Calligraphy: The Basics
4.3 (513 ratings)
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Calligraphy: The Basics

Tips and hints to help you get started on your calligraphic journey
4.3 (513 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
10,831 students enrolled
Created by Mary-Jane Roussel
Last updated 1/2017
English [Auto-generated]
Price: Free
  • 30 mins on-demand video
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Acquire the elementary knowledge you need before going on to learn calligraphy.
View Curriculum
  • My favourite tools are a Brause 3 mm nib in a wooden pen holder, with walnut hull ink. This, however, is not mandatory; you may use similar tools and supplies.

If you are just starting a calligraphic journey, this short introductory course is for you!

CALLIGRAPHY ... the art of beautiful writing

Perhaps you have been wanting to learn more about using traditional nib and pen-holder to create beautiful letters, but were daunted by the unfamilarity of the tools.

This course de-mystifies the use of authentic calligraphy instruments.

Learn :

  • to correctly insert the nib into the pen-holder ;
  • to load the reservoir and get the ink to flow onto your paper ;
  • how to create the thick and thin strokes of the letter ;
  • why it is important to keep your pen at a 45° angle ;
  • where to place your letters in the guidelines ;
  • what the ductus is.

Presented by Mary-Jane Roussel, a qualified calligrapher and designer, this course starts with a keynotes presentation that will first give you a quick overall view of Calligraphy essentials, followed by a series of videos will help you get started in Calligraphy.

In the demonstrations, Mary-Jane uses a 3 mm Brause oblique nib in a wooden pen-holder and walnut hull ink.

After completing this introductory course, you will probably be yearning to learn more about Calligraphy, the Art of Beautiful Writing. You may want to go on to our Simple Gothic Script course, also available on Udemy.

Who is the target audience?
  • If you want to learn to writing in calligraphy, and don’t know where to start, this short series of videos is for you! Or perhaps you have been doing calligraphy for a while, but have always used markers or parallel pens and now you want to learn to write with pen & ink, join me for this course. Those of you that have experience with pen & ink may find this series too elementary for your level.
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Curriculum For This Course
Start Here
1 Lecture 00:48

Insert the nib correctly into the pen-holder.

An overall view of the tools of the trade
2 Lectures 12:32
Keynotes I

Keynotes II
Getting down to business
5 Lectures 08:09

Insert the nib correctly into the pen-holder.

Calligraphy Basics I

Load the ink into the reservoir. Get the ink to flow onto your paper. See the difference between the thick and thin strokes.

Calligraphy Basics II

Understand why it is essential to hold your pen at a 45° angle.

Calligraphy Basics III

Learn about the four guidelines used in calligraphy.

Calligraphy Basics IV

Learn what DUCTUS is (the sequence and the direction of strokes used to create a letter).

Calligraphy Basics V
2 Lectures 09:03
Test your knowledge!
5 questions

Thank you for joining me.

This follow-up video demonstrates some exercises that you can repeat at home, to help you get the feel for writing in calligraphy. Simple gothic lower-case letters are then demonstrated with a calame. You can use any flat writing surface to imitate these letters.

Follow-up video
About the Instructor
Mary-Jane Roussel
4.3 Average rating
529 Reviews
10,881 Students
2 Courses
Calligrapher & Designer

Hello. Allow me introduce myself: my name is Mary-Jane Roussel. I’m Canadian -- and French! I come from the Kawarthas (Ontario) and live in the South of France. I’m the chief-cook-and-bottle-washer at creatuto.

I head up a non-profit group called Pleins et Déliés, based in Jonquerettes. (C’mon, say it right! Pronounce it “Plennes eh Day-lee-aye”.) In addition to managing the website, I do occasional classes for adults in our pittoresque village as well as workshops in primary and junior high schools.

When I’m in a classroom, kids often ask me,

“How long have you been doing calligraphy?” & “Why do you like Calligraphy?”

To the first question, I answer that, as a child, I went to Church every Sunday. Some kids paid attention to what the preacher was saying; others stared at the stained glass, waiting for the minutes to tick by. And me, I spent the time copying and re-drawing the lettres of the song titles, which were written in a Gothic hand in our hymnbook.

As for their second question, I usually tell them that, if you believe in reincarnation, I must have been a monk in a former life!

Oh, perhaps you’d also like to know that I am a trained Fashion Designer, but I spend much more time designing letters than clothes!