Fundamental Strokes in Brush Lettering

These foundational strokes will set you up to create all of the lowercase letters in brush calligraphy. Get to know the strokes in your mind before you pen them. Practicing these strokes individually will help you create consistent letterforms.


The full-pressure stroke is a fully shaded downstroke with a square top and bottom. It is found in all letters. It should extend along the slant angle from the first ascender to the first descender. You can always practice this stroke at longer or shorter lengths as well.


Place the tip of your brush pen nib at the baseline. With no pressure, draw a curved line up and to the right toward the header line. Make sure the straight portion of the hairline is parallel to the slant angle. Once you are at the header line, you can either lift or continue the curve over and down, gradually applying more pressure. Release the nib to snap the tines together, creating a square bottom.


The underturn is the reverse of the overturn. Place your brush tip on the header line and draw a dash to create a square top. Make sure the stroke is parallel to the 55-degree slant angle and that the pressure is even. Pull down to create a shade, and as you near the baseline, slowly release pressure and form a curve that comes to a point at the baseline.

Compound Curve

The compound curve is a combination of overturn and underturn. Draw a curved line up, then apply pressure, pull the shade down toward the baseline, and finally let the left tine meet the right at the bottom to close the shape. There should be an equal distance between the overturn and underturn.


The oval shape is important because it is the basis for many of the shapes in the brush lettering. It is found in the letters a, c, d, e, g, o, and q. Begin the top of the shade at the header line. The shaded portion of this shape can be thought of as half of a coffee bean. At the bottom of the shade, at the baseline, draw a hairline up, out, and back over to meet the top of the shade at the header line. You can see the similarities in the bottom of the oval to an underturn and the top of the oval to an overturn.

Ascending Loop

The ascending loop is found in the letters b, f, h, k, and 1. Draw an upstroke and direct the upstroke toward the left and down along the main slant angle to form the beginning of a loop. Start to apply pressure on the brush tip, then pull a full-pressure stroke down, being sure to square the bottom of this stroke. Note that this stroke does not come to a square bottom when applied to the lowercase b and l, but rather ends like an underturn. The top portion of the ascending stem loop should be all hairline.

Descending Loop

The descending loop is simply the opposite of the ascending loop. Draw a full-pressure stroke down along the slant angle and start to release pressure. The curve of the loop, as in the ascending loop, should all be an upstroke. Draw the upstroke back up, stopping once you reach the shade. When you are drawing letters such as g, j, and q, you do not want to pull ink through, so lift and then draw the exiting upstroke on the other side of the shade.

How to Improve Brush Lettering

brush lettering class Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Here are some of the common issues with brush lettering beginners:

1.Shaky upstrokes

Go slow and focus when you are practicing your upstrokes. Movement should be generated at your wrist when you create a thin upstroke.

2.Thick Upstrokes

Focus on consistency to build your muscle memory. The small brush tips create finer and thinner upstrokes. If you notice you have thick upstrokes, try to add more pressure on your downstrokes to create contrast in a letter.

3.Inconsistent slant

Use guideline sheets to keep a consistent slant. Hold your pen 45 degrees to the paper to create a slant line. Always reflect and look at the slant of the previous stroke to improve your consistency.

4.Small Loop

Collapsed loops are due to transitioning too early from thick to thin or vice versa, not enough contrast between down and upstrokes. Always go slow and make a conscious effort to be consistent

5.Heavy/ Uneven Underturn

It is common to see beginners create heavy bottom under turn or uneven pressure on transitioning between thick/ thin strokes. Start off with full pressure downstrokes and when you move toward the bottom/baseline, slowly reduce the wrist pressure to create a thin upstroke

Brush lettering Kuala Lumpur
Comparison between hand lettering without guide sheets and with guide sheets

How to Start Journaling

Journaling is a great way to help you to check in on your ideas and feelings.

It brings many benefits to your life and wellbeings. It helps in your reflection, creativity, and exploration. Spending some time to think about what has happened in a day is a wonderful way to live and set your goals for the future.

Writing a journal is such a wonderful way to help you check in on your thoughts and feelings. Go here to learn more about junk journaling and journaling essentials.


1. Collect every moment. Use photos and get creative!

2. Write down what did you do, your feelings, and whom you’ve seen in a day. You can explore your handwriting in a calligraphy style.

3. Write down your dreams and wishes and how are you going to achieve them

4. Make a to-do list

Happy writing!

Wedding Wax Seal and Stationery Suite

Custom Wax Seal Personalized Gift Set for Wedding Invitations Initials Monogram Logo
We love stationery and weddings.
Here we offer a custom wax seal service. You may custom any logo, monogram, initials, or crest into a unique wax seal for use on your wedding correspondence or table settings.
Wax seal helps to add a glamorous, elegant edge to otherwise simple stationery.
Next, we’ll provide some handy guide and inspiration for using wax seals for name tags, place cards, table settings and etc.

Wedding Stationery Suite

Save The Dates

Save-the-dates give your guests a friendly heads-up. They are not always necessary but are never a bad idea. Your guests may decide to decline your wedding due to a personal trip, so it can be sent up to a year in advance.


Send invitations so that your guests can plan their schedules. Invitations should be sent far enough in advance for your guests to make their travel plans.


Your RSVP deadline will depend on how much lead time your wedding. professionals need. Check with the caterer when they need a final number and set an RSVP return date on the card.

Thank You

You may start receiving gifts from friends and family who are unable to attend your wedding. Send them the card the right way to minimize your workload after the wedding.

Continue reading “Wedding Wax Seal and Stationery Suite”