Are you ready to improve your handwriting skills? If you haven’t been following my blog for long; back in January (2012), I decided my handwriting was like the scrawl of a 4-year-old (seriously!) and decided to do something drastic. I remember finding binders of notes from University and I could NOT understand a WORD of what I wrote!! Eugh. It was bad.
So, I got to work! I retrained my handwriting arm as I had terrible habits of writing from my wrist and not my shoulder. It hurt, and it took a lot of practice. But you might not have to do that if you already write from your shoulder.
Off to Google I went and download free handwriting practice sheets, printed them and started to practice like crazy. My motivation? I wanted to be able to write beautifully for my art journal and creating artwork. When I felt ready, I took some lettering classes when I decided to get fancy as flip!
Right now, we’re not talking about fancy schmancy calligraphy… I’m talking about plain old, regular handwriting and my tips for training yourself not to write as if you’re sitting in a moving car as the ink flows.
Let’s Improve Your Handwriting Skills!!
Improve Your Handwriting As An Adult + PDFs For You To Download For Free! Woo!
Get a dedicated notebook like this one, and a mechanical pencil (like this gold one that is TO DIE for! Any stylish woman worth her salt would go with one of those bad boys) And use it to start your practice sessions. Alternatively, you can download the free worksheets from this post below.
Improve Your Handwriting Worksheets:
I have used a grid notebook, 1 cm squares I think, to make it possible to define the shapes without having to rule lines every time I want to create a letter.
The image here is a big A4 pip studio notebook, and it is full of training shapes. Pages and pages of A’s and O’s to get my arm used to the movement.
How To Improve Your Handwriting Style
Before you start working on paper, let me ask you one thing…
Are you sitting comfortably?
If you’re not comfortable and if you’re not holding a pen properly then it can really affect your handwriting. You ever tried writing a note while lying down? Several hours later you’re standing in the grocery store asking “what the F is this thing?!”.
When I say holding a pen properly, I don’t mean grip it like it’s a weapon.
Find a comfortable way to hold your pen or pencil but don’t squeeze it. As long as you can write a letter comfortably then it shouldn’t matter which fingers you use to grip your pen.
Personally, I hold a pen like a weirdo apparently (the kind words of my other half), but I don’t mind. I tried retraining how to hold my pen but it was so uncomfortable, that I gave up, and I haven’t looked back!
The Pen’s The Thing!
I’ve discovered that the right pen makes a HUGE difference to my handwriting. And I really do mean HUGE! A thin nib is marvellous and I feel like a pen with a small nib was made for my hands. But you should experiment (the perfect excuse to buy more pens! You NEED them!).
My perfect materials are:
- A mechanical pencil, I chose 0.3 because it’s lightweight and if you need to erase it, it comes away easier than an HB or 0.5.
- Retractable eraser* (my favourite brand is Pentel because it’s easier to find refills here in the UK)
- A Guided Ruler
- Good sharpener (Click to see my favorite brand -& Staedtler Double Hot Tub Sharpener*) Obviously, not necessary if you use a mechanical pencil.
- black ink pens*, and you can find a great deal on packs on eBay or Amazon)
So, obviously I got them in all the colors I possibly could, and they’re a joy to use when writing. It makes writing much less of a chore when there’s a beautiful color flowing onto the page in front of you.
Take a little notebook into your favourite stationery store and play with all the tester pens that are there. You can refuse to leave, sure you won’t be allowed back in the store but you’ll be certain about which pens you want.
Seriously, that’s why tester pens exist. Go crazy!
Begin writing each letter of the alphabet, slowly and thoughtfully into the individual squares of your notebook (if they’re large enough). You will be able to see quite quickly which letters you can draw well and which need a little work and a bit more care.
I always get stung by the Y’s G’s and J’s. Sometimes my hand flicks off to the side, and my letter looks pants. It can be quite frustrating! If I haven’t practised in a while, I also like to practice my shapes first.
Doodle shapes, which will act as a warm-up exercise.
Like a tiny little workout 🙂
Finding phrases like ‘The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog” is great to practice cursive writing.
Exercises To Improve Handwriting:
The practice strokes shown above are what I used as a guide for practicing arm movements. Trying to improve my penmanship improved greatly by doing these exercises. On everything, old phonebooks, take away menus, the back of envelopes, if it was being recycled I would use it to practice my shapes.