Flourishing For Beginners
Welcome to the FINAL part of this series! Flourishing basics: adding a little flair to your calligraphy.
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
- Connecting the letters
I am so happy you’re still here. Are ready to add some pizzazz to your calligraphy? Flourishing can do exactly that.
Flourishing for Beginners: Use Ovals
The best advice I can give for someone learning to flourish is: Ovals.
Flourishing is simply adding swirls and decorations to the letters, often by extending the strokes. Many people get stumped as to how to extend these strokes, and I recommend experimenting with ovals. Flourishes that are oval shape add such an elegance to the writing and look way more natural than other shaped flourishes.
Flourishing For Beginners: Don’t stick to the Guidelines
Flourishes don’t abide by the guidelines. As you flourish, feel free to draw the ascenders past the ascender line, and the descenders past the descender line.
Make the exit strokes drop past the baseline and can curve up around the waistline. There is so much freedom when flourishing to ignore all the guidelines.
Flourishing For Beginners: Flourish Evenly
If a word is flourished dramatically at the end of the word, but it is missing any at the start, it can look lop-sided and wonky. If you don’t see any letters at the start of the word to flourish – don’t fret. Try bringing some of the other flourishes below/above the word over to the start to even it out.
See the example of the word “flourish” – when I was drawing this word, it actually looked top heavy. The capital F and the h filled out the top, but there are no descenders to work with. So I flourished with the r, and used that flourish to underline the whole word – evening it out with the top half.
Flourish For Beginners: Thick or thin
Flourishes may or may not follow the “thick down, thin up” rule. If they are all thin, they can look as good as those that do. So don’t stress about making your flourishes follow along with this rule straight away – build up to that ability. Focus firstly on how and where to flourish.
Flourishing For Beginners: Specific Strokes
There are plenty of strokes that you can flourish with. The ascenders, the descenders and the crossbars are the main ones people use. One that is often overlooked is the entrance and exit strokes. There is so much freedom in doing flourishes here, especially at the beginning/end of the line, because there aren’t other letters to watch out for. You can turn these flourishes into borders that outline the entire quote, or even use these flourishes to even out the flourishing weight. The key is to experiment.
I absolutely love flourishing – but there is only so much I can teach through writing. The key is to actually practice with different words. So I have included as much as I can in the worksheets for you to get started with. Grab them from the resource library, or, if you don’t have the password for that yet, pop your details in here and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.
You’ve done it!
Congrats on finishing this series! I am so excited to see what you create with this, so make sure you tag me in your posts or use #cherrypearlpractice.
As I was learning I kept a brush pen in my handbag and scribbled on receipts, notebooks, coffee cups and more. I got into the habit to try and keep downstrokes thick and upstrokes thin, that it became ingrained into my muscle memory. Keep practising and apply this skill everywhere! Brush calligraphy can be used in so many crafts, like cardmaking, scrapbooking, and so much more. I hope you use it often in your creative endeavours and I hope you love it!
Thank you so much for following along!
Where to next?
If you would like to continue on your calligraphy journey, or if you are still intimidated by the thought of adding flourishing to your work, check out Flourishing For Beginners – the newly updated workbook dedicated to removing the overwhelm you feel when flourishing.