Yesterday I shared my thoughts on Blackwing pencils. What they’re great for, what they’re not so great for. Today, I want to share with you a fun and easy tutorial using the same pencils! Let’s learn a bit more about how to create modern calligraphy using just your pencil!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- Blackwing Pencil (or similar in HB-2B graphite)
- Sketch Paper
STEP ONE: Pressure Variations
Pointed pen calligraphy is based on the pressure and release system. Pressure on the downstrokes to create “swells” and relief of pressure on the upstrokes to create “hairlines”. You’re going to play around with the exact same method, but this way is a bit easier as you’ll simply use your pencil – no ink, dipping, or nibs needed!
Start by getting a feel for three variations of pressure: heavy, medium, and light. To create a heavy line, push down hard on your pencil when you draw a stroke. This will apply more graphite on the paper and is similar to how you’d create your swell strokes. Do the same thing with medium and light pressure. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll notice that the less pressure you put on your pencil as you draw, the thinner (or lighter) the line will be. This is also similar to how you would shade an illustration.
Once you have a grasp on your pencil pressure, you can move on to some simple letters!
STEP TWO: LETTERS
Ready to practice calligraphy using just your pencil? Use the pressure techniques practiced in step one to assemble your alphabet. Write as you regularly would, whether in cursive or a non script, and simply apply heavy pressure whenever you make a “downstroke”. Take a peek at my practice alphabet to see where all of my downstrokes are. Notice how the downstrokes are thicker than the upstrokes? I achieved that by applying heavy pressure on those areas and light pressure on the other areas!
Did you try this modern calligraphy technique? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Tag @mollyjacquesworkshop in your project on Instagram so we can follow what you’re up to and potentially feature your lovely hand lettering and pencil calligraphy!