Become an Expert at Calligraphy lettering!
Calligraphy lettering is significant in practicing various forms of Calligraphy such as Chinese, Japanese, Western and Islamic, to name a few. Calligraphy lettering in itself has proved to be a popular study, today. In fact, so complex is this art that through various styles of calligraphy lettering, you can depict different moods and occasions as well.
To start off, familiarize yourself with the various strokes and slants used along with the unique style of the individual alphabets. In Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, the lettering is based on the various alphabets taught in their primary schools. Islamic calligraphy gets its set of alphabets from Persian, Turkish and Arabic scripts. Western calligraphy though, has a similar set of alphabets as that of the English language, yet the fonts have been inherited from Roman, Old English and Greek writing styles.
In Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, calligraphy lettering is basically mono - spaced, which means that the alphabets have equal space between them. In Chinese calligraphy, Caosho style has cursive lettering, while Xingshu has a semi-cursive style of alphabets. The strokes made in Chinese calligraphy lettering are created by free movement and a delicate hold of the brush. In Japanese calligraphy, Sousho involves swift and graceful stokes of the brush while to write in Gyosho, you need rounded and continuous strokes. Furthermore, Kaisho, a popular style of writing Japanese calligraphy emphasizes on very little brush movement.
Now, moving on to Arabic calligraphy, there are 17 consonants and interestingly, the vowels are represented by strokes along the consonants. There are geometric and cursive styles of calligraphy lettering among which Naskh, Thuluth and Muhaqqaq are the most popular. Muhaqqaq emphasizes on the curves underlying the letters while in Naskh, the strokes of the alphabets are simple and slender. In Thuluth, the alphabets have elongated verticals. It is noteworthy, that Arabic calligraphy lettering is written from right to left.
The style of lettering in Western calligraphy though, is primarily cursive. Here, the alphabets have three separate portions such as, the x-height, the ascender, which is the upper part, and the descender, which is the lower part. The difference in the various letterings is mainly created by the angle at which you hold your pen. Italic, a common style of calligraphy lettering taught in schools is usually created with a single stroke of the pen held at an angle of 45 degrees. The alphabets in Gothic are bold and decorative strokes near the upper case alphabets are called claws and beaks. The Gothic style comes out best when the pen is held at 45 degrees to the paper. Uncial, another style, only has lower case alphabets and here the pen should be held at 30 degrees. You will need to flatten your pen in order to write in Roman style, which is mostly used in magazines and newspapers.
Before you can become an expert at calligraphy lettering, you will need to put in a lot of practice time. Collect all the essentials such as paper, pen or pencil and ink, and find a quiet comfortable place to start writing. Download free fonts from the internet and practice them, preferably with pencil first. Once you are well versed with the strokes, try creating new forms of calligraphy lettering by mixing two or more styles. You will be surprised to find the amount of creativity in you while writing new calligraphy lettering styles.