Recently, I took a Copperplate class with Paul Antonio Attong, Crown Office Scribe, and then another with Pat Blair, Chief White House Calligrapher. Paul used a ratio of 1:1:1 for his script, which was a welcome change from the 2:1:2 ratio I've been using for so many years. But, I had a bit of trouble gracefully shortening my ascenders and descenders after taking up so much room above and below my x-height for all that time.
Enter the 3:2:3 ratio used by Pat Blair, where the ascender and descender space is 1.5 times the x-height. This felt just right! My ascenders, descenders and capitals appear far more balanced by being reduced by a half a space in relation to the x-height. They are less "leggy" and don't overwhelm the other minuscules.
I've recreated guide sheets with this proportion using 5 and 6.5mm x-heights, which you can download below (6.5mm is about a quarter inch). In each size, one sheet has a 2mm space between rows so that you can practice without your letters jamming into each other, and I've also provided them in grey so you can print them directly onto your practice sheet, if you prefer to work that way.
What's your favorite ratio to work with?
Ink on, B