Sunday, June 25, 2017

Modern Brush Calligraphy Alphabet (Bounce Lettering)

modern brush calligraphy alphabet - bounce lettering

I've been doing calligraphy for a little over a year now, and in that time, I've improved a lot - well, at least I like to think that I have. In the very beginning, I think one of the hardest things about starting was that I was lost in terms of an alphabet. I used to have look at a bunch of different Instagram calligraphers for different letter inspiration, but through that (and lots of practice doing various headers in my bullet journal), I've developed my own style in terms of modern calligraphy.

That style happens to consist pretty much completely of bounce lettering, which is where the lettering is a little more free-form, and each individual letter isn't completely straight on a baseline (especially the strokes that connect each letter together, which tend to go below the baseline in bounce calligraphy). That explanation probably didn't make much sense, so look through my Instagram, and you'll see a lot of examples of it (such as in this photo). I personally find bounce lettering easier than "normal" lettering because you can be a little sloppy, but it'll still look good. Plus, it automatically gives it that cute and "whimsical" look that modern calligraphy is often known for.

So, I've decided to share with you today my own modern calligraphy alphabet, specifically for bounce brush calligraphy (though you can still by all means use this same alphabet for other types of mediums). If you've just started learning calligraphy or if you haven't started yet and you have no idea where to begin (or if you just want to spice up your own calligraphy style with some variation), then this'll be a great resource to kickoff your hand-lettering journey, whether you want to do weddings, decorate your bullet journal, or anything in between.

If this is your very first attempt at any type of calligraphy, I highly suggest trying out faux calligraphy before brush calligraphy. It's not required, but I think it would be helpful.

alphabet for modern brush calligraphy (specifically bounce lettering)
You can click on the image to make it bigger
The main thing to remember with brush calligraphy is this: thick downstrokes, thin upstrokes. To do this, you write with more pressure when doing downstrokes and less when doing upstrokes. Of course, this also means that your brushstroke order is quite important. So, in this guide, I made sure to include that with each character.

Also, if you've seen many examples of my work, then you might've noticed that a lot of the time, I just use all lowercase letters instead of bothering with capital letters; plus, my uppercase letters are sometimes just bigger versions of the lowercase ones (like with "M", "N", and "U"). That way, I can avoid having to bother with annoying capital letters like "T" and "F". Those letters suck. Plus, it's easier to make your calligraphy consistent with all lowercase letters than with mixed case.

Anyway, I hope this guide has helped you with your own bounce calligraphy's alphabet. Feel free to comment on this post or shoot me a DM on Instagram if you have any questions! My biggest piece of advice for bounce lettering is to practice a lot (especially using ruled or grid paper, so you have guidelines that make sure your letters are at least kind of on one line and not all over the place) and just to let your hand do it's own thing, not specifically trying to force it to adhere to certain forms.

Fluidity of your bounce calligraphy will come over time (and with lots of practice), but I think letting your hand and wrist be free and soft is quite important, too. Also, experiment with where you go and up and down; like I said earlier, I tend to go below the baseline in the stroke connecting letters, but that's just a rule of thumb; you just need to try different things when practicing to see what you think looks good.

What type of calligraphy do you like doing the most? Leave it in a comment down below!

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