Friday, August 12, 2016

Exploring Italic Calligraphy

I started learning Italic calligraphy through a Tutorial Program given by the Houston Calligraphy Guild (HCG) in 1999.  I had tried writing calligraphy on my own; I was OK but I wanted to get better.

The 6 month - 6 lesson - correspondence course randomly paired me with a teacher. I was lucky to have Fritzi Harry. She gave me encouragement and also let me know when I was faltering. 

I was given a detailed supply list: I had to write with a pen staff and a nib, no felt pens allowed! The 6 lessons included learning the basics of lower case: Minuscules - and upper case: Majuscules, ending with Design Principles and a final art piece using a minimum of 25 words.

I mailed my lesson to Fritzi and she mailed it back to me with a piece of tracing paper over my writing. She let me know where I succeeded and where I needed improvement. She even gave me gold stars!

We used this informative little textbook by Lloyd Reynolds. After 6 months I received a lovely Certificate at the September HCG meeting in 1999, written in Italic of course.

Practice and more practice
Through the years, I took other Italic hour-long workshops with the HCG. Recently I studied with Peter Thornton: Italic Variations at the annual calligraphy convention held in Dallas in 2014. I had fun learning how to loosen up after following the guidelines for many years!

If you want to learn Italic calligraphy, try it on your own first with the Lloyd Reynolds book, plus online courses, then find someone in person to share their experience with you about their hand lettering.

Please let me know how it works out for you. 


  1. I love your hand lettering, you do such a great job!

    1. Thanks Sandee! I found a mistake in the round Italic - I left an "a" out of miracle - ha!