Skeleton Roman – H Group (Video)

calligraphy, traditional-calligraphy, video


I learn from the book ‘Calligraphy: Tools and Techniques for the Contemporary Practitioner’ by Gaye Godfrey-Nicholls, really the same book as ‘Mastering Calligraphy: The Complete Guide to Hand Lettering’. This is my free, completely unofficial interpretation of the lessons. I do feel that watching something done can give us serious a-ha moments, which is why I make and share these videos, but for a deeper understanding, I recommend you read the book.

For printable guides, visit my blog . I use a 2B pencil so the letters are more visible, but you should use HB.

Music: “Easy Lemon” Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Note that all the letters in the H Group occupy three-quarters of the square.

Skeleton H is formed by a couple of straight vertical line connected in the middle with a horizontal line. Make 2 verticals, then connect with a horizontal.

The letter N starts with a downstroke. Come back up, then cross diagonally to the baseline, then finish with another downstroke. Downstroke, diagonal, downstroke for the letter N.

U begins straight, then curves up slightly at the bottom. Come up and end U with a downstroke. Just down, follow the bottom circle, then downstroke.

The letter T is made in 2 strokes only. One cutting the square in half vertically, and one crossbar at the top. Let’s do that twice more.

V is also made in a couple of strokes. They meet on the baseline, in the middle. V is not formed with one stroke, but two: all from top to bottom.

The X is two diagonals crossing in the middle. Start with the left, then cross from the right. Left and right diagonals crossing each other for the letter X.

There are a couple of ways to form a Y. One is a diagonal stroke to the centre of the square, continuing downward without lifting, then a second diagonal stroke. Another way is to create a small V at the top, then a downstroke in the middle. I think I prefer the latter option.

The Z starts with a top horizontal stroke; a diagonal from right to left, then a bottom line. The letter’s direction is pretty straightforward, only it’s divided in 3 strokes.

The letter A starts with an upside down V, from top to bottom. Then draw a crossbar slightly below the centre of the circle, creating a more balanced counterspace (than if you cut it straight half).



2 thoughts on “Skeleton Roman – H Group (Video)

  1. hji! after practising with a pen… did you take the chisel nip or the brush for your Roman Capitals?
    I’m learing them with the pilot parallel pen and I’m having some difficulties since I think Roman Capitals where designed to be drawn with a brush not with a chisel nip (although I’ve seen great works with the later too)


    1. Hello Alejandro! After the pencil, I used a metal nib (Speedball C2). I haven’t tried Pilot Parallel and have yet to learn the Capitals with serifs, made by nibs or brush. I read the theory in Writing, Illuminating & Lettering by Edward Johnston though. Good luck with your practice!


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