Hello and welcome! Today I am really excited to introduce you to a new video series I’m creating – 26 Words in Basic Strokes. For the next 26 days, 27 if you include this introduction, I will be breaking down one word a day into it’s basic modern calligraphy strokes.
I will be using a Fudenosuke small brush tip pen and a dot grid notebook with a smooth paper, you can use any tools you have to follow along. If you are a complete beginner I would suggest grabbing a pencil a B or a 2B and some lined paper.
Watch the video below and let me walk you through the basic strokes. Don’t like watching videos? Scroll down to read the transcript and view images of all the basic strokes.
26 WORDS IN BASIC STROKES – INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
Hello and welcome! I’m Riëtte and I’m excited to introduce you to a new video series I’m starting – 26 Words in Basic Strokes. Over the next 26 days, 27 if you include this introduction, I’ll be breaking down one word a day into the basic modern calligraphy strokes. I’ll be keeping it as simple as possible, meaning I won’t be using any flourishing or bouncing techniques, just the basic strokes.
The tools I’ll be using for these videos are the Fudenosuke small hard tip brush pen, and a dot grid notebook with a smooth paper.
You can use any brush pen and paper that you have to follow along. If you are a complete beginner I would suggest grabbing a pencil, a B or a 2B, I use a mechanical pencil with a B lead. I practice with pencil all the time. As for paper, any lined paper will work great.
As for your guides, you will need to make sure that you have a baseline, an x-height, an ascender line and a descender line. Depending on the pen you are using the space between the lines will change. For a small brush pen, like the Fudenosuke hard tip, a space of 8-10mm will work great. For a larger brush pen you’ll want to double it. If you are using a pencil the lines on lined paper, like an exam pad, will work perfect.
The notepad I’m using is a dot grid, meaning it has dots going across and down the page, I just leave a dot space between each line.
Now let me walk you through the basic strokes. In Modern Calligraphy it’s important to always remember, thin upstroke, thick downstroke. We have nine basic strokes that we use repeatedly in every letter of the alphabet. They are the upstroke, down stroke, up and down stroke, overturn stroke, underturn stroke, compound curve, oval, ascending stroke and descending stroke. Let me show you how to do each stroke.
Your upstroke will start at the baseline. Placing very little pressure on your pen move your pen up in a slight curve towards your x-height.
Your downstroke starts at the x-height. Using pressure pull your pen down to the baseline.
The Up and Downstroke
The up and downstroke is a combination of the upstroke and the downstroke. This straight downstroke is not really a basic stroke, as in not part of your letters, but it is really important to get used to before you move on to your overturn stroke.
The Overturn stroke
The next stroke is your overturn stroke. Starting at the baseline and using light pressure pull your pen up toward your x-height. Before reaching the x-height turn to come back down to your baseline using pressure to get a thick downstroke. It’s important to keep both strokes parallel.
The Underturn Stroke
Next up is an underturn stroke, basically the opposite of an overturn stroke. Start at the x-height, place pressure on the pen and pull down toward the baseline, curve back up toward the x-height releasing the pressure on the upstroke. Again, remember to keep both strokes parallel.
The Compound Curve
The compound curve is a combination of the overturn and the underturn stroke. Starting at the baseline and with very little pressure move your pen toward the x-height, curve back down as you reach the x-height and apply pressure on the downstroke curving back up and releasing pressure as you reach the baseline to create the final thin upstroke. Keep the space between the strokes as even as possible.
The next stroke is an oval. Starting off to the right and just below the x-height curve your pen up toward the x-height and with very little pressure. As you curve down apply pressure in a curve towards the baseline. When you reach the baseline release pressure and create a curve back up to connect where you started.
The Ascending Stroke
The second last stroke is the ascending stroke. Start at the x-height, apply very little pressure and move up at an angle toward the ascending line. As soon as you reach the ascending line curve to the left and apply pressure to bring your stroke all the way down to your baseline.
The Descending Stroke
The final stroke is the descending stroke. Again starting at the x-height apply full pressure and pull your pen down toward the descending line. Start curving to the left and releasing pressure as you reach the descending line, pull the pen up toward the baseline with light pressure connecting to the thick downstroke.
And there you go, these are all the basic strokes. As we go through the words you will notice some strokes that look unfamiliar, these are strokes that only get used in one or two letters in the alphabet.
Go practice the basic strokes, I’ll be back tomorrow with the first word.
I would love to see your practice words every day – tag me on Instagram using #26wordsinbasicstrokes.