How to Write the Letter ‘a’ in Calligraphy

This post is a long time coming, y’all! I’ve always felt like the calligraphy worksheets that give one line to each letter (while they have their place) don’t give each letter the personal attention it deserves. Wouldn’t it be great to have a whole lesson about each letter – so that each form became perfect in its own right?

Well, that’s how this video and blog series was born! We’ll focus on each letterform for five to fifteen minutes and go over everything (literally) that you would ever want to know about each letter. We start with the basics of the shape of the letter, transition to calligraphy techniques, and then explore alternate letterforms. I’ll also help you troubleshoot along the way.

I’ve taught calligraphy to over 250 workshop participants, and have taught thousands via my books – so I’ve seen it all. I hope this video series helps you get the benefit of an in-person, in-depth workshop from the comfort of your own home. Let’s get started!

For supplies, here’s what you need:

In this video, I’ll teach you how to write the lowercase (or miniscule) letter A. This is a great letter to start with, so it’s nice that it is at the beginning of the alphabet! The shape is made up of a two strokes that we’ll revisit often in later letters. It also gives you lots of practice with transitioning from thick to thin strokes, which can be really difficult for beginners.

Some takeaway tips:

  • Make your bowl slant slightly to the right
  • Don’t make the bowl too thick.
  • Try and make the bowl symmetric on the top and bottom
  • Your stem and connector lines should match the angle of your bowl
  • Experiment with alternates, although there are not a ton for this letter
  • As your ‘a’ improves, your lettering improves!

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