Write with style

Teaching children the art of calligraphy not only boosts their motor development but also improves handwriting, concentration, and creativity

R. Bhaskar is a professional calligrapher and founder of Sri Yogeashwari Training Institute, Bengaluru

Calligraphy is more than just beautiful handwriting. Defined as “the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner,” calligraphy requires positioning and inscribing of words so they show integrity,
harmony, rhythm and creative fire.

Teaching children this ancient writing art not only boosts their motor development but also improves handwriting, concentration, and creativity. It will also help them to embellish their projects and scrapbooks.

Get started

Here’s a beginner’s guide to getting started:

Pens. Many varieties of calligraphy pens are available in the market. Calligraphy fountain pens require ink to be filled before use. Dip pens are those which require the nibs to be dipped into ink before writing. Brush pens are another option, and pointed pens are useful for writing both thin and thick strokes. Beginners should start with calligraphy marker pens which are easiest to use.

Some recommended calligraphy pen brands: Parker Calligraphy Fountain Pen; Artline Ergoline Calligraphy Pens — Calligraphy Marker; Isomar Calligraphy Pens and Speedball — Dip Pens; and Manuscript Nib Pens.

Paper. Use good quality A4 paper or books with 100 gsm paper. To get started, use four-line books readily available in stationery stores. Calligraphy practice sheets and books are
also available online.

Rulers. You also need to invest in calligraphy rulers to mark ascender and descender lines.

The first step towards developing calligraphy skills is to hold the pen correctly. The calligraphy pen is held at a 45-degree angle. Since nibs are flat, practice basic drills such as forming straight thick, left slanted thick, right slanted and thick sleeping lines, circles, semi-circles and so on. It’s best to learn writing capital letters first and then move onto lower case.

Study programmes

Calligraphy study courses are offered by a handful of private training institutions. The duration of programmes ranges from one day to a month depending on the level of mastery. Some courses specialise in pointed pen calligraphy, others in brush.

Among the highly reputed calligraphy institutes in India are HandwritingAone.com — Sri Yogeashwari Training Institute, Bengaluru; Achyut Pallav School of Calligraphy, Mumbai; Calligraphy India, New Delhi; Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, New Delhi; and Write Right, Indore.

Calligraphy enthusiasts who aspire to make a career in this field have the option of teaching in calligraphy institutes or practising as artists in architectural and interior design firms.

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