It’s been a looong time since I’ve made an instructional blog post, but there’s no time like the present! This post is going to talk you through how to draw the letters that don’t just use staple strokes, such as k, r, s, x and z.

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If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll remember aaages ago I wrote about the staple strokes of brush pen lettering. Aside from the fact that post desperately needs updating, it also doesn’t cover the outliers (such as k, r, s, x and z) that are made up from OTHER strokes.

Before we get to those ‘other’ strokes (ew, others), take a look at my new and improved staple strokes:

staplestrokes

And how they should be drawn on a worksheet grid (which I’ll explain more in a sec):

gridstaplestrokes

You’re welcome to click here if you’d like to download a free copy of a blank worksheet grid so that you can get practicing!

In order to understand the lingo in this post, you’re going to have to know which lines are which. Take a look at the grid below for yet another example of where letters / strokes should sit, but also for the names of each line which I refer to frequently in this post:

Example of Brush Pen Lettering Guide

*Please note* in the below imagery I’ve provided, every time the pen colour changes, this indicates that it is a new stroke and I have removed my pen off the page completely.

LET’S GET TO IT!

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How to draw a lowercase k:

  • Starting at the baseline, draw an entrance stroke upwards and lightly until you reach the waist line.
  • Take the pen off the page.
  • Next, draw a loop starting near where you ended the entrance stroke, lightly curving up and around to the left, transitioning into a thick downstroke that ends at the baseline.
  • Take the pen off the page.
  • Next, along the stem of the loop in roughly the middle of the x-height, we’re going to draw the start of what basically looks like half a bow made from ribbon (you may have to use your imagination here!)
  • Draw the first part of the ‘half bow’ by drawing lightly to the right and upwards towards the waistline, before transitioning into a slightly thicker line that curves under, back around to where you started.
  • You can keep going from here if you like, but I like to take the pen off the page.
  • Finish off the ‘half bow’ by drawing a slightly thick line downwards from that middle point towards the baseline, that then curves back up to transition into a light exit stroke that ends at the waistline.
  • Voila!

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How to draw a lowercase r:

  • Everyone haaates r’s – but they’re actually so easy you’ll die when you read this.
  • The r is literally an entrance stroke, connected to an underturn, with a cute little dog ear that sits above the waistline. EASY? Easy.
  • Starting at the baseline, draw an entrance stroke upwards and lightly until you reach the waist line.
  • Next, draw a cute little ‘dog ear’ that sits above the waistline and touches the end of the entrance stroke.
  • Finally, finish off the r with an underturn.
  • Voila!

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How to draw a lowercase s:

  • Ok, I know you just died from how easy that r was, but I need you to immediately revive yourself so you can die again at how easy an s is.
  • Starting at the baseline, draw an entrance stroke upwards and lightly until you reach the waist line.
  • Next, draw a loose squiggle / worm / (dare I say it) ‘s’ shape, that starts above the waistline at the same height as the dog ear on the r, and comes down to touch the baseline before curling up at the end.
  • Finish the letter with a light upwards exit stroke.
  • Voila!

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How to draw a lowercase x:

  • A lowercase x looks frightfully hard but just like the others, it really isn’t if you break it down!
  • A lowercase x is basically just a stretched out combination stroke with a line through it.
  • Starting at the baseline, draw the first part of the combination stroke upwards and lightly.
  • When you come close to the waistline, begin to transition into a thicker downstroke that comes down and touches the baseline.
  • The final part of the stroke is to transition it back upwards lightly into an exit stroke that touches the waistline.
  • This combination stroke is all one stroke.
  • Finish the letter with a light line through the middle of the combination stroke, in a diagonal from bottom to top, left to right.

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How to draw a lowercase z:

  • I still do not enjoy this letter at all, ever.
  • The first part of the stroke is basically a bit of a squished overturn. Starting at the baseline, draw your overturn lightly upwards, transitioning over to the right into a thick downstroke that ends at the baseline.
  • The next part of the stroke is a bit like a long overturn that turns into a descending loop. Start this stroke at the baseline as well but don’t take it all the way up to the wasitline like the first one. Instead bring it about half-way into the x-height before taking it down through the 2 descending boxes, and looping it around to the left lightly to finish at what SHOULD be the baseline but isn’t because I clearly wasn’t concentrating when I created this set of letters.
  • Finish the letter by connecting an exit stroke on the other side.

See? Not so hard, is it! Don’t let letters scare you – if we take the time to break them down we can see that they really aren’t that bad. When lettering, try to remember to break each letter down into individual strokes, not try to draw them all in one go. By breaking our letters down we will create consistency, flex our muscle memory, and create letterforms we like the look of and can create much more easily than if we were wingin’ it in one go.

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Emma