The O-group

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   The O-group


This is the O-group.

Long ago, some of these letters were probably based on circles. Nowadays, the curves are a bit more demanding. Here’s how to write the letter O.


Begin the letter O at the top. Make a soft curve to the left, a little downward as well.

To make the left side, turn, and go nearly straight down.


The bottom is next. Turn, and make a shallow curve.


Turn, and make the right side. It is nearly straight.


Make the fourth turn. Finish the top with a curve to the left and up a little.

You could think of the letter O as a shape between a circle and a very soft rectangle.


With the exception of the last detail, the letter Q is exactly the same as the letter O.

After writing the letter O, you lift the pen and add a tail. Begin it a little to the left of the lowest part of the bottom curve. Draw it to the right and downward, a little beyond the body of the letter.


You can write the letter C in a single stroke. Begin well to the right, and end almost directly underneath the point where you started.


To write the letter G, start with the letter C.

Then lift the pen, and start the second stroke near the middle of the letter. Make a short, straight bar to the right, long enough to line up with the top and bottom of the bowl. After a sharp corner, a short stem meets the bottom end of the curve.

You start the letter D with a stem. Then you lift the pen.

Three other letters in the O-family are variations on the same construction.

Start the second stroke from the top of the stem. It first goes to the right, and then down, like the letter O written in the wrong direction. At the bottom, it meets the stem.

The bowls of the letters P R and B are not the same size. These details we cannot expect from many beginners. Still, talking about them from the start won’t hurt.


Like the letter D, the letter P starts with a stem and a pen lift. The second stem makes a bowl, smaller than in the letter D but the same general shape. It should end a little below the middle of the stem.


The stem of the letter R is the same as the stem of the letter P. Give the letter R a bowl that is smaller than the bowl of the letter P. It should meet the stem a little higher than on the letter P. Stop at the stem, without lifting the pen, and make a diagonal down to the baseline in a single stroke.


The letter B begins like the letter R, with a stem and a pen lift. The top bowl should be slightly smaller than on the letter R. When you get to the stem, add a second bowl underneath that meets the stem at the baseline.


The letter S is written in the same way as the lower case letter s.

You begin at the top, on the right, and make a sideways movement to the left.


The middle is a short straight line with curves on both ends.

The bottom curve is shallow. You don’t connect from the capital letter S.

The letter U is a letter V that got soft at the bottom.


Begin a downstroke on the left side. When you’re halfway down to the baseline, turn the stroke into a shallow bottom curve. You can either finish with a stroke to the top or with a second downstroke that meets the curve.

Italic capitals are clear but demanding. You have to remember which are narrow and which are wide. Most of them look awful if you join them. Unlike the lower case, they weren’t shaped by writing movments.