Learn how to write ‘a’ in calligraphy plus the rest of the alphabet with our do’s and don’ts video tutorial.
We have gotten a lot of questions from beginners on how to improve their lettering, especially their consistency. So we decided to compile our best tips here!
An important note… There is no “right” or “wrong” way to do brush lettering. Our goal is to teach you the fundamentals through specific examples of “do’s and dont’s” so that you can make your lettering more consistent.
How to write the lowercase letters in calligraphy:
- The lowercase A: The body of the letter should be an oval rather than a c-shape. The shaded strokes are parallel to each other and are angled to the baseline.
- The lowercase B: Lift after every stroke. The main shade should be flat, not curved. The exit stroke has a shade that is parallel to the main shade of the letter.
- The lowercase C: The entrance stroke should connect smoothly and not too low on the body of the letter. Finish the shape with a slight shade (or filled-in circle) on the right side of the letter for balance.
- The lowercase D: Similar to “a”, the body of the letter should be an oval rather than a c-shape. The shaded stem only overlaps a small segment of the oval’s hairline to leave a triangular shaped gap.
- The lowercase E: The placement of the shading is important in this letter. The small loop is a hairline and does not start too low on the body of the e. The main shade is parallel to the slant and does not curve inward, so that the letter is not bottom heavy. The body of the letter should be a partial oval.
- The lowercase F: the backbone of the letter should be straight and parallel to the main slant of the script, not C-shaped. And as always, lift the pen after the entrance stroke.
- The lowercase G: the body of the letter should be a symmetrical oval. The shade of the oval and the shade of the descending stem loop are parallel. Lift the pen after each stroke.
- The lowercase H: the backbone of the letter should be straight and parallel to the main slant of the script, not C-shaped. The stem and the shade of the compound curve are parallel.
- The lowercase i: the entrance stroke connects to the letter smoothly and not too low. The bottom is a curved U-shape, not a pointy V-shape.
- The lowercase J: the descending stem loop is not too narrow, not too wide. Both of our names start with J! Anyone else?
- The lowercase K: the backbone of the letter should be straight and parallel to the main slant of the script, not C-shaped. The stem and the shade of the curves are parallel.
- The lowercase L: the ascending stem loop shade should be straight and parallel to the main slant of the script, not C-shaped. Lift after the entrance stroke.
- The lowercase M: the two “humps” of the letter begin at the baseline rather than connecting at the top of the downstrokes. Starting lower will create a larger triangle-shaped gap between the curves.
- The lowercase N: start with an overturn. The compound curve begins at the baseline – it does not connect horizontally to the first down stroke.
- The lowercase O: entrance stroke connects smoothly to oval. Oval transitions from thin to thick at the top, it does not start as a thick stroke. Exit stroke shade is parallel to shade of oval.
- The lowercase P: the stem is at an angle to the baseline and the rounded section is an oval rather than a backwards c-shape.
- The lowercase Q: the stem intersects the right side of the oval but does not overlap it. The round section is an oval so that the triangular shaped gaps on the top and bottom are symmetrical.
- The lowercase R: the loop extends above the header line and is the highest point of the letter. After forming the loop, continue downward (not up) to lead into the underturn shape.
- The lowercase S: the shade at the top is parallel to the slant and balances out the letter so it is not bottom heavy.
- The lowercase T: the entrance stroke stops at the header line, it does not extend to the top of the letter.
- The lowercase U: the upstroke of the first u shape goes up to the header line, which creates a triangle shaped gap.
- The lowercase V: the shaded down stroke is parallel to the upstrokes.
- The lowercase W: similar to lowercase V, the shaded down strokes are parallel to the upstrokes.
- The lowercase X: do not cross two thick strokes.
- The lowercase Y: strokes are parallel. First stroke is a compound curve. Lift after each stroke.
- The lowercase Z: descending loop does not go above the baseline.
We created an instant download of the lowercase alphabet if you prefer tracing the letters as you learn.
The guide works well with any large tip brush pen:
Learn the capital alphabet next.