It’s Clear: My New Way To Secure And Line Your Scroll

Previously I wrote about drawing calligraphy guidelines with a ruler and pencil. It’s one of the two simplest ways you can rule up a scroll page. 

The other easy way is the one I’ll tell you today. Use’s free plain graph paper generator and print off the size grid you want. 

When using the graph generator you have many options. Unless you want to do something different you want a plain graph pdf probably done in “inches” with the number of squares to the inch you choose. I select a 0.5 minimum border for my page and a grid line weight size of 0.50 points, but you can change those if you want.

Pergamenata over graph printed on
 2 transfer sheets all taped to plexiglass.
On higher quality paper you can use your printed graph for calligraphy practice, pen trials, or scroll layout plans. I print mine on two inkjet friendly transparency sheets. I tape them together to use with my light pad under my 11″ x 14″ pergamenata.

I have my double vinyl grids under my perg taped all around to plexiglass, an acrylic sheet often used in picture frames. I use light tack painters tape to adhere my scroll to the plastic “board”. And I use plexiglass rather than masonite board so the light passes through and still keeps the perg stretched reducing cockling. I now have calligraphy gridlines I didn’t have to draw and don’t have to erase.

A few important tips, if you want your generated squares to print out accurately do not select “shrink to fit” on your printer program. Turn that off. If you don’t you still get a grid but it won’t be sized the as you plugged into Incompetech’s generator. 

And if you print your grid onto plastic it is delicate until it is well and completely dry. It may even smudge coming out of the shoot.

This is one method. I know scribes who do this differently with great success. This works if the spacing between calligraphy lines is the same as the lines of writing or with one extra line for the letters’ ascenders and descenders. If your interlinear space is different than those you will still need to draw calligraphy guidelines. 

Also using plexiglass rather than masonite lets you use your light pad to see your graph or designs. However, I am careful to limit large areas of very wet paint, because the plexiglass doesn’t allow air to pass through.

The first time you print out your graph(s) may not be the quickest, but you only do that once for that size grid. You can reuse that one printed transparency pair many times if you don’t damage it. So here’s to no lines and no waiting.

Prior Related Post:

Categories: How-to

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