Calligraphy: The Basics

Tips and hints to help you get started on your calligraphic journey
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 (2,289 ratings)
54,390 students
53min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

Acquire the elementary knowledge you need before going on to learn calligraphy.


  • 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 this course is for:

  • 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.


Calligrapher & Designer
Mary-Jane Roussel
  • 4.7 Instructor Rating
  • 2,715 Reviews
  • 56,303 Students
  • 10 Courses

If you believe in reincarnation, I must have been a monk-scribe in a former life! How else can this love for hand-drawn letters be explained?

As a fashion designer-in-training, calligraphy was an option I took in my final year. Since then, practising and teaching the art of beautiful writing has been one of my major occupations.

For more than twenty years, I have been giving calligraphy courses to adults and children in the south of France, where I now reside. I particularly like working in places steeped in medieval history (like the Chartreuse at Villeneuve lez Avignon) or in classrooms where kids are positively insatiable when it comes to learning to use pen and ink or other traditional tools such as the calame.

Online classes are now the main activity of the non-profit group that I preside. 

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