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Brush Lettering: Flourishes & Ornamentation

Lesson 5 of 8

Flourishes for Uppercase letters

Laura Worthington

Brush Lettering: Flourishes & Ornamentation

Laura Worthington

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Lesson Info

5. Flourishes for Uppercase letters


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:04:46
3 What Makes a Good Flourish Duration:06:16
6 Flourishes for numerals Duration:05:33

Lesson Info

Flourishes for Uppercase letters

Let's also talk a little bit about flourishes for uppercase letters so I have to admit I really went crazy with us it's almost kind of difficult to talk about flourishes for uppercase letters without really getting into talking about flourishes for alternates because there's so many different versions of the uppercase letters and with the uppercase letters there's a lot more strokes and pieces and parts to those letters that it gives us a lot more opportunities to flourish we have more entrance strokes and more exit strokes to deal with and more styles to deal with. And so sometimes one style of a letter a may not be the right style to fit in to flourish with the word that you're using and you may want to switch to something different. So for example as you can see that you know it's like I said it's it's hard to even know really where the flourish begins and ends the way that I define a flourish is that it's any additional element that goes outside of the basic structure of a letter t...

hat makes it recognizable. So you know with this like for example, you know in that first one in on the second row that letter a you know you could call that a flourish because you know really all we need for a letter aid to capitol aids shows and a is we need three strokes right? We little triangle with a line through the middle of it but we kind of flourish this one a little bit you know off to one side we have a bit of a curve and then we have an o g curve in the middle for the crossbar and said it's something that straight so you know be taking a look at these pages right here because this becomes really critical to study some of the alternate letter forms and bring those into your squashes as they give you a lot more variety so much more that you can do with it so go ahead and let's do a little bit of practice lettering flourish practice for for your uppercase letters yeah lots of different alternate sirs you khun see alternate since washes so something to consider withs washes on uppercase letters is that most of this washiness his herd flourishing nous or whatever you wanna call it is going to happen off to the loo left hand side of the letter but do not forget that you can add flourishes teo the top part of the letter off to the right and the bottom part you know for example with us and right there and you can see kind of that big gap between the two different styles of ends that flourished goes at the very top of the letter so we can have lower case letters that fit in right underneath that really do just amazing thing so you know we don't have to flourish everything off to the left we can kind of start to box in the letter if you will and to some other interesting stuff with it more examples and here's the practice sheets so go ahead and you know maybe find your initial if you like that the best give that a shot I'm going to take a look at how you guys were doing with ah lovely you really have a knack for flourishes free when you're doing this to kind of no pause like when you get to the top when you get to kind of like the bottom very nice and see and you did that exactly right method yeah you soft and started and picked up in the right place right very nice yeah so when you get to some of these larger letters right here it becomes really important tio change from like a wrist motion tio using your arm and really picking up your arm because now you're doing these larger pieces and so with the uppercase letters that becomes really important that you're actually starting to lift up and use whole arm motions because the letters are much larger and so you have limited range of motion with your risks and that tends to make your letters a little bit you know jumpy and sketchy beautiful city it's kind of fun to practice and again you know what's nice about having a you know just a a simple sheet like this is that you know it takes out it breaks the complex project down into something that's a little bit more simple and we you know it just it really makes it a lot easier to move through and figure out how to do it when you know you've got something to practice off first morning if you could just explain a little bit more how they use the practice worksheets in in that where don't where we starting with these capital letters like is there a particular starting place and ending place or do we just look at it and say I think I'm going to start the here you know honestly you can kind of you know there's you can take a look at like the and we have an italic exemplar that was sent out with the break the basics class if you choose to take but if not a couple of good places is that you know honestly with these letters and their complexity you can actually sort of break the rules you don't have to necessarily start and stop attendee particular place I usually like to start at what I think are like the main stems of the letters that really struck set up the structure for example like with this be it would be really hard to start this area of the b and then add this because you know the stun right here because all of these pieces relate to what I would start with the stand because that really is what sets up the structure for the main letter where you know it's it's that's kind of the groundwork for where all of the other pieces because it's surrounded by all this other stuff where all of them are going to go but you know there's you know you definitely don't have to follow his many rules and so if you feel more comfortable you know like say for example you know you're doing say this f and it makes more sense for you to draw the crossbar first and looping around here absolutely condemn it that way

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!