Calligraphy exercises how the letters are formed

Try the following exercises to get used to the pen before looking at the alphabets - I dare you! Otherwise, take a look at some example alphabets if you really can't wait:
Italic - Blackletter - Roundhand - Uncial


Don't forget the 30° angle as you write to give your letters uniformity. There will be some, minor, natural variation in angle as you write but this will add a liveliness to the work as a whole.

You should notice the similarity of the shapes that make up the letters with the practise shapes. Click each picture for a larger view so you can save or print each image.

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Note how some strokes pass over another one. Compare the two letter d's here.

In the first example the straight stroke is attached to the back of the curve and the letter looks bigger. In the second example the downward stroke passes over the curve, looking like a part of the letter rather than an afterthought.

This principle applies to the letters a, d, and g in these examples. You will need to keep an eye out for how the letters are formed in other alphabets.