Copperplate Calligraphy: 8 Steps To Achieve The Perfect Copperplate Oval

In the first week of Copperplate Calligraphy Precision Practice (C2P2), we’re going to focus on ovals!

8 Steps To Achieve The Perfect Copperplate Oval

We’re focusing on the oval because it is one of the most important strokes in Copperplate Script.

The width of your oval determines the wide of your script and spacing. And we want to be able to have a way to reproduce this stroke, so that we can make everything very consistent and accurate.

Important points to consider in an Oval

As you can see in the video, there are a few important points, as I’ll describe below.

Point number 1 – starting point

This is where I personally start my ovals, which is a little bit to the right of the center point on the 3rd line. You can actually start at 12 o’clock, or at point 2. One of the difficulties I encounter is achieving a rounded shape on the top (or else I’ll get a cone-head shape, as seen in the tiny oval), so I personally need to focus on rounding it out.

Point number 2 – meeting the top apex

This is the top most apex. In order to achieve accuracy, make sure you be conscious of meeting the top apex with your pen.

Point number 3 – starting to increase pressure

This is the point when we start increasing pressure! We want to train ourselves to keep a thin line around the rounded parts.

Point number 4 – the maximum pressure point

There are actually three things to pay attention to at this point.

a. We want to make sure that this is the point when we have the maximum amount of pressure

b. Which also means we’ll have to start decreasing pressure right after

c. We want to make sure we meet the left most apex.

Point number 5 – no pressure by this point

We want to ensure we have released all the pressure before we go into our underturn.

Point 6 – meet the bottom apex

Just as we want to meet the top apex, we also want to make sure to meet the bottom apex to practice accuracy.

Point 7 – meet the right apex

Same as above.

Point 8 – connect back to the starting point

When we’re moving our pen up, we should train our eyes to look at the starting point, so that we can make a smooth connection.


Two bonus points

a. Ghosting first makes a big difference!

b. Breathing is also very important, make sure to breathe in as you go up, and breathe out as you come down.


Hope these points help you!

If you have any trouble, please comment below!


Every Wednestdary night, I go on IG Live to practice and do demo/answer questions!  It starts at 9:30pm EST, and all the Live sessions will be made available on IGTV for 24 hours!


If you’re ready to take your Copperplate Calligraphy further, I offer a special Copperplate Calligraphy Experience! Contact me for more information!!


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