Easy Steps to Make Your Own Calligraphy Board

by Admin on May 5, 2013

The last we have discussed two prerequisite steps to start learning calligraphy. This time let’s focus on the calligraphy writing surface which is an important element for proper calligraphy training. Properly prepared and set up calligraphy board will make you more comfortable and your drawn lines will become more accurate and smooth. Of course, you can do without it if you are on a tight budget or cannot invest some time into making one, but in the long run you will want to have it for achieving better looking results.

Ideally, you would need a padded surface set up at 45 degree angle. Slightly padding a drawing board will help the pen to “bite” into the paper. Making the surface angled is ideal for lettering and will help you to avoid back and shoulder pain that come from leaning over your work.

Padding your calligraphy board

Padding your board is an easy DIY task. You can make the board from thin plywood (1/8 in or 3mm will do) or Masonite. You can go as large as you want, but 20 x 14 inches (or 50 x 35 cm) probably will be sufficient for most of your projects. Having the plywood ready, follow these simple steps to make your own padded board:

  • Cover your piece of plywood with several padding sheets. Newspaper or magazine sheets will do (as long as they are soft and smooth) depending on the size you go for. Two to three sheets of blotting or cotton print-making paper, or eight to ten sheets of newspapers wild provide enough cushioning for our purpose. Trim these sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) smaller than the board on all sides.
  • Cut a clean sheet of smooth paper to the same size and use it to cover the padding sheets and then use masking tape to secure the edges. Using removable artist’s tape makes it possible to replace the cover sheet later.
  • Guard sheet protect your work from any inks or oils on your hand. Cut it out from a hard stock or other sturdy paper the same width and half the height as your padded area and attach it to the board with tape.

You will be writing just above the guard sheet, moving your paper up as you continue writing. This way your hand will always stay at the center of the board; it will rest on the guard sheet protecting your work from any inks you could get on your hands. Attach you work with just one or two pieces of artist’s tape to your board, since you will need to move it easily as you write.

Positioning your writing surface

As I already mentioned, having your calligraphy board at 45 degree angle is the perfect choice for lettering and correct posture with no back and shoulder pain. However, before investing into one, try propping up a flat drawing board with books on a table. Or try resting the bottom of the board in your lap with the middle of the board propped against the edge of the table.

If you find it comfortable and decide to go for a slanted board, you have few options here. Making one yourself is possible if you are good with hand tools and have proper supplies. However, for most of us, visiting a local arts store or buying a board online would be a better choice. It is solely up to you which way you decide to go. A drafting table with the top set up at 45 degree angle will also work, but I believe this is not the greatest choice as you will need to put your supplies somewhere else. Having a tabletop version of slanted drawing board with calligraphy supplies positioned to the left and right of it look much more convenient. Take a look at two excellent options below to get started.

 School Specialty Advantage Adjustable Writing Slant Board

 School Specialty Advantage Adjustable Writing Slant Board

This lightweight board is 12 x 12 inches (30.5 x 30.5 cm) in size, folds flat for storage, is made from sturdy aluminum. Angle is adjustable from 20 to 40 degrees. Features a clip at the top to hold your work securely.

 Martin Portable Art Studio Drawing Sketch Board

 Martin Portable Art Studio Drawing Sketch Board

This lightweight board comes in two sizes, 20 x 26 inches and 16 x 21 inches. Be careful, the smaller version does not have adjustable height which can be somewhat limiting. The larger one has adjustable height and two clips to hold your paper securely. Both versions feature comfortable handle to carry the board with you.

I hope that by following these instructions you make yourself a simple yet wonderful calligraphy writing board. Thanks for reading. Till next time, friends.

 

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