Flourish Confidently: Calligraphy Monograms | Audrey Moon | Skillshare

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Flourish Confidently: Calligraphy Monograms

teacher avatar Audrey Moon, Watercolorist and Modern Calligrapher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Project Overview


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Letters A-D Flourishes


    • 6.

      Letters E-I Flourishes


    • 7.

      Letters J-S Flourishes


    • 8.

      Letters T-Z Flourishes


    • 9.

      Project Examples


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Are you ready to take your calligraphy flourishes to the next level? Let's do it together by designing monograms!

This class is for you if you’re past the beginner stages of learning modern calligraphy and want to sharpen your flourishing skills.

This class will focus on:

  • Uppercase letter flourishes - 3 different ways
  • Designing monograms

I highly recommend you also take my other “Flourish Confidently” class that has a more comprehensive and basic approach to flourishes in general.

See you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

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Audrey Moon

Watercolorist and Modern Calligrapher

Top Teacher

I'm so glad you're here! Whether you're new or a long-time student, I hope there's something for you in my classes.

My creative journey started with the bullet journal. Since then, I picked up watercoloring and calligraphy. It's been a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least! I published my first class on loose florals in September 2017, and have been steadily adding new classes. 

I love meeting new students and making connections. I hope to see you in one of my classes soon.

Thank you, and let's make the world a more beautiful place!


Website ][ Instagram ... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro: Welcome to flourish confidently, calligraphy monograms. My name is Audrey, I'm a water-colorist, calligrapher and educator right here on Skill share. This class is for you, if you're a passive beginner stages of modern calligraphy and really want to sharpen your flourishing skills. In this class, I want to focus on upper-case letters and how to thoughtfully design flourishes so that you can create a stunning monogram. You can use this skill and apply it to design projects like stationary stamps, personalized gifts, tattoos, and more. I'll take you through each letter of the alphabet and designed three different flourishes. Then I'll share a few monogram examples and explain my design process and best practices along the way. Soon you'll have an entire library of calligraphy monograms that you can use in your portfolio. I highly recommend you also take my other flourish confidently class that has a more comprehensive and basic approach to flourishes in general. Well if you're ready to take your calligraphy to the next level, let's do it. I'll see you in class. 2. Project Overview: Here is your project prompt. You are to design a calligraphy monogram using one, two, or three letters, and incorporate flourishes thoughtfully. The materials with which you use to create the monogram is completely up to you. It can be as simple as a pencil sketch or a final product embroidered on a handkerchief. The idea is to have fun playing around with flourishes, with designing flourishes, and creating something that's uniquely yours. I've also created a Pinterest board to help you jump-start your project. For the two-lettered monograms, you can have the letters side by side or diagonal, and same goes for the three-lettered monograms. Feel free to reference this board at the end of the class when it's time to create your project. For now, let it serve as inspiration and motivation. 3. Supplies: Here are some of the supplies that you'll need for this class. First, start really basic: you don't need to have pen and ink or brush pens or anything. I think the best way to sketch and design flourishes is to start just with a pencil. I'm using this Palomino blackwing pencil and I really like it because it's very smooth, it erases very easily, it's very comfortable to hold. That's what I'm using, but you can use any type of pencil that you like. I'll also be using a colored pencil to help design the flourishes and just so I can distinguish between the sketch to flourish and the original letter. Then obviously I'll need to use an eraser. To keep my pencils nice and sharp I'll be using a pencil sharpener, but again, you can use whatever you need to keep your pencils sharp, if you use a mechanical pencil that's fine too. This one just simply opens and you have a couple of different sharpening options and then the other part is for dumping out. In terms of paper, again, you can use any type of paper that you like but I highly recommend a type of paper that has either lines or dots, like this one has dots, or a grid. I like the grid because the dots are sometimes a little harder to see, so the grids are very clear. But again, it's really up to you and I highly recommend just lines, dots, or grids. That'll help to keep your letters consistent in size and shape. I also have guide sheets of dotted paper and grid paper, so if you want to download those and print them out, that's great too. If you're more of a digital person, feel free to use the iPad. I'm using the Procreate app. Again, this is a blank canvas and so if you want to turn on the grid, just go to this wrench icon up here and go to canvas, turn on the drawing guide, and then you'll see that a default grid size pops up. If you want to make the grid size a little smaller, select "Edit Drawing Guide" and down here at the bottom you can adjust how small you want to go, how large you want to go, etc. You might need to adjust after you start writing and then you figure out your letters are too big or too small. You can also change the color of your grid and that's just a personal preference. But you can also use any type of drawing app that again has lines, dots, or grids. Let's get started. 4. Drills: If you haven't already, I highly recommend you take the other Flourish Confidently class that has a comprehensive approach to flourishes in general. In this class, I may reference some points from that class. If you want to know more, definitely check it out. As always before we even start designing flourishes, we have to practice some drills and that's the case even with regular lettered calligraphy. This is just a way for us to warm up our hands, loosen our wrist because there's going to be a tendency to cramp up and your muscles might tense up and we definitely don't want that. For drills, I'd have a more extensive video in the other class, but for now, let's practice some ovals because flourishes and calligraphy in general follow a certain shape and that shape is the oval, so you want make sure that your ovals are somewhat consistent and have a nice balance. For me, I'm using the Rhodia dot pad or the grid paper and I'm going to make ovals that are about three squares high. Notice that I'm also putting pressure on the downstroke. It's kind of tensional, but it just tends to happen. I'm slowly overlapping or slightly overlapping these ovals but also trying to make them as consistent in width and height as possible. What we are also doing right now is building muscle memory. Then by the time it comes to create the flourishes, your brain will kind of remember, I used to make ovals that way. When you actually write flourishes, it tends to go a little faster. If you move to slow, your lines may turn out shaky. Sometimes you go a little bit faster in order to make them, so if your brain doesn't remember how to move in this fashion, then that's when your lines start to look awkward. Now that we did these separately, let's try to connect them. Another common flourish you'll see are like swashes. Something like a curved line like this. It may go horizontally or vertically or diagonally. It might look very different depending on how you design them, but this is a very good one to learn. Then relatedly, you can also combine the top and down version to create the infinity sign. This general shape you'll see pretty often, just take a couple more moments to practice this flourish and this figure eight you can try doing one really long one. When you do something like this, was a very consistent or anything but when you do a drill like this, you'll notice that it's easier if you actually lift up your arm and your wrist sort of in your hand, slightly above the papers that you're barely touching it and then really using your elbow to kind of pivot and move. Let's try it again and try that movement. Instead of planting your wrist firm on the paper, try to loosen the grip and loosen your stance on the paper and try to let it glide back and forth and then allow yourself to move downward from the elbow and it should feel a lot smoother, it should feel like less constrained. Keep on practicing until you feel like your hand is now warmed up and you're ready to go. Refer to my other class, if you want a more expensive lesson on drills. Otherwise, let's get started on our letters. 5. Letters A-D Flourishes: Before we start designing our flourishes, I want to review some basic rules. I did mention this in my other class, but I think it's worth mentioning again just in case you didn't take that class. The first rule is that only two lines may intersect at any moment. For example, if I were to write the word hope, and you can see here that I have three lines intersecting. You don't want that because it starts to look a little bit messy and it doesn't look as clean and visually interesting anymore. That's rule number one. Rule number two is you want flourishes to intersect at approximately 90 degrees. What I mean by that is here is a flourish and if you were to imagine what this angle is, you want it to be almost 90 degrees. Here, I'll show you another flourish. Here is one here and this angle right here, it's way more than 90 degrees and it starts to look like it was an accident or I was moving too hastily and I didn't know what I was doing. It doesn't look intentional basically. This flourish is a lot easier to read. It looks more planned, and that's what you want it to look like. Number three, you don't want to intersect two down-strokes or two thick lines. I don't have any examples here, but imagine if one of these lines were a thicker line again, that just goes against the legibility of the word. Lastly, your flourish style should match your calligraphy style. That's where the ovals really come in because unlike lettering, lettering involves different types of typefaces and fonts and it's really your unique style. Calligraphy does have your unique style too, but there's also a lot of consistency in terms of ovals. So if you were to imagine drawing imaginary ovals where your letters are, you want them to have that consistent shape, consistent angles, things like that. This oval is a little bit wide compared to some of my other ones, and this one's a little bit too round as well, when you're looking back at your work, you can go back and say, this one needs to be thinned out a little bit more. This will come again just with practice and as we did with the drills, as you practice a drill some more, your brain will remember, these ovals are about this wide and this high. That's why drills and those practices are so important. Let's move into designing our flourishes and the way that I'll go about teaching that in this class is that I'll show you three different letters or three types of the same letter. They may be written differently. They may be written the same. The point is that you know what your base letter looks like. One of the, I guess, requisites is that you need to know what your alphabet style is so you can base it off of an existing style, like copperplate, Spencerian, what have you? Or you can design your own style, make sure that it has consistent entrance strokes or exit strokes or ovals, things like that and then you can use that. Whatever you use, it's totally fine. What the purpose of this class is to help you get in that designing mindset. It's not about just copying the flourishes that I'm creating, but understanding why I created them that way, why it works, and how it can help you with your project later when you're designing the monograms. Let's start with a letter A. There are a couple of different ways that I write the letter A. This is one way. This is my base letter that I'll start with and I'll do it again over here. Another way is like this. We're going to switch over to my red color pencil and just talk through some different ways that you can design flourishes we'll do at least one simple one and then get a little bit more complicated as we go. Something simple that we can do if you go back to my other class and talk about the seven different places that you can add flourishes you want to identify those places. A couple of different places you can add them are here in these letters we have the apex. The apex is any of these top locations. This one doesn't really have an apex. We also have, at least in the first two, we have the cross or the crossbar. We can also have one at the entrance, which is the case for most letters, and the exits, which again is also the case for a lot of letters to. Let's go about that. If I want to start simply, I'll probably just do the cross stroke. Maybe I will exaggerate this. Instead of going up then down, maybe I'll have something that looks like this. Again, try to keep your ovals consistent. Imagine that there are imaginary ovals there and then I could also do a small loop here, maybe a little bit wider. You can imagine it without that too. It still looks good. If you add it, does it help elevate the letter? If it does, great, keep it. If it doesn't, don't worry about it. One of my favorite ways is to use this entrance stroke to cross here and then loop around. You want to keep all this thin. You can remember your ovals.You can also dip down and then create a small loop and then go around like that. Not too complicated and if you wanted to balance out this left side with the right, you'd have another loop like that. These are drills that we practiced earlier, right? These are like the infinity symbols or the figure eights. For this last one, there are a couple of different places I like to add a flourish over there and then maybe even in this exit stroke. Instead of closing it with this under-turn here, I'm going to bring this inward, make this oval little bit narrower, and then have a series of intersecting ovals like that. Then for this one, let's elongate it a little bit. Then do the same that we've done before or you can have it come back around and then end up inside that first loop. So as you can see here, you can identify all the different places that you could possibly add flourishes but keeping in mind that you don't have to do at every single point, right? You really looking for balance. You're still looking for readability. It still needs to be recognizable. You don't want to add so many flourishes that it becomes hard to tell what the original letter even a was. Let's try writing these with the flourishes. If you wanted to, you can go back and then add the emphasis on the down-strokes, that the letters look more pronounced. I know, I spent a lot of time on this letter A, I probably won't spend as the same amount of time on the other letters, but I wanted to do that so you can see what I'm thinking and what I'm going through. But let's keep on going because we got all 26 letters to go. Let's go onto the letter B. Just like the letter A, there are a couple of different ways that I write this letter too. This is my default. This is my more fancy way. Again, just thinking about where the flourishes could go, the B, in my mind already has so many oval shapes already, so I don't want to overwhelm with too many more flourishes. For this first one, I really like this exit stroke. So instead of going up, I can simply make this loop a little bit bigger and then come down like this, so that it has an anchoring, almost like a cushion for the letter. For this one, I can look at the exit stroke again. I can keep this oval the same, but then come down maybe, and then have a point there, and then have a swash to finish it off. But this one isn't as anchoring as this one because I made the oval larger, this B is centered. But this one because I extended the flourish out to the right, it doesn't feel as stable, and, so I feel have to add another flourish on this entrance stroke so that it looks more balanced. Here I can come up this way and then have a big loop here. Notice that the smaller loop and this larger loop I created, you want to make sure that these lines are parallel. So you can gauge that by just seeing these lines. You want to make sure that there's the same distance so they are parallel. All right. For this one, I really like doing this. This is one of my favorites, doing that, figure eight or infinity symbol and coming around there. Just like how I created a balance here at the bottom, I'm creating a balance up at the top. I can still do a smaller flourish right here, just to add a little something. So here are some ways for the letter B. I write the C a few ways too. This is probably the most basic. Here's another way, and I'll do the same over here. Again, if you don't have default ways or if you're already writing your letters, that's where you really need to start first. If you need to do that, you can take my first Modern Calligraphy Basics Class that goes over all of the lowercase and uppercase letters. So that way, you can really just hone in on that style and move from there. This C is also just like one giant oval, right? Again, I don't like to overwhelm it with too much. Let's start really simple. For example, here I can get rid of that tiny loop into a swash this way, keeping it very simple. This exit stroke I like, I can do another swash or half of a figure eight here. I can also balance it up at the top. Since I swung to the left, let's have this top one maybe swinging to the right. Again, keeping this line very parallel. If you do keep a parallel, then when you intersect here, that's how you'll get that 90 degree. I can have a small loop here, and then come up. For this one, I can have just an intersecting oval here and then end it with this swash. This oval is a little too wide. I don't know if you can tell. Even though the letter looks really simple, you don't have to overwhelm it with so many flourishes, I mean. But if you want to continue going, that's fine too. Just want to make sure that you don't take away from the legibility. Here you can keep going with crazy ovals like this but that's really too crazy. Let's finish this page off with the letter D. Kind of similar to the letter B. I write it a few different ways. Now the great thing about calligraphy is because you have certain letters that may start out the same or exit the same or have general basic strokes. I'll refer to this later too because the B is very similar to the letter P, and the letter R, because the top part is basically identical, and the bottom is just a little bit different. So in that case, you can use some of these same flourishes or try to challenge yourself and come up with something different. Since this is a teaching class, we'll come up with something different. Let's say for the letter D, let's look at the entrance strokes. In the letter B, we looked at the exit strokes a lot. For this one, instead of curving down, let's do one that curves up like this, and the rest of it could stay. For this one, I really like this entrance stroke here, so I'm going to do something similar that I did for the other one. I'm going to make a larger loop, come in and intersect here, but then have a swash that comes into the middle of the D, right there. A flourish like this is really great because if you are writing this as part of a name, you're not really interfering with what's going on on this side, so you can still write the rest of the name with no problem. But this big flourish here really helps to make this letter look super important. For this one, one of my favorite flourishes is to exaggerate this oval here and bring it below the letter itself actually. So I'm going to extend this and I come down, intersect here, create a small loop, and like that. Again, always look back, step back and look, can I still tell what this letter is? If I were to write it all in pencil, would I be able to tell what a letter is and are all of my lines intersecting at approximately 90 degrees? Let's keep going with the rest of the alphabet. 6. Letters E-I Flourishes: For the letter E, it has similar idea to the letter C. So I have a small loop. That's basically how I write it, but there are lots of ways to write it too. Omit that last oval here just so I can see what I could do with it. Again, because there are so many oval shapes already happening in this letter, I want to try to keep it as simple as possible. For this first one, I liked this little loop. Maybe I could just have an oval coming around this way of the flourish and have a swash going down that way that it looks balanced if you were to look at it at its whole. With this one, let's play around with this entrance stroke. That was terrible. There we go. That's a little bit better. We need to widen this a little bit. Now here I do have to be careful because if this loop is too big, I don't want it competing with the actual letter. I'm actually going to try writing this one in pencil just so I can get a sense of what it would actually look like. Let's start with the actual letter itself. You do want to be careful of that. I do like how in calligraphy you do have those thick and down-strokes or thick down-strokes. If you were to make your E a little bit more pronounced then the flourishes fade into the background. Yeah, it's actually making it in pencil doesn't look as distracting when I first drew it in red. Let's keep going with the letter F. The letter F is honestly one of my favorites to do flourish because it's so fun, there's so many places that you could add a flourish. I don't really write the F very differently, so they're all going to look the same. If you write it differently, that's great too. I'd love to see different ways that you could write the F. One of the easiest ways is this nice big entrance stroke. This one you'll see quite often. You're going to see it in the letter S even in my other letters, when I did a swash entrance stroke like this, I could also extend this and have an oval like that too. So you can really have it a lot of different places do that. Let's bring this around. Again, try to keep these ovals consistent. You want to intersect at a right angle. Another way that you'll know that these ovals are going to intersect at a right angle is that the shape of the oval that you are going for really is like this. So as long as you're intersecting at a shape like this, your ovals are always going to intersect at a 90 degree angle. This could be a drill and of itself too going around and around. I love to emphasize this large cross stroke as well. So I'm going to do a huge loop and have it intersect here. Again, being very careful with how I'm intersecting. Now this looks really busy, but if you were to write it fully in pencil, it won't look that bad. Another way that I like to do this oval here is that you can do that same set of intersecting ovals like this. But then extend this out, come to a point and it ends with this swash, can have a big oval here, flourish and come around. Again, these are very exaggerated flourishes. I went a little overboard because like I said, I really like the letter F in flourishing on here. Let's do something a little bit more simple for this last one. For this one, I like to come around and have this same oval here. But instead of going all the way down like before, I'm going to stop here and then use that to transition into the cross stroke there then have just a simple flourish up here. The letter G, I write pretty much the same as well. It's basically just a large lowercase g. Doesn't look very fancy at all. But if you add flourishes, then it does look fancy. There you go. This top part is similar to that A that we did in the beginning, so I can add a flourish right here. This bottom part is essentially a descender stroke, so you can do a whole lot here too. But let's try to keep it simple after doing a whole bunch with the letter F. Let's do some things similar like we did with the letter A coming back in and intersecting some ovals there. You can take this one step further, do that same thing then have a swash to exit. Then here we can do a bigger loop like this. Again, when you do something like this, you want to make sure that this line is parallel, it's not quite parallel right now. Then let's take this out here. In this one, instead of having such a vertical oval stroke like this, you can try to swing your descender stroke out this way and create a horizontal oval like this. You don't want to extend it too far because you want this one to have that balance going out to the right and then that's why you swung out this one to the left to help balance that out. So keep this one, this little tail, don't sling it out too far. Let's keep going with the letter H. The letter H you can write a couple of different ways. My default way is to have my entrance stroke there. That's my default basic H in my Audrey style. But the next two, I'm going to write a little bit differently, just so you can see where you could add flourishes. I have two squashes next to each other, parallel then from here we can add a ton of different flourishes. This line, I'm going to change the entrance stroke, similar like I did with the letter D. This is a nice big under turn, so I'm going to take advantage of that then put another loop here, balance on the left and then on the right. Here, let's do with these swashes what we did with the letter F, but then just leave it open-ended. Big cross stroke here. I shouldn't have dip too far low because this one's not as low. It looks a little imbalanced, but you get the idea. So with these washes, what's great is that you can do so much on every single point. For here, let's do a loop like this and I'm going to have a very exaggerated cross stroke like this, have a larger loop here compared to this one and I can do that because there's not really much happening here and they're all broad strokes. What's great about this one is, I'm going to be using the term monogram more broadly. The actual definition is using two or three letters to create one cohesive symbol. But I think in calligraphy, again, I'm going to try to broaden the term just to say you can use two to three letters or maybe even one letter and just make it look like one overall shape. For example, in this one, it almost looks like if you look carefully, you have the H, but you also have the L right here. So if you have the initials H and L, I think we've got your monogram right here. So you can add a little bit more, maybe up here or have this loop coming around whatever you want. But this is just one way. Again, your letters don't have to be merged like this, if it happens to turn out that way, great, but it doesn't have to be. But this is just thinking ahead. Let's do one more letter on this page. The I, I write pretty much the same way as well. For this one, I'm going to swing out this exit stroke and do that same loop to loop that I'd done before. This one, I'm going to close up this just a little bit too wide. I'm going to swing over. Again, being careful to intersect at 90 degrees right there because there's a lot going on, have the flourish coming down. Again, being mindful of how parallel my lines are here. Let's do something different with this stroke up here. Then so this one, because I swung to the left, I want to go to the right. Come around. So in a letter like this, it's a little bit more compact, but in this one, I decided to really stretch it out and take advantage of all the space I have. Let's keep going. 7. Letters J-S Flourishes: The letter J. They tend to look similar to my I's. I always have to be careful not to confuse them. Let's play around with the letter J. Here I always really like to do this flourish here. It's very basic. It adds a little bit more just flair to it without being too flashy. It's something we can play around, similar to the I. This descender stroke, we really emphasize here, make it a larger loop and then go over to the right. Here, instead of stopping here at the descender stroke here, just intersect it, go beyond it, and then have a swash out here. Then since we swung this to the right, let's swing this to the left. You can have a big loop. Something like that. The uppercase K, I will admit, was one of my most hated letters. I don't know why. I just had a lot of trouble writing this letter, but the more that I write it now, it's growing on me. For these flourishes with the swash, we can always do this basic one here, this loopty loop. I really like exaggerating this stroke here. This one, it's okay if you go below this baseline here. We are going to extend this one out and then intersect this loop right there. I think that looks pretty good. Lets take this line and do a loop there. Also extend this top one, not too far because then it looks like a giant letter. Then to balanced this top heavy flourishes that are going on, you can do a loop and then come back around like this. For this one, let's do variations of what we've done so far. Having a loop but then having it more sideways. This was almost vertical. Then have a big loop just right there. Even just one or two things on a letter or whether it's like three things that are going on here. This one has three as well. Again, you just don't want to overwhelm the letter. If you were to rewrite these and pencils or with a pencil, it won't look that distracting. I like to have a big loop like this. Some people have smaller loops, which is totally fine. Let me do one with the smaller loop too. I just feel like when you have a larger loop, you just have more room to work with. That's just a personal preference though. From here, instead of having one continuous line, you can always break it up. Break up any ovals and loops with a smaller loop right there. Have something like that. Then for this smaller one, because you have a smaller loop here, can always have an even larger loop. Goes around like that. This oval is too big. Keeping it simple or adding a whole bunch. M is another favorite. My default way is to write it like this. The more fancier way. I'm really liking how I can turn this entrance stroke into a loop here. I think that's all I'm going to do here. I mean, maybe you can extend this out like that. For this one, the easiest is this apex here to have that swing around. Make a big swash here. This one, you can do that loopty loop again. You can have another loop here as well, but just a little smaller so that the larger one can really take the show. Because you've got two things going on down here, you want to balance that out. I really like flourishes that can effortlessly intersect the actual letter and not take away from it. I think this swash accomplishes that. I don't know if I can fit the letter N, but let's try. The N I write very similar to the M. We can try some of the same things. For this one, we'll try that other entrance stroke flourish that I'm really starting to like. This one you can actually have a closed loop. This one you can keep it simple and have a loop here. Then if you want to balance that out with something on the left, you can have just another open loop out here. For the letter O, you can keep it really simple, as in your basic letter. You want to have that basic oval shape, and you can leave it slightly open so that you can potentially add flourishes here at this exit point or here at this entrance point. The way that I normally write my Os, is like a giant lower-case O. Speaking of, you can have a set of smaller ovals here. Now, because your oval shape is already established, it helps you because then you can create the smaller or even the larger ovals relatively in size. Let's have this one go up a little bit and then swing out to the left, and then you can have another smaller oval coming out this way. Lots of intersecting ovals, it's a lot of fun. For this one, I'm going to start the exit stroke right here and then do another curve or semi-circle here. Not too in love with this. Because there's nothing really going on on this side, so if anything, maybe I should have had this coming out this way. Well, you live and learn. I don't know, it's growing on me. Not every you flourish is a home run. Let's move on to a letter P, but at least you have some ideas of what you could potentially do with the letter O. The letter P, I also write a couple of different ways. Remember I had mentioned that the letter P is going to have a lot of similarities with the letter B. With these I'm going to keep them fairly simple, just have a smaller loop right there. Similar to the letter B, I could've done a little bit more here maybe, definitely here up at this entrance point. This one, I probably could have done a little bit more, as well, maybe make the loop just a little bit smaller and then have a tail coming out this way, but you do want to be careful because you don't want this to start looking like the letter B either. Then for this one, if I went too far down, it will start looking at the letter R, so just be wary of those things. Then it'll just come with practice as well. Let's keep going with the letter Q. The letter Q is interesting because it basically looks like the number 2, but again you still want to keep in mind that oval shape. Again, if you write the letter Q differently, I'd love to see it. I know some people write it like the letter O and then just have a different tail at the bottom. That looks interesting but to me sometimes that looks confusing and just looks like the letter O. I'm really liking just this simple loop. This additional loop, again just adds a little bit of elegance and elevates it. I bring this in, and there's more that you could do here. This is basically an infinity symbol, almost like half of one already, so you can take that to the next level and add another one and have an even bigger oval shape here. You can also do one here, and then swing out like this. I love these little like swashy tails too, but that's just also a personal preference. If you're not feeling it, you don't have to, these are just some ideas. The letter R. You can start to see that I'm doing some of the same flourishes. Honestly, that's not a bad thing, it just means that you're starting to see the same kind of shapes and you're trying to develop maybe your own style, so don't feel like that's a bad thing. It's not like you have to come up with a thousand different flourishes. That is not the purpose of this class. The purpose of this class is to train your eye to see how you can draw different flourishes but also start establishing like a library of flourishes too.Again, you don't have to have a million flourishes that you're working with, but rather, what's a good flourish to place here. You don't want to be thinking about it too much, and you don't have to feel like you have to reinvent the wheel either. Just thinking again to your project later, anytime you exit like this, if this was your first initial and your drawing your monogram with two letters diagonally, you can think about how this could lead to the next letter down here. Lets finish off this page with the letter S. The S is another favorite of mine. One of my favorite flourishes is just to add a simple swash right here. For this one, you can have the entrance stroke instead of curving upward, you can have it coming down and hugging the bottom of the S right here,again, being mindful to keep it parallel. You can even bring this up as well if you want, and then have another swash coming out. Again, so many possibilities. For this one, let's kind of keep this entrance stroke up here and I'm going to do a series of loops intersecting up here. I'm going to come above this oval here and curl around. Again, when you have a lot of intersecting lines like this, take a step back, look at it, how are these angles here? Let me zoom in here. How are those angles there? What about this angle? To me, most of these look like they're 90 degrees, except for this one. This one is a little wide, but that's just one out of a lot of flourishes, and so it doesn't bother me as much. The fact that this overall shape and then this oval shape and this oval shape, they're all pretty consistent, and so this little angle that's a little wide, it doesn't bother me as much. In general, it still looks very balanced. Then you can take this and have a loop out here. Now, if you are using this for a full name, you may want to omit this, so that you can keep writing the name to the side. Let's do the last set of letters. 8. Letters T-Z Flourishes: The letter T has some similarities to the letter F as we've seen. I don't write it too differently. Just like the F there are a lot of fun ways that you could add flourishes. Let's do a big loop here maybe. We have our series of intersecting loops like this and really exaggerated cross stroke like this. This slash here you don't have to curve upward if you don't want to, you can always do something more like this. Then instead have a lot of fun with the crossbar here. This one's probably the silliest D I've done but I like it, I don't know. Let's go on to the U. The U looks very basic to me as well. Sometimes I just change up what the entrance stroke looks like. The V is a little tricky because if you don't have like this point down here or if you make this too rounded, you run into the danger of it looking like the letter U. Just be careful that you can definitely tell the difference between a letter V and the letter U. For this one, I really like it because again these entrance and exit strokes really make it easy to have flourishes. Is keeping a symbol first. Saturate this one maybe. It's a little too rounded for my style. We can get away with it. Maybe if I made it just a little smaller like that instead. I really like this one. There's so much going,. This could be like a stamp all on its own, so I really like that one. The V is tricky as well because, again you want to be careful not to make it look like the U either. Like my letters up here, the only way that you can tell that this is a U is because these under turns have a little bit more width, whereas these under turns are closer together. Just be mindful of that. Let's see what we can do with the W. I think I'm going to do this for almost every single letter now. I think this is cool maybe you can intersect here. Just be careful not to get too close to that center one,. You can have another loop to loop over here. I like what I did with the V here. But instead of having it so large here because a W is already a larger letter, I'm thinking hopefully I won't look too busy but maybe I can do some intersecting loops over here. If I make this really large, come around, intersect right there. I wonder how that looks. Not too bad. Again, I think if I thickened the down strokes for the W, then this flourish won't look as messy. It's not too bad. Then if I swing this around, I have loop going up this way to help balance that out. Slowly growing on me, The cool thing is, I'm actually learning a lot about this whole process as much as you are. I'm having a lot of fun and I hope you are too. I'm going to turn the page for the last three letters. Let's keep going with the letter X. I'll write it pretty basic like this. I'll thicken or I'll darken my lines a little bit so you can see. The X is a little tricky because although it seems like there are four places you can add flourishes, which is true, again you want to be mindful that you don't add a flourish at all of those locations. For example in this first one if we do that loop to loop that I've been doing for a lot of my entrance strokes, it can quickly start to look really busy. Because there's a lot going on here, I'm thinking of opening up this side. For this one let me do that opening up, but then have a loop. I can still do something here. Maybe I can do a smaller or a big loop here, then have a smaller loop that goes out like that. I don't know, there is a lot going on. Let's do something even simpler on this one. Maybe instead of this main stroke, we do something with the cross stroke here. This means I just have a small loop like this, and then do the same on the other side. You do want to be careful that these don't start looking like extra letters. I think if you kept the loops a little bit smaller, it will still look balanced. X was fun, let's do the last two letters. This combo is probably one of my favorite flourishes to do. I'm just changing this entrance stroke though I really like this one better. We can have a big loop right there then swing this out to be a more horizontal one. Last but not least, the letter Z. The letter Z is a lot of fun too but just like the letters E and C, and maybe even the O, there's just a lot of ovals already happening. Well, also depending on how you write it. But there's a lot of ovals already happening. I'm going to try to be a little bit more minimal, try to keep my additional flourished ovals smaller. Except for this intersecting one because I have to follow this size. But instead of intersecting or add another smaller loop I could just keep it open like that, have a small swash here. Keep my oval lines parallel. Have a spiral here. Maybe I can intersect here as well. Not to make it too crazy. But I like the vertical mirror image here, this coming down and this going up. I like that. That is all of our letters and possible flourishes. I hope you learned a lot about just how to think through flourishes, how you can be inventive or innovative with how you draw them. But you also notice then as we went through these letters, sometimes we ended up doing the same flourish over and over again. Again that's not a bad thing. I think the more you do it, the more you'll start developing again that muscle memory. If you find yourself doing the same flourishes, don't be discouraged. That's actually a good thing. It means that you're really honing in on your skill and on your style. Now that we're done coming up with flourishes for all 26 uppercase letters, it's time to start thinking about your project. Now if you want to keep practicing and come up with different flourishes, don't worry that's totally okay. I want you to take the time to be more creative or just practice the flourishes that you've created. But, it's also a great idea to now start taking some of what we've learned and what we practice and see what happens when you put two of these letters together. Then, how can you use flourishes again to thoughtfully bring them together, almost merging them together to look like one cohesive monogram? I'll see you in the next video. 9. Project Examples: Hey, everyone. Let's talk about our project. Your project is to create a monogram that has two letters or three letters or you can use one letter and make a nice flourished around it as well, it's really up to you. The idea is to incorporate flourishes so that the letters look beautiful and ornate and elegant, but still legible. I'm going to show you a couple of different examples here and they will have either two letters or three letters. Now, usually when there are two letters, the first initial is the first or the first letter is the first initial and then the second letter is the last name initial. In this case this is my name, Audrey Kone, I have little smudge there, so in my designing process, I have a couple of phases. Phase 1 is just sketching, so just write out the actual letters and try to place them about where you want them to be. Now these letters, they can be side-by-side or they can be diagonal, that's really up to you and that might also help you design the flourishes too. I find that when they are diagonal, sometimes it's a little easier to design the flourishes because you can have things that will connect to the next letter, yeah, I just find that a little bit easier. It's really up to your aesthetic and maybe you're working for a client and they want the letters next to each other, so keep that in mind, but for this example, I'm going to have them diagonally across from each other. Again, Phase 1 is just writing it out and these are just my basic styles, I tried to not add too many entrance strokes or anything like that but I place them generally where I thought they might go. The next Phase then would be to take notes and figure out, okay, now how can I bring these two together and start making it look like one cohesive monogram. In this case, I felt like maybe this exit here can transition upward and do the cross stroke there and then if I have this sort of curve upward and if I bring this letter K over to the left, then I can have these two lines essentially intersecting. If I do all of that over here on the bottom left corner, I'm left with a really big empty space, so I made a note to myself, okay, you've got to fill in this area. It can either be done maybe with this exit stroke here, maybe I would do it at the top of this stroke here, I could also use this apex of the A here to swerve that way, so just an idea of what I need to do. Notice that I didn't add too many flourishes, it's just one small one here and a really large one here and then a possible third one here. What I'm going for overall is a general shape, either a diamond or a circle, or maybe even a triangle, although that sounds weird, but you want to go for an overall nice symmetrical shape. If I go to my next one and hide those for now, this is the final one. What I did, I brought the K over to the left a little bit, I have this exit stroke here intersecting this entrance stroke of the K and like I said, I was going to swing this way over and have it cross here and just like I predicted, there was going to be this empty space up here and so I filled it in with this flourish at this K. I'll give you a moment to look at that and I could still do a little bit more or tweak it just a little bit more. If I were to take this to the next level as well, maybe I could for example, this falls below this baseline and this just about touches it, so if I have an uneven baseline here, I could have uneven baseline here as well, so maybe I could bring this up just a little bit more. There's a little bit of empty space here, I'm not too concerned about that, I'm really not, but if it really bothered me then maybe I could do something with this entrance stroke here. Then if I brought this up a little bit then maybe I could curve upward this way as well. Again, you don't have to add all of these extra things, these are just some other tweaks that you could potentially make, you know they're not necessary. I think what we have now is acceptable, if I were to turn that off and take a look at this again, this could work, I could see this on stickers, I could see this on stationary and since it's my name, it just makes it even more real. Yeah, try your name as well and it just really makes you think of all the possibilities, I think definitely stationary, I think even a stamp could work. Yeah, think of it like embossed on heavy handmade paper, how pretty with that be? As an example of two letters, let's do another one that might feel a little tricky because it's a double letter. Now, double letters can be hard because you're working with the same strokes, the same shape and it feels like you might not be able to do too much and so that's what we've got going on here. Sorry about that. I chose two Ps and you can really do any letters, but again, I decided to go with a diagonal form, it just feels a little bit easier to work with. Now, I wrote this in my default style in my default Audrey style, but as I was sketching my notes, let me turn up the opacity, as I was sketching my notes, I realized, I think I need to change the style in order to make it blend together better. Instead of having these basically I omitted, I put a little x here, like get rid of these entrance stokes, they don't work and instead at least for this entrance stroke I widen that over around like this and then instead of coming down and then back up for the P, do that other style was a little bit more fancy and you come around like this and so I have that on both of the letters. Then to connect the two, again, you don't always have to connect the two letters, it's okay if they disconnect, but just as long as they have some lines that are intersecting so they look like one cohesive piece but you don't have to, but in this case it didn't make sense. I could exit out of this and then come into the down-stroke there. Then because there's so much going on this left side, I felt like I had to balance something here on the right side, so I have this curve coming out this way. Here is what that final one look like. I had to tweak this one a lot because I felt like it was still really busy here on this left side. If I were to tweak this a little bit further, I could swing this out just a little bit wider out here, I could have another smaller semi-circle here. Let me just potentially write those in. I could bring this out this way and then have another smaller one here. It would just add a little bit more or I could even have it coming out this way too. That feels a little bit more balanced but there is still a lot of empty space here, so again, I'm not like, "Oh no, I have to fill in all this space." I think even without these tweaks, this still looks good. I think the only thing is I would make this part of the letter P just a little bit larger because when you have two letters, you want it to be roughly the same size. This one is looking slightly larger than the smaller ones, that's the only major change that I would probably make. Perhaps this little loop is a little bit too close to the other lines that are happening. Just minor tweaks here and there, but for the most part, I realized that as I was designing and sketching those, I had to go with a more traditional calligraphy look instead of my default style. Sometimes you have to be flexible like that and be willing to work with that. Let's go to an example with three letters. When you have three letters like this, the center letter is always going to be the last name initial, the first will be the first name initial, and then the third will be the middle name initial. Usually, the center letter is larger than the other two, and usually they're all on the same plane. But for my purposes, I had them slightly offset so this C and the L here are slightly lower than the M. Again, that's okay. We're doing more modern approach to these monograms, so don't feel like you have to be restrained to the traditional rules of the monogram. Looking at these, I've got a lot of stuff going on. I've got the same entrance happening for the C and the L, I've got this huge M here in the middle that I could do a lot with that. But there's a lot happening up here and not much happening here at the bottom. Those are some of the things I had to think through when I did my sketch. My sketch looks really messy right now but as I predicted, there's a lot I could do up here. I realized that this is one of the favorite spots to do an M flourish. I brought this over and I have this going straight into the C here. Because there's not much going on here at the bottom, I continued the C and have it looping around like this. Now, I do have to be careful because I don't want it to look like a different letter or make it look illegible. I do have to be careful of that. Then for the L, instead of breaking up the two entrance strokes or the exit and entrance strokes, I decided to take this undertone of the M and transition straight into the L. Again, I brought this exit stroke, dipped it a little bit lower just to fill in this space here at the bottom, and then come way up to fill in this space up here. So just take a moment to look at that. Again, I don't have to have all of these lines intersecting with each other or connecting to one another. You don't have to, that's not a requirement. But when you do connect, it eliminates the intersecting of lines and it also helps clean up the overall look. Let's see what the final one looks like. I decided to really keep these flourishes very large and quite minimal. I know it seems like there's a lot going on but I really tried to keep it as minimal as I could. The reason for that, was because I have three letters but I was also able to keep it minimal because I transitioned some of these entrance and exit strokes into each other. When you merge flourishes like that, you're able to get away with it and give it a more minimal look. You'll also notice that sometimes on the tails, I added just a little bit more entries. That's just a personal choice as well, you don't have to do that. I only do that just so you can see where the flourish ends, and because I keep my flourishes very skinny the whole way through, and that little end on the tail just adds a little bit of a touch. It also helps me to see, hey, is the overall look balanced? If I have one here and if I have one here, to me that reads, okay, it does look more balanced. All right. I'll give you another couple of seconds to look at that. The letters don't intersect all that much, they just merged some of the strokes. The only intersection that really happens is right here. All right. Let's look at one more example of another three lettered one. For this one, I chose slightly more difficult letters. I think whenever you have a descender like this on the G, that's going to be difficult than when you have a huge swooping letter like this on the S. At least in the way that I write it, there could be some complications too. I'll admit this one probably took me the longest to design. If you look in my sketches, they're a little bit more complicated, and you'll see that I actually ended up switching the style again. Especially on the each, I realized that having all these smaller loops, we're really getting in the way, and they were making the overall look very busy, very complex. So I decided to simplify them and just have this arc here and then have this L-shaped line here. This is technically a descender. Instead of going down too far and being the lone shape down here, I decided to make it an horizontal oval shaped. Remember how we did that to some of our letters. I made it a horizontal oval and then swung wide and high. The S more or less is still the same, not much has changed. Here is what the final one looks like. You can see that I simplified the H here, so I got rid of those loops. I did have this big loop here because I do still have to cross the H here, but because I got rid of the loop here, it does look more like an actual H and doesn't look too busy. Again, I swung the G to the side and then came up wide. I also decided to use the entrance stroke for the H here and then swing that around and use that as an opportunity to transition into the S. The S nicely intersects the H here. Always do that quick test, are my intersections at a 90 degree angle? This one is slightly more than a 90 degree angle, this one is definitely more than a 90 degree angle. Let's see. These are pretty good. This is slightly more than 90 degree. I'm not perfect but it's getting there. From here I could definitely do a little bit more tweaking and just be more mindful about how they're intersecting. Maybe I need to narrow this large loop. Just narrow it just a bit so that it doesn't have these wide angles here. All right. I'll give you guys a second to take that in as well. All right. Again, your final project is to create a monogram either with three letters or with two letters. It's really up to you how you design it and how you come up with it. Again, you can do it digitally like I did with the procreate app, you can use a pen and pencil, or a pencil and a colored pencil, you can use pen and ink, a brush pen, whatever material you'd like to do. If you want to apply this to a real life project, by all means do that. Maybe you're using foil or embossing, and you want to show the final work using these flourishes there, that's totally cool. Once you've done that, take a picture of it or send a digital file over to your computer so that you can upload your project and so we can all see. You can use your own name, you can use random letters, you can use a fictional name, whatever you'd like to use for inspiration, and I can't wait to see what you create. All right, I'll see you in the next video. 10. Final Thoughts: Congratulations on finishing this class. I hope you feel more confident in designing flourishes. You're well on your way to designing your own monogram, and I can't wait to see them. Before I say goodbye, I have a couple of tips. Number 1, make sure to establish your own alphabet style. Calligraphy is all about those fundamental strokes, so if you don't have a consistent style or a set of strokes then your flourishes won't be consistent either. Take your time in order to establish that. Don't feel like you have to leap frog and jumped to flourishes. It's well worth your time to lay a strong foundation on those fundamental strokes. Number 2, drills, drills, drills, and practice those ovals. You may have noticed during the earlier videos where I'm showing you how to draw flourishes with the red colored pencil. I actually lightly practice them ovals before I drew in the final flourish. I did that to make sure that my ovals were the correct shape. Your ovals may be larger or smaller, but they have to adhere to the proper proportions. Practice those drills to warm up your muscles and get those ovals right. Number 3, your eraser is your best friend. When designing monograms, the overall shape, symmetry, and balance are all important. Some of you who are more detail-oriented might even use a ruler to make sure that everything is spaced out perfectly. Some of you might be more relaxed and it might not matter as much. Whichever way you lean, I'm sure that you're still going to use the eraser over and over again to make sure that your final product is just right. Lastly, practice. Use your family and friends names, go through your favorite book or TV show and write down all of the characters, try as many different combinations as you can. Soon, you'll have an entire library of calligraphy monograms that you can use in your portfolio. I'd love to see your work on social media. You can use the #calligrapywithtud and #flourishedconfidently, and don't forget to tag me @thingsunseendesigns. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook. Well, thank you for taking this class and I hope to see you in another one soon. Until next time, bye.