Left-Handed Calligraphy and Hand-Lettering Links

Left-Handed Writing

The man in this video on foundation pens explains the three main ways of that lefties write (I think I’m mainly an underwriter) starting at about 6 minutes into the video.

Calligraphy 

Calligraphy pens frequently have a flat line tip and in order to make strokes, the pen must be held at a specific angle. Here is an explanation about the issue of calligraphy for lefties (the man is right-handed, but he explains and shows the difference). The strokes of calligraphy are dependent on an angle of the pen that is just extremely hard for us to achieve.

And while some people manage to use the right-hander pens, I was personally thrilled to learn of specific pens for left-handers. Basically, these specially pens are cut at an angle so that I can write as I normally would, I could follow all the stroke instructions as written for all the different calligraphy lettering styles.

I received the deluxe Manuscript left-handed calligraphy pen set from the John Neal Books left-handed section for Christmas two years ago. When I can get the ink to flow, I LOVE it, but I think I need to learn to clean and store my pens better in order to get the ink to run, maybe I need to clean with alcohol. I’d love to be able to try some of the left-handed dip pens listed as well.

This man demonstrates his way of using right-handed pens. I believe he is doing the strokes opposite, up instead of down, etc. so that he can get the proper width with hand and wrist contortions. I personally would rather not have to unlearn and relearn basic writing direction, but this is an interesting adaptation.

This girl demonstrates calligraphy with pens that seem to be point rather than straight across. I’m not sure how she gets this to work for her; I’d like to try it, but I’m not sure I could do this.

Hand-Lettering Links

While my personal style leans more toward the formal calligraphy, I do find hand-lettering pretty. I bought my sister brush pens and loved some things she’s done. She mentioned there being a learning curve, so I looked up videos, and then realized there is probably going to be WAY more of a learning curve for a left-hander although I’d be hard-pressed to explain exactly why since these tips are the same as any other pen, I guess the stroke width also depends on angle? I got my own brush pens and have recently tried them, but I’m not sure they are meant for lettering, rather for drawing and painting. I’m wanting Tombow pens and hoping those will be better.

Tips for getting started hand-lettering as a lefty.

A playlist for beginning lettering as a lefty.

Also, in my searching, I gathered that Arabic calligraphy is done from right to left and may also require oblique pens (the cut of the pens for lefties) for right-handers.

2 Comments

  1. Miss Elizabeth October 31, 2018 at 11:31 am

    The moment you mentioned Arab calligraphy, I pulled out my Kamish pen (the reed pen used in Arab calligraphy)–and you’re right! It is an oblique pen.
    I wonder if that means that you, being a left-hander, could use a right-handed Latin calligraphy pen for Arabic….I think it might work.

    1. Livia Rose October 31, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      Yes, I’m pretty sure that is what that would be because I would be mirroring Latin alphabet writing. Interesting concepts to think about.

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