Modern Calligraphy: Get better at flourishing


Are you looking to expand you lettering skills beyond the simple drills and simple strokes? Many beginners get stuck in the endless loop of practicing simple strokes, over and over. And while that is perfectly fine and something I highly recommend, I believe we need to step out of our comfort zone and explore something a bit more difficult.

You won’t progress unless you keep pushing yourself to learn new things, more challenging things. For me that was flourishing, and while that is not necessarily my style, I did want to be at least decent at it. And have the skill “under my belt” so to say.

By adding simple flourishing touches to your letters you can make your lettering look a lot more elegant and closer to modern calligraphy.

Here are 6 my tips for better flourishing:

  1. Swing your arm from the elbow or shoulder if doing large letters. Don’t hold super tight to your pen, keep it loose.

  2. Don’t go super slow. Flourishes sometimes look more smooth when done quickly and loosely.

  3. Warm up with some drills. Yup, nothing fancy, just some loops or circles. I know that if I don’t letter for a while I get really shaky hands.

  4. Start practicing flourishes with a small brush pen, or nib if you’re going that way. A larger brush marker or bristle brush will be more difficult to control. Even a pencil or ball point pen will work. You are looking to create that muscle memory, don’t worry too much about the strokes themselves yet. List of supplies at the end of the post.

  5. Make sure your flourishes don’t look like other letters.


6. Don’t add thick downstrokes to your flourishes. It gets confusing and again, might look like the start of another letter. And it takes away attention from the main letter.


How to start adding flourishes to your letters?

Write the word first, then see where you would like to add a flourish, and write the word again, or sketch on top. Then keep adding and moving the flourish till it looks good.


practice, practice, practice

Do I really have to say this again. If you want to get better you have to keep doing it. Over and over and over again.

So, of course I made it super easy for you to do just that, see these worksheets?

Download it right here and start practicing.

Got any questions? Comment below and I’d be happy to help you out. Would you like to see a video on this topic?
Three easy steps to adding flourishes to your letters.