This beautiful nifty little kit from Dottieshop arrived at my home. I have known Dotz since our teenage years, and I really admire her gentle spirit, compassionate heart, and true gift for creating gorgeous works of art. In the past year or two, she ventured into watercolour painting and brush calligraphy, and her works have been really inspiring!
So anyway, after the kids were tucked into bed, I took the kit out and began practicing in earnest. Here’s what the kit includes:
- One Kuretake ZIG Clean Color Real Brush pen
- Very detailed instruction sheets, printed out on quality cardstock
- Lowercase and Uppercase alphabet examples with stroke sequence, also on cardstock
- Lined practice sheets
- Two beautiful printed sheets (her original creations!) as inspirational examples of what we
couldshould aspire to
I had dabbled briefly in brush calligraphy about half a year ago, but the results were quite dismal because there was no method to my learning.
But now! Armed with the Dottieshop kit, there was so much clear structure to aid learning.
As I embarked on the kit, what I especially appreciated were the detailed instruction sheets. They assume zero experience with brush calligraphy, which is very helpful indeed. I also liked the fact that the reference materials are all printed on sturdy cardstock instead of flimsy printer paper, since that means they will last through many sessions of practice.
After completing the first few rows, I realised that I probably needed at least 3 more duplicate practice sheets to get anywhere close to what each alphabet was supposed to look like! My
pathetic valiant attempts in the photos above are testament to that.
I also realised midway, that the letters are meant to appear at an angle, like gentle willow branches buffeted by a slight breeze. Mine either looked an awkward baris sedia soldier-straight, or kinda wonky slanted. Bottomline? I should have photocopied more sheets before starting! Another alternative was to expropriate my kindergarten kid’s three-lines per row writing practice exercise book for my own use, heh heh.
Eventually, what I did was draw simple lines in a notebook I already had, and practiced, practiced, practiced. It may look tedious, but it was actually quite therapeutic for me.
After a while, I got a bit more confident, and penned out stuff like this. Still not the final state I aspire to, but just to show you some work-in-progress.
What I realised is that brush calligraphy is not as ‘fast’ as normal ‘pretty/cursive’ writing, especially for the beginner. Rather, every alpha is like a mini-painting, as each wax and wane of line thickness has to be slowly drawn out, at my stage at least. Perhaps one day I will attain the state of churning phrases out in quick flourishes!
So, why not acquire a new skill in 2017?
Each kit is priced at $39, inclusive of local mail (or $36 if self-collected from Bedok on Wednesday nights). I think it’s a very reasonable price, especially since brush calligraphy classes usually cost around $90 (!) and you get to take home pretty much the same, if not fewer, materials, from a class.
Plus, you need not carve out time to attend a class, and can practice from the comfort of your own home, in the early hours of the night if that’s your usual me-time. I think it makes an awesome gift too, especially for those friends who seem to have everything. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an order. You can also hop on over to Dottieshop to follow her on FB and find out more.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever.