc. The only thing I don’t have is the pen. We were using also natural reed stem formed and cut so that it created extremely interesting calligraphic letters. That’s a great thing to master!

  4. Pingback: Everything About Me and In Between 🌸


  6. So beautiful! You’re clearly very talented 😉 I’ve just started some ‘modern calligraphy’ practise myself, I wish mine was as good as yours!

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