Copperplate Calligraphy: 6 Points to Achieve the Perfect Overturn

For this week’s Copperplate Calligraphy Precision Practice (C2P2), we’re going to do two lessons, one is overturn, and the other is the compound curve! Let’s go!

Copperplate Practice: 6 Points to Achieve the Perfect Overturn


Before we dive into the overturn, let’s take a look at the reverse oval!

What is the reverse oval?

When we write the oval stroke, we go in an anti-clockwise direction. The reverse oval, as the name implied, has the exact shape and size as the oval stroke, but we’re writing it in a clockwise direction.

Because we want to maintain the wide of the oval, using the guideline I’m providing you (which you can download below), this stroke ends up a little bit to the right of the guideline.

This is because I try to aim for the shaded part of the down stroke to run along the right side of the guideline. This will give me consistent width.

The top half of the reverse oval = top half of the overturn

Last week when we studied the underturn, you learned that the bottom half of the underturn takes on the exact shape of the bottom half of the oval.

So without surprise, the top half of the overturn should take on the same shape as the reverse oval.

The 6 points to achieve a perfect overturn


 Point number 1 – straight line up along the 55 degrees slant line

From the baseline to the middle of the x-height, we are moving straight up along the 55 degree slant line.

I usually start the upstroke a little bit to the right of the guideline, the width of the gap should be the same width as your shade to maintain consistency.


Point number 2 – starting to go into the reverse oval

From this point onward, we’re preparing to start entering the upper half of the reverse oval.


Point number 3 – slow down to make the curve

The main point here is to slow down so we can curve and aim for the top apex


Point number 4 – meeting the top apex

Aim for a little bit to the right of the middle of the box (same width as the width of your shade), making sure that the pen meets the x-height


Point number 5 – start increasing pressure

We’ll start increasing pressure as we come down the overturn to middle of the x-height


Point number 6 – maintain the same pressure and come down along the 55 degree slant line

By the middle of the x-height, that should be our maximum width of the shade. We’ll come down in a straight line along the 55 degree slant line.

And end with a square bottom. (You can learn about the square bottom in the full pressure stroke.)


Bonus point

Make sure that you breathe in as you do your upstroke, and breathe out coming down. It will help with shakiness!


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!!


If you’re interest to practice alongside me

Get my guidelines below! 



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