How to Start Brush & Calligraphy Hobby

I’ve always wanted to get into the brush lettering and calligraphy hobby. And finally, after practicing with just G-tech pen, I moved on to the real thing. But did you know that I only found the motivation to start the hobby after joining workshops? The truth is that I never tried the real thing because I don’t know how to start.

What should I buy? What paper should I use? Where do I even buy these things? It’s hard to start if you have no idea! I’m thankful for the workshops I joined here in Iligan because they were my stepping stones to this new hobby. Shoutout to Charlette for the modern calligraphy workshop and Patti for the brush lettering workshop. Thanks to them, I learned the basics. (shout out also to my workshop buddy, Kat! <3)


But if you want to DIY the hobby, that’s not a problem. No need to fret on where to start. I got you covered. *wink* So, okay, let’s get started!

Modern Calligraphy

You will need a nib, pen holder and ink for this. There are two types of pen holders–the straight and the oblique. Pictured below is a straight and this is what we used at the workshop to practice. I don’t have the oblique yet but it’s on it’s way. As for the difference between straight and oblique, the latter creates more angle.




Now, with the nibs, there are various kinds available. However, I’m not familiar with them yet. I’m not even sure what nib I have been practicing with. I asked Charlette about it and she said most nibs are compatible with the Speedball pen holders. So, here’s a link to where you can purchase some. Although, there are those that are really small like the brause66 ef. My awesome mentor recommends hunt 22 and hiro 41 so check those out.

I forgot to take a photo of the ink that I have been using but here’s a link to the products available at The Craft Central, an online store for all your calligraphy and brush lettering needs. I’m not sure where Charlette got the ink for our workshop but I’m guessing it’s this one (check link).

Next is the type of paper to use. Sad to say, our standard bond papers won’t do as you will need a thicker kind. Look for a paper that is 90 gsm. Pictured below are the ones I’ve been using to practice. They’re both available in National Bookstore. You can also use 100 gsm. I also recommend printing a guide sheet for practice.  Untitled-1

The basic principle

Calligraphy is basically {upward stroke = thin line} and {downward stroke = thick line}. To create thick line using nib, just simply apply pressure. Here’s a video I found on YouTube.

Brush Lettering

For brush lettering, you will need the following: brushes and ink/watercolor. I’ve been using the waterbrush pen (middle) and so far, it’s the one that best works for me. You can purchase it here.


You can use a watercolor pad that is available at National Bookstore. But since it’s a bit pricey just for practicing, you can use the 90 gsm paper. You can get any kind of watercolor. I like the watercolor palette that Patti gave to us at the workshop. Not sure where it is available but the tubed watercolor is available at Daiso.

The principle used in brush lettering is similar to calligraphy: Up=thin, down=thick.


And that’s it. You can now start writing and brushing away! I’m loving this new hobby although it’s really testing my patience. So far, so good. Practice makes progress indeed. 🙂