French cursive majuscules

I knew before I started that majuscules (upper case letters) would be more difficult for me than miniscules (lower case letters). Some letters were easier than others depending on the similarity to my regular handwriting. There are also a lot more loops in the majuscules compared to the miniscules.

I had trouble remembering how to write certain letters. It took a lot more practice to get to the point where I could write the letter from memory. I think it was good practice and a good lesson. A lot of practice is necessary to develop the muscle memory to produce consistent letters.

I found one fun way to practice majuscules is to practice spelling or phonetic alphabets. There is one word per letter of the alphabet. Those in the U.S. may be familiar with the NATO phonetic alphabet. I have written out the French spelling alphabet:


I think I have a pretty good grasp of the majuscules and French cursive in general. It is not perfect, and there are plenty of places for improvement. But I think it is a good start, and I have seen improvement in other aspects of my calligraphy practice. I will keep practicing French cursive to make sure I maintain and improve this form of handwriting.


French cursive miniscules

I have admired French cursive for a really long time, all the way back when I was learning French as a teenager and had a French pen pal. French cursive handwriting is really precise and consistent. My current handwriting is an inconsistent mix of print and cursive, and that probably will not change for my day to day writing. I wanted to learn French cursive so I would have a more formal cursive when I need it.

Another reason for learning French cursive is that it looks similar to the letterforms of English Roundhand. If I understand correctly, English Roundhand was derived from French Ronde, which looks like the precursor of French cursive. I hope that through learning French cursive, I will become more familiar with the shapes of English Roundhand. I think one of the reasons I have a lot of trouble with calligraphy majuscules (upper case letters) is because I am not familiar with them. French cursive is also straight, so I can practice without worrying about the slant.

Practicing French cursive also requires practicing on French rule paper, called séyès paper. The paper is has multiple lines that helps with determining the height of ascenders and descenders. The single height seemed a bit too small for learning, so I decided to double it.



The minuscules were fairly easy. It did take some practice before I was able to write them at the standard size.


Upper case letters will definitely give me some trouble since I am not as familiar with them. But for now, I think I am pretty comfortable with the lower case letters and can immediately write them when needed.