The Beginner’s Guide to Brush Pen Calligraphy

The Beginner’s Guide to Brush Pen Calligraphy

Calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing, adding a contemporary twist to basic handwriting and lettering. Learning this craft makes you more creative and versatile in the field of design.


Mastering the art of calligraphy requires a lot practice and patience. Let’s get started with the help of our Multimedia Arts student Marianne Novencido!


First, familiarize yourself with the materials that you’ll use in Calligraphy. For this Basic Calligraphy tutorial, we’ll use different colored brush pens, a fine liner pen, a pencil and an eraser.


 From Marianne Novencido’s Basic Calligraphy Guidebook


Step 1: Warm up by practicing basic strokes. Start with straight lines and basic curves before moving on to writing words and phrases.


You may also use practice worksheets or drillswhere you can trace basic strokes, curves and flourishes. Practicing the same strokes repeatedly can help develop brain and muscle memory.


PRO TIP: Don’t forget to apply more pressure on downward strokes to achieve thicker lines and light pressure on upward strokes.




Sample drills from Marianne Novencido’s Basic Calligraphy Guidebook


Step 2: Write the words/phrase using a pencil to serve as a guide.


Don’t rush into using your brush pens in practicing! As a beginner, it’s best to outline using a pencil and ruler to make sure that the spacing is balanced.




From Marianne Novencido’s Basic Calligraphy Guidebook


PRO TIP: Try different text placements and combinations of print and cursive. This will add more variety to your pieces!


Step 3: Carefully trace the guide with your brush pen.


Next comes the exciting part! Trace the outline you made in Step 2 using your brush pen. Don’t forget to apply more pressure on downward strokes!




Step 4: Step up your game by going for the ombre effect! Choose colors that go well together.


PRO TIP: You may start with analogous colors for easy blending.



Step 5: Start with the lightest color for the base then blend using darker shades. 





Step 6: Add shadows by outlining with a black pen or by using a light gray brush pen.


Light source is the key to mastering shadows in calligraphy.


 From Marianne Novencido’s Basic Calligraphy Guidebook


Start by using a gray brush pen to add shadows.



Use a black fine liner pen to outline the sides of the shadow you made. This will give your piece an embossed effect!


Finish off your piece with a 3D effect and shine using a white gel pen.




Mission accomplished! The next step is to keep on practicing.


See Marianne in action and watch the video tutorial here:


Be sure to check out more of her amazing works at Behance: and Instagram: @mmpn_!




Unleash more of your creativity by applying for our Multimedia Arts program for Senior High or College! Send us an e-mail at to learn more about our programs today.




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