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How to hold a brush pen

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

If you're starting to learn brush calligraphy, one of the most basic things you need to learn is how to hold your brush pen. It may seem simple, but the angle that you hold your pen at can impact not only how your calligraphy looks but also how long your brush pens can last.

The angle of the pen

To start with, hold the brush pen in your hand so that it feels comfortable. When you start creating calligraphy though you want to ensure that it is at a 45 degree angle from the page. This is the optimal angle that will allow you to create both thick and thin strokes which are essential for creating calligraphy.

With other pens such as fineliners, you may hold the pen at a 90 degree angle from the page i.e. overhead. If hold your brush pens at this angle they will fray and become unusable over time which is why you should hold brush pens at the 45 degree angle.

The angle of the paper

Similar to before, start with what feels natural to you. If you skew the page at an angle when writing, start at this angle. If you're finding that you're having some difficulty making distinctive thick and thin lines, play about with the angle of the paper - even a slight adjustment can make a difference to how your calligraphy looks.


What about if you're left handed and want to create calligraphy? Well, I cannot claim any wisdom in this space as I'm not left handed myself but I know that there plenty of left handed calligraphers out there so don't let that stop you! I also have a dedicate post created by a left-handed calligrapher (RKM Calligraphy) which you can read here.

Quick summary

- Hold your pen in a way that feels natural in the hand

- Hold your pen at a 45 degree angle from the page

- Angle the paper as you would usually, adjusting as necessary

- Left-handed? Read this post with top tips


Learning how to hold your brush pen is just one of the steps to getting started. You can access a free guide on how to get started by popping your name and email address below.


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