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Calligraphy Art Tutorials

The 7 steps of learning calligraphy

 

The usal steps for beginners to learn calligraphy can be defined as follow:

 

1/ Identify and observe carefully the basic forms and curves of the hand you want to learn. Measure the proportions of the letters.

 

2/ Reproduce the basic forms and curves in the training page of Calligraphy Art app. The guidelines are pre-drawn according to the letter height and the nib width. The default pen angle is also set up. And the digital paper is longer than your screen, its size is 1536x458 pixels.

 

3/ Draw each letter as much as you nead to perfect it. The digital drawing tool is really convenient for that, because you can undo, erase and clear at will.

 

4/ Draw one word all in minuscules or majuscules.

 

5/ Draw words by combining majuscule and minuscules. You can use the helpful « merge font » button (located at the right of the toolbar) to navigate between minuscules and majuscules models.

 

6/ Draw a short sentence in the training page.

 

7/ Draw a proverb, a wish or a poem in several lines in the full page. And some decorations. Just be creative !

 

Drawing serif in calligraphy

 

When you are a beginner in calligraphy, you should find sometimes tricky to draw the serif of some letters. A serif is the small decorative end of a letter, it makes a style beautiful and unique.



According to my observation, there are several ways to draw successfully a serif. The chronology, the direction and the number of strokes depend on each individual skill. It's like drawing a circle, some people will do it clockwise, and other prefer the counter clockwise manner.

Finally, calligraphy is an art, then any artist has thousands of reasons to draw a serif in his/her own way.

Here are some examples of letter with serifs:
And here are some ways to draw them:





 

The art of flourish in calligraphy

 

The art of flourish can be defined as embellishments of letters or as a stand alone ornaments. A letter can be flourished by an extension of a stroke or at its endings with serifs. 
You can practice the flourishes by learning the basic strokes first, and then their combinations.
The simple strokes:
1/ the straight
2/ the curve: drawn clockwise (cw) or counterclockwise (ccw)
3/ the S curve (drawn cw-then-ccw or ccw-then-cw) with or without a curve between the 2 endings.
4/ the spiral, defined as curve that keep going around: drawn cw or ccw, from outside-to-inside or from inside-to-outside. The spiral can be round or oval. Generally it's recommended for a spiral not to have more than 2 or 3 turns, otherwise it's visually boring.
5/ the loop, is a curve crossing itself: can be outside or inside loop. The inside loop can have a cusp or not.
The combinations:
A combination is made of simple strokes joined together.
1/ Spiral exit. A simple spiral can be a curve drawn from outside to inside, then ends up at the center of it. But a spiral can also end outside the curve with an exit: when arriving at the center of the spiral, the stroke gets directly out of it by crossing the curves. This path is called « spiral exit » or "spiral tail", which can be a nonreversing or a reversing curve. And finally, the exit can end with or without a loop.
Examples of sequences:
a – out-in ccw spiral / nonreversing exit
b – out-in cw spiral / reversing exit / ccw outside loop
2/ Repeating chains of loops and curves in different orientations:
Examples:
a – outside ccw loop / cw loop / … diminishing.../ ending with a cw curve
b – outside ccw loop / cw loop / cw curve / cw loop / ccw loop / cw loop / cw curve / cw loop / ccw loop / ...
3/ Non-repeating chains.
Here you can make lots of improvisations.
Examples:
a – ccw outside loop / out-in cw spiral
b – ccw loop / cw loop / ccw spiral
c - ccw loop / cw loop / ccw loop / cw spiral
4/ Combination of sereval strokes.
One last word:
Calligraphy Art version 1.4 will integrate a lesson about flourish, including exercises and many models of letter embellishments and ornaments.
Check out a copy of Calligraphy Art as soon as possible and start your training.

 

HU Yong Jie. Mathematician, developer and creator of Drawing Box, Calligraphy Art and HandBook, Visual Talks and SketchBlock for iPad. Also develops some expertise on Android platform and Windows since 2009.

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Drawing Box new version 2.5 is released on the App Store

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