Flourishes for Lowercase letters


Brush Lettering: Flourishes & Ornamentation


Lesson Info

Flourishes for Lowercase letters

Yeah, so let's talk, you know, like while you guys were doing some practicing here, I want to discuss how you know to consider drawing flourishes for the lower case, so replacement of them is a little bit different than how you would handle the uppercase letters. So for example, most of the flourishes are going to end up being in the inn at the top of the letters, the thunders they're the d senders or towards the end of the letter, because if you think about it most the time you're going to be using an uppercase letter, you don't really have a lot of need for entrance type are beginning flourishes. Most of the need for flourishes comes in to play in the middle of a word or the top part of the word, the end of a word to be, you know, keep that in mind as you're doing that couple more examples here, and these are some examples of ending flourishes and thinks of what you can do in the middle of the letters. We have a couple of oddball letters, which I drew down here, like the f from the v...

a and the f and they kind of play their own little bit of a roll, and so, you know, depending on, you know where they said within your word frame you know they kind of they beat march to the beat of their own drummer they're not exactly a senders or d senders but there's more things that you can deal with them so just you know kind of keep that in the back of your mind is we're doing this so let's talk a bit about tips on letter flourishing on howto actually letter the flourishes which is a much different process than you know doing the letters that we have now we run into things like horizontal strokes we have these really long strokes toe work with lots of curls and swirls and there's so much more plec city to them that actually taking a brush to them becomes a little bit more of a challenge then it would be without so here's kind of my little diagram on howto letter flourishes so generally you know what I tried to do is you know of course practices big thing go over the flourish several times with the pencil to commit it to memory and try it with the brush is well the point of doing that going over flourish again repeated amount of time is it's develops muscle memory again it's kind of like a dance metaphor you know when you're learning to dio a noose you know if you're learning to do a new step the great fine whatever you have to practice at several times so that your muscle just automatically repeats those movements without even thinking about it so with flourishes it's important to really take like your pencil is your sketching it out or your brush and do it multiple repeated times and your training the muscles in your arm to make that movement so that it's much easier to do the first time around khun b a little sketchy so another thing that I like to talk about is really using pulling strokes as much as possible we really want tio you know take advantage of that remember pulling strokes are easier to make than pushing strokes pushing strokes tend to be a little jagged ian a little harder to control take advantage of this polling strokes and another thing that I like to dio is I like to try tio use the same process in the same tech me because I'm doing flourishes so I generally will you know start at a clockwise direction when I'm creating these strokes so for example and I usually stop and start at horizontal and vertical axes so you can see here like with this crazy long stroke I actually turn this paper to the side and that's another important thing is that the paper doesn't have to remain in exactly the same position remember what we're talking about about moving the paper not your body so with flourishes the paper will move you'll have it upside down you'll have it at diagonals we'll have that all kinds of strange you know directions that make it easier for you the letter so what I like to do is also a start here it this stroke right here and then you know curb out that way again that's like a counter clockwise stroke and then I flipped and then I create the second one at the same time while my paper is turned horizontally and then I'll come in to create you know the third stroke which again is a clockwise stroke and then are actually that one's a little bit of a counter clockwise and then I make a four at that time and connected that way and this is the fifth stroke to go out that direction so really kind of where you want to be stopping and starting again horizontal and vertical axis that's where that's where the the flourishes need to be kind of constructive and put together and those air really good starting and stopping points for conducting all of those little pieces together so with that said I want you guys to go through and we have some great stuff in the bonus materials that will give you a chance to practice this there's one thing for me to tell you this and give you a little diagram but it makes a lot more sense when you start doing it so now that you've drawn and sketch some of your own flourishes that are looking amazing by the way take out this sheet right here there's several of them in your bonus materials and I want you to spend some time going over these with their brush and actually giving it a try you know giving give it a shot with figuring out how to construct these letters so remember practice pulling strokes practice turning your paper and practice putting those stops and starts in the flourishes at the horizontal and vertical zx so any time that you're going to be working with a horizontal stroke is when you want to be turning your paper or any time that you're starting you know if you start to struggle with it you go not feeling right about this start turning your paper but generally you know like for example like I would turn my paper to d'oh this part of that struck right there that's where I would turn my paper or this started the stroke right here so those horizontal become much easier when they're turned to the side because they become verticals and they become pulling strokes you know otherwise horizontal zehr kind of pushing strokes and they're a little bit harder to handle so give that a shot it just let her right over the top of that exemplar pull that up too I'm in a demo this a little bit as well all right so I tried to keep these when I when I put this together I wanted to keep these letters in a monoline format because I think that that's a lot easier for you to not be locked into trying a certain style but developing your own style you know if I put in too much of the contrast then it's kind of like oh you know I'm training you to do something exactly the way that I would do it and you know really you know you want to develop your own style so so I would say let's do this really difficult one here so draw the first part of my g it's like I would normally draw ji turn the paper to decide here to create this and I just kind of miss line create that stroke at the same time that one little slip of paper completed that way and let's get this one a try yes I have a tendency to do a little bit of correcting as I go and really let your hands in your arm kind of dragged down the pages you're doing some of these strokes I'm glad you said correction do you find it to correct often time a lot of the time in fact I mean a lot of times I barely even make it through like when I was doing this long stroke I just really wanted to do this yes I am I correct as I go you know a night I think that's a really pretty common thing and it just it just kind of you know helps I think it's actually good thing to do because it really helps get your mind into the place where you know how you want the letter to look and it's just kind of a good habit to get involved in let's give like this each try here right there's more particular tips and maybe just doing another one as to where you're pushing isn't there more pressure or picking up or just maybe as you do another one you really owe question because on access plays a really big role in this so you know where we want the fix in the thins ultimately to come fire to draw say like an o kind of like through the I would say what is that eleven o'clock to five o'clock that's where the majority of the the that's where a lot of the light strokes are going to be and then the opposite it's where your heavy strokes are and so if you kind of pay attention to that you know like thiss a little bit of a diagram on access you kind of get a good idea where those lights and have these they're supposed to be so say for example need show you on this last one that I did you can kind of see that coming through so we have you know a light stroke there there there you see it I mean it's it all kind of starts toe make a little bit of sense and then our heavy strokes here here here here so again you know going back to that eleven o'clock and five o'clock are going to be like where the lightest part of stroke would be and then the opposite for the heaviest

Class Description

Be sure to check out our other Brush Lettering classes on Brush Lettering Basics and Putting Together a Final Piece.  

Lend grace and beauty to your words. Flourishes are an opportunity to loosen your grip and add a bit of personal style to your brush lettering. Join type designer Laura Worthington for this class, and you'll learn:

  • Different styles of flourishes per letter
  • Ligatures as flourishes and how to letter flourishes
  • Adding in ornamentation (similar to flourishes, but not attached to the letters)
Enhance your brush lettering practice, and draw extra attention to your work!  


April S.

I am watching the Brush Lettering courses live. I did quite a bit of lettering years ago and have wanted to start again. It was serendipitous that Laura's classes were being re-broadcast now. I have them playing while I'm at work so I'm not fully focused but I stop and look when something catches my attention. I really like Laura's straightforward, uncomplicated method of teaching. She doesn't hem and haw, her voice is friendly, she speaks and moves confidently and I really just enjoyed listening to the course even when I couldn't watch. I did watch enough to catch some important examples and tips. I would definitely recommend Laura's brush lettering courses for beginners, and I think those with some experience will also get some tips and motivation from the courses.


I think the last time someone said something positive about any piece of "art" I produced, including my handwriting which was a school subject in the 1950's, was about 1962. It has been pretty much downhill from there. Since retiring I have made a commitment to practice these "worthless" skills since I have ignored them my whole life. Watching these classes on Brush Lettering is giving me hope I can actually do this and Laura seems to be an extremely patient instructor who actually loves her work. I've ordered the brushed and paper and such and I'll be purchasing the series of classes as soon as the supplies arrive. I love it, look for me to post my work in the student session when I get an acceptable product completed.

a Creativelive Student

love Laura and the class! Learning so much! Perfect for me to write my own word then scan it into Illustrator and go from there! Excellent!