Uppercase Bootcamp

Want to build your muscles so you can conquer those uppercase letters?

Click the playlist below to watch the entire series:

Uppercase Bootcamp Playlist


Click each video below to access the individual lessons:


What is the Uppercase Bootcamp?

This is a 7-day Instagram challenge to help you practice the Copperplate* uppercase basic strokes. For each day in the challenge, you’ll practice a specific drill that focuses on a specific stroke(s).

I’m teaming up with my amazing calligrafriend, Nina Tran, to host this challenge. While I bugged her to put this challenge on with me, she is the brainchild of the entire operation! I am merely helping her share the goodness with world (aka, YOU!)

After the challenge, I’m excited to join the @handletteredABCs on Instagram for the alphabet challenge that begins on August 1st. Handlettered ABCs was originally started by me and Nina, so it holds a very special place in our hearts. ❤ ❤

*What is Copperplate?

Copperplate is a calligraphy script based on the oval. The shades of each stroke are drawn on a 52-55 degree slant and each stroke is drawn individually in order to create letters and words.

Honestly, I initially didn’t love the idea of sticking to a traditional script. And now, I absolutely love it. More on this another day. For now, just know that the style of writing in this Uppercase Bootcamp challenge is in the Copperplate script.

When does it start?

The live challenge runs from July 1st – 7th, 2018.

If you miss the live challenge (or start late), no worries! You can simply catch up or start when you can and go through the challenge on your own. This page will continue to be here and you can access the printable guidesheets and links to the video replays.

See below for the schedule breakdown.

What is the goal of this challenge?

Like with nearly everything I teach here, nailing down the basics is the best way to set yourself up for success. When you build a solid foundation and learn the “right” way to study and practice, you’ll increase your confidence and skills, ultimately allowing you to go further in your script than if you didn’t spend time on the basics.

The drills in this challenge will push you to go beyond your comfort zone and understand how your muscles need to feel and what they need to do. You’ll learn how to evaluate and troubleshoot your own script so that you can continually improve.

Who can participate?

Anyone! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done calligraphy or if you have had quite the experience. As long as you have a desire to learn and improve your script, you will benefit greatly from this challenge.

What materials do I need?


Download and print the guidesheets. I prefer to print on either HP Premium Choice Laserjet paper or Hammermill Color Copy Digital.

Brush Pen (or tool of your choice)

Gather your brush pen or pointed pen. For brush pens, I prefer a smaller-tipped pen such as the Pentel Sign Pen, or the Tombow Fudenosuke (Soft tip or Twin tip).

You can also use any other tool, such as a pointed pen or paintbrush. The stroke forms and practice drills are the same, but you may need to adjust the sizing of your strokes based on your tool selection.

How can I participate?

  1. Gather your materials (see above).
  2. Write down your goals. Think about your goal(s) for this challenge and write them down. What do you hope to get out of this challenge? Why is it important to you?
  3. Watch the videos. Each day of the challenge, you’ll find a new YouTube video from me. Nina will be doing an Instagram Live around 4 pm PDT (she is at @anintran) and *if* the kids let me, I’ll do an Instagram Live in the evening, about 9 pm PDT (I am at @piecescalligraphy).
  4. Show up everyday. Set a time and space for showing up each and practicing. Even if you only have 5 minutes a day, put it on your calendar, tell everyone in your household about it, and show up! Try your best to protect this precious time.
  5. Share your work! Post a photo of your practice and add the tags #copperplatebootcamp and #piecescalligraphy_bootcamp.
  6. Enjoy the journey and trust the process. If you’re not having fun, let me know where your frustration lies (you can comment below) and I’ll try to help you as best as I can.


Video: What is the Uppercase Bootcamp?

Day 0: Goals & exemplar

Day 1: Candy Canes

Day 2: Twists

Day 3: Ovals

Day 4: Drill boxes

Day 5: Oscillating Loops

Day 6: Vertical Loops and Twists

Day 7: Uppercase exemplar


Thank you for joining the challenge!

I love how strong the calligraphy community is. Let’s support each other and enjoy the ride of creativity!

Rock on,

A goal without a plan is just a wish.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

4 thoughts on “Uppercase Bootcamp

    1. Hi Anita!!! So excited for you to join. I have had trouble filming so the videos are not yet available. My goal is to post Day 1 and 2 today (It’s currently July 2nd here in California). Thanks for being patient!


  1. Hi, I follow you on YouTube but I cannot find your Boot Camp for Calligraphy that was supposed to start on July 1. I’m not computer savvy , don’t have an Instagram account.I just want to know if it will appear on YouTube. You’re a wonderful teacher thank you for all your help.


    1. Hi Joanne!!! Thanks for following up – I have had trouble filming so the videos are not yet available. YES the videos will be on YouTube. My goal is to post Day 1 and 2 today (It’s currently July 2nd here in California). Thanks for being patient!


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