Left-Handed Calligraphy: Brush Lettering For Lefties
If you’ve been cooing over all the gorgeous brush lettering projects all over social media this year, then you certainly weren’t the only one! Calligraphy is super trendy in the crafting world right now – but believe it or not there’s approximately 11% of the population who think they might not be able to get to grips with it at all… no matter how much they want to!
Yes that’s right, we’re talking about the left-handed crafters of the world! In Medieval times, admitting you were a leftie was a sure-fire way to get persecuted as unclean, a witch, or even possessed by the devil! But nowadays, the left-handed suffer no such hardship… until it comes to picking up a pen! Which is why the lovely Kelly Klapstein is here to quash any anxieties the left-handed among you might have about getting creative – check out her advice below, and try your left hand at brush lettering!
People who are left-handed often tell me they can’t do calligraphy. I assure them they can, and that there are so many amazingly talented left-handed lettering artists that have successful creative careers.
In every workshop I teach, there are lefties, and they can learn brush lettering just like anyone else, with a few helpful suggestions and modifications. The following tips below are what I have learned from other left-handed artists who excel at calligraphy and lettering…
Left-Handed Calligraphy: Kelly’s Top Tips…
Top Tip #1:
Pen grip – You will grip the pen high on the barrel, just like a right-handed person does. This places the brush tip at the appropriate angle on the paper to achieve thick downstrokes without damaging the tip.
Top Tip #2:
Pen angle – Do not hold the pen upright, vertically. Hold it at a low angle towards the paper. An upright pen means you are putting too much pressure on the brush tip and will damage it quickly.
Top Tip #3:
Hand position – This is a significant factor in learning brush lettering. Left-handed people can be overwriters with the hand ‘hooked’ above the writing or ‘underwriters’ with an approach from below. However, the best hand position is from the left ‘side’, with the pen almost parallel to the lines on the paper.
Top Tip #4:
Paper placement – Right handed people usually tilt their papers to the right. I tell lefties to move the paper until they find that sweet spot for their hand position and angle. If you can’t change your overwriting or underwriting hand position, then adjust the angle of your paper to accommodate. Although I recommend horizontal writing, I have seen lefties turn their paper almost upside down and still write beautifully.
Try watching some of my YouTube video tutorials on my Kelly Creates channel, and you will learn lots of helpful tips for your brush lettering technique!
Brush lettering is not handwriting. It involves a whole new set of fine motor skills so it takes a lot of time to learn how to use a brush pen that has a flexible tip to create thick and thin lines fluidly. No matter which hand is dominant, you need patience and practice to learn to write beautiful letters. Enjoy the journey!
You can read more about creative lettering in our blog post on calligraphy right here… or treat yourself to some calligraphy supplies on the Create and Craft Website, and see what you can achieve!