Beginner's Guide to Modern Calligraphy: How to hold the oblique penholder

Beginner's Guide to Modern Calligraphy: How To Use The Oblique Penholder


If you've already started your modern calligraphy journey, then you may have come across a penholder that has a funny-looking attachment on the side of it, otherwise known as the oblique penholder. 

The oblique holder is designed to enable you to write consistently at a slant. When you move to an oblique penholder, the long part of the pen should remain in a similar position to your straight holder, but you should allow the angle of the flange to help you achieve your desired slant. When in this position, the angle of your downstroke should be in line with your nib. It can take a little while to get used to, but persevere and you'll soon get the hang of it.

  • Apply pressure into the centre of the nib, rather than pushing the tip down into the paper
  • Avoid writing on one side of the nib - don't roll it inwards or outwards. Apply equal pressure to both sides of the nib
  • The pen should be at a 45 degree angle to the page. Positioned too upright and the nib will scratch and catch on the paper!
  • Don't forget to relax! Your neck, shoulders, arm, wrist and fingers shouldn't hold any tension. If you grip too hard or tense your neck and shoulders, you won't be able to achieve fluid strokes and it will start to hurt very quickly!

Beginner's Guide to Modern Calligraphy: How to hold the oblique penholder


For more tips, tricks and techniques pick up a copy of our book, 'Modern Calligraphy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the Art of Creativity' written by our studio calligrapher, Lucy. You can also find it in our London shop: 37 Amwell Street, EC1R 1UR.