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Hiraeth
09-05-2008, 10:47 AM
"There are some letters so unforthcoming that they refuse to enter into any sort of friendship or conversation with others. . .other letters are naturally amiable and of good concord and do not deny their intimacy to any other letter". Juan de Icíar

I came across this quote in my web browsing this morning and thought--this would be an interesting quotation to discuss amongst calligraphers.

So, my questions to you, my fellow calligraphers: Which letters don't play well with other letters, in your opinion? How do you overcome their challenging personalities? Do some stubborn letters play nice in one hand but not another?

If you've never thought about these questions, you might find it hard to answer. But now that you've been asked, pay attention as you work and see if some letters don't seem to stomp their feet, fling their ascenders, and bully other letters.

I have my problematic letters but I want to hear from you first!

InkyEss
09-06-2008, 02:54 AM
Not sure about which letters don't play well together, I'll have to watch when I'm lettering.... but I do know which letters are my bugbears at the moment.

I have trouble with S and also with W. I'm hoping in time with practice this will improve, but at present these two letters really don't like me! :D

Strange thing is you would think S would come easily to me since my name begins with it!:lol:

Hiraeth
09-06-2008, 07:51 AM
W is a stinker! It's what I call a multiple personality letter. Very different from hand to hand.

Strange thing is you would think S would come easily to me since my name begins with it!
Perhaps not so strange. You probably have trouble with S precisely because your name starts with it! The letter S is one that you've used day in and day out and have done since you went to school and learned to put your name at the top of the homework page. It's a familiar friend. Our signatures take on a life of their own over our lifetimes and we become very attached to and identify with them. They are part of us. Now, this broad pen is asking your hand to take what has always been yours and form it in a way that is different. In calligraphy, that is true of all letters, but even more so with those ingrained ones.

The best way to overcome that, in my opinion, is to totally forgo words and sentences for a while and deconstruct the letter into it's separate strokes and practice. Fill up sheets and sheets of paper with S's or W's or miniscule e's (one of my bugaboos). You will retrain your brain--create a muscle memory. When you come to the capital S in a piece of work, your hand and the calligraphy part of your brain will think "these strokes in this order" instead of that little piece of you which governs your own handwritiing style which says "I've always done it THIS way and it looks like ME! :wink2:

Clear as mud? I guess what I am saying is that learning calligraphy is two things at the same time. Learning something entirely new and unlearning something that is entirely part of you. Once you have mastered (and I say this with a smile for who has truly mastered?) the basic strokes and they have become second nature, (at least to your brain if not yet to your hand) then you will improve rapidly.

After I've written all that, I guess you said it best. In time with practice. But HOW you practice will make an incredible difference! All the difference in the world.

Not sure about which letters don't play well together, I'll have to watch when I'm lettering.... but I do know which letters are my bugbears at the moment.

I have trouble with S and also with W. I'm hoping in time with practice this will improve, but at present these two letters really don't like me! :D

Strange thing is you would think S would come easily to me since my name begins with it!:lol:

quills
09-06-2008, 10:56 AM
Which letters don't play well with other letters, in your opinion?
This is the great advantage and beauty of calligraphy over computer work, you can change the letter form to to suit the adjoining letters...
Use ligatures to join 't' and 'h' the half 'r' after an 'o' the elongated 's' curved side 'w' use a capital L rather than the boring 'l' the list is endless it just happens as you letter not usually worked out before hand.

Hiraeth
09-06-2008, 11:09 AM
Oh, I'd love to see an example of your h/half 'r' ligature. Maybe you should start a ligature sharing post. (I'm a bit embarrassed at how loquacious I am! Sometimes I wonder if people roll their eyes when they see another post from me! :wink2:) I have my favorites, too, but would love to learn some new ones! :clap:

This is the great advantage and beauty of calligraphy over computer work, you can change the letter form to to suit the adjoining letters...
Use ligatures to join 't' and 'h' the half 'r' after an 'o' the elongated 's' curved side 'w' use a capital L rather than the boring 'l' the list is endless it just happens as you letter not usually worked out before hand.

InkyEss
09-06-2008, 11:52 AM
Early as I am in this game of lettering, I find I have favourites already. I really adore doing c and e and wow am I having fun with g!:clap:

Do you also have favourite letters? I'm sure you do.

Hiraeth
09-06-2008, 01:33 PM
Hey! I like your new name! :D

Yes, I do have my favorites! At some time or another most of them have been my favorites!:lol:

Early as I am in this game of lettering, I find I have favourites already. I really adore doing c and e and wow am I having fun with g!:clap:

Do you also have favourite letters? I'm sure you do.