Copperplate Calligraphy: 7 steps to Perfect an Ascender Loop

The last two basic Copperplate strokes are the ascender loop and descender loop. We’re going to study these two together!

Copperplate Practice: 7 steps to Perfect an Ascender Loop



Ideally, your ascender and descender loop should look exactly the same after you rotate your paper 180 degrees.


Guideline ratios

In the above video, you’ll see the 3 different ratios for the ascender loop.

The ratio stands for the ascender height, to the x-height, to the descender height (ascender:x-height:descender)


The first one is a 2:1:2 ratio (in this case 12mm:6mm:12mm), the middle is a 3:2:3 ratio (9mm:6mm:9mm), and the last one is a 1:1:1 ratio (6mm:6mm:6mm).


Here’re the 7 steps to get the perfect ascender loop


Point number 1 – start right above the waist line

The starting point should be right about the waist line, and ideally, it should be a little to the right of the guidelines to make room for the shade


Point number 2 & 3 – aim for this point as the widest part of the loop

Aim for this point to be the widest part of the loop.

Also, we want to make sure that we leave a little bit of gap between the upstroke, and the next guideline.

This is especially important when writing double l’s, so the descender line of the second l will not touch the thin upstroke.


Point number 4 – Meet the top apex at the desired ascender height

No matter which ratio you’re using, you want to use the meet the top apex at this point.

Start preparing for the down stroke


Point number 5 – start to increase pressure

While coming down the stroke, start increasing pressure at this point.


Point number 6 – straight down stroke along the 55 degree slant line

Keeping a constant thickness, we’re going to bring the stroke down along the 55 degree slant line.


Point number 7 – square bottom

We end the stroke with a square bottom. You can refer to the square bottom from the full pressure stroke.


Bonus Tip 1

It is important to slow down to make the turn, so that you can keep it nice and consistent.


Bonus Tip 2

Breathe in as you go up, and breathe out as you come down.


Now we can move onto the descender loop!


I hope these points help you!


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 grab my guidesheets and practice alongside me

You can get them below! 

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