Italic is considered by many calligraphers to be the most beautiful lettering style. The basic principles have stayed essentially the same for 500 years—even the legendary Italian artist Michelangelo was proud of his Italic handwriting. Italic’s rhythm and movement—due to its slight angle and springing arches where the strokes join—make it elegant yet lively. In this guide, you’ll learn how to write the letters of the uppercase alphabet.
Every style in calligraphy has features that make it distinctive. Look for the following characteristics in the pages that follow and keep them in mind when you form the letters yourself:
Each stroke of the pen in calligraphy is done in a specific order each time. A guide with a stoke-by-stroke numbering system as shown in the following is called a ductus or exemplar. The arrows show the direction of the stroke and the numbers show the order in which you should do them.
All these circular letters are based on the letter O, which, like the lowercase o, is elliptical.
This group is made up of straight lines at a ten degree angle—but watch where you place the crossbars.
Pay attention to the angles of the letters in this group.
These letters have small bowls based on the letter O. Take care to make them the right size.
This group includes letters with unusual angles.
Now that you know how the letters are done, it’s time to practice! For your convenience, here is a lined piece of paper to download:Download this practice sheet.
Be sure to also check out our Quick Guide, Formal Italic Calligraphy: Writing the Lowercase Alphabet. Enjoy!
From The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Calligraphy by Jane Eldershaw