Beginner Brush Lettering: Looping Letters

Friends, welcome back to the Beginner Brush Lettering Series! It’s the perfect place to start if you’re new to hand lettering and want to master the real technique. Beginner Brush Lettering: Looping Letters

Brush lettering requires you to control the angle and pressure of your pen to create thick down strokes and thin up strokes, which creates the look we’re all so crazy about! So far in this series, we’ve learned and practiced basic brushstrokes, curving lines and letters, and rounded letters. If you missed any of those posts, you’ll want to go back and check them out before moving on because each lesson builds on the ones before. The next skill to tackle is an upward loop…ready?

Beginner Brush Lettering: Loops

Beginner Brush Lettering: Looping Letters

By now, you should be very familiar with our starter exercises; thick down stroke lines and thin up strokes in straight lines and curves. Just to refresh your muscle memory, make a few of these long squiggles & get your pen going.


Now, we’re going to start with the up stroke part, but instead of curving back down to the right like we did before, we’re going to take our pen in the opposite direction and make a down stroke that crosses our existing line. This will form an “l.” Remember, they won’t all look the same {even mine don’t, and I’m the “professional”}. Don’t stress out over making them perfect, just make them. Practice makes progress and the more you do, the better they’ll be.

Loops in Brush Lettering

As you start to get a feel for it, play around with the size of your loops. You can see that on the second line, I alternated small loops with larger ones. There’s no right or wrong to loop sizing, it’s all about your own style and what you like. Personally, I tend to use big open loops on my letters, but I know artists who do gorgeous work with small ones too.

Once you’ve practiced your “l”…and by practice, I mean fill a whole page or two with them, seriously…we can move on to the “h”! It’s built with two pieces you already know, a loop, and a squiggle.
Form a loop like the ones you just practiced, then without picking up your pen, make a squiggle and a half.


See? Piece of cake! Now, make a million of them. Really. I’m not kidding. Repetition is your friend when it comes to mastering this technique because it really will help your hand muscles remember how to do it next time. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it’s just like riding a bike or dancing the cha-cha. Once we train the muscles how to do this, you’ll be able to write smoothly and quickly with beautiful results!


After you’ve gotten a feel for the “h,” it’s not too much different to write a “b.” Once again, you’ll create a loop then a squiggle, but instead of curving back up at the end, you’ll wrap the tail around the opposite direction as shown below. You can make your loop as open or as closed as you like.



The “k” is another similar letter to create, although for some reason, it’s one of my least favorites. I keep trying to come up with a look I like better, but for now this is what I do.

The final upward loop letter is different from the rest, because rather than beginning with a loop, it comes at the end. Again, it’s composed of two parts you already know how to create. Start by making a rounded letter, just like you would with an “a.” Then, as you curve up at the bottom, make that the up stroke of your loop. Make sense?


Now it’s time to practice that over and over and over again. Feel free to play around with the size of your loops and find your favorite style. The key is just to practice and keep on writing.loopingletters6

So, where does this leave us? Here is a glance at the lowercase alphabet, color coded by the skills you’ve learned so far. The blue letters involve straight lines, which we learned how to do in Basic Brushstrokes. The light green letters involve curves/squiggles that we learned in the second post of the series. The dark green letters are our rounded ones, which we practiced last time. The magenta letters use the loop technique you just learned. That only leaves us with five letters we haven’t worked on! Not too shabby! Feel free to print out this alphabet for your reference…you can even glue it into your sketch book so it’s right there when you need it.



I truly hope you’re finding this series helpful, friends. And remember, don’t get frustrated if it takes a little while to feel like you’ve really mastered the technique. I filled an entire sketchbook with practice when I was first learning; we all start somewhere.

To help you practice, download my free printable practice pages: Lowercase Brush Alphabet

I’d love to see what you’re working on as you learn, so feel free to tag #oamandfriends on Instagram and/or share your projects in the One Artsy Mama and Friends Facebook Group! Hope to see you there!


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  1. Thanks for this post…very helpful…It’s getting a little easier…just need to practice more…

  2. Can’t thank you enough for sharing your time and talents to provide this invaluable instruction! Now…it’s back to my happy dance over finding your site ^_^

  3. Thanku so much, ur tutorials have been very helpful in my beginner phase, also do u have the lesson for the last few five letters not covered individually?

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