Flourishing can be a beautiful way to enhance your calligraphy skill set. Being versed in one or more flourished alphabets can add value to your portfolio and client work, and it can be useful in a practical, rather than just aesthetically pleasing, sense as well {see number 4!}. Below are just a couple basic tips to help you in your flourishing adventures.

1 // Plan in advance and use pencil if needed to sketch out where you want your flourishes to be included. If you’re using pencil, make sure to press LIGHTLY so you can erase later.

2 // Make sure your flourishes maintain the same shape as the alphabet you’re using. For example, if you are writing in copperplate or a copperplate-based style, which is very heavy on oval shapes, you would want your flourishes continue to use oval shapes.

3 // Intersect your lines at nearly right angles. Likewise, try not to intersect a heavy line with another heavy line.

4 // Use flourishing to balance your writing and/or aide in centering. For example, if an envelope is heavy on the left, use your flourishes to draw the eye over to the right to balance the artwork on the envelope.

5 // Use your whole arm to make the sweeping flourishes rather than just finger strokes. This will help the strokes look less confined and more natural.

6 // Never flourish so much that it makes your writing illegible or distracts from what you’re trying to say.

Looking to take your flourishing one step further? Consider our Beyond Beginner Workbook + Video. This guide includes two flourished alphabets, a tracing pad with one of the flourished alphabets, a full set of flourishing examples, details on letter consistency, information on letter connections and more. Head to the shop and stock up on pens, inks, & nibs.