The Scratchy Nib

Which copperplate guideline sheets to use: the 3 best options

Learn CalligraphyJuhi ChitraComment

When learning copperplate, you find the need for different types of guidelines as you progress through the different stages of learning and as you discover your preferences. There's a LOT of options available online, each a little different. Here's 3 free printable PDFs for each stage of your progress, including my own:


1. For absolute beginners 

Joseph Vitolo

Nice basic instruction on how to use guidelines and clearly marked header and baselines to avoid confusion. Perfect for your first time. I only wish the lines were lighter so they wouldn't interfere with my letterforms, which leads me to:

2. For when you're a bit familiar

but still learning the letterforms: Modified version of Nita Whitfield's 

These were originally very dark, so I took, smushed them together vertically to shorten the line-height and made the lines lighter. I used them for a long while learning the script.

Anintran has a nice collection of more guidelines.


3. For regular practice

My own guidelines

Once you know your ascender and descender heights well and just want a no-fuss paper that just helps you maintain horizontal and diagonal angles, use the one I made and use regularly. It's got a small x-height, small line-height and very light guidelines so you can see your writing.

What paper to print them on?

I print them on Canson layout paper. If you use regular printer paper, make sure you're using sumi ink and not India ink, because the latter is quite a pain on thin papers.

Where to buy the tools?

If you're not sure where to find a pointed pen in India or which ink start practicing with, read my next post, How to assemble a copperplate starter kit in India.