Pen & Ink

Pre K –
Elementary – 🎨
Junior High – 🎨🎨🎨
High School – 🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨

Ink can be water soluble (which allows ink to be diluted -ink washes). It can also be permanent – won’t bleed.

The tips of the calligraphy pen are called nibs.

When loading the pen – dip in ink up to half way – don’t fill all the way.

C-3 is good for thick thin variations. Good for lettering.
Crow quills are great for lines – detail work – hatching, crosshatching, and stippling.

*Don’t push the nib – always pull it toward you.*

*make sure to let the ink dry completely before you get your hand anywhere near it*

*hold the pen at a 45 degree angle*

*practice lines first to make sure the lines are the way you want them before you start writing*





I was contemplating the idea of calligraphy. When we were working on the project in class it was all about the visual. The beauty of the lines. How the way the lines were created (looping, thin, thick, elegant, scratch, tense, flowing- there is so much that you can do with a simple line) to make a word. Although the words were important in our project – as we were choosing quotes that mattered to us for various reasons. Our focus was on the visual. But I started thinking about what other ways calligraphy could be used. The focus on language, words. But not merely the beautiful script and not merely the meaning of the word but how calligraphy can bring the two concepts together – aesthetics and meaning. Words are powerful, the pen is mightier… But a picture is worth a thousand words.. so what if the picture is a word? Does the world implode? I thought that there had to be an art therapy application of calligraphy. It just seemed to obvious. So, my search began. A crude quick google search that led me to a most interesting research article. In it there is a lot of research babble that anyone outside of the world of psychology or statistics would find incoherent and mind-numbingly dull. Why should an art student care that there was a significant interaction effect of time and intervention with an F value of 9.11 and p levels of less than .005. I’m speaking gibberish. But in this clinical study testing the use of calligraphy therapy in a group of people 65 five and up with mild cognitive impairment, they found that Calligraphy therapy was effective for enhancing cognitive function. That’s amazing! It literally proves that art is not only imporant for art’s sake and what it does for someone emotionally – the warm fuzzies that artists so often cling to when arguing for the importance of the arts- but art making has real, tangible and practical benefits for us. We were made to create art. And that’s why it is good for us.  Chinese Calligraphic handwriting is not just drawing pretty words. It requires integration of mind, body, and character in an interwoven dynamic process. It involves visual perception of the characters, spatial structuring of the characters, cognitive planning, and maneuvering of the brush to follow specific character configurations. And it is scientifically proven to be an effective tool in combating cognitive impairment as we age. That’s amazing!!!!

Here’s a link to the study:

Cognitive effects of calligraphy therapy for older people; a randomized controlled trial in Hong Kong

Here is another study that explores the use of Hebrew calligraphy as art therapy. Super interesting.
This is the abstract (or a quick summary): Hebrew calligraphy is explored as a possible link between the image-based practices of clinical art therapy and the transcendent potential of the faith-based practices of Judaism. An art therapist attempts to integrate decades of clinical experience with current investigations into a traditional discipline. The project, including art making and meaning making, results in a discussion of important ways that clinical practice and spiritual explorations can be unified and mutually enhancing.

Here is a link to the full study:

Clinical art therapy and hebrew calligraphy an integration of practices


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