Hey, lettering lovers! There are certain questions I get all the time from folks who are learning and practicing their brush technique, and many of them have to do with how to connect the letters to each other. It’s one thing to practice each letter of the alphabet individually, but putting them together to form words can be a challenge, especially with certain letters. One of the most common letters I’m asked about is “e.” Today I want to share with you some tips and practice sheets to help with connecting your “e”s to the letters that come before them.
Ready? Let’s get started!
a brush pen – I recommend the Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip
the free printable practice sheets
patience & perseverance
Note: If you’re new to lettering you’ll want to start with the beginner brush lettering tutorials first!
About this style
Every lettering artist forms his/her letters a little differently…and that’s okay! That’s what gives each of us our own artistic style. The practice sheets and examples today are based on the way that I personally write and connect my lowercase “e” in my particular style. If you do yours differently, that’s totally fine! However, I often get asked by readers why their “e” doesn’t look like mine and how they can change theirs to make it the way I do. If you like how mine look, these practice pages will be great for you. If not, you can form and connect them in whatever way works best for you. As long as you have thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes, there’s no right or wrong in hand lettering!
Forming your lowercase “e”
In “normal” script or cursive handwriting, a lowercase “e” is formed much like a lowercase “l,” just smaller. You typically begin at the base line and move upward to form a loop. However, when I hand letter, I like mine to look a little more like a printed “e,” with a tighter and higher loop. This means that instead of starting at the baseline, my “e” begins with a horizontal line at the same height as I want the bottom of my loop to be.
See the difference in the first two examples below, the “normal” script and my hand lettered “e”? The horizontal line can start from slightly above or below, as shown in the bottom two examples, but the key is that it flattens out right before the letter begins. Make sense?
Connecting your “e”
To get the “e” attached to the letter before it, that means we have to learn to finish that letter with a horizontal line. So, the first step is to practice each letter with a little tail on the end that will set us up to write our “e.”
Next, we’ll practice our way through the alphabet, connecting each letter with an “e.” When you download the sheets, they will take you through every letter except the ones like “q” and “x” that rarely connect with an “e.” As you write, keep your pen moving without picking it up until you get to the end of both letters.
Finally, it’s time to practice putting some words together. This practice page will give you a chance to trace some common words and try out these combinations.
There are two easy ways to use these practice pages.
1. DOWNLOAD THEM TO YOUR COMPUTER, THEN PRINT AND USE WITH BRUSH PENS.
The Tombow Fudenosuke is ideal to use on these pages, because the size of the tip is a perfect match for the examples. You can also fill a row using the thicker Dual Brush Pen to give you practice with two different kinds and sizes of pens.
2. DOWNLOAD THEM ON YOUR IPAD PRO AND OPEN IN THE PROCREATE APP.
If you have an iPad Pro and like to make your lettering digital, just open each page in Procreate, then use your Apple Pencil to trace over the examples and write your own. The best part about this is that you can always erase and reuse the practice sheets as many times as you like! One great brush to use is called Light Calligraphy; it’s available on Creative Market. You can also create your own custom brush using this tutorial…it’s easier than it sounds!
There is no wrong way to use these sheets! The key is to choose whatever works best for you and get started. Here’s where to grab them:
I ALSO HAVE A COMPANION SET OF FREE PRACTICE PAGES FOR THE LOWERCASE PRINT BRUSH ALPHABET, UPPERCASE SCRIPT BRUSH ALPHABET, & LOWERCASE SCRIPT BRUSH ALPHABET, SO YOU CAN MOVE ON TO THOSE WHEN YOU’RE FINISHED WITH THIS SET.
Ready for more? Be sure to order my book Hand Lettering for Relaxation to help you continue your lettering journey! Happy lettering, friends!
Got questions? Hop on over to the One Artsy Mama & Friends Facebook group where you can share you work and find inspiration from other readers, as well as ask anything you like.