How to Make Simple Modern Calligraphy Quote Art Piece

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PLUS: Make a Stunning Post on Instagram without Props

So, you’ve got a calligraphy hand under your belt, and now it’s time to venture out to make art pieces. Myself, I often make numerous inward excuses to not make one, and am rarely confident in the attempts, but let us do it anyway. Modern calligraphy, I call it, because we will bend the rules a little but and use no guideline, okay?

STEP 1. Decide on a quote

Ideally not too long of a sentence. You can google it to make sure the words, spelling, and the author’s name are correct. Handwrite the quote on a memo book (or layout in a word processor) to get the feel of the words in your head and see possible layouts.

STEP 2. Sketch

Get a piece of paper (just normal sketch/printer paper or the back of some used paper). Try writing some words from the quote in calligraphy. You can then get an idea of how the final piece would fit on the paper, and experience a dry run of letter formation, spacing, and connections. This would be the time to decide on a hand. Let’s not meditate on it, but you may also browse inspirational images and examples.


STEP 3. Execute

If this is your first piece (or, like me, you suffer from overthinking stuff and a general undermining of feelings) I would discourage you from using ‘good’ or ‘artist’ paper. Just use a 100 g printer paper or sketchbook paper – to decrease the pressure on our poor hearts. And then, write. You can use your ‘practice black’ ink, or watercolour, or gouache, maybe alternating the colours like my example. As difficult as it sounds, I would like you to go with the flow – even move up and down a but off the invisible baseline.


That’s actually about it. Now you may notice that your piece is a little but off centre on your paper, like mine. You don’t have to, but you can crop your piece to size. Cropping after finishing a piece is a technique I got from Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy book. You can just use four long strips of paper (or a paper ‘frame’ like I made) to see your ideal crop and size, mark the corners with pencil. and cut away the rest. Now ypu can put your piece in a picture frame or gift it to a friend.

Congratulations! You’ve finished a calligraphy quote art piece. I don’t know about you, but I usually am proud of my result, despite of my initial reluctance. In any case, remember that you’ll always improve. And if you’re that critical, you can always keep the piece to yourself. If, however, you want to make an Instagram post out of it (or just make a beautiful picture to keep in your phone gallery, in a locked folder, for your personal enjoyment) – here’s one neat little trick. Take an overhead picture of your piece as best as you can (or scan it), then overlay it on an awesome flower stock photo! You can get those from site like Pexels and Unsplash. I’m not phone photo-editing apps savvy, so I did mine in Affinity Photo.