Pens, calligraphy, and #ShowMeYourDrills

Today in pure goodness on the internet, I present to you a hoard of ladies and gents practicing their calligraphy skills with brush pens large and small in the ShowMeYourDrills Facebook group.

A week or so ago I came across the #ShowMeYourDrills challenge on Instagram where people were using free guidelines from Becca Courtice (aka the Happy Ever Crafter) to learn basic calligraphy skills and improve their handwriting. I quickly signed up for the challenge since I recently purchased a Tombow Dual Brush Pen in the hopes of being able to spruce up my planner set ups but realized I had no frickin' idea what I was doing.

Becca provides a downloadable book of worksheets for free along with helpful tips regarding the various strokes being practiced, different types of pens to use, and the ideal paper that you should be using to practice so you don't destroy your pens. I'm a little late to the game on the "don't destroy your pens" memo, but I think I'm hanging in there with the challenge regardless.

What I've been loving most about the #ShowMeYourDrills challenge is how goddamn wholesome the Facebook group is. If anyone has questions, is having issues, or wants to share how their calligraphy journey is going, the community is there to provide advice, support, and applause! Becca also posts quick video tutorials and builds albums of participants tracking their progress through the drills.

I often find myself reading long comment threads about the pros and cons of various techniques, grips, and pen types. Before I know it I'm just tearing up at how kind and helpful everyone is! Checking in to the ShowMeYourDrills Facebook group never fails to remind me that there are good people in this world.

Here are the supplies I've been using to get my hand-lettering game up to snuff:

Nothing quite as satisfying as a full pencil case.

Nothing quite as satisfying as a full pencil case.

The supplies I have in my pencil case are:

The pencil case is the Homecube Big Capacity Pencil Case.

And now for my humble first attempts at calligraphy drills...

I'm doing my drills in the back of a  MochiThings notebook  I didn't end up finishing at school.

I'm doing my drills in the back of a MochiThings notebook I didn't end up finishing at school.

The #ShowMeYourDrills challenge recommends using high quality tracing paper to protect your pens, but I had already beaten my Tombow into submission and slightly frayed the tip so I just dove in to freehanding some attempts at various strokes in an old notebook. 

Oh hey hitchhiker's thumb, what up?

Oh hey hitchhiker's thumb, what up?

You can see here that the ink bleeds pretty boldly through the pages of this notebook. My downstrokes on the opposite page are a frickin' nightmare, but I thought these combo strokes looked kinda decent! At least I have a lot of room for improvement.

Thinking about stepping up your calligraphy and hand lettering game? Join in on the #ShowMeYourDrills challenge or check out other drills and challenges from the Happy Ever Crafter!