The short answer to that question is: No, it is not hard to learn but it is hard to master! Calligraphy is a skill, that takes quite some practice in the beginning until you get the hang of it but you will need years and years of practice until you are a master at it.
This is the case with most crafts though. If you are searching for a shortcut then I will have to disappoint you because there is not really one.
But I can give you some Tipps and common mistakes that most beginners do so that you will have at least a little bit of an advantage.
Draw calligraphy and do not write calligraphy
This may sound weird in the beginning but the way we learn writing in school and the way we are writing in everyday life is not the same way as writing calligraphy.
When you are writing calligraphy you should take your time. Most letters are written in more than three steps, except for cursive scripts maybe. When you think of every letter as a little picture you draw instead of writing, it may help you to take your time with each letter.
You should however not forget, that you are still “Drawing” Letters and as such, they should be readable and cleanly drawn.
Don’t use your wrist!
This is a big one! When you are writing calligraphy you should not do it from your wrist, which is the way, you probably learned in School.
This is a little bit of a continuation from the point above. When you are writing calligraphy use your elbow. Especially when it comes to round lines you will find, that it is way easier and more reliable to draw it from the elbow and not the wrist. As drawing from your wrist will limit you in your movements.
Also, if you learn writing calligraphy this way, then you will be able to do calligraphy in pretty much every size.
Write a sentence
Another one, that may sound weird in the beginning. What I mean with “write a sentence” is, you shouldn´t blindly copy the alphabet in the script, that you want to learn but you should instead write sentences in the script that you want to learn.
This way, you will learn how different letters interact with one another and how much space you should leave between them so that they still look good.
Also, you will learn when to stop the sentence and move to the next line or how to avoid separating a word, etc.
There are a lot of advantages in writing sentences instead of the alphabet when you learn a script. And you will also find, that you will develop a much better feel for the Script and you just might learn it faster this way!
Repetition is Key, so make it fun!
Repetition is really the key to learning calligraphy fast, however, as we all know, repeating the same stuff all over again can become boring and tiresome quite fast.
So find ways to make the repetition fun! Here are some of my personal tricks to achieve that.
My personal Tip number one
Write a full sentence and after you did that go back and add all kinds of fun decorations and ornaments.
You can look online for decorations or invent your own but whatever you do don’t stress out about this! It´s supposed to be fun and it is supposed to be a practice so no one will see it and it doesn´t have to look good in the beginning, it never does!
After you added the decorations write the same sentence but as you write it
When you do this exercise you will repeat the sentence multiple times always adding new stuff and you won´t get bored as fast. Also, you will get a much better feeling for the Script and potentially even learn it faster. Do this with a lot of different Sentences though!
My personal Tip number two
This is a really simple one but very effective as well. Use different papers and inks!
Try, for example, different colored Ink like neon green or red not always the same boring black. There are tons of different Inks out there.
If you are a beginner I wouldn’t recommend using pigmented Ink like gold or silver in the beginning, as these Inks may not work with your nib, depending on which one you use. So stick to the colorful ones.
You could even change the color for every sentence or word. it sounds simple but is a lot of fun. Also, change the paper you use from time to time, this will change the way you write in a very minor but noticeable way and avoid boredom from repeating the same stuff all the time!
My peronal Tip number three
Fill the whole page! what I mean by this is let’s say, you wrote a whole page from top to bottom and you want to move on to the next.
But before you do that just go back and fill every inch of the paper that is still white, like the space between some letters or the corners of the paper, with letters. Fill them with different colored letters, write them sideways or completely turned around and fill the whole page until no white space is left.
This is not only a ton of fun but you will learn to write with no guidelines and you are definitely not wasting that precious paper. And before you know it you repeated a whole lot of letters and words and you had fun doing it!
Do you want to learn Calligraphy?
If you want to learn more about calligraphy you can check my out my beginners guide to calligraphy! In this free guide, I will show you everything about calligraphy to get started.
This includes, what tools you need, how to prepare them, how to use them, learning your first script with a free Worksheet and more!
Do you sill have any questions? Then go ahead and ask me! I will try to respond as quickly as possible!