Calligraphy for Christmas

The very best thing about calligraphy is that when you’re doing it you forget about everything around you. You become completely absorbed in your lettering.

Our brush lettering book, Secret’s of Brush Calligraphy is available in shops and online and we are really pleased with it. We hope you’ll love it too. In it I show you how to use the different tools available, from the latest ‘must have’ calligraphy tool- the Brush Pen, to Water brushes and real paint brushes. There are 7 projects for you to complete and as you work through them, your calligraphy will improve.

You’ll learn a few techniques like ‘blending’, mixing colours together and ‘bounce’, how to make your letters dance around the page. The effects can be amazing!


Why use a brush?

Lettering with brush pens is a fun way to create calligraphy and with some simple instructions, I’m going to show you how easy it can be.

Brush pens give greater line variations (thick and thins) and allow you to create larger lettering than you can with a calligraphy nib. One of the best things about brush pens is that you can take them anywhere and there’s no ink or mess!

I want you to enjoy brush calligraphy right from the start, so instead of drills ( where you go over the same letter again and again), I’ve created projects with simple templates for you to copy using some of my favourite phrases. Both techniques teach you the same muscle memory but templates give you a reward to inspire you to keep going! I will be throwing in tips and tricks along the way, so that when you’ve finished the projects you will know the secrets of brush calligraphy. Lastly, at the back of the book, I’ve copied the phrases onto separate art cards for you to pull out, complete and treasure.

What makes it modern?

Brush lettering has its roots in the Far East where it has been an integral part of the culture there for centuries and why Japan is still the main supplier of brush pens.


Modern calligraphy is about lettering that has energy and flow and brush lettering tools allow you to be the most creative. You can choose to go slowly and deliberately or fast and frantically to get different effects.

Brush lettering involves the pressure and release of the brush so that you get thick and thin lines; think of it more as drawing than handwriting. You can lift your brush or brush pen off the page whenever you feel you need to and assess what you are doing, consider the shape of the letter form and ponder what to do next.

Traditional calligraphy focuses on the structure of lettering and is concerned with making every letter the same. We will explore the rules so that you understand them and know how to apply them, but as modern lettering is about creating unique and intentionally irregular letterforms, we’ll also explore playing with those rules too.

Although more casual than most forms of calligraphy, brush lettering still takes some patience and practise to learn. Like most skills, it doesn’t just happen overnight, but in this book we will have lots of fun along the way. Brush lettering is the fun-loving, free-spirited rebel of the calligraphy gang.

I hope seeing these examples has inspired you to give brush calligraphy a try, I would love to share my calligraphy know how with you. To buy a copy of the book, just ask for Kirsten Burke’s Secrets of Brush Calligraphy or click through to buy your copy on Amazon.

Wishing you a very creative, calligraphy Christmas