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Topic: Beginning calligraphy practice  (Read 3282 times)
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« on: February 14, 2013 08:04:39 PM »

I'm brand new at calligraphy, but I'm pretty pleased with how a couple of my works turned out for the first shot. These are done with a traditional western-style calligraphy pen and gouache.

This quote is from The Phantom Tollbooth (when they're in The Doldrums). I love that book so much that I think I will read it again; it still must be magical even as an adult. I really like how "alternate" and "Thursdays" turned out. However, my eyes cannot stop noticing the stark difference in spacing between the letters of "Laughing" and all the other words. Sad

Gothic alphabets are the easiest to start with to get used to the pen and the basics of calligraphy. I liked this one, because it added just a bit of flair to the "traditional" look with the diamonds. The "B" is my favorite.

This was my first practice with flourishing. I love it, and I hope to come up with more creative types on my own. This quote is from the song Man of Devotion by Fool's Garden.

This was actually my first Gothic alphabet on the second try. The number set is actually my own, because the alphabet didn't already have one. I absolutely hate the 9 and 4, but I really love the 6! People have told me that the 7 should be slanted.

I didn't use any kind of ruler lines except for with the first one, so I do know there is some fluctuation in the spacing/sizing as well as upper and lower edges. This was just for practice, so I didn't find it necessary.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying this. I like to crank my music up and just do whatever I want with the pen. I find it quite soothing!
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013 04:24:35 PM by rebecnik » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013 08:27:46 PM »

Great work! I had a calligraphy set when I was younger, and I never got very good but it sure was fun!

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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013 08:29:37 PM »

Thank you so much!
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013 11:43:45 PM »

Nice work!

I did notice the difference in spacing on "Laughing", but I thought it was intentional.  Spreading it out a little more is one way to emphasize a word or phrase--an effect similar to but more subtle than that of putting it in a different color ink or a different hand.  I just figured you were saying, "Laughing is not allowed. . .."
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013 11:45:24 PM by Athterath » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013 11:44:58 PM »

Beautiful! The spacing of laughing makes it look like emphasis.

(and The Phantom Tollbooth holds up to adult reading, it's fab!)

« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013 03:41:04 AM »

Well done! I agree with the previous commenters re. the spacing of laughing and emphasis.
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013 05:43:48 AM »

Great job, I love to use letters in my craft.

« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013 06:38:43 AM »

Way cool!  I just got the book "Calligraphy School" and am about to start learning.  Glad to hear you enjoy it so much.  I hope I do too.  Glad to know the Gothic alphabet is the easiest to start with.  Thanks for sharing your work!   Smiley   (By the way....I vote we keep the heart smilies year round!)      Grin

« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2013 04:17:27 PM »

Thank you SO much everyone!
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2013 04:37:02 PM »

Glad to know the Gothic alphabet is the easiest to start with.

Yup, Gothic alphabets have nice, simple lines that are just great for beginners. It also helps when learning spacing, which can be a challenge for me. I got most of my trial alphabets from here (as well as quite a bit of good information):


All of these alphabets are pretty good for beginners. The ones to avoid at first are those that involve manipulating the pen in other-than-normal ways.

The first one on this page, "Roman Rustic Capitals," is how I learned this fact:


It looks so easy! It is not...you have to twist the pen while maintaining the left edge along a constant vertical while keeping that right edge nice and smooth-looking.

Here's another example:


These alphabets are so pretty and fun-looking, but they're tough to learn with (possible easier with a marker; I use an actual pen with a metal nib). These two previous alphabets would both require you to twist the pen. Gothic alphabets employ the "correct" method of swinging the arm from the shoulder to make each stroke, holding the pen at a constant angle. Getting into the really cool stuff often involves violating that by requiring you to pivot your wrist/arm. Does that all make sense?
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