Learn Brush Calligraphy Online: Connecting the Letters
Welcome back to the beginners guide to brush calligraphy series!
So far you have gone through:
- Basic Rules
- Best brush pens for beginners
- Best paper for brush pens
- Calligraphy with a regular pen (faux calligraphy)
- Basic strokes (part 1)
- Basic strokes (part 2)
- Basic strokes (part 3)
- Putting the strokes together
You have come so far in this series so far, and I am so honoured to have you here! Now that you have put the strokes together to create the letters, it’s time to create some words.
How To Connect The Letters
There are 26 letters in the alphabet which means there are a lot of different possible letter combinations. Luckily, we don’t have to go through each individual one, we just need to learn a few general rules. Connecting letters is all about the entrance and exit strokes, which we have already gone through. The only additional piece of information to point out is that letters finish at different heights, so they will connect to the next letter at different heights. The key here is to anticipate the strokes of the next letter, and continue the exit stroke until where the next letter will touch.
See this example – Connecting letters to an a.
When drawing an a, we start with the oval stroke, which actually starts on the right side of the oval and moves towards the previous letter.
This can sometimes make it tricky since we need to leave enough gap for the letter.
So when we draw the exit stroke for the previous letter, we can simply finish that exit stroke where we want the left side of the a to be.
In this example, let’s look at the o. I finish that exit stroke up towards the waistline, and I lift my pen. I move to the right, and start the a’s oval stroke. As I am writing the thick part of the a’s oval stroke, I purposely aim to touch the o’s exit stroke on my way down.
So the goal is simply to finish the exit stroke where you want the far left part of the next letter to be.
I don’t want to over complicate things, I just know that sometimes as I was learning I would write the next letter, and would end up making it all wonky because I didn’t leave enough room for the stroke.
Anticipating the next stroke can be easily achieved as long as you go slow. Calligraphy isn’t a race or speedy handwriting – it’s an art and pacing yourself is key.
Different Ways To Connect Letters
Another thing you can practice as you go slowly is making variations to the exit and entrance strokes. When developing their own style of calligraphy, people will find a certain way to connect letters that suits them. Let’s look at some examples of letters with different exit and entrance strokes.
Three different b’s
The first b looks like it has been connected to a shorter letter that ends at the waistline, such as o or w. The ascender stem joins the entrance stroke seamlessly, because they have been created with the one movement. The exit stroke is more traditional however, with no swirly or fancy changes.
The middle b has an upstroke for it’s entrance stroke, which has come from a letter that finishes at the baseline, such as an l or m. The exit stroke on this one though, has changed the oval stroke though, connecting it with the exit stroke in one seamless movement.
The last stroke has done this same thing but in a more dramatic fashion. The exit stroke has extended the oval down below the baseline and behind the ascender stem, then to come up and pass through them all to connect to the next letter. The entrance stroke has come from the baseline again, but is flowey and joins in with the ascender stroke in one simple movement.
Two different v’s
In this image with the two v’s you can see different examples of the connections. The first v uses a traditional entrance stroke; from the baseline up to the start of the v. It also shows a simple exit stroke to the next letter.
The second v shows an entrance stroke which looks a lot like the exit stroke from the first image. It shows that this v came after a letter that ended at the waistline. The exit stroke on this v includes a little oval swirl, making it a little bit fancy.
Experiment and Go Slow
Just remember – if you’re practicing, you are progressing. Experiment with different letter combinations, add swirls, make it fancy or simple. I have included some examples to trace over in the resource library to help you get started too. Once again, if you don’t have the password to the FREE resource hub yet, pop your details in here and it will be sent it straight to your inbox.