Trying Out Brush Calligraphy

For my latest adventure in calligraphy, I decided to try brush pen calligraphy. There’s a difference when it’s just brush calligraphy because it may mean that you are using a paint brush. So here’s my first encounter with the brush pen.

Calligraphy 106

This is in connection with my move (again). There was a time when we bought boxes in NBS-Glorietta and it was an impulsive buy for me because I really wanted try it out. I was so inspired by my type friends who did it so I just went on to buy myself a brush pen.

My friend Sab, of The Sab Stuff, taught me the basics and the rest as they say is history.

At NBS-Glorietta, I was able to buy Simbalion watercolor which costs less than Php 100 and already has 16 colors. Luckily, I have already hoarded watercolor papers and watercolor pad so no need for that. Btw, use Canson for the paper. As for the brush pen itself, we still ran to Scribe Essentials in Glorietta 5 just to buy. I know, I should’ve bought those during the exhibit yet, I was broke then so it was a big no. When we got to Scribe, I was torn again if whether or not to buy the small pack of S-L brush pens or the big pack of S-L pens. The difference in the price was a hundred pesos and the ladies there told me to get the bigger set so I would not have hard time refilling it. Yes, I listened to them and bought the set which Craft Doodle PH was selling for Php 500. It’s cheaper when you buy the set than buy per piece!

The brush pens looked like this:

Just before using


Differences of the size of the brush

So there I was, all excited to use these new babies but there was just one problem, how do I even start? Naive as I was, I never knew anything about it up until I tried it for the very first time. I started with pointed nib calligraphy and was used to how it works.

Here’s a list of what I find about the two so amusing:

  • Pointed nib and brush pen calligraphy have similarities with the pressure applied. Light upward strokes and put the pressure during downward strokes.
  • Have a paper with more GSM value since the intensity of the ink (may it be watercolor mixture for the brush pen or the calligraphy ink) may affect the quality of your work. Surely, you would not want it to bleed.
  • Both can be a way to distress and relax. Colors can entertain your eyes and help you ease the pain you are feeling.
  • It is a form of art that is getting popular these days.
So, when I started, I was really practicing and the feeling was like the first time I used the dip pen. Getting the right amount of water and color was really hard to achieve especially if you really do not have a background in that field.

Some of my first few works are:

See the blending? That is very hard to achieve if you are impatient.

Mixing Colors

Mixing colors and achieving the perfect blend is quite the hard work because you will never achieve anything if you are impatient and cannot wait for it. Basically, you may need to consult the color wheel to know which colors compliment each other. Also, sketching your draft before doing it with the brush pen or with the pen (for dip pen users) is also a good thing. It helps you finalize what you have in mind and lets you to practice more.
Here’s another one
Looking at the artists really do inspire me especially when they reply or talk back to you. It do help. Also, criticism is not so bad. Open yourself more so you would know where to improve or practice on. I consult Sam most of the time and also Christian and of course, Sab. They are the ones who really see my progress; and also to the ones who are type enthusiasts like me! Shout out to Marjo and Andrea!

From a noob or an aspiring letterer and calligrapher like me,
  • Start something new and never hesitate doing it. I go to grad school with my brush pen calligraphy junk and I never regret doing that. I have inspired some of my friends to get creative once in awhile and it helped them relieve the stress they are in.
  •  Just keep on practicing like it’s the last day that you are doing it. This is what will make you better in whatever you do. Practice. If you think you do not have time, think again. Five minutes of your time just to practice can be a lot of help already! And, workshops can be a lot of help since most of the workshops teach you the basics and some advanced skills!
  • Don’t mind what others say. You are your own. Surely, there will be those who will contradict you and utter words like, “You will never be like them” or “Sure, go but regret in the future.” What I see are ones who are afraid to step out and try something new. Before, I was really bad with colors, lettering and almost everything related to it but now, I took a leap of faith and met people who share the same sentiment. Now, my posts do get appreciated by people not just here but in other places as well. We are our own prisoners and we need to defy that.

I guess my mind just took over. I have these thoughts caged for a while now and seriously thought of it over and over again if I should say something but the words just came out and my fingers did the typing. I seriously do hope that people who read this can get inspired from the random babblings of a person like me.

Btw, some of my calligraphy works are posted on my Tumblr and Instagram. You may see the progress there. ♥︎

Photo credits:
  • Craft Doodle PH (post-processed by me)
  • Phil Cuasito

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