Hebrew calligraphy

Before you put pen to paper take a good look at examples of the Herew alphabet. Notice how the letters are shaped, the directions of the strokes, the proportion, form, and structure of each letter. Study the letters as they relate to each other. Get a good picture of how the Hebrew alphabet looks on paper. This will help you when you try to put it on paper.   Sit comfortably in a good position at your writing surface. You might want to use a paper guard to prevent the smearing of previously written letters.   Now, hold the pen firmly and comfortably in your hand. Dip the pen in the ink and wipe off the excess. (If it is a new point, first wipe it with water before dlipping it in ink; this helps wash off the oily film on the point.) Take a deep breath and get ready to write.
For most alphabets, it is suggested that you hold the pen at approximately a 45-degree angle to the surface of the paper. Try to find a comfortable angle for yourself, but you will find that a 45 degree angle has advantages to it.


Breathing is important. Good breathing adds rhythm to your writing and helps keep your strokes steady and even. Inhale before starting a stroke; hold your breath while writing; exhale when finished with the stroke.
Try some practice strokes. If your pen doesn't write at first, try moving the point sideways to draw ink from the pen. Hold the point so that the entire edge of the point is in contact with the surface of the paper. This ensures even strokes. Get the feel of your pen. Let it become an extension of your hand and fingers, of your mind. Keep writing until you feel the pen become alive. Try straight and curved strokes.

There are many different styles of Hebrew alphabets. But most of them have several basic strokes in common. Mastery of these basic strokes means mastery of the alphabet. A good alphabet to begin with, one that is both simple and beautiful and has easy basic strokes, is shown below. 
If you look at the above alphabet carefully, you will notice a few interesting things. The Hebrew letter is basically divided into three parts: top, middle, and bottom. This tends to give proportion and emphasis to the various different strokes. Note the emphasis on horizontal and vertical strokes. 
Note that Hebrew is a "top-heavy alphabet"; most letters have long horizontal strokes on top. Also notice the variety of forms possible for each letter and that each form of letters is still consistent with the style of the alphabet. (Of course, that's a matter of taste.) Some more important things to notice are the proportions and shapes of the letters. Each letter is written holding the pen at the same angle to the line of writing-45 degrees (see diagram). And each letter is also three nib units high. (To obtain this height, hold the pen at 90 degrees to the line of writing and draw three widths of the pen, as shown in the diagram. This is the only time the pen is held at 90 degrees for this alphabet; its normal angle is 45 degrees.)

Sometimes 3½ or 4 nib units of height are used, depending on the style desired.
Another thing to notice is the similarities and differences between the following groups of letters.

Grouping the letters in this way serves to highlight the basic strokes of the alphabet. Practice the following basic strokes. Try them on ruled paper (graph paper, if possible, Berol make a pack of two Italic fibre tip pens which are a good starting point or you can make a quill pen). The line of writing should be 3 nib units high; the pen should be held at a 45-degree angle to the line of writing. To a certain extent this selection of strokes is arbitrary, but it does contain all the strokes necessary to write the previous alphabet. What is important in writing Hebrew is consistency of form, and this is gained through practice. Here are most of the letters grouped by their basic strokes (or by combinations of these basic strokes).

Animations of letter constructions

In the writing of Hebrew letters, width must he considered. Below are the letters of the practice alphabet grouped by width.
These width groupings are approximate and done to show comparisons; occasionally one letter may not be written the width I suggest. One important fact to note concerning letter width- and this also relates to spacing-is that certain letters in Hebrew may be elongated.
These letters are 
and occasionally