Writing and Design: A Guide to Calligraphy
Creating beautiful, elegant handwriting or artistically stylized writing is the art of calligraphy. The word calligraphy stems from two Greek words which include “killi” and “graphos” These words stand for “beautiful” and “writing.” It is the actual forming of the letters in calligraphy that gives it its artistic beauty. The history of calligraphy, in general, can be said to date all the way back to the drawings of cavemen. These drawings told stories through pictures. Chinese calligraphy (which is one of the main styles of calligraphy) in its earliest form dates back to twenty-eighth century B.C. (according to the first solid evidence of it). Somewhere between 2697 and 2596 B.C. the Chinese developed pictograms. Many other Chinese character calligraphy styles later stemmed from the pictorial pictograms such as seal style and tao. Examples of other main styles of calligraphy itself include Western and Arabic.
If learning calligraphy is something you are interested in, then you need to know the basic tools. These tools include: a special brush or pen; ink or something similar; paper or a different writing medium; a hard supporting surface that is smooth and flat; and a chair which is at a comfortable height for you. Optional tools include a pencil, eraser and ruler in order to provide lines which you can write on.
Some styles of calligraphy are more difficult to do than others. For the Western style of calligraphy there are three very important core skills which are necessary to the art. These skills include: keeping the angle of your pen constant; leading the nib instead of pushing it; and making lines parallel and curves even. The Western style typically requires a calligraphy nib which is flat and broad and allows you to create the “thick and thin” effect. Once you have the proper tools and are familiar with the core skills of Western calligraphy, learning it is simply a matter of paying attention to details and practice. Calligraphy is a wonderful skill which people of most ages can learn. By writing calligraphy you can create a beautiful work of art. The following links will provide you with more in-depth information on the art of calligraphy to help you on your artistic journey.
The excellent website provides videos showing you how to do Shodo which is Japanese calligraphy.
The Islami City website provides you with many different examples of Islamic calligraphy such as Naskhi Script and Kufic Lettering.
The website discusses Chinese calligraphy and “the four treasures of the study.”
The website offers you a great chart on the history of calligraphy.
The website covers an introduction to Chinese calligraphy, major styles of Chinese calligraphy and resources.
The website contains PDF’s which include a plain transcription of an Arabic phrase and a literal English translation.
The website explains what calligraphy is, different styles of Chinese calligraphy, basic materials and technique.
The Calligraphy Today website discusses various calligraphy tools and also features an article on what calligraphy is.
The Inkscape website provides information on the history and styles of calligraphy as well as a tutorial on how to use the calligraphy tool in Inkscape.
Arabic Calligraphy (PDF)
The PDF provides you with a computational exploration of Arabic calligraphy.
This is an excellent website that will explain everything you need to know about getting started doing calligraphy.
The website explains how to hold a brush, conventional methods, Bao’s methods, correct and incorrect methods, the three-finger method and an analysis of methods for Chinese calligraphy.
The Washington Calligraphers Guild provides a list of a variety of calligraphy books including; general, historical and reference.
The website offers a Chinese Calligraphy book which discusses many topics such as tools and techniques.
The website provides tips on calligraphy regarding different types of nibs such as regular italic nibs.
The article focuses on how to do brush calligraphy.
The article discusses different forms of calligraphy such as Indian calligraphy and East Asian calligraphy.
The website discusses Gothic lettering and has beautiful examples of it.
The website is dedicated to the art of calligraphy and offers information on topics such as different calligraphy writing styles and calligraphy pens and brushes.
The website briefly discusses the history of Japanese calligraphy.
The website provides information on Chinese calligraphy and some of its history.
The website tells you about the Arabic alphabet, the seven scripts of Arabic calligraphy and the tools necessary for the art.
The article talks about Tu Meng and the expressions he used to describe different styles of calligraphy.