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  #436   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-21-2014, 03:04 PM
callidoc callidoc is online now
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

These were written using the guidelines Salman kindly provided for my 3mm Brause Bandzug nib. Unfortunately, the only 8.5 x 11" paper I have is not of the same quality as the A4 paper I have been using, so there is a bit less crispness to the letters.

I feel like something very neurologic happened overnight. This morning, the pen seems to know where to go. I hope we are more beautiful and balanced in your eyes.





And I think this is a nicer nice ocean. I hope you agree.



I think that the second stroke of the e in nice is too steep, and I like the n in nice better than that in ocean. The latter is a bit sloppy. I think I have the nib angle. I hope I'm correct.

David

Last edited by callidoc : 07-21-2014 at 03:17 PM.
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  #437   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-21-2014, 03:54 PM
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salman.khattak salman.khattak is online now
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Yes - you can see that the nib angle is flatter in the 'o' in 'union'. However, the stroke needs a little adjustment. In that 'o' you can see where the left edge of the nib was at the beginning of the first stroke. If you move your pen slightly to the left on the down stroke, that little edge will disappear and you will be left with a graceful arc. You will also have a nice roundness in the counter.

The shape of the counters in 'ace' is pretty good in fact - just that the nib is too steep at the beginning of the first bullhorn in all three. When that happens, you will then have a tendency to match that angle for the top stroke too and the problem is compounded.

The second 'n' in 'union' is good. The 'u' should look just like that - only upside down. The counter on the last 'n' is just a tad too narrow.

It seems like we are spending a lot of time on lesson 1 but have you noticed how your understanding of the structure has improved? We are really talking about subtleties now.

Lets give 'union' and 'ace' another go and I'm sure we'll be moving on to the next lesson after that.

Salman
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:05 PM
callidoc callidoc is online now
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Salman,

Do your last comments relate to entry #437 or my preceding "union ace?"

David
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:09 PM
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salman.khattak salman.khattak is online now
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

David - the feedback above is for the last post on the previous page (the one with just union and ace). I did not see your latest until I posted above.

I have attached the guide sheet in A4 for you.

Your last exercise shows much improvement. Just look at that 'c' in ace - beautiful and graceful.

The bullhorn in the next 'e' is just as good. The angle of the final hairline after the top stroke is too steep though - as is the beginning of the nib angle at the start of the top stroke - do you see that?

'nice ocean' is pretty good structure wise but the steep nib angle shows itself clearly in the 'n's.

OK - I think you are getting there. Lets move on to the next lesson but with the caveat that you will get that nib angle right. I think working on different letters might be helpful at this stage. You are on the brink of getting it right all the time.

We will stay on the first 2 lessons until you get the form and the spacing right and you will see how you breeze through the remaining minuscules.

Salman
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:50 PM
callidoc callidoc is online now
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Thanks for the clarification, critique and the A4 guidelines, Salman!

I do see the problem with the e hairline. The "steep nib angle" in the n's of "nice ocean" is not so clear to me. Tell me where you look to assess this. That way, I can watch for it and make my practice more effective.

David
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:58 PM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

David - you can tell from the width of the first stroke and also from the angle at the foot of the stroke. If you look at the thickness of the 'i' and compare it with the first stroke of the 'n' in 'nice' you will see it. Also, see the nib angle at the base of that stroke is too steep - closer to 60 degrees than 45.

Are you moving your whole hand when making these strokes? As you know from before, it is very hard to keep a consistent nib angle if you move your fingers.

S.
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:18 PM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Quote:
Originally Posted by salman.khattak
David - you can tell from the width of the first stroke and also from the angle at the foot of the stroke. If you look at the thickness of the 'i' and compare it with the first stroke of the 'n' in 'nice' you will see it. Also, see the nib angle at the base of that stroke is too steep - closer to 60 degrees than 45.

Are you moving your whole hand when making these strokes? As you know from before, it is very hard to keep a consistent nib angle if you move your fingers.

S.

Thanks. I think that will help. There's a lot of eye retraining as well as hand retraining going on here!

The nib rotation is mostly, if not entirely, from the shoulder. I feel it is under much better control today than even yesterday, but there is obviously still room for improvement.

David
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:28 PM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

I think I understand the shoulder rotation problem - It helped me greatly when I thought of the hand being moved by the elbow. I imagined the elbow being pulled back in a straight line and the hand just following it - this takes care of the shoulder induced torque.

S.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:02 AM
callidoc callidoc is online now
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

I am by no means perfectly content with this, but I wanted to post a "progress report" before calling it a night. So, up for critique ...





w: I see that the up-stokes from the writing line needs to be at <90º from the preceding down-stoke.
z: The curved down-stoke is a challenge. it goes against some sort of instinct (from how I write 7 for italic script?). I also know that the second horizontal stroke has an initial curve that doesn't belong.
y: It needs more practice more than anything, but it is always a difficult letter in terms of spacing. (Lloyd Reynolds liked to use "quarry" as a practice word for letter spacing in italic writing.)

Tomorrow I take a few hours break in the middle of the day from learning gothic bâtarde to teach pediatrics, but I'll be at it before and after.

Salman and Geoff, it's a privilege and a pleasure having such instructors. Thank you!

David
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:58 AM
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

David - a bit of rest might be good for you. I think you are going a bit too fast to be honest. There is no hurry - an upload every other day, or even longer apart, is totally fine by me. You take it at your pace, there is no expectation of regularity either.

We all share the goal of learning high quality lettering. That requires an understanding of the script just as much, if not more, as the hand control. Taking it slow helps with the understanding in my opinion.

I am sure you are beginning to realize that muscle memory is our enemy. We are shooting for muscle control so we can write different scripts at various sizes without having to retrain our muscles all the time.

The last exercise you have uploaded isn't up to your own standard - you have identified most of the problems. The 'a's have lost all form (the last stroke in 'a' should be the same as the last stroke of the 'u' but for some reason you have added curves to them).

'n' and 'c' are the only good letters in this exercise.

BTW - have you noticed that the curved stroke of the 'w' and the 'y' is the same. We are shooting for a well balanced triangle form in both cases. Similarly, the second stroke of the 'x' is a 'c' - if you can write a good 'c' consistently, the 'x' should not be a problem.

I am enjoying these lessons as much as you (if not more). I get to revisit my favourite hand - the first I learned from Geoff. And now I get to pass some of it on - what an honor. I am glad we have Geoff's lessons as a guide and have him keeping an eye on us.

Salman
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:16 PM
callidoc callidoc is online now
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Salman --

I'm sure you didn't intend it, but that is a "double message." I definitely hear what you are saying about taking my time, and I concur. On the other hand, the images I sent last night were done at the end of the day when I was fatigued and not doing my best. And on the third hand, your comments on my errors are terribly helpful! It's often said, "We learn from our mistakes." This is an excellent example.

So ...
1. I have thought of muscle memory for calligraphy being like language learning or playing music from memory. Intellectual understanding is an aid to proper automatization through effective practice. One could have multiple muscle memory "sets" for multiple scripts. You say "muscle control" involves freeing movement from memories. Really? This implies continuous, conscious control of writing. Automatized movements do not preclude conscious choice-making in real time. In fact, they free mental energy for creativity. They provide the basic structure and limits within which one can "jam." If you do see it differently, please enlighten me.

2. The last stroke of the a: Got it! Understanding of that stroke had eluded me.

3. v & w: I understand the relationship. I think this is another instance of getting the angles of the nib and of the stroke right.

4. second stroke of x: I didn't see it. Now I do. Thanks!

I also very much appreciate your comment regarding the pleasure of "passing on" hard-earned knowledge and skills. I was in a conference a couple months ago and heard one of our senior pediatric residents provide a rather sophisticated analysis of a child's problematic behavior, echoing methodology for conceptualizing multi-factor causality I have been trying to teach him for 3 years. It's always thrilling. As we get older, it's increasingly an issue of legacy.

Ack! What did Geoff call it? "Babbling," was it?

David
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:09 PM
callidoc callidoc is online now
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Re: Calligraphy Online Tutorials

Okay, so I didn't take a couple of days. I wanted to show how I understood your last set of suggestions.





I didn't enlarge this one ...



David
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