Like the last lesson, this is one that you can spend a lot of time with as it covers all 26 of the lowercase letters. I suggest mixing in your study of the lowercase letters with the capitals from the previous lesson and the drills from this lesson.
It will seem like your ability to control the pen is your biggest problem, but your hand will never be able to produce a quality script until you have a complete mental pictures of the letter forms. Study the letter forms by drawing them slowly with a pencil until they match your exemplar.
- The above video is the first video in a playlist of videos covering all of the lowercase forms. Each video in the playlist covers a family of related letters that can be practiced together. You can view the entire playlist on YouTube here.
- When making each of these videos, I used an “exemplar” of a traditional business script alphabet. An exemplar contains the ideal form of each letter for a given script. Click here to download an exemplar of business script published by the Zaner-Bloser Company. Every classic book on business penmanship has an exemplar. See which books I recommend on the Study Resources page.
- In some of the videos, you’ll see me start by drawing the letter with a pencil. I do this to better understand the form of the letter I am studying. Drawing the letter and then comparing it to your exemplar is the best way to really see the form of the letter and commit the form to memory.
- In every video, you’ll see me working on drills related to the letter form. These drills help train the muscles in the arm to execute the movements required by the letter form.
Start by studying the “i” family of letters (i, u, and w). These forms are the building blocks of business penmanship. You can see the video for the letter “i” family here.
Before picking up your pen, grab a pencil and carefully draw the letter i form on your paper. You must use an exemplar for this. You can download the Zaner-Bloser exemplar here or use the exemplar of your choice. A protractor and ruler might be helpful to get the angles of the letter correct. Feel free to erase as much as you need until the form matches your exemplar.
Grab a dry pen, a pen with the ball point retracted, or a mechanical pencil with the lead retracted and trace over the form you’ve drawn. Feel every part of the letter at both a fast and slow speed. You can then try to make the letter a few times. From there you can compare your attempts with the exemplar and identify where you are missing the mark. Refer to the drills in the video for ideas on how to develop the movement needed to produce the letter form.
Like the capitals, you can practice the lowercase letters in families. Below are families of lowercase letters in order of difficulty (easiest to hardest):
- i, u, w
- m, n
- e, o, c, a
- v, x
- r, s
- t, d
- l, h, k, b, f (upper loop)
- j, g, p, q, y, z, f (lower loop)