Are you frustrated with pointed pen calligraphy and wondering what you could possibly be doing wrong?

Do not fret! You are not alone. Most of the mistakes I see can be solved by simple adjustments to your practice.

Below are the top five mistakes I most frequently see beginner calligraphers make. If you are getting discouraged, you might be doing one or a couple of these things. Try out this advice and I know you will improve in your practice!

1 // Too Much Pressure
If your pen is skipping/catching on your paper on your upward strokes or when you round into a reverse oval {such as the lower loop on a capital “I” or “J”}, you are most likely applying too much pressure – lighten your touch

2 // Not Enough Pressure
If you can’t see a difference between your upstrokes and downstrokes, you are most likely not applying enough pressure on your downstrokes. You need to push hard enough to actually open the tines of your nib to allow the ink to flow out thicker {but not too thick!}

3 // Bad Posture
Keeping your non-writing hand up on your writing area, holding your paper steady, is not only important to keep your paper secure, but also helps to center your body to achieve smoother, straighter lines. It also helps to keep your shoulders down and not work hunched over your workspace. As you are working down on a page, push your paper away from you so that you are never working with your paper too close to your stomach, but instead out in front of you in your original “comfort zone.”

4 // Not filling your vent with enough ink
Be sure to cover the vent of your nib fully with ink each time you dip. If you can still see through your vent when you pull your nib out of the jar of ink, you have not successfully dipped! You will find that you are running out of ink much more frequently if you do not have a full dip. You want to get enough ink to fill the reservoir, but the ink should not be seeping up into your flange or pen holder.

5 // Writing too fast
If you are writing too quickly, you are not allowing yourself enough time for your mind to connect with your hand and actually change the pressure of your hand as you are writing. You have to consciously apply more pressure on your downward strokes to achieve your thick swells, and if you are moving too quickly, you might not have enough time to make that change.

Need more guidance? Check out our Calligraphy Starter Kit + Video Tutorial Bundle or our Beyond Beginner Guide.