“Can I learn calligraphy online?”

Many people do! Maybe you’re in a small town in the middle of nowhere, or your job makes it hard to get away for a day on your own. Our online calligraphy courses are a great way to become a part of a calligraphic community while receiving encouraging guidance through every stage of the learning process.

We believe starting with a traditional foundation is a great way to build a long-term, goal-oriented practice that draws from the rich lessons of history. That’s why we created Dreaming in Script; to consolidate years of practice into an easy-to-follow curriculum aimed at turning you into an exceptional penman.

What is Dreaming in Script?

Dreaming in Script is an online learning program that teaches the various disciplines of traditional American Penmanship and calligraphy. We’ve taken great strides to ensure it is entirely accessible to complete beginners and comprehensive enough to provide value to those who have been writing for years.

Dreaming in Script is built around a pathway framework. Pathways are areas of study in a specific style of writing or pen art. Each pathway begins with a foundational Intro to Calligraphy course, which provides a feel for the quality of our instruction, the depth of our explanations and knowledge, and a bit of guidance on what type of study you may be best suited for. Subsequent classes build upon that knowledge and introduce students to more advanced concepts, new challenges, and exciting achievements.

When you register for a pathway, you gain access to the prerequisites required for your area of study at the time of your registration. This allows you to go through all of the classes in a pathway in a progressive sequence at the same time as your classmates.

Here’s our upcoming class lineup:

The class roadmap for the Dreaming in Script Online Calligraphy Classes offered in 2021

Throughout 2023, these programs will be expanded to include the topics of:

  • Offhand Flourishing
  • Engrossing
  • Business Penmanship
  • Ornamental Penmanship

Earn your certificate

Students who complete each of the classes in a specific pathway qualify to graduate with a Certificate of Completion during the first year of their enrollment. This certificate highlights the student’s accomplishment and serves as a professional endorsement from the DIS staff and David Grimes. The class rubric is designed primarily for students looking for an academic/personal development environment.

Everyone is welcome, but the DIS curriculum aims to be the most thorough coverage on each topic that has ever existed. These classes are structured to get results. They’re designed to turn you into an exceptional penman.

View our Alumni Directory »

Dreaming in Script Certificate offered to students who learn calligraphy with our online programs

How are the courses paced?

Courses in DIS are designed to support all kinds of students. The lessons “drip” at a prescribed pace so that you can’t rush through the program, but if it takes you longer than that to get around to each lesson, that’s totally fine. The real reason to stay abreast with a course release schedule is so that you’re able to speak with your classmates about lessons and assignments as they unlock.

The whole experience tends to be pretty collaborative. We slow down the pace of the class if students need a bit more time on modules and zip through content everyone feels competent in.

Certificates are only granted the July in the year following your registration. You’ll retain access to your courses for three years from date of purchase, so if you’re not interested in pursuing a Certificate of Completion or working closely with your classmates, there’s no pressure to complete the course content on anyone’s schedule but your own.

“Do I have enough experience?”

We hear from time to time that potential students are unsure of if they’re ready to jump into something as involved as Dreaming in Script. Words like “traditional” and “formal” can be intimidating when you’re just dipping your toes in the water. Studying calligraphy in the way we present it in these courses will give you a whole new perspective on some of the scripts that you might have seen or studied elsewhere. We guarantee our approach is different, but that’s a good thing! At the bottom of this page, you can read from past students to get an idea of what you will walk away with.

We aren’t dogmatic. We’re not closed-minded. In the Dreaming in Script Community, we encourage thoughtful discussion and perpetual curiosity. We support the differences in each of our classmates. We lift each other up in ways that emphasize our individuality and lead us to become the best version of ourselves we can be.

On that note, DIS isn’t just about learning to make great calligraphy. At the beginning of each class, students agree to a Code of Conduct that clearly outlines what we expect from our incoming students. We’ve found that getting everyone on the same page at the very beginning has helped us to build one of the most progressive calligraphy learning communities in the world.

Dr. Joe Vitolo recommends David Grimes as an online calligraphy instructor

David’s teaching methods have resulted in some pretty impressive results as evidenced by his students. In my opinion, he is one of the finest modern day practitioners of Engrosser’s script.

Dr. Joseph Vitolo, author of Script in The Copperplate Style

David’s tenacious love for learning is evident in the way that he teaches. He not only teaches you what he sees—he shows you how you can see for yourself.

Nina Tran, Calligraphy Instructor in Los Angeles, CA.

Nina B. Tran says that David Grimes has a tenacious love for learning that is evident in the way he teaches calligraphy online.
Suzanne Cunningham says David Grimes' teaching is 'very thorough and inviting.'

David Grimes’ work, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of Engrosser’s Script. Being a good calligrapher is one thing, being a good instructor is another. Not to worry with David, though! Not only is his work top notch, his teaching style is very thorough and inviting.

Suzanne Cunningham, Calligraphy Instructor in Florence, AL.

Where do I start?

Registration for each pathway typically only opens only once a year so that we can dedicate all of our efforts towards supporting students in the program without dividing our limited resources between teaching and promotion. Registration links for 2021 are:

Subscribe to the Masgrimes Mailing List today

Join the Masgrimes Newsletter to get updates about when the next waitlist opens.

Student Endorsements

Gretchen Caldwell, DIS Graduate 2021

DIS turned out to be so much more than I expected. I signed up woefully ignorant of all the nuances of Engrosser’s Script. I thought I had a good handle on the basics, having taken a prior “Copperplate” class. I learned so much more than I ever expected, but DIS goes beyond that. 🙂

DIS is a place to not only learn, but to grow, to explore and to develop personally. Working alongside others who really wish to push themselves also, and finding out how much depth there can be to “a script.” There are so many little things to learn to see, to appreciate and to make you look at all other scripts with a critical eye. And critical not in a negative sense, but in an exploratory sense. A thirst for knowledge about all future scripts and calligraphic adventures is developed within this program.

Obviously writing is the main goal of a program like Dreaming in Script, but I would say the greatest gain is the community that is present and the friendships that develop. David fosters this amongst the students, and the true friendships that I developed in the Subreddit are one of the greatest treasures of this experience. I can not recommend it highly enough.

Pull up a chair, a pen and settle in. Learn an amazing script, grow your mind, and most of all, fill your heart. I have never seen a program like this, and while many may hesitate because it’s “online,” I will stand fully on my testimony that you will come away with so much more than you expect or hope for. The work is hard, the payoff incomparable.

Gretchen Caldwell, Inaugural Engrosser’s Script Class

Dreaming in Script has been the single best structured calligraphic learning experience I have ever had.

David’s Method will take someone who has never held a pen before and give them the instruction necessary to not only produce an elegant American script, but foster curiosity and research into what can be done with Engrosser’s Script, continue one’s lifelong journey refining letterforms and technique, and encouraging the use of the principles of the Grimes Method to help learn other scripts, by deconstructing and analizing their letterforms.

In short, David will change the way you look at and write calligraphy.

If you are looking for a writing discipline that is more than just copying what the teacher does over the course of a weekend, if countless hours of thoughtful practice sounds rewarding, if you are interested in joining a community of penmen that is built upon mutual respect and encouraging, thoughtful feedback, if the idea of making lifelong friends that share a bond of studying one of the most beautiful scripts in the world sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, then Dreaming in Script is where you want to be.

Steven Baughman, Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

Steven Baughman, DIS Graduate 2021
Yoli Rincon, DIS Graduate 2021

DIS is a wonderful and complete online Engrosser’s Script course, which I highly recommend.

When I signed up for this online course, I was very scared. First of all because my native language is Spanish. I live in Venezuela and I thought it would be hard to follow the classes and videos, and to my surprise it has been incredibly fantastic. The course is designed by lessons parting from the basics. DIS is for the newcomers like I was without any notion about Engrosser’s Script and it is also designed for those who are already more advanced but want to improve their scripts.

The teaching method is very complete and the personal dedication that David gives us in each lesson is great. He is always within reach of an email and whenever I had a doubt or question to ask him, I did not hesitate to write him an email, and I always got a prompt response with his distinctive kindness.

The truth is that this course has helped me a lot. I am a 58 year-old person, so learning something completely new and online, was a great experience.

Not only the course itself is wonderful, not only did I learn this beautiful art of calligraphy, but I also learned how to approach the online community of all the participants of the course. There I met people from all over the world, with different personalities, different time zones, different cultures, but moreover, as we are all learning ES we come together helping each other, giving our constructive criticism and always in the best way possible, with due respect and love. Thus, we came to form a beautiful community of DIS students.

In DIS I have learned, that by criticizing the work of others, I am sharpening my sight to know the script better and then be able to apply it in my work and practices. I learned the importance of knowing how to appreciate and determine the Essential Qualities of the strokes in order to determine when a stroke is successful.

I learned the history of how nibs began to be made and the history of the pioneers of Calligraphy in America such as Charles P. Zaner, Earl A. Lupfer and Willis A. Baird.

I also learned that by practicing, you progress. This statement is literally true! The more you practice the better your strokes will be: first the letters, then the words and finally a whole paragraph. What a joy to be able to see the difference from when I started to where I am now. I know that I still have to practice more, that this does not end when the course is over, that when the course ends, it is my real beginning as a calligrapher.

I will always be grateful to David, for this stunning online Engrosser’s Script Course.

If you are interested in learning Engrosser’s Script, this is the best place for it. David Grimes, has developed this online teaching method for you to do it from anywhere in the world, and I assure you that you will not regret it.

From the bottom of my heart… it is absolutely amazing!

Yoli Mayela Rincón R., Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

Being an integral part of DIS community, I am feeling proud while writing this endorsement. Being a finance professional and having worked for 35 years in corporates, I left my old, big job May’ 2019. I knew that I had to build my career in calligraphy for the rest of my life. I joined this course to learn Engrosser’s Script.

This course is not a bunch of essays and contents only for teaching you about Engrosser’s Script but it is a journey also, and I lived it very enthusiastically in a very enjoyable and learning environment throughout the duration of this course. From historical exemplars of the past great penmen, the history of pointed pen, how to hold it, and even knowledge of how to make a flange of the pen at your own, to each and every nuance and the degree of fidelity of the strokes, is beautifully and appropriately covered in the course material through detailed essays and videos. David, through his videos, not only explain the contents but also inspire to put our best efforts to learn as much as possible.

The format of the course, the method of teaching, the course content, posting on sub-reddit, David’s guiding feedback and critiques of co-dreamers really helped a lot to learn and given in-depth knowledge of the script. The change is absolutely noticeable in my script.

“Dreaming in Script” teaches us the script as well as introduces us to the essence of the script, which I believe is very important to go through the journey of being a penman. We learnt, how to put our thoughts and feelings into our script even though it has its own rules to follow.

“Dreaming in Script” is the right place to bring out an aspirant “PENMAN” from inside of a hobby writer.

Ravi Bhatia, Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

Ravi Bhatia, DIS Graduate 2021
Dorenda Bloemhard, DIS Graduate 2021

Dreaming in Script is the best choice I’ve made in my calligraphy journey! Before signing up I had been learning Copperplate, but I needed more structure and guidance to bring my calligraphy to a higher level. DIS definitely exceeded my expectations, it’s an amazing course that not only teaches you how to write Engrosser’s Script, but it also dives deep into history, basic knowlede and understanding of pointed pen script in general, and Engrosser’s Script in particular. The knowledge and skills I’ve obtained throughout this course have also proven to be a great asset when it comes to learning a different script, since I’ve learned how to analyze a script and its letterforms, and find the characteristics.

David is a teacher that any student can only dream of! He teaches in a thorough and passionate way, is dedicated to each and every “dreamer” (student) and motivates and encourages all the way. Even though this is an online course, David is always present to give personal guidance to every single student by responding to posts in the subreddit, answering questions, cheering up or making you think about a specific subject.

And in addition to all this, the subreddit community led by David is a unique place to meet fellow “dreamers”, talk about the struggles everyone’s facing, ask for help, share successes, encourage eachother, find encouragement and make friends for life!

Dorenda Bloemhard, Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

As a self-taught dabbler, I tinkered with calligraphy for years but had never taken a class. Books and online resources offered conflicting information and I was frustrated by my lack of progress.

The quiet beauty of David’s Instagram videos and website and his thoughtful newsletters appealed to me. I felt like I could learn things from him that couldn’t be found in a book.

As a teacher David is the whole package. He has a respect for the heritage of Engrosser’s Script and the penmen who have come before us. He is encouraging, insightful and well-organized. The scope of the course is much broader than just learning to form letters through individual pen strokes. It’s also about setting personal goals, exhilaration through small achievements, learning to move on when you make a mistake and ultimately a communal love of script.

I came to Dreaming in Script lacking the foundation and focus I needed to help me to refine my basic skills. The course has prepared me to continue my studies on my own through research, questioning and critical observation. It was just what I needed when I thought I would never be more than mediocre hobbyist. I now feel confident in calling myself a budding penman.

Mary Misura, Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

Verified Student, DIS Graduate 2021
Vishakha Pande, DIS Graduate 2021

Whether you enroll in a calligraphy course to learn something new, to get better at a script you already know about, as a hobby, or to attain professional proficiency…whatever your motive may be…Dreaming in Script (DIS) is the course for you!

DIS is well structured and wonderfully conducted. Every tiny aspect of the Engrosser’s Script is explained and demonstrated in great detail, with the help of videos, demos and very exhaustive course material. Couple this with the inimitable David Grimes, a most knowledgeable, patient, involved and kindest instructor. He gently but firmly shepherds you towards the path of achieving competence and confidence.

The icing on the cake is that you get to become a part of a motivating and uplifting community of skilled penmen/women, with whom you can walk your calligraphic journey for life.

The DIS course has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. And I will not hesitate to say that “if you do not turn out a decent script specimen at the end of this course, I will eat my hat!”

Vishakha Pande, Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

I wanted to take this class as I love calligraphy! My experience prior to this , had been only with a broad edge pen and I was trying to teach myself pointed pen calligraphy. Since I was laid off from work due to Covid-19, it seemed to be a great time to undertake a course. I had to undo/ unlearn most of the self taught things! The only thing I kept was how to hold the pen, and then it the rest was a reset.

The way that the course has been structured, makes me realize I like theory more than I care to admit! I love the way that David has set up the course for us, his passion for the history of penmanship in America is moving. I feel I still have ways to go, but , I am not intimidated by the challenges. I have learnt to be more patient with myself and realize, we all have good and bad pen days and that’s ok! I want to learn more calligraphy, maybe more scripts, to see what’s out there, before I decide which one I want to be a specialist in (if at all).

I want to explore the idea of using calligraphy to support myself, along with art. So maybe starting a business that combines the things I love. When I am doing calligraphy or art, it never feels like work to me. It’s always so enjoyable, and I can be lost in it for hours.

This course would not have been as interesting without posting on Reddit or being part of a whatsapp group with a lot of my friends from class. I know they always have my back, even their honest critique is so kind , very thoughtful and always considerate. I have made friends from all over the world and I really don’t want this course to end.

The depth with which David teaches – I have not seen any other teacher do. If you want to do a deep dive into this script , this is in my humble opinion , the best course out there. David is kind , considerate and compassionate.

I leave you with this quote: “ Teachers have 3 loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.” – Scott Hayden

This is truly who David is. Don’t second guess if you want to take this course. Sign up for it ! You won’t regret it.

Ashna Chopra, Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

Verified Student, DIS Graduate 2021
Verified Student, DIS Graduate 2021

When I enrolled in Dreaming in Script to learn Engrosser’s Script, my only goal was to get good enough at calligraphy to address invitations for my daughter’s wedding. However, this course wound up being so much more fulfilling than I had every imagined. Not only have I learned the art of Engrosser’s Script through David’s lessons, but I have been able to leap hurdles under his instruction toward becoming a more confident and creative artist.

To say that David is inspiring and encouraging is not enough to give due credit. He is with you every step of the way, and no matter how frustrated you may possibly feel at times, you won’t want to quit with him as your teacher. While I may not be a professional penman, David’s support has enabled me to feel more comfortable continuing my pursuit of calligraphy beyond this program and my original goal of just addressing a few envelopes. You will never regret your time spent learning from David and becoming part of his Dreaming in Script community.

Christine Riccio, Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

“What is Engrosser’s Script? It is Very Beautiful! I’d love to learn how to do this, but can I?”

I can and I did!! (…so can you.)

In February 2020, this was my rationale for enrolling into Dreaming in Script Engrosser’s Script Course. I was intrigued by the oblique pen and bottles of ink as well as the many beautiful historical scripts I couldn’t identify. I’m a retired math teacher with NO artist ability. (I even had my students draw the figures on the board for Geometry classes b/c my shapes were unidentifiable.) Anxiously I purchased the required supplies and challenged myself to learn this script. I had NO PREVIOUS calligraphy experience but was determined to be open and learn the Grimes Method. DIS was my first online/video class and I was very impressed with the curriculum. I have a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction (Education), and I can be very opinionated about teaching styles. However, DIS offers visual AND/OR analytical learners both videos AND written descriptions of all lessons. This helped so much because I could watch, read the descriptions (while making notes), and re-watch. After beginning this course, I have taken other calligraphy courses which only offer video/demonstration. Frequently, the teacher wants the students to “do it like I do” without any reasons or explanations “why” it should be written that way. David shares the historical references to the Grimes Method.

This course covers the basics of the pointed pen and detailed letter formation so each Dreamer has the same background and vocabulary. This makes detailed suggestions, critiques, and conversations possible between teacher-student and student-student. We all communicate with the same “lingo”. The program ‘drips’ so that the sections are not rushed or overlooked by anyone, allowing adequate time to process and share before continuing to the next topic. My abilities improved and progressed at an encouraging pace because my accomplishments were being recognized (no matter how small) while 1-3 issues to improve were identified. It was not overwhelming negative feedback-listing everything that is wrong with my submission but noticing the good in the work with future items/skills to practice.

During this course I completed my very first calligraphy project! Because this learning environment is a safe space, I gained the courage to share my practice and finished work with peers. I even offered suggestions and encouragement to other Dreamers which improved my ability to critique my own script. This journey has given me the foundation and courage to try other calligraphy challenges. The extra bonus from my DIS journey is the great group of calligraphy friendships that will continue after this course is completed.

I’m very thankful that I did this course. It is so important for every beginner (like me) to receive thorough historically correct training so the calligraphic journey gets started “on the right foot.” Your earnest effort will reap great rewards. I get emotional when I think about my journey with DIS. It has changed and enriched my life (even during a pandemic). David Grimes is passionate about Engrosser’s Script and his excitement is contagious to all. I have gotten MORE than my MONEY’S WORTH!!

Just remember…

  • Sumi Ink $14
  • Oblique Pen Holder $14.95
  • DIS Engrosser’s Script Course- PRICELE$$

Sandra Pender, Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

Sandra Pender, DIS Graduate 2021
Radhika Niwani, DIS Graduate 2021

Dreaming in Script has been the most amazing learning experience for me. Not only does it help you learn the Engrosser’s Script but it also helps you grow personally.

This course is structured so beautifully that along with learning the script, you also learn the basics of calligraphy and pointed pen.

This course takes you from the history of ES to every small detail related to pointed pen that you need to know to be a better penwoman/penman.

There are lot of fun projects throughout the course to help incorporate and strengthen the skills learned.

David guides his Dreamers to cultivate the curiosity and critical eye which helps them break down the script structure, understand and analyze the forms and recognize the areas for improvement. And that skill is not limited to Engrosser’s Script, it can be applied to any script.

David is the most patient, dedicated, supporting and knowledgable teacher. His dedication and passion to see you excel and succeed is beyond what you would expect. He was always there to provide feedback and nudge you in the right direction.

DIS also gave me a wonderful community where I formed so many great friendships. It encourages helping each other, providing feedback and supporting each other in this learning journey.

I am very happy to have had such an unforgetable learning and growing experience and be part of this wonderful community.💜

Radhika Nawani, Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

Joining DIS is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. David’s attention to detail and his dedication to American Penmanship inspire me to follow a similar path. I’ve been learning Copperplate script on my own for several years but I want to elevate my script so that I can pursue calligraphy professionally.

Joining his course means going back to the very basics but I really cherish every single step. I was able to go back to the beginning and build a stronger foundation, brick by brick. At the same time, with the help of fellow dreamers, I could develop a more critical eye to see where improvements are needed.

Having a positive and upbuilding community is also key to improving our skills and DIS provides me just that. It’s not uncommon to feel discouraged along the way but David and my fellow dreamers are always ready to help, to support, and cheer me on!

Keshia Anjelica, Engrosser’s Script Class of 2021

Keshia Anjelica, DIS Graduate 2021
Erica Vera-Prohaska, DIS Graduate 2021

Dreaming in Script is more than just a course! It’s an experience that will help you develop friendship, support, confidence in your abilities and skills as a penman, understanding and appreciation for the art, and grow as an individual!

If you have little to absolutely no experience in pointed pen calligraphy, and are looking for guidance on how to get started, this is the place to start! David has gone above and beyond with his teaching! His method will have you analyze and study letterforms in ways that will help you have a better understanding of how letters are constructed. Not only will you drastically improve your writing, you will have David and a community of other fellow calligraphers supporting you and helping you along the way.

David has a unique, special talent and skill not only in writing, but in teaching as well. He has become not just my instructor or mentor, but a friend as well. The love for the art of calligraphy has only grown more and more since being a part of DIS. I highly recommend being a part of this growing community!

Erica Vera-Prohaska, Inaugural Engrosser’s Script Class

This course is a truly unique experience and provides much more than a basic technical understanding of Engrosser’s Script. I began DIS with virtually no knowledge of this script, and with the exception of a two day workshop, it had been decades since I had attempted any calligraphy what so ever. When I was searching for a place to learn, DIS appeared that it would provide the ongoing structure I was seeking as well as good content. I found out this was a tremendous under estimation of what this course would provide.

Supported by a quality website, superb video, imaging and a library of resources, this course provides a unique glimpse into the past. With the DIS curriculum you get to explore Engrosser’s Script history, but not just as a reader of historical documentation, but as someone that actually gets to appreciate this script from the unique vantage point of penmen from decades ago. It’s not only fascinating to understand this perspective, but it also goes to the depth of research and thought that was placed in developing this course.

DIS not only provided a solid structure where each lesson builds upon the previous, it also contained a tremendous discussion area where I found sharing of thoughts was welcomed with fellow DIS participants and David. Critique, feedback, ideas and emotions were shared and this community was supportive and eager to help each other improve.

Without question I believe I received information and instruction from someone that has painstakingly devoted the time to understand the history and composition of individual shades and how they connect with each other to form this amazing script. I also found as I worked through this course a perspective on how to appreciate your work and how it will be received by others. This understanding might be as important as the technical skill of transferring ink to paper and one of the best unexpected takeaways from DIS.

From the quality of the website, the ongoing support, the videos and images, and finally the Certificates, I think that David is clearly advancing in a unique market and provides a truly quality experience.

Edmund de Lacy, Inaugural Engrosser’s Script Class

Verified Student, DIS Graduate 2021