Practice: Lettering in the Whimsical Woodlands (cont.)

I have traced through the Burrow, Flutter, and Frolic brush pen styles from Lettering in the Whimsical Woodlands.  I am still having issues slowing down and avoiding falling into strokes I would use for Copperplate.  These styles are loose, but not out of control. They are also more open and can stray from the baseline.  This makes it more imperative to maintain balance between a flowing appearance and actually going too quickly.

I am moving on to drawing/illustrations.  It has me giggling. You will see why next week.

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Practice: Lettering in the Whimsical Woodlands (cont.)

I am wrapping up Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy. It is difficult to pick a few sentences to highlight chapters 8,9, and 10.  Chapter 8: Writing Out a Page, Chapter 9: Commercial Calligraphy and Chapter 10: Retouching, Correcting and Cropping emphasize the importance of layout, considering colors, considering margins, practice, developing a reliable copperplate, and wabi-sabi (the acceptance of transience and imperfection). I picked up invaluable information from this book. 

In Letting in the Whimsical Woodlands, I moved on to the basic strokes for brush pen calligraphy.  I will trace out the Burrow and Flutter alphabets next, then it's on to drawing/illustration. 

Last, week  I attended the Helen Warren DeGolyer Bookbinding Conference with the Book Doctor crew.  It was an enriching experience.  I took two workshops: Tunnel Book with Maria Pisano and Japanese Stab Binding with Bexx Caswell-Olson.  Both were super fun and informative.

This Saturday at the Tally Dunn Gallery at 6:30p, Cynthia Mulcahy: War Garden.  I have had a wonderful time contributing to this beautifully rich body of work over this past couple of years. It helped me grow as a calligrapher, friend, US citizen, etc.

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Practice: Lettering in the Whimsical Woodlands (cont.)

I am continuing to read the last several chapters of Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy.  Here are a few tips I must share. 

Chapter 5: Changing the Size of Letters

To write smaller, decrease the pressure on your nib on the downstroke and make all the strokes closer together.  When writing larger, the downstrokes must be heavier, and the counter and inter-spaces must be wider in proportion to the greater height of the letters. No matter what size your letters are, letters made with the same nib will have hairlines of the same weight.  This is one reason why copperplate is more difficult to read when written large.

Chapter 6: Writing in Color

For the color to flow easily from your nib, it is essential that you use a water-based paint.  Gouache is the most common opaque water-based paint used for calligraphy. 

Chapter 7: Using Good Paper

Paper that is good for calligraphy has a writing surface that is neither so rough that the nib catches, nor so smooth that it slips and slides. 

This is great information for continuing through Lettering in the Whimsical Woodlands. This week I am working on faux calligraphy, which is better for making larger script or cursive lettering.

Yesterday, I took a color theory class with Delaney Smith of Eyeland Studios at Oil and Cotton. It was illuminating and also great for things I am currently working on.

This Friday, June 8 at 6:30p I am teaching Pen and Ink Calligraphy at Oil and Cotton, in which we will cover Foundation Hand and make accordion style booklets.

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Practice: Lettering in the Whimsical Woodlands: A Creative Calligraphy Adventure by Peggy Dean

I am done with the visual sharing portion of posting my practice from Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy: A Step-by-Step Manual by Eleanor Winters.  I will share any interesting tips I wish to highlight from the remaining chapters 5-10: 5) Changing the Size of the Letters, 6) Writing in Color, 7) Using Good Paper, 8) Writing Out a Page, 9) Commercial Calligraphy and 10) Retouching, Correcting and Cropping. 

This week I am moving on to the next book from my selves, Lettering in the Whimsical Woodlands: A Creative Calligraphy Adventure: Nature-Inspired Projects, Prompts, and Drawing Ideas by Peggy Dean.  I am using a Tombow Fudenosuke hard tip brush pen, and starting in the first section with letter shapes. 

I like the statement, "Lettering is not writing; it's drawing".  It is a fact to me.  It sets the stage for me to continue practice with the intention of incorporating way more illustrations and finding my own style.

'Epistolary Paper Quilt, Falling Action II' will be on display at the Oak Cliff Culture Center as part of 214Art Juried Exhibition thru June 1.

Practice: Mastering Cooperplate Calligraphy: A Step-by-Step Manual (cont.)

I am in Chapter 4 this week...Numbers and Punctuation.  I have not been very pleased with my numbers...ever.  I figure it is definitely because I do not write numbers nearly as often as I write letters.  Practice makes perfect.

I had a wonderful weekend participating in the Speedbump Tour, an annual tour held this time of year by my brothers from other mothers, Brian Jones and Brian Scott, a.k.a. Chuck and George.  It was super fun and gave me the inspiration to clean my studio. I had visits from various wonderful artists: Lisa Rawlinson, Scott Winterrowd, Chesley Antoinette, Cynthia Mulcahy, Tina Medina, Delaney Smith, Scott Wayne McDaniel, Cynthia Ann Miro-McDaniel, Jessica Rae Pleasant...just to name a few. 

'Epistolary Paper Quilt, Falling Action II' will be on display at the Oak Cliff Culture Center as part of 214Art Juried Exhibition thru June 1.

 Photo by Scott Wayne McDaniel (Rae Pleasant, me, Chesley Antoinette)

Photo by Scott Wayne McDaniel (Rae Pleasant, me, Chesley Antoinette)

 Photo by Scott Wayne McDaniel

Photo by Scott Wayne McDaniel

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Practice: Mastering Cooperplate Calligraphy: A Step-by-Step Manual (cont.)

I am still in the Variations section of Chapter 3.  I am continuing enjoy expanding my visual vocabulary and muscle memory for creating flourishing soon.

Epistolary Quilt, Falling Action II is still on view until June 1, 2018 in the ART214 Juried Exhibition at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center.

I loved the sign making class with Johanne Grinde at Oil and Cotton Friday, May 11, 2018. Her gestural approach to signing making was helpful and refreshing. 

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Practice: Mastering Cooperplate Calligrpahy: A Step-by-Step Manual (cont.)

Still in working away in Chapter 3 with the capitals.  I am continuing to see improvements.  I can't wait to start getting a little more bold with flourishing, but first...reinforcing the fundamentals. 

Also, one of my Epistolary Paper Quilts got into the ART214 Juried Exhibiton at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and will be on display there with many other extremely talented artist until June 1, 2018.  I am so honored to be counted among the likes of them. 

 Photo by David R. Kirkland

Photo by David R. Kirkland

Practice: Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy:A Step-by-Step Manual (cont.)

I am continuing with Chapter 3 and working on the capital letters.  I am concentrating on pausing for a full stop between strokes to get the squared off termination to the tops and bottoms of the stems on some letters.  I am also focusing on the fact that Copperplate is NOT running hand style...meaning you lift your pen often when writing as opposed to keeping your pen on the page while writing full words.  I can see the improvements.

 Photo by Takisha Roberson

Photo by Takisha Roberson

Practice: Mastering Copperplate: A Step-by-Step Manual

I have started Chapter 3, The Capital Letters.  I am feeling a little better about slowing down, and understanding how to have the stems of some of my letters terminate flatter.  I am getting down the basic strokes for capitals before I begin forming the letters. 

Intro to Calligraphy at Oil and Cotton went great last week.  Takisha Roberson took amazing photos of the class.  More to come.

Practice: Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy: A Step-by-Step Manual (cont.)

I am continuing in Chapter 2 by wrapping up the final section on 'Variations on the Minuscules'.  I am still struggling with even pressure and slowing down my writing, and the letter forms are pretty good, but not great. I will keep practicing. I am still practicing with pencil. I will switch back to ink to start out the capitals.

I have a class this Friday, April 13 at Oil and Cotton from 6:30-9p.  In Intro to Calligraphy we will cover warm-ups, how to hold your pen (we will be working with a classroom set of Pilot Parallel pens (2.4mm)), as well as the flourished Italic lowercase, number, and uppercase. My friend, photographer, Takisha Roberson, will be taking photos of all the action this week.  I will also bring a variety to of helpful and interesting calligraphy books.

Practice: Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy: A Step-by-Step Manual (cont.)

Last week, I thought I would make it through Chapter 2, and be moving on to the capital letters in Chapter 3, but I am still making my way through the 'Letter Connections and Spacing' section of Chapter 2. I am glad I did not rush it.  I still need to go over my practice samples and mark areas of needed improvement.  For instance, I still need to work on matching the spacing with the counter space of my lowercase 'a' and watch the 'italic thrust'.  I am used to writing in italic calligraphy and am definitely having a hard time dropping those letter forms in this handwriting style.

I am continuing to practice with the Dixon HB2 pencil, and loving it. 

Practice: Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy: A Step-by-Step Manual (cont.)

I finished the the minuscule (or lowercase) letters in Chapter 2 of Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy.  I picked up more tips, such as, watch the length of the ascender on the letter 'd' and the descender on the letter 'p'.  I also learned an exciting new way to form the minuscule 'f'. 

This week I have moved on to the 'Letter Connections and Spacing' section in Chapter 2.  It is helping me train my eye to spot pleasing ratios for forming letters and words. I used a Dixon HB2 pencil to practice.  I love writing with pencil.  It takes the pressure off and helps establish good muscle memory.

Next week, we will move on to capital (or majuscule) letter in chapter 3.

Practice: Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy: A Step-by-Step Manual

I started practice out of Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy: A Step-by-Step Manual by Eleanor Winters.  I ordered this book from an online source.  I can't remember for certain, but I believe it was Barnes and Noble. 

Anyway, within the introduction and first chapter I have already picked up some pointers to sharpen up my calligraphy skills.  In some instances, I don't think I was holding the nib (I like the Brause 66EF flexible nib) with even pressure on both tips of the nib, which created fuzzy strokes.  I also tend to apply a little too much pressure.  I learned to avoid the the 'italic thrust' in the arches of some of the letters. I also, picked up a tip on forming lowercase 'H', 'K', and  'L' that will help me form them better.  I will be using the Brause 66EF and walnut ink on marker paper.  I am very excited.  I am improving already.

Last Week of the Irene Wellington Copy Book

I have made my way through the entire Irene Wellington Copy Book.  I learned to write faster and smaller. I picked up new ways to form 'X' and 'Q'.  I also acquired inventive techniques in connecting the letters and reducing the number of strokes I use to form italic letters.

Next week, we will begin working through Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy: A Step by Step Manual by Eleanor Winters. 

Class This Friday and Practice: The Irene Wellington Copy Book (cont.)

Love Letters is this Friday, February 9 at 6:30-9p at Oil and Cotton.

In this class we will cover warm-ups, how to hold your pen (we will be working with a classroom set of Pilot Parallel pens (1.5 mm)), the basic Italic lowercase, number, and uppercase to enhance your own handwriting, as well as a refresher about the parts of a letter, and ideas about what to put in the letter(s). 

I will also bring a variety to of helpful and interesting calligraphy books.

Materials List:
Pilot Parallel Pens (1.5mm) (available for purchase at Oil and Cotton)
Stationary (for you to take home and available for purchase at Oil and Cotton)
Line Guides (for you to take home)
Lettering samples (for you to take home)

Please be on the look out for the Italic Calligraphy online instructional course coming this spring.  It will be a great complement to taking the class by encouraging practice, providing a refresher for information covered in class, and introducing material we cannot get to in class. 

We have one more week left with the Irene Wellington Copy Book.  I am still improving in speed. I also learned a new way to make 'Q'.  We will wrap up next week with a quick sample of the skills I picked up.

Practice: The Irene Wellington Copy Book (cont.)

I am over half-way through the Irene Wellington Copy Book.  This week I am experimenting with holding the pen like I did when I was little (I used to hold it with my thumb, index finger, and middle finger wrapped around the pen with it resting on my ring finger).  This seems to give me a little more control by allowing me to go with the natural curves my hand wants to form. However, holding the pen like I have been for the past year and a half (I was trying out holding it with my thumb and index finger clasping the pen with it resting on my middle finger) seems to allow for more freedom of movement. 

I am a very technical writer, so I may go back to holding the pen like I did when I was a little girl sometimes.  I really prefer more control.

Practice: The Irene Wellington Copy Book (cont.)

Now well into part two of the Irene Wellington Copy Book, I am writing a little faster and learning to connect the letters in a few different ways. 

I am enjoying the combining of the close cousins, italic and cursive, in order to write faster and with expression.  I have picked up a great way to write 'x' beautifully, and connect 'e' and 't' to other letters from their crossbars.

Practice: The Irene Wellington Copy Book (cont.)

I have been continuing to work my way through the ...Copy Book. 

This week, I am connecting letters and writing with a pencil.  This is instructed in preparation to write more quickly. This is new for me. I usually write very slowly, so it will be nice to practice writing a little smaller and a little quicker.

Practice: The Irene Wellington Copy Book (cont.)

Happy New Year! I am continuing in the The Irene Wellington Copy Book.  I am wrapping up the lowercase we started a couple of weeks ago. 

This week I ordered a Pilot Plumix pen this week from JetPens.  The pen produces thicks and thins with a medium straight cut nib for italic calligraphy.  I may keep this as an everyday pen, but I am still getting use to it. It seems a little more appropriate for the smaller italic I am practicing in the ...Copy Book.