Part 1: Meet the lefties | Part 2: Best grips for lefties | Part 3: Best tools for lefties | Part 4: 7 tips for left-handed calligraphers
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We certainly live in a right-handed world. In general, only 10% of the world population is left-handed!
While I am right-handed myself, many of you have requested tips for lefties. In order to provide a resource for left-handed beginners wanting to learn and study calligraphy, I introduced five left-handed calligraphers who have graciously agreed to help me write this series of blog posts!
Read on below and stay tuned for future posts that feature their best tips, recommendations, and resources for lefties!
The information in this post was provided by my amazing left-handed calligrapher friends:
Jessie | Joann | Kathleen | Lauren | Younghae
Two categories of left-handed writers
There are two categories of left-handed writers, overwriters and underwriters.
- Overwriters (or curlers) curve their hand around the pen.
- Underwriters (or non-curlers) write under the baseline without bending their wrist.
Understanding the differences between these two types of writers can help you identify your own natural tendencies, as well as recognize which grips are best for certain types of work. Lauren writes:
All lefties are a little different and in the beginning you should start where you feel comfortable. As you practice more, you will get the feel of the right grip for you naturally.
Learn more about the differences between the overwriter and underwriter grips below and see what grip works best for you!
Here is Lauren also using the underwriting grip for pointed pen:
Watch these examples of the underwriting grip:
- Jessie: pointed pen with underwriter grip
- Younghae: pointed pen with underwriting grip
Check out Kathleen’s progress below from using the overwriter trip to the underwriter grip. Kathleen recommends using a straight holder for pointed pen and emphasizes the benefits of being left-handed for achieving the proper letter angle more naturally than righties.
Here is how Lauren uses the overwriter grip for brush calligraphy:
Watch these examples of the overwriter grip:
- Jessie: brush pen with overwriter grip
- Younghae: brush pen with overwriter grip
Other Left-Handed tips and resources;
If it’s hard for you to change how you position your hand, try changing the position of the paper… It’s underwriting only if the paper orientation is upright. (Otherwise, keep the words perpendicular to your body).
- Left-handed calligraphy by Jodi Christiansen (featured on IAMPETH)
- Left-handed lettering tips by Winston Scully (featured by Sean McCabe)
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It’s your turn!
Are you naturally an overwriter or an underwriter?
What grip do you prefer when doing pointed pen calligraphy? Brush calligraphy?
What other questions do you have about left-handed grips?
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2 thoughts on “Best grips for left-handed calligraphers”
Hey I’ve been a left handed overwriter. Any tips? Do I have to turn my paper in order to compensate my disadvantage in terms of cursive?
Hey there! You certainly should rotate your paper in order to have your arm/hand comfortable. Take a look at some of these lefties on Instagram. Hopefully it helps you see how they position the paper to their hands:
Let me know if that helps!