Skeleton Roman – B 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

We use different guidelines for the B group, which are based on half of the square.

B is made in 4 strokes. Begin with a full downstroke. Create the curve by going straight first, then follow the circle from the top to bottom and pause. Do the same for the second circle, then join the lines from left to right. For the letter B: downstroke, straight and around, pause. Straight and around, pause again. Then left to right.

The letter E has 4 straight lines. The first is vertical, then all horizontal from top to bottom. One downstroke, then full; not quite full; then full stroke again. The middle stroke is a bit shorter, creating a pleasant variety.

The F is the E without the last stroke. Don’t go all the way to the end for the third stroke. It needs to be shorter than the top.

L is simply a downstroke and a horizontal stroke at the bottom. Go all the way to the end of the square for the second stroke, creating a balanced letter.

The letter K begins with a downstroke, then two diagonals: from the corner, and to the corner of the squares. All the diagonal strokes start from top to bottom. Mind you don’t start the first diagonal from the middle of the K.

The letter P and R use the same guideline where the larger half-square is on top. It’s like the beginning of B. Downstroke, then straight – and follow the circle and pause at the bottom line. Connect from left to right. Don’t forget to pause at the bottom, because the P is made in three strokes.

R is nearly the same as P, except at the last stroke: continue diagonally downward for the leg. The letter R: downstroke, straight – then curve, pause. Close from the left, then southeast-ward for the leg.

(S guide: note that the top circle is smaller than the bottom one)

The S is made in three strokes and particular order. The first is the body in the centre, starting at 10 o’ clock and snaking to 4 o’ clock at the bottom. Complete the bottom and top by going left to right. For S Roman Capital do not draw one single stroke. Start in the middle, then complete the S by going left to right at the bottom and top.

The I is just one simple downstroke.

For the J, start with a downstroke, then curve at the bottom and pause. Complete with a left-to-right curve. The letter J begins straight, then curve to the left, then finishes from left to right.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s