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Old 06-25-2010, 09:41 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Thank you for posting the la Routye Batarde script. Will be searching the internet now for batarde manuscripts to compare each hand.

Your majuscules in our next lesson are beautiful I have printed out the lesson and can't wait to try them out over the week-end.

See you soon
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:28 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Help please Geoff............

I have practised the majuscules on 12mm x height, but I am having difficulty combining both the x height for the majuscules and the x height for the minuscules. If I write the minuscules on the 9.9.9 template do I keep to the 12mm x height for the majuscules. I tried doing this, but for example the minuscule 'l' was taller than the majuscule is this right? I also tried making the minuscules smaller than the 9mm but they were too chunky.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:13 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Hi Marie,

Yes, the ascenders of the minuscules are taller than the majuscules.

Geoff
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:48 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Thanks Geoff....just wanted to check before carrying on. Will get down to it tomorrow, just settling down to watch the England/Germany cup match
See you soon
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:42 PM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Give up on the footie match when we were 2 down so consoled myself with my calligraphy practise. Results as follows....



Problem areas.....thin downstrokes a little scruffy and too thick, not sharp enough. Tried to use the flourished hairlined 'd' as I like it better than the other one but found it hard to control the hairline loop.

Made a voluntary descision to use the fancy 'r' in 'Pray' as a bowl was available from the 'p', hope you can do this with a minuscule from out of the bowl of a majuscule? Also used the hairlined descendered 'y' as it looked better. Not sure about the joined v and e in the word Love?
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:04 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

These are coming on well, Marie. Points to make are ---

Beware of "wavy" lines --- in L the baseline starts with an upward curve moving into the thick stroke which finishes with an abrupt stop before making the hairline up to the right. That stops it from becoming a "wave goodbye" sort of stroke.

Look for the finer control in the tail of P and the base of A (which should be shorter and a tad more abrupt --- that will increase the counter above it and stop it from appearing as though there is a left lean).

The alternative r is OK but the P is just a fraction too plump.

It is only the last d 's hairline that is a bit wayward but , on the whole you are handling these hairline "curls" very well indeed.

Love --- your bit of doubt about the ve is a good sign of discriminatory looking! Make the second, curved part of the v come over a lttle fuller and you will see what a difference it makes .

Altogether a competent job --- just ensure that you make those pauses before changing direction after entries and the similar upward top links, and at the bottom of downstrokes before they become links or exits.

Do these words again and add them to your next contribution.

Calamity here !!! My good resolution, multifunction printer, with its scanner/copier/film strip facility, has just had its printing head become u/s and I'll have to take it to the repair shop tomorrow. Goodness only knows how long that will take --- will have to do a lot of sweet-talking to try to minimise the time. But as it will be done under warranty (which by hapchance I extended for an additional three years !!) they usually are not quite so eager!

Geoff
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:09 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Hi Geoff, hope you have managed to get your scanner problem fixed?

I have re-written the first group of words, and written the second group of words. You don't seem to have given us any group of words for the next section, it goes straight to the final assignment.....

before...

after...

I missed the bit about the letters starting with K so have forwarded tham as well


My second group of words....


Disregard the lonesome Y, messed it up a bit. Problem letters this time, the N. I think the second N looks better than the first, not too wide.
I know a couple of my hairline flourishes are a tad too thick, but they will be better when I do a complete piece . See what you think....
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:47 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Hi Marie,
I am in the throes of installing a replacement more up-market multifunction printer --- a Canon MX870 --- all under warranty plus $50 for the better model. So not much time now for a proper critique.

At first glance of your latest words things are going very well indeed. My only instant observation is that your hairline tiwrls are a bit too tight --- give them a little more air-space, and if that would cause them to clash with the next letter then they shouldn't be made.

Bringing the tail of the K to below the baseline would help the spacing.

I love the Gothic sharpness that is now becoming so evident in most of your letters. Congrats.

Geoff
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:28 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Hellp, Marie.
Printer working nicely but I have a lot more to learn about it !

Your repeat of Rail to Love is much better --- a really beautiful A.

The minuscule a in the word What is a real model, in that the bottom point of the first stroke is directly under the starting point of that first stroke (see Lesson 1 of Minuscules starting with the o }. But you now have a tendency to carry all your letters a and g just a little too far to the right, which means the bottom hairline link is too crowded.

Majuscule letters Y and V could be made narrower --- making it have the wonderful difference you discovered in the N in Novice.

Majuscules W , B , D , M , and final N are very good.

I shall be looking forward eagerly to your final assignment.

Geoff
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:27 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Glad you have your printer sorted, it does take a while to get used to new equipment, especially multi functional ones.

Thank you for the C&C. Have noted all your comments, will concentrate on making sure the a and g are not carried too far to the right.

Have been doing some practise on the final assignment and should be posting this afternoon. I had fun doing some research on the ampersands, thoroughly enjoyed it. But you will have to wait a little later to see what I have arrived at
See you later
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:03 PM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Final assignment........hope the ampersand fits with the rest of the script, it seemed to be the nicest match after a bit of tweeking. I didn't like the modern shaped ampersand within this script.



The T is too curly across the top bar and the S stroke coming down is too thick at the top. The hairline on the top of the S is a tad too long and thick. Tried to keep the a and g correct shape. Sorry the scan is not as clear as it normally is.
See what you think.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:58 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

The last time we did a "comparison" criritique, it seemed to be a valuanle exercise. So this time I am going to throw it back to you and you can give me youe evaluations --- both, of yours and of mine.

If you think that I am abrogating my role as a tutor in this, let me know and I will return to the usual.



Next instalment will follow.

Geoff
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:06 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

This was inspired by and modelled on a woodcut script of Karina Meister (a Dutch calligrapher). You can have some good fun making a variety of trailing hairlines here. Some, from below the baseline, I made by starting at the bottom, sliding up, then twisting over into the base-stroke, gradually steepening the pen-angle to finish at 45 degrees. --- e.g. H J K M N P R S W and X .

This is not an easy one to write, with the pen-angle varying slightly from 45 to 40 degrees but with an occasional steepening when a thinner stroke is needed in a few places, and a “twisting as you go” technique in others. It is included here just to get you thinking about other flavours available.

Maybe you can design your own Gothic majuscules by looking at these two that I have shown you --- or from other sources you may have. Just keep them in character with the minuscule --- sharp and crisp.

The next lesson will need a pointed or monotip pen --- ball-pen, dip nib, sharp fibre-tip, etc

Last edited by dgford : 07-08-2010 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:44 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Hi Geoff, I still think its a good idea the 'comparison' technique. This way it makes you aware of what level of knowledge we have gained with these lessons.

Here goes.......

Evaluation on mine compared against yours.

1st row......The D is too wide, the e would have been better not joined to the D. The m could be a tad wider. I was sure my ampersand would be ok, but dont think so now. My R is too wide, spacing too close on the b and l.

2nd row....My A is too squat, the T is wrong. I did try overlapping the h over the T when I was practising but didn't know if this was usual, it would have made the spacing a lot better.
Once again my pen angle looks too wide overall.



Evaluation on yours....

1st row....The bottom stroke of your r is ending with a chisel edge instead of the spacer flick upwards. You have used a different ampersand than I have, looks better than the one I chose.

2nd row.... The A dosen't look right. The middle three words look too cramped together, spacing is out a little. The hairline is missing from the I.

Would you like me to re-write the assignment again.....
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:47 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

CALLIGRAPHY TUTORIAL
BÂTARDE - LOMBARDIC VERSALS


OUTLINE:
My General Plan
To introduce a style of Lombardic Versal letters using letters in groups of similar strokes;
To show an example of the hierarchy of letters used in Medieval Manuscripts;
To encourage decorative development after understanding their basic requirement;
To develop paleographic knowledge and understandings;
To widen the store of calligraphic skills and performance;
To encourage as soon as possible the practice of “calligraphy --- beautiful writing.”

Materials
Pens: nib --- pointed, small round tipped, ball-point or fine fibre-tipped.
(Inks: Keep to your favourite ink if you are using a dip-nib (such as a Hiro 33 ).
Paper: A4 Computer printer paper or Bleedproof paper
Drawing Board (or sheet of heavy carton corrugated cardboard with smooth covering)

Preparation
14mm writing guidelines – the same as the Batarde Majuscule guidelines

To save you time and effort, you may make a copy of my sheet and use that (call it Lomb Versals 14).
Print off about 2 sheets,


Note --- you will need a 2mm nib for the next style of writing.

LESSON 1
The source manuscript that I am using here is the one that I studied in 1992 in the V&A collection --- the Breviary of Utrecht, written in Delft ca.1490.

As you know, the first letter of a verse or paragraph was written using a Versal, often contained within a box and decorated with colours or gold. Frequently, these boxes alternated down the page with backgrounds of red then blue --- or it was the letters that alternated red and blue on a gold background.

All Versals are distinguished by their exaggerated difference between the thicks and thins in the letters. The Lombardic Versal not only had these exaggerations but also elongated serifs ( usually curved and having a thickening at one or both ends ), added bits and pieces to their outlines, or ornamentation in or around the letter itself. A full straight line is rarely met in this style. “Straight” downstrokes are made with two concave lines --- forming a waist (exaggerated “entasis”). Curves are buxom and bountiful! But the alphabet presented here, although decidedly Lombardic, is a working model and eventually can be developed in simpler, or more elaborate, or historical or personal ways. But the letters should be recognisable for what they are.

The letter O is formed by shaping the counter first --- like a basic racecourse, with two straight sides and a circular curve at each end. This counter is vital in very many of the letters, although sometimes it may vary in size or proportion.
Outside this bowl is added the very generous hollow “thicks”, but the “thins” are left thin. That is the basic O, quite unadorned, and from it we will derive many other letters. In this example above I have shown embellishments, such as thorns on the outside, then in addition on the inside. It is shown as a coloured-in letter (all colouring computer-generated here!), a gold letter contained within a box with a plain coloured background, and finally with decoration throughout the background.

These embellishments are included just to give you a flavour of what could be in your near future! (“Decoration” is all additional line and colour work on the manuscript whereas “illumination” applies to the shine of metal – usually gold. As they are turned, the curving pages cause the Gold to flash as it catches the light, hence “illumination”.)

It will profit you immensely to practise to perfection this simple letter O . So many others depend on it.

The first group of Lombardic Versals are those based on the construction of the simple O --- there will not be any embellishments for you to deal with. The coloured letters are there only to spice up the illustration a little! Remember that on all bowl letters to start with the inside lines first.

Q is an O with the tail across the base --- the vertical hairline starts with a little knob. G has a smaller curve on the right but must be wide enough to balance the whole. Letters C, E and T have a slightly wider counter to compensate for the lack of a full “thick” to the right. The vertical hairline, closing the counter, starts above the letter height and extends to below the baseline. In letter T keep the lower curve relatively subdued but enjoy the “teardrop” shape and the rakish tilt in the top crossbar (a “teardrop” will appear also in the R, K and A.) .

The next dozen letters all feature a vertical downsroke, with letter L made using a thicker line only for you to see what the effect looks like. All have the waisted appearance but may be of differing sizes or placement. The “pinched” look in the D and B gives an optical appearance of lessening the size of the letter, so make the top and base hairlines creep above and below the usual size boundaries. P, H and R have larger-than-halfway sized counters. Note the mid-letter junctions in R and B.

The bottom line of letters are a mixed bag of constructions. M is very symmetrical, with a narrower vertical downstroke, and looks like an imperial crown! The letter W is just that --- a “double U”. And the widest of them all. A question for you --- If you were writing a page of manuscript and had to use a number of Lombardic Versals at the beginning of the verses, in their equal sized “boxes” down the page, how would you deal with this wide versal W ?

V and Y appear to be somewhat awkward in shape but must always appear to be balanced in an upright position.

The last two letters are, in my opinion, the most elegant so I love dealing with them with care and affection ! The size, shape and placement of the “teardrop” in the A , the trailing hairline going below, the slopes of the two sides and the size and placement of the crossbar are all the result of individual taste --- so, I can't mark you as being wrong! Maybe only wonder at your taste ! Sometimes the letter is made in the same manner as the Roman H, with a hairline across the top extending out to each side, and the two sides made vertical but still having the teardrop and hairline on the left stem.

The S starts with having in mind the counter of the letter O but widened enough to hold the whole letter. Within that overall shape, we can see two fat teardrop counters separated by a central, sinuous crossbar and both of them closed off by generous serifs. Across the middle, the cross-bar is level and (when stretched laterally to fit a rectangular box) may even climb a little --- but, make no mistake about it, it is the teardrop counters that control the shape of this beautiful letter.

In my next post I shall give you some examples of Lombardic Versal variations that could give you some ideas for your own development.


LOMBARDIC SAMPLES


Examples of C and D (from a 1490 Book of Hours I studied in Oxford in 1992 and of which I have a facsimile, actual-sized copy – the page dimensions are 132mm x 95mm --- this print-out is of a section of 45mm across) (First word is COnverte) (Second word is DEus)

Red and blue alternating W, H and E ( for sentence beginnings --- Dutch ca 1450 --- from a page of vellum manuscript that I own) --- actual size of this detail is 40mm)



Letter T from a book in my library, Romans de Tristan, written in 1420, with illuminated background and decoration in red and blue (actual size is one-quarter of these dimensions).


__________________________________________________ _



Here are three illuminated Lombardic initials which I designed, gilded and painted about five years ago on vellum ( each mounted within a mini golden frame, 4cm across), for my oldest daughter Susan, for my daughter-in-law Fiona, and for a friend Annette, each on a birthday. Note in the S, the climbing crossbar (and another inside it), also the lateral stretching of all the letters to fit the frame proportions, and the variation made by splitting the first downstroke of the A with a teardrop in the outer left stroke . The gilding for the S was slightly raised on acrylic gesso.
(These were not intended to come out as big as this but to be actaul size --- I 'll have to discover how to control this in future !!! )
Do they give you ideas for your own creativity? --- personalised gifts?
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