My experience in learning calligraphy without Practice Pads

As a self-thought calligrapher, I can tell you how the beginning of this beautiful journey was for me. It all started when I read an article where I saw something mentioned about artistic writing. It caught my attention and I started searching the Internet, chasing artistic handwritten words and phrases. They all looked lovely but, I knew I wanted to achieve these beautiful letters and shapes, but I just didn’t know how or where to start. This is how I’ve realized that to learn calligraphy is not an easy thing to do, although it might seem so.

Learn from my experience

It took me months of research to understand that there are different scripts that can be achieved using various tools and techniques. I fell in love with Copperplate immediately. Then I finally found some letter construction rules in a Copperplate book. But my hand needed some steady practice to achieve those oval shapes. It was a long way to perfecting the letters since I started, but I found the way very motivating and joyful. Not to say in the beginning I had to create my grids, considering different ratios to find the one ideal for me. Believe me, this was a really time consuming activity. But this struggle made me learn some editing applications, so I could create these sheets digitally and print them out. Nevertheless, I spent about 2-3 years of practice to enhance my script and develop muscle memory – but it was a harsh way here and there. :)

How I started thinking of creating Calligraphy Practice Pads

Then, one day, I bumped into some digital worksheets, purchased them and start working some Modern Calligraphy. I remember them having traceable letters and shapes and so I discovered how helpful this way of working is. So I thought I had to help my students practice in a rewarding way. I started vectoring my basic shapes and create letters, so I could share some useful learning resources with those wanting to learn calligraphy. As I searched the Internet I found that practice pads where quite popular, but not for Copperplate Calligraphy. This motivated me to create our Copperplate Calligraphy Practice Pads to support not just the students attending my courses, but everybody looking to develop this skill. After vectoring and creating the content, I found a printing house willing to materialize my practice pads. Oh! How rewarding it was to see the first ones ready! And how happy I was to get a positive feedback after distributing them for testing!

What is a Calligraphy Practice Pad?

Now! Let’s see what are some Calligraphy Practice Pads. They are some workbooks with special grids, traceable shapes and letters to help you get correct and harmonious letters, while you learn and form your muscle memory. Since I considered that someone will purchase the practice pads being a beginner, I created an Instruction area. This helps everyone learn how to achieve a correct posture and position while writing. Instructions are also about the right way to set up and prepare for your calligraphy practice, which are the tools that best work for beginners starting their pointed pen calligraphy journey.

 

About our Calligraphy Practice Pads

Because Copperplate is a very structured script, letters should be created considering the right proportions, a good starting point and a right leaning. That is why the Practice Pads have special grids, using a 3:2:3 ratio and the proper leaning. And because we need to follow a certain sequence for letter construction, it was mandatory to start with the basic strokes and use directions arrows. So it is important for you to get the fundamentals when you first start calligraphy. After Instructions and basic strokes, you will find an exemplar page to show you all letters with correct heights on the practice grid and directional arrows to indicate where to start and how to create each letter. For each letter an entire page is provided, containing the basic stroke that it is formed of, directional arrows, instructions on construction and 4 rows of traceable shapes of that letter. Then another 4 rows are left for each one’s free practice.

Types of Practice Pads

Our Practice Pads were initially thought as a set – lowercase and uppercase letters. When learning Copperplate Calligraphy, the first recommended practice is that of the lowercase letters. I remember I had a hard time to understand ligatures and spacing in the beginning, so I considered to be a very useful to include instructions about this in the Lowercase Practice Pad. After achieving lowercase letters is the right time to work on the Uppercase Letters Practice Pad. Capitals are more expansive and different from the lowercase letters when creating. The Uppercase Letters Practice Pad follow the same structure as the Lowercase Letters Practice Pad: instructions, basic strokes, exemplar page and an entire page for each letter so you can develop muscle memory. For the script to be complete you need to practice the numbers, that is why in the Uppercase Letters Practice Pad I also included an area for numbers with directional arrow for a cohesive construction and traceable shapes.

How do Practice Pads help us in improving our script?

Working in the practice Pads helps you learn calligraphy faster and easier and it spares you from frustration and wasting resources. Grids, instructions, and traceable letters – this is the secret help practice pads provide. Oh! Another thing! You know how important paper is for calligraphy. You won’t have to worry about this, because the paper is carefully chosen, after testing a dozen of papers to see which one accepts better inks of different kinds. The paper is 130gsm thick and has a smooth and comfortable texture to write upon, so the calligraphy experience will be a delight.

Now let’s see for whom are they suitable? Well, for all those looking to refine their script – being them absolute beginners or intermediates who need and extra help to enhance their letters.

       Conclusions :)

You can see a few pictures of the practice Pads, you can find them in our shop as stand-alone items, as a bundle or included in our Calligraphy Sets – which also come with pen holder, inks, nibs and other resources like leather pencil case, pottery pen rest and flourish workbook, considering the type of Calligraphy Kit you choose.

Bottom line, if you are brand new to calligraphy or you just feel like you are missing something, then the Practice Pads are what you definitely need! Good luck with letters, dear calligra-friends!

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