Additional Materials:

Desired Paper, Mechanical Pencil, Eraser

About this Project

All write, all write, all write! Learn the basics of basic calligraphy and tried and true tips for brushstrokes, bold lines and bounce lettering.

Create your own, snap a picture, and share using #ACMooreInspired.

  • 1

    Traditional Lettering

    • Just starting out? Trace out a word or phrase with a mechanical pencil, then trace on top of that with the brush pen.
    • Use a brush tip marker for smooth, flowing lines, and a chisel tip for straight, bold lines.
    • To accommodate the upstroke and downstroke of each character, adjust your wrist.
    • With upstrokes, apply less pressure to the pen (pull), and apply heavy pressure with the downstroke (push).
    • Work with angled grid paper to keep each character on the same angle. This will also help with character spacing.
    • If your downstroke is not thick enough, go back in and lightly adjust with the brush tip.

  • 2


    Bounce Lettering

    • In traditional lettering, each character stays in its parameters of the cap height, X-height, and baseline (See pg. 3 of printable worksheet to learn more!). In bounce lettering, each character jumps up and down on the grid.
    • Practice writing out a word in the traditional method, then on the next line down, try the same word in bounce lettering.
    • Trace out the word in bounce lettering, then go back in and erase and adjust each character. Exaggerate specific letters and connections to give the word more movement.
    • When working with a phrase, bring more bounce and emphasis to the prominent words in that phrase (don't overemphasize "and" "of" or "the").
    • With a pencil, experiment with the size of each character, allowing certain characters to stand out more than others. Erase and adjust if needed.
    • If there is a character with an arm (ex.: "f" or "t"), extend the arm to fill out any negative space. Add in a flourish or a simple curve to the arm.

  • 3

    Brush Strokes
    • Practice the eight traditional lettering brushstrokes: upstroke, downstroke, overturn, underturn, compound curve, oval, ascending loop, and descending loop. Refer to the template for examples.
    • Practice writing over the outlined brushstrokes at first, then move on to practicing freehand.
    • Focus on the brushstroke, then move onto spacing, alignment and angle. Adjust the wrist if needed.
    • The oval is tricky to connect. Focus on connecting the upstroke of this character during practice, and keep the hand light while creating.