New to Calligraphy? Start Here...

I have created this page as a basic "how-to-start" to help those interested in calligraphy and penmanship have some general ideas of what to look for and how to start. 


There are literally thousands of hands or styles of calligraphy to learn. Some of the traditional and popular hands are English Roundhand, Spencerian, Chancery Italic, Foundational, Uncial & Blackletter. A simple Google search will show examples of each of the hands for you to see. It is best to concentrate on learning one hand at a time. Each hand will also have a separate set of tool types needed to start.  


This can be tricky... as a new comer to calligraphy you may not have the ability to determine who is teaching correctly. Just because someone does something that looks nice or is even a professional calligrapher DOES NOT mean they are a good teacher. I know professional calligraphers who do amazing work, but cannot teach or cannot teach well. You best source is to ask around within the community.

From personal experience and watching others teach, I can say that for every good teacher of penmanship there are a dozen others who are either not good teachers or teaching improper penmanship. Calligrapher takes countless hours to develop the ability to do properly and just because someone took a workshop, does not give them any accreditation to teach. If you are unsure who to go to for learning, email me and I will direct you to someone who may be able to help you find a proper teacher. 

Below are some teachers which I personally have witnessed teach or have seen their materials and can recommend. Just because someone isn't on this list or is omitted does not mean they are a bad teacher. Below are individuals which I personally have witnessed and can vouch for their teaching abilities.

Joe Vitolo: Offers a free online book on Engrosser's Script. It is available from iTunes as a downloadable interactive iBook or as a PDF

Harvest Crittenden: Wonderful teacher of several styles. Find her Online Classes and Workshop Schedule HERE

David Grimes: Wonderful teacher of Engrosser's Script. He has a critical eye and wonderful ability. Find his Dreaming in Script Course HERE


There are some basic tools that each style will need. Your teacher will be able to recommend what tools to start. I recommend Paper and Ink Arts for your calligraphy supplies (nibs, etc.) and my Deuce Pen Holder as your first pen (also available at Paper and Ink Arts).

The most basic tools needed (with my suggestions) 

A couple of things to note.... I am very proud of my pen holders and the work I put into each and every one. Know though, an expensive, custom pen holder is not a necessity! My $39.99 handmade pen holders functional EXACTLY the same as those I make that cost hundreds of dollars! The same for nibs, many will say you should find vintage nibs and how great they are. This again is not necessary! There are many modern made and affordable nibs which work wonderfully! 

I have lots of helpful videos on my YouTube Channel at