On pages 88-89 of Scribe by John Stevens, John gave several kinds of exercises that he gives to his students. I thought I would try them out with the Copperplate practice I was doing at the time.
In the first line, I did plain Copperplate.
In the second line, I changed the angle of the letters.
In the third line, I added bounce to angle change, moving letters up and down.
In the fourth and fifth lines, I added stretch to some of the letters.
Finally, I changed the baseline. As you can see, it had evolved to a modern calligraphy look with very little effort.
As you do each step, he stresses that you are supposed to ADD to the previous steps, and that can be hard to keep in mind. Of course, you can add other variations, such as color and overlapping.
The final result is still a bit wonky, but it’s a good exercise to stretch oneself! We could do this with any writing style or tool.