I am starting a new series on the blog to help you quickly get started to learn calligraphy. This series is meant to be quick reads and easy to implement so you can start learning calligraphy right away.
Dip Pen Calligraphy versus Brush Pen Calligraphy
Today I want to help you pick which style of calligraphy to start with. In my own practice I have experience working with dip pen calligraphy and brush pen calligraphy. Based on this I will go over each one and the pros and cons to help you pick a starting point!
Dip Pen Calligraphy
When I started to learn calligraphy I started with dip pen, however that’s more because I had not heard of brush pens. And not necessarily because dip pens are better than brush pens. Dip pen calligraphy is pretty much what it sounds like. You have a pen with a nib (the nib is the end part that does the writing and is removable) that you dip into ink and then start writing in calligraphy. There are a lot more nuances than that but for the purpose of this series that explains it simply enough!
Brush Pen CalligraphyNow with brush pen calligraphy it is simply using a specialty pen which is really more like a marker that has a soft tip that you just write with using pressure to create your calligraphy. So you only need the marker to start practicing. It’s a pretty simple way to start but there are a bunch of different pens to choose from.
How to Pick Where to Start and Learn Calligraphy Today
Now that I have the bare basics laid out of what each style is let’s get into the details on how they differ and how they are the same so you can make a choice on where to start!
Here is a basic chart comparing the two based on my own experience. One caveat is that you can become awesome at either one or both no matter what your starting skill level is. All it really takes is practice, practice, practice. But I hope this chart can help you figure out a little better what might fit you!
|Dip Pen Calligraphy
|Brush Pen Calligraphy
|Pen, Nibs, Ink, Paper
|Medium to High
|Low to Medium
|Limited to pens available
|Will definitely end up with inky fingers and maybe spilled ink once in awhile
|Pretty low unless you drop the pen!
|Left Hander (I am a lefty!)
|Doable but will take trial and error to find the right way to write without rubbing the ink
|Easier especially if the pen dries quickly
|How to Start
|Clean nib, put nib in pen holder, stir ink, open ink, dip in ink, start practicing
|Open pen, start practicing
|Paper choice can matter more
|Easier to travel with
I hope this comparison will help you figure out where to start, if you have other questions just leave a comment! I also have a fun flow chart if you need even more help figuring this out. But if you really can’t decide you can always do both and see which feels better.
Next in the “learn calligraphy today series” will be a simple supply list to get you started with your style of choice. Check it out here!
If you’re already into calligraphy and want to dive into my other posts check them all out here. And you can also see a bunch of my favorite supplies here. Last thing you can also get even more calligraphy resources and monthly worksheets on my Patreon page.