Brush Lettering: Flourishes & Ornamentation


Lesson Info

Flourishes for numerals

Let's talk a little bit about some numerals done with that she's so flourishing for numerals. You have to be kind of careful with flourishes for numerals on guy actually so sort of recommend looking at alternate numeral letter forms, but with numerals in particular becomes even more critical that you, you know, spell out like all of your numerals, and you put them all together and then add the flourishes around them. So let's, go ahead and take a look, it's just some different styles there. What would condone e o? So I have to admit with with a number one there's, not a whole lot there's just, you know, the number one is such a simple number, and so as I'm doing this, I want you guys to feel free to kind of follow along and draw your own numerals because what I'd like for you to do is the letter your favorite numeral. So I'm going to go through in just kind of demo this, but as in demo ing, just go ahead and play around with what your favorite numeral is. They could do something intere...

sting with one when it gets into, you know, like this little cross bar at the bottom here. we can treat the numerals very similarly and flor style as we would number as we would letters you know with this top part right here there's a place that we could flourish there we could you know maybe adding another loop here instead do something interesting there bottom part could kind of maybe loop around into a little bit of a curl for here that maybe you know for something interesting we can kind of add just a little bit off the top like that so laura I'm wondering if you question had come in from emily j who says wind flourishing does the heavy down stroke does the heavy down stroke light upstroke mantra and no longer apply with turning the paper it seems like you're you're using all the down strokes so was flourishing does the monterey we learned in the basics class heavy down stroke light upstroke does that still apply with flourishes or since you're turning on this that I'm so in incredibly glad thank you in this amy j emily emily thank you emily for asking that question brilliant some of the rules start to change when you do that so you have this heavy down stroke light up stroke and that's true with you know with the handling your lower case in uppercase letters but when you were coming into flourishes it starts to kind of you have to actually start to player will around and experiment with it more because sometimes that you know having the heavy down stroke on everything you can end up with a flourish that overall looks too heavy and so I think that one of the best ways to approach it is to experiment drawing experiment withdrawing it different ways because you want to add in more light strokes to balance it out and so where you add in those light strokes kind of depends on the overall composition of the word and so it's it's really something that the best answer honestly it's just experimentation and see how it looks and try it different ways can add a light stroke here should I out ahead the stroke here yeah you guys number fine maybe loop out five like this not as much you can do with a six but I might do a little bit of a curl here and curl it out a little yeah I find the seven number seven to be a little bit on the boring side so a lot of times what I will do is add a crossbar just just to add a little bit of something extra in there and also this crossfire kind of serves a purpose because it gives us a little bit more visual mass to the letter and makes it take up a little bit more space otherwise the seven ten tense look has a lot of white space around it and intends teo you know kind of throw off all of your other letters the aid is probably the most difficult one that I find to really do anything with flourishing because it's complex letter as it isthe and so sometimes I'll just do something simple like this just you know like simply add just a little bit of a top to it nine so with new numerals you know if you're running out of ideas as to what kind of flourishes to add to them also be thinking about just different ways to simply add some ornamentation I mean I could I could just you know even come in here with this nine and maybe add in you know and that's maybe not the right idea but you know just adding something over the top or even or even kind of decorated off to the side you know maybe this forges has you know some simple little spokes coming off the side to make it look kind of interesting you know we can add some things in here

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!  



  • 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.
  • 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!