The l-family

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   Lower case
   The a-family
   The b-family
   The o-family
   The x-family
   The l-family
   The A-group
   The E-group
   The O-group


This is the l-family.

The letter f not as easy as the other three. We’ll take a look at it first.

Begin on the right, just below the ascender line. Make a sideways movement to the left and up to the ascender line. This part should be nearly straight. And then make a curve into the stem.

The letter f should slant less than the others. The curves at top and bottom cause an optical illusion. If this letter slants the same as the rest, it seems ready to fall over.

Remember that the stem of the letter f is a straight line. It starts above the midline and ends below the baseline.

When you get close to the descender line, turn up and to the left. Keep this line nearly straight, just as you began the letter. This is also how you make the descenders of the letter g and y.

Then lift the pen and move it up to the midline to make the crossbar.

Finish with an horizontal bar that starts a little to the left of the stem. It is also the exit stroke, and looks better if it’s slightly below the midline.

You make the bar of the letter f the same way as the bar of the letter t.

Here’s how to join from crossbars.

A join into the letter f becomes an upstroke. The pen goes up to the ascender line, and to the right all the way to the tip. It then turns back, just as in the letter a, and curves down into the stem. In the same way, a join from a crossbar into the letter t turns into a short upstroke.

The looped arrow is explained on the page about reversed strokes.

Here are three exercises to prepare your hand for the letter f.

First, make a few tracings of a line of zigzags. Give the upstrokes less pressure than the downstrokes. Half a dozen at a time are easier than a whole line.

Trace a few lines of three-stem zigzags. The last stem of the three should have the full reach of an ascender and a descender. And it should slant less than the others. Keep it upright.

Trace several times a line of the letters f. Three of them together, followed by a gap, are about right. Remember that the bar of one letter f joins into an upstroke in the next.

Practise these four letters together. But remember how the letter j is different from the three. It tilts more than the other descenders. And the curved part of the descender is shorter.

The letter i is much the same as the letter l, only shorter. The ascender line is about the right height for the dot.

Wrong: The dot of the letter i on the left is too close to the stem. Don’t let that happen.