why calligraphy drills are important to your practice

When we get all the fun calligraphy tools and pens and finally sit down to start on this new fun practice, it’s easy to want to jump right to letters. That’s where the magic happens right?

Wrong! The magic happens when we’ve got a good foundation!

We need to start with drills and practice strokes (I’ll talk more about these in the coming weeks).

What are calligraphy drills?

Calligraphy drills are small shapes (like zigzags and ovals) made as quickly and consistently as possible. They’re used to loosen up your hand and arm and build consistency. You’re not meant to overthink these - so the faster the better to get our body and mind loose!


What we learn through calligraphy drills

Muscle memory is key in the practice of calligraphy. We want our hand to know and remember exactly what moves it needs to make! We build up this muscle memory with consistent practice. Drills help us quickly fine-tune key things like consistent angles, spacing, and size.

Loosens our hand + arm
One thing we don’t want to do in calligraphy is completely plant our hand on the paper and use our wrist to do the writing. We need and want to be a whole arm movement - this is the key to building muscle memory, smoothing out our lettering, and saving ourselves from terrible wrist pain. Doing rapid movements in these drills means we can’t plant our hand in one spot! It also gets us looser in general for the rest of our practice.

Stop overthinking
We don’t want to have to overthink the shapes we’re making. Again, this is where muscle memory to come in. When our arm knows the shapes it needs to make, our head doesn’t have to think of every painstaking detail. Do your best to empty your mind and let your hand do the work.

Start practicing!

No fancy tools necessary, you can just use a pencil and paper! Enter your email below to get my free calligraphy drills guide + access my whole free library!

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