Write On Calligraphers | Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

Write On Calligraphers is composed of members with a variety of experience and knowledge of calligraphy and related art forms. Below are some tips and tricks submitted by members for the benefit of the calligraphic community.

 Project Preparation

Submitted by Lisa Harmon – Making guidelines is especially helpful for your project so your letters fit properly on the paper. Many people practice their lettering before starting their project so the letters have a better flow. Another option is to write out the words before starting a project and then place them under your paper instead of guidelines.

If your lettering needs to be at an angle, turn your paper to the most helpful position. To keep the oils from your skin from causing the ink to bleed, tape a piece of paper just below your writing space and move it down as you work, so your hand does not rest on the paper.

 Helpful Tools

Tips & Tricks Tools

Photo by Lisa Harmon.

Submitted by Lisa Harmon – Use drafting tape to hold your papers in place while you work.

Use a pen wipe while you are working to periodically clean your nib for better ink flow.

Some people use a brush, stick or dropper for stirring the ink while they are working to keep an even consistency.

Use a brush or dropper to add ink to the nib of the pen.

Line Generator

Submitted by Carol Rutte – A few years ago, at LOJ, I purchased a CD from a vendor, Rudy Horst. It is a liner generator. It gives page liners in portrait or landscape, sets x-height, ascender and descender heights, gives circles and spirals. It has been a very helpful tool. His email address is [email protected].


Submitted by Kellie Moeller – Are you concerned about others copying your work?  Listen to this excellent podcast specifically for Artists. A lawyer answers your questions about copyright law and legal questions:

Workstation Tips

Workstation Tips

Photo by Lisa Harmon.

Submitted by Lisa Harmon – Keep these tools handy at your workstation:

    • A tilted surface for better posture and to help ink flow evenly
    • A light table to help view guidelines through your paper
    • A copy of the lettering style in case you forget how a letter should look
    • A scratch sheet in case you need to test some ink or want to practice a word or letter
    • Drafting tape to hold everything in place. It usually peels off easily but test it first.

Texture Tools

Submitted by Lisa Tsang – These are texture tools for mono-printing, and are also great for creating textural backgrounds.  A number of companies have similar sets of texture tools, but they range in price from $3 up to $20 for one tool!

People know how ultra-thrifty I am and so I set out to the dollar store and created a set of tools using my craft punches. The pictures should be self explanatory.