August 16, 2019 100

SUPPLIES? WHERE TO START? Calligraphy & Lettering

SUPPLIES? WHERE TO START? Calligraphy & Lettering

– [Kristina] Hi
everyone, Kristina here. Welcome to another video at
my YouTube channel and blog. Today I’m going to be
answering some of your lettering and
calligraphy questions that I’ve received at Instagram
or on Facebook or my blog or even in emails that
some of you have sent. And while I answer
these questions, I thought I would just go ahead
and show you some of my own lettering or
calligraphy practice and I’ll talk a little
bit about practicing here in a minute. Before I get into my
answers to your questions, I thought I would go
ahead and just tell you what I’m going to be
using in this video. I’m using a FineTech palette, this is the Garden Pastel,
or maybe Pastel Garden. I’m not entirely sure. But I will have it linked
down in the supply list below in the video description
or at my blog, so if you see
anything in this video and you are wondering
where I got it, I’ll have it listed down below. I’m using a watercolor brush
to pick up some of that paint in the palette and applying
it to this pointed pen calligraphy nib. I’m using a pen holder
from Ink Me This dot com. I’ve recently just
received this in the mail, I was looking for a
fun pen holder to use, it’s definitely not inexpensive. So if you’re just starting out, don’t go for one of
these fancy ones, you want just a
really inexpensive
plastic one at first. And I’ll link to some
plastic ones below too if you wanna try those out. But this is a
beautiful pen holder and I’m really loving it. And I didn’t know that it
would come with a nib in it, but it did, and I’ll list
the type of nib that’s in this pen below as well. So I’m just picking up the
paint from that palette, from the FineTech palette,
and applying it to my pen so I can do some calligraphy. Okay so. Oh and also the
notebook that I’m using is from Ink Me This
dot com and okay so one of the most common
questions that I receive is what is my experience with
calligraphy or lettering, did I take a class, how
did I learn to do this? So my calligraphy experience
goes back almost 20 years, which seems crazy. But when I was in high school, one of my friends in my
classes, her name is Coco. She was involved
with calligraphy, she had been since
she was 12 years old. And her handwriting
was beautiful. And she would write on
the board in our class and I was just amazed. I’ve always loved
penmanship and handwriting, so when I saw hers, I was
just completely enthralled and was so curious
and wanted to know how she had learned to do that. So I asked her and she said
she had been doing calligraphy and that she was sending
postcards to some friends and she just really took
every opportunity to write as an opportunity to
practice her calligraphy and her writing. And I really took that to heart. So another friend that was
in the same class with Coco, we were both interested
in calligraphy after she had talked about it, we decided to take a
calligraphy class at night. This was just a
community ed class. Very beginning introductory
calligraphy class. We learned italic calligraphy, which is a style of
calligraphy that you do with a chiseled pen,
it’s the flat square tip. And that was really
fun, I was introduced to a bunch of different
supplies in that class and our teacher was
really knowledgeable, was really fun. So if you have the opportunity
to take some sort of community ed class or even
if there’s a calligrapher in your community
that has classes, I would really highly
recommend trying that out. Anyway, so I took that one class and then it was just all
on my own after that, and the class only lasted
I think just five classes. So it wasn’t very extensive. But the thing that I
really took from that very first class, even though
I wasn’t very experienced after I finished it, is that
you really have to practice. You have to practice, you
have to set aside the time every day to do a
little bit of writing, whether you’re
writing the alphabet or just one letter
over and over and over, you’re never going to improve
if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to improve. So you really do
have to give yourself lots of time to practice. So over the years,
I never really had a really steady practice
or exercise time set aside, it was mostly just whenever
I had the opportunity, I would practice things out. And I think in the
last few years, I’ve really taken it upon myself to force myself to practice. I’ve been doing a lot of
lettering on Instagram over the last few years. You guys have probably
seen that if you follow me on Instagram. And just knowing in
the back of my mind that I need to do more
lettering for Instagram has really helped me
develop my own style when it comes to
different lettering. So that’s my experience
with lettering, I’ve just done it off and
on for nearly 20 years, so it’s been a really
fun experience. So okay, so that’s my
experience with it. Another question
that I get a lot is where to start, what
class can I take? What supplies do I need? All along those lines. So this is what I recommend
to all of you who email me or message me about this. I send you over to Instagram because there are so many
amazing calligraphers and lettering artists
over at Instagram. So I would really
recommend going over there and following a bunch of people that you really
love their style. See what they’re doing, maybe even join some of
their monthly challenges. There are quite a few
lettering and calligraphy monthly challenges out there where they actually
give you a prompt for each day of the month. So let’s say for the
seventh of April, it has a short phrase,
maybe it’s something like smile every day. Just something really short. And it gives you a prompt
so you know what to write for that day. And then you can
take a picture of it and share it on your
own Instagram feed. So it’s really fun way to
get involved with that. And then also if you are
doing those challenges, or you’re practicing and
sharing it on your Instagram, or on your Facebook or wherever, you have a history of
all of your practice, and you can see how
you improve over time. I look back at some of my
first lettering Instagram posts from a few years ago, and I
can see that I’ve improved just in the last couple years. So it’s something
that you can do that will get you practicing and you’ll also be more aware of different styles
that are out there because you’re seeing what
other people are doing as well. Along those same lines
if you find someone who has a style that
you absolutely love, sometimes they
will offer a class. So I would recommend
taking a class from someone who has the
style that you really love. I’ve been hoping to put
together a class for ages and I just haven’t
had the time to do it and I don’t know that I will, so in the mean time, if
you find someone who has a style that you
love, take a chance. Go ahead and take the class. If you wanna ask them
questions about the class before you sign up, you
could do that on Instagram or on their website or whatever. But there are some amazing
lettering platforms out there. Whether it’s brush
lettering or pointed pen or modern calligraphy,
just anything, there’s so many great
classes out there. And then as far as
what supplies you need, if you’re just starting
out, at the most basic, you could just use a pencil
and a piece of paper. Because a lot of calligraphers, when they have classes, at the
very beginning of the class, they actually have you
practice with just a pencil. For a period of time. And that’s just to
help you get to know the different letter forms. So you can start with
whatever you have on hand. Whether it’s a pencil or a pen. If you want to venture
into brush markers or things like that, which
I find are the easiest to get to know the lettering
and calligraphy with. I would really recommend
Tombow Dual and Pens. Those are really great, a lot of people
start out with those. I would also recommend that
Pentel Fude Touch Sign Pens. I’ll have all of these
linked down below as well. I would start there, those are
two different markers or pens that are really
really fun to use. And if you want to go straight into the watercoloring
lettering, which I find to be a little
bit more challenging, just because there
is that added step of making sure you have
enough paint on your brush. I would recommend probably
just an inexpensive round brush, maybe
a size two or below. And then just a
watercolor paint set. Like nothing super fancy, just whatever you can
get your hands on. I practice with a
lot of just gel pens and lined paper notebooks. It doesn’t have to be fancy. And it doesn’t have
to be something you’re going to
hang on your wall. It could be something you
just keep in a notebook. Kind of like what
I’m doing with these Letter Tuesday videos, I’m keeping everything
in a notebook because I just wanna see
how I improve over time. So those are some
answers to common lettering and calligraphy
questions that I receive. This is a little bit
of a talking video, hope you guys were
okay with that. I’ll be back tomorrow
with a regular card video, so if you guys are,
those who are subscribed or are watching for card videos, I will have more
for you tomorrow. Thanks so much for watching and I will catch you
guys in the next video. (upbeat music)

100 Replies to “SUPPLIES? WHERE TO START? Calligraphy & Lettering”

  • vanessalo 26 says:


  • Isa Looren de Jong says:

    I just got an old set from my mom this is awesome timing 🙂 I practised a little bit but I love it bcuz my normal hand writing is so unreadable but this is so much fun

  • vanessalo 26 says:

    Your callligraphy is really good

  • Thursday's Child says:

    Love your vids! You are super talented

  • Color My World says:

    Wow that looks like something a person would smoke out of! Very cool.

  • Dulce celeste Palacios garcia says:

    ???????i wish i knew calligraphy it looks sooooooooooooooooo hard! bc it is too beautiful ❤ though finetec is sooooooooo expensive in mexico…

  • Dulce celeste Palacios garcia says:

    and im 12 ik random

  • Donna Okoniewski says:

    As always, your lettering is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  • CouzCat says:

    I really need to get back into this. TFS. I found Paul Antonio's calligraphy from CHA to be amazing. Unfortunately he's based in the UK. An inexpensive pen that I was introduced to in a class are the Elegant Writers. They have a chisel nib making it easy(ier?) to create the thick & thin lines. And you are so right: practice, practice, practice!

  • time4kolene says:

    I love your lettering video's. I also love your creativity with card making. This just seems to interest me so very much. You're handwriting technique is beautiful. I was once told that calligraphy is drawing letters. Thank you for sharing, I look forward to more of your video's.

  • Elizabeth Macchi says:

    Beautiful writing!

  • Jackie Q says:

    As always you are an inspiration to me to keep practicing. I've looked at a lot of pics on pintrest & instagram and think that your the best example out there. Thanks for sharing your work & thoughts.

  • Pamela Atacan says:

    I really love your lettering Tuesday videos, thanks for all of them and sharing your story. Great!

  • Mercè Soto Codines says:

    I like much your style of lettering elegant and precious. THANKS!

  • Elle Durden says:

    Hi Kristina!
    Thank you for this video, really appreciate!
    I just want to ask, how do you work the spacing for the lettering? Like how many words in each line and for everything to be neat.
    Sometimes I see you have pencil guides but not always. Can you do a video or a blog post about that please?

  • Pamela Landers says:

    I love your lettering! I tried Italics once, but am left handed & hold my pen "upside down". I have never found anyone who could help me with this. I hold my pen the wrong way for even left handed nibs…next to impossible to get the down strokes needed. ✍??

  • M K says:

    Really love these watercolors! Do you have any suggestions on where we can pick up a similar set that might be a bit more cheaper than Finetec?

  • Sylvia Rivera says:

    I've always wanted to learn calligraphy. I tried a modern calligraphy class online, but still wanted to take a basic class in person. This past Saturday I began a 6 week class and I love it. Your lettering is so beautiful and it inspires me to practice, practice, practice because I would love one day to be able to write as beautiful as you. I like your suggestion to join a group and do the challenges. That is how I've grown in my cardmaking skills. Thanks for your wonderful videos.

  • Glenna Chong says:

    Love your lettering videos. Hope to see more. Watching you letter is so calming. Thanks for sharing your journey with your lettering and calligraphy.

  • hi says:

    I'm in my first year of middle school, and all of the classes that I've found are aimed toward adults. Any tips?

  • Nadia Chougui says:

    j'aime tout ce que tu fais, ce que tu partages, tes créations et l'aide que tu nous donne à chaque semaines depuis toutes ces années, merci Kristina

  • Kestrel Montes says:

    Wow! Thank you for featuring our supplies!! I had no idea until a customer let me know. Kisses from for sure!!

  • patricia posk says:

    I love to watch the lettering as it is so restful and peaceful…..and beautiful and you really have improved tremendously.

  • KarynMKC says:

    So very pretty, Kristina, and I love hearing your thoughts as you record. It's like having a one-sided conversation with you where we learn what you're thinking as you letter… or create. 🙂

  • Kimberli Sarsfield says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! I have been suddenly enamored with beautiful hand lettering and calligraphy and this info came at just the right time ❤️. Your calligraphy is gorgeous!

  • *Tracy Born Again Farm Girl says:

    Very pretty ☺

  • Lisa Cridhe says:

    Have you ever done an exemplar of your particular alphabet, Kristina? You do such beautiful work; I'd love to have an A – Z reference so I could give it a try myself!

  • Paulette Miller says:

    Your lettering is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for the tips to get started! Can't wait to try it!

  • rebecca ednie says:

    I highly recommend the work sheets and videos at the Postman's Knock. She has a very generous blog, lots of freebies and most of what I've learned I learned from her.

  • Desiree Appeltans says:

    is it possible that your specific set of paints are not available as a set anymore?

  • LisaK - Ink Play Love says:

    You just happened to mention the 7th of April – which is my birthday! If you mentioned it because you want to send me a birthday card, I would totally be okay with that. ?

  • Crafted by says:

    I enjoy your lettering videos. I have ordered the basic supplies and can't wait to start practicing, practicing and do more practicing.

  • Hilwa Jamila says:

    how can i write if i'm left handed??

  • Sharon Nesvog says:

    Thanks Kristina! I love watching you write! It fascinates me! I've been watching several YT tutorials this week on Calligraphy and Brush Lettering…so it's neat that your video popped up today on this very subject!! ☺ I've been interested in Calligraphy for a long time…and as a young girl my parents bought me a Calligraphy set, however, I never used it because I'm left-handed and it seemed there was no one around to teach me. That was long before computers and YouTube and Instagram!! Now there is NO EXCUSE for me not to dive in….other than the fact that I have so many other paper-crafting hobbies! LOL Don't we all?!?!? 😉 Thanks again for your amazing tutorials!

  • Fancylooks says:

    Please, consider forgetting about cards for a month or two and focusing your videos on calligraphy!

  • Pamela Cooper says:

    Kristina I really really wish you would do an online class. Your letters are just so beautiful. I love the way you join letters. Please, please ,please consider doing one.

  • angelika Paul says:

    A calligraphy class would be amazing. Although, I do realize it would take an enormous amount of time, I want you to know that you would probably have a good deal of attendees including myself. Your lettering is amazing and I appreciate your sharing your story. Thanks

  • Crystal S says:

    I just love watching you write it's so calming and I love it! I need to practice!!!!!

  • Wing Yee Ho says:

    Your calligraphy is always so pretty! :)) thank you for sharing!

  • Robyn Hoddell says:

    I used to have a calligraphy kit when I was a teen. I'm sad now I never got into it.

  • m nieves says:

    You,are amazing

  • Tracey Bradshaw says:

    Your style of calligraphy is absolutely stunning !! Thank you for sharing !

  • angelikaqi says:

    I got a nib and holder recently. But the ink flow is really bad. Used the Ecoline inks. What could be the problem?

  • Trudie Vick says:

    Thank you for sharing. Could watch you write all day.

  • Lizzystitch484 says:

    very informative, Kristina! I admire your lettering!

  • Gloria Reynolds says:


  • ailanthusia says:

    Your writing is gorgeous ?❤

  • Cindy McCool says:

    I really enjoyed this video. I dabbled with Calligraphy a few years ago and found that practice was always the answer. I just couldn't find the time. Maybe now I can. What happened with your videos that they now have sub titles? Also, love the notifications that pop up that you have a new one. How does this happen? I noticed that you, Jennifer & Sandy Allnock have this notification but others that I follow don't. They are so helpful.

  • candace cubito says:

    There are several of us who are left handed. Are the pens that you use good for us, or do we need one with a particular nib?

  • Pandy Wilson says:

    Thanks so much for this video. Love to watch you calligraph! LOL

  • Heidi M says:

    This proves that having a good teacher when young really helps your lettering as an adult.You have great penmanship K.

  • Linda Jamme says:

    I could watch you for hours. I love the time you take to form each and every letter.

  • Carol Melancon says:

    I recommend Edward Johnston's Writing, Illuminating & Lettering book for those that want to get into the heart of calligraphy. It's a dense book (old, from the Arts & Crafts revival), but covers how to set up your workspace, prepare vellum, cut your own quill pen, the essential shapes and counters of the letters, illuminating with gold leaf and colors, the proper proportions for a page, and so much more. It really helped me understand how to craft the best calligraphy I was capable of.
    The Getty and Dubay series of Italic handwriting series is great for beginners.

  • Donna Dacy says:

    Very nice. I must try it.

  • Linda Ruschmeyer says:

    Love this, very informative. TFS

  • Marilyn Bailey says:

    I became enamored with calligraphy years ago and took a class. While it was helpful, I learned that good calligraphy is only done by those with artistic talents….I have none….but I try! So I was disappointed in results… although it did change my penmanship slightly, which was fun. Kristina is an artist and her calligraphy shows it!

  • Alishia Johnson says:

    I love your lettering videos! Thanks for taking time to make these videos, answer questions, and give advice on how to get started without​ breaking the bank. Due to declining illness I don't have enough grip anymore to successfully master lettering so I just live vicariously through you and others. I still find it so inspirational! What's up with those thumbs down? Silly people!!

  • Madison Lamirande says:

    you have such a steady hand ;-; mines so shaky.

  • John richard says:

    Kristina this is soo very beautiful. I love your videos! Thank you for sharing your creativity and talent. Sincerely, Katz Baugh (John is my husband)

  • morad says:

    I don't know any instgramers who are connected to calligraphy, can someone introduce me to some 😛

  • J. J. says:

    Where l can find this pen?

  • Janine Cream says:

    Thanks for sharing, Kristina!

  • Laynie Fingers says:

    You've inspired me to pick up an inexpensive set of dip pens and experiment more with lettering. I've got some fantastic kids' metallic watercolor sets I picked up on sale a few years back (I think they were something like 45 cents each) that are surprisingly good. I bet they'll be loads of fun to letter with!

  • margessw says:

    I can't see which nib you set on your holder ?

  • Jasmine Chabot says:

    Thanks so much for your advices! I am always eager to watch your videos! 😀

  • Teresa Doyle says:

    Absolutely beautiful work!

  • missiemel01 says:

    I could watch you writing all day…somehow it is very soothing to me. Absolutely beautiful! Just perfection!

  • mary wright says:

    That's amazing, you have really inspired me to have a go. Wow! I am blown away by your writing skills xx

  • Walter Glenn says:

    Beautiful lettering and wonderful practical advice.  You are the greatest!  Thanks and stay blessed!

  • Calligraphy Masters says:

    Great video K!! Thanks for sharing those tips 🙂 #CalligraphyMasters #KeepWriting ??

  • Kanako Marler says:

    Thank you for pronouncing fude correctly! 🙂

  • Jaypat74 says:

    This was super therapeutic. Thankyou! Beautiful lettering!

  • Liz Colton says:

    Beautiful!  I took a calligraphy class in elementary school and practiced and wrote thru college.  This has been an inspiration to pull out my supplies and start again.  P.S. It has been over 15-years!  You're writing style is really beautiful.  Keep at it!

  • ReadyWillnnabel says:

    You need to rephrase, the links are not below. A link to your blog is, that is where the links are.

  • Jenny H says:

    Where do I get this great black issue?

  • Kimberli Sarsfield says:

    I've watched this video several times because your writing is so gorgeous! I'm hoping so much you'll do a class❤️

  • Kandice Heller says:

    I could watch you all day long. I find Tombow markers the most difficult to use because they write so HUGE. I cannot seem to master them. They are just way too big for me. Brush markers are very hard for me. I much prefer pen and ink.

  • Rigmor Olsson says:

    Beautiful lettering and that combo with the finetec metallics and the black paper… Gorgeous! 🙂 Such a cool pen! Hugs from Stockholm!

  • Maria A says:

    I am now 34 but when I was in J.H.S our art teacher taught us Calligraphy at the end of each art lesson. Sometimes the whole period we would practice calligraphy.

  • lalala girl says:

    i have gansai tambi starry nights, can i also use that with a pointed nib like how you used yours in rhis video?? please answer thank you 🙂 and thank yoi for your videos also, i find inspirations here to do my calligraphy ?

  • nadialaurenB says:

    There is nothing link

  • Carol Aasen says:

    I just love your work! I would to get get a pen like this one, where can I find one?

  • Debbie Buttars says:

    Thank you for all your advice. It's fun and relaxing just watching you write.

  • Nurul Fatehah says:

    How can i start? I tried but it's hard but i really like to do calligraphy

  • James Matthew Sim says:

    hi kristina your videos are great, i learnt on you im in grade 6 i use watercolours brushes and ink and nibs tombowABT and pentel fude touch are the best

  • James Matthew Sim says:

    most of my pens have freyed tips from use over the years

  • anthony reboton says:

    How do you not run out of ink so often?

  • Kat Conrad says:

    Your calligraphy is beautiful! I would totally take your class!

  • Lesley Broadley says:

    Great video thanks Kristina xxxx

  • Isabel McConnon says:

    I would like to know where can I go for calligraphy class living in Easton, PA. Would you know any place where they teach calligraphy?

  • le chat says:

    This pen holder is pure dynamite :)))

  • Tania Godwin-Evans says:

    Love this letterinettering have you thought of doing a pdf so people can copy this please esp the Roosevelt quote – plain and fancy

  • Soulnaakseo Lee says:

    your pen looks like a piece of raw salmon

  • CosmicRadiation says:

    Very informative! I've been practicing calligraphy for four years now! If you don't have time to practice everyday, set aside a half-hour or an hour every other day and concentrate on just calligraphy. Make sure you are alone and don't get distracted! It is a lot of work, but once you get good it is really fun. They also make great gifts to family and friends that really shows you care! Also, for the guys out there, learn to write well………. I would leave my girlfriend notes here and there around the apartment. I would put them in her books and tape them on the mirror in the morning. She loved it! Don't go overboard lol, but do it once in a while! She has saved every one I have done for her. She frames them and displays them at her desk at work! lol, that's actually how I meet here. It was pretty corny but…………. well, it worked lol!

  • [P] Hawi Ensermu says:

    Can you do a video like this but for card making supplies

  • kadir şeker says:


  • Melanie Saechao says:

    I have question about ink flow. I recently bought the gold pallet from inkmethis and I’m having trouble with the ink holing on the nib and can’t get it on the paper consistently. I also tried the same non with a liquid ink and it works better but I wonder what I could be doing wrong? I did prep the nibs on a potatoe so not sure it’s not prepped correctly.

  • Shannon Lashbrook says:

    Can you recommend a good practice workbook?

  • MJ Phillips says:

    Ok so I’m getting into calligraphy and I’m left handed can I still do it with the ink dip pen or will it just smear

  • fifiooo says:

    What is the script she is writing in the video??

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