Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (2023)

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Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (1)

Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (2)

Is there a correct way to hold a pen? This page explores what an ideal pencil grip should be and what alternatives might work as well.

Topics covered on this page:

  • What is the correct pen position?
  • What does a good pencil grip look like?(Pictures and descriptions, including theD'Nealian Grip)
  • How do I help my child develop a good pen grip?
  • Related pages and references

What is the correct pen position?

Aideal pencil gripis what the child allows

  • Move your fingers (not your whole hand, wrist, or arm) as your fingers can control the pen more efficiently.
  • Complete a writing or drawing task without getting tired
  • Complete a writing or drawing task neatly

Because all of the above factors are relatedoccupationI prefer the term"functional"Ö"efficient"to describe the pencil grip instead of focusing on whether it is the correct pencil grip.

Studies have shown that the ability to use the small muscles of the hand and fingers plays a big part in a child's handwriting, so it makes sense that theThe pencil grip should allow for these nifty finger movements.

An immature or poor pen grip tends to do thisLock finger gestures, causing the child to move their wrist or arm to write.

So in that sense...What does an efficient, effective and functional understanding mean?Mira🇧🇷 The next section will show you!

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What does a “good” pencil grip look like?

Pencil grips can be classified in a number of ways, generally based on the number of fingers holding the pencil and the position of the thumb on the pencil shaft.

Traditionally, teachers have identified the correct pencil grip as the "Dynamic tripodGrip where thumb, index and middle fingers hold the pencil.

Whenring and little fingersare folded away at the side of the hand, this forms an arch of the knuckles that runs from the index finger to the little finger (thedistal metacarpal transverse arch). Öarco DTMIt is important because it provides stability to the joints and muscles of the hands when the tripod fingers move, reducing fatigue while writing.Fingers can move freely.

However, there are somedynamic tripod grip variationswhat the researchers foundalmost as efficientduring limited clinical trials. I demonstrate and explain this below.

Dynamic tripod handle

Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (3)

Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (4)

ÖtipsThumb, index and middle fingers control the pencil in the dynamic grip of the tripod. The thumb is opposite the fingers, while the ring and pinky fingers wrap around the hand for added stability.

The dynamic tripod gripallows free movement of fingers, form letters smoothly. That's why many teachers think it's the right pencil grip.

When a young child has three fingers on a pencil as shown, but still uses wrist or arm movements to form letters, this is calledstatic tripod grip,and is considered immature.

Adapted tripod or D'Nealian pencil grip

Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (5)

Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (6)

(Video) Learn Traditional Calligraphy - Correct Pen Grip

This unusual but effective grip has proven particularly useful for both children and adultslow muscle toneÖaching joints.

The tips of the thumb, index and middle fingers hold the pencil, but the pencil staysbetween index and middle finger, instead of in the web space next to the thumb.

This custom tripod grip offers stability and doesn't require as much thumb pressure to keep the stylus in place.

Four-legged dynamic pencil grip

In the dynamic Quad-Grip, thetipsThumb, index, middle and ring fingers control the pen. The thumb is opposite the fingers while the pinky wraps around the hand for added stability.

The presence of the ring finger on the leg tends to limit the range of motion a bit, and there is a little less stability with just the pinky wrapped around the side.

Pencil holder with side stand

Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (9)

Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (10)

The side stand uses thumb, index and middle fingers to hold the pencil shaft. Although the tips of the index and middle fingers are used, that's itthumb restused in this handle.

In a side handle (either tripod or quadruped), thethumb crossthe pencil shaft and thethumb restit usually rests against the index finger (rather than the shaft of the pencil). This generally locks the full range of motion of the fingers compared to a dynamic tripod grip.

The distance between the thumb and forefinger is slightly less with a side grip, which restricts movement somewhat and requires a little more thumb strength to keep the pen stable.

Quadrupod Pencil Side Grip

Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (11)

Correct pen grip for calligraphy. (12)

The Lateral Tripod is very similar to the Lateral Tripod except that the ring finger is also involved in holding the pen and finger.stable arc is reduced.

(Video) How to Hold Your Calligraphy Pen

again thethumb restit is used in place of the tip of the thumb.

Children using this grip may tire more easily on a long writing task than those using a more dynamic grip. This may be due to reduced stability on the side of the hand and/or the use of extra fingers to form the letters.

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Help your child develop a good pen grip

your sonProbably notDevelop a better pen grip simply by getting more practice with a pencil or crayon.

It's much better to look at some of themunderlying skillsnecessary for pencil control and to help your child develop these skills properly.

Continue reading my articleImportant basics for fine motor skills, and please do itsee an occupational therapist for an evaluationif you are concerned about your child's development.

Here are some guidelines to help your child develop "proper pencil grip":

1) Too many cuts with scissors

When your child uses the scissors correctly, there is plenty of practice for the thumb, index and middle finger to work together. These are the fingers that control a stylus.

Using the correct scissor grip, with the ring and pinky fingers tucked into the hand, helps develop stability on the ulnar side of the hand, which contributes to the hand stability required for handwriting.

Check out these paper cut pages on my website:

2) Strengthening of the core and shoulder girdle muscles

Strengthening your child's core muscles and shoulder girdle will help the muscles in their hands and fingers move more freely. (Think how much easier it can be to paint a wall when you're standing on a sturdy ladder than an unstable one!)

Check out these gross motor pages on my site:

basic exercises

shoulder exercises

Grobmotorische eBooks


3) Work on hand and finger skills.

Recent research has shown that having the so-called correct pencil grip is not as important as knowing if you have oneFingers can move freelyto form the letters in calligraphy.

Give your child a head start on finger movements by incorporating some of these really easy activities into your daily routine:

manual activities

strengthen hand

finger exercises

Fine Motor Skills eBooks

Would you like all my pencil grip information in one convenient download? Then look at this:

Get all the info on my pencil grip and more!

To beprintable resourceaims to help by answering common questions from teachers and parents on how a child should hold a pen.

This e-book explores different types of functional pencil grips, dysfunctional pencil grips, and the different developmental stages of holding a pencil.

Lots of photos as well as a pencil grip checklist!

Watch My Pencil Grip now Download!

(Video) How to write calligraphy with fountain pen | Fountain Pen Hack | Cursive writing

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  1. great
  2. All about pencil grip
  3. Correct and functional pen holders.

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pencil grip Related Pages

All about pencil grip

Development of the pencil grip

bad pencil claws

pencil clips


1. Koziatek, S.; Powell, New JerseyPencil grip, legibility and writing speed of fourth gradersRUNS 57(3):284-8. May 2003
DOI: 10.5014/ahot.57.3.284

2. Schwellnus, H.; Carnahan, H.; Kushki, A.; Chau, T.Writing strengths associated with four pen grip patterns in fourth gradersDRIVES March 2013
DOI: 10.5014/ajot.2013.005538

3. Selin, A-S.Pencil Grip: A Descriptive Model and 4 Empirical Studies (Dissertation). Abo Akademi University Press, 2003.
ISBN 951-765-130-9

4. Ziviani, J.; Elkins, j.Influence of the way the pen is held on the speed and legibility of writing🇧🇷 Educational Magazine 38(3):247-257 • November 1986
DOI: 10.1080/0013191860380305

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(Video) Learn Traditional Calligraphy - Correct Pen Grip for Lefties


What grip is best for calligraphy? ›

First of all, you want your grip to be relatively relaxed. Your index finger should have only a slight bend to it, and the pen should be supported by — rather than controlled by — your thumb, index, and middle fingers. This goes for both right- and left-handed people.

What angle should you hold a calligraphy pen? ›

The pen should be at a 45-degree angle as it sits loosely in your grasp, with the end of the pen pointing toward your shoulder.

How do you position a calligraphy pen? ›

Hold the pen so it is horizontal to the top writing line. This is a zero degree nib angle. Keep the nib flat to the paper as you make a vertical downward stroke on the paper. Maintain equal pressure as you make the downward stroke.

Should I use a strong or neutral grip? ›

The best grip is technically the neutral grip, as it gets your hands in the proper position to take a square golf swing and hit the ball with a club face that is square. Weak grips and strong grips are kind of like bandaids and can be used when the golfer is struggling to hit the ball straight.

What is the correct pen holding technique? ›

The thumb is on one side whilst the index and middle finger are on the other side. The thumb grips above the index finger. The index and middle finger grip above the thumb. The whole hand is arched like a fist around the pen.

What material gives the best grip? ›

Silicone. Silicone is widely used for it's slip-resistant properties. From bicycle handlebars and self-fusing tape to baking mitts and shoe covers, its applications as a grippy, non-slip material are nearly endless.

Which grip is best for fast writing? ›

The pen is between the thumb and both the index finger and the middle fingers. The body rests on the ring finger. Known as the dynamic quadrupod grip, it is also widely popular and one of the most effective.


1. Calligraphy for Lefties: How to grip a calligraphy pen
(Claud Non)
2. Penmanship • The Best Pen Hold
(Pens de Luxe)
3. How NOT To Hold Brush Pens
(The Happy Ever Crafter)
4. How to Hold Your Calligraphy Pen
(Crossroads Calligraphy LLC)
5. Calligraphy 4 Pen Angle
(David Nicholls)
6. How to Hold Brush Pens | The Happy Ever Crafter
(The Happy Ever Crafter)
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